Frixos Demetriou was a successful casino owner in Cyprus and the owner of the Olympic Gaming Club in London. While in Milan his flight to Athens was diverted, he spotted an unusual looking car by the airport and on enquiry discovered that it was a Fiat 500 Gamine Vignale. The Gamine was a small two-seater roadster produced by Carozzeria Vignale from 1967 to 1971, based on the Fiat 500 platform using the two-cylinder air cooled engine from the 500 Sport. Demetriou was looking to diversify his business interests and sensing an opportunity he returned via Turin, securing the rights to sell Vignale products in the UK. He bought 200 cars upfront, paying with cash, and committed to buy the next six months production if Vignale would manufacture the car in right hand drive form. The Gamine two-seater was well received, becoming trendy with the Chelsea set – even nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow owned one.
This genuine UK right hand drive example is the very rare and desirable Gamine model coachbuilt by Vignale. Purchased new by its one lady owner the Fiat has resided in South East England ever since and has been used regularly over its time. An unrestored example it is largely in original condition and has been maintained throughout ownership showing a pleasant and light patina. The only thing that has been changed is the colour of the wings which were repainted red some time ago. Mechanically in good order the Gamine starts up when asked and the 499cc engine runs very well. The bodywork and trim are correct and original as is the bodywork, having never been damaged or replaced. This example has an unrepeatable history and it represents a fantastic opportunity to acquire a very well presented Fiat 500 Gamine. Often described as a ‘Noddy car’ this example is offered with its original wet weather gear (in good order) and is supplied with a UK registration document, ready to be enjoyed by its new custodian.