Fiat 500 I Defend Gala 2015 front 3/4
  • Image Credit: Fiat
  • Image Credit: Fiat
It may or may not be to everyone's liking, but the Fiat 500 definitely has a style all its own. This particular example, however, takes it even further. What you're looking at is the very first example of the freshly facelifted 500 to roll off the assembly line. But it's not just the serial number that makes it special. The convertible model is painted in Bossa Nova white with a red roof and the 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine with a modest 69 horsepower. What sets it apart, though, is the unique treatment applied by Stefano Conticelli.

The Umbrian master craftsman has hand-applied honey-gold leather trim, but not inside where you'd expect it: the exterior has been decked out in the buttery-soft hides, including the wheel arches, along the quarter panel, on a stripe running down the flank nose, and around the head- and taillights. The leather trim is outlined with a blue stripe reminiscent of Riva yachts. The wing mirrors, meanwhile, have been done up in mahogany wood, and a picnic basket is affixed to the tailgate.

The result, even more than a standard Cinquecento, may not be everyone's cup of espresso, but it's certainly unique – and from the photos, at least, looks rather finely crafted. The one-of-a-kind retro city car will be auctioned off in Monte Carlo at the I Defend Gala to raise funds for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe organization.

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A Fiat showcar for auction, for a noble cause

The New 500 will be a leading light in Montecarlo at "I Defend Gala 2015", the first edition of the charity gala supporting the "Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe" Foundation, which champions human rights.

On 16 July, in Montecarlo, in the spectacular setting of the Riva Tunnel, the "I Defend Gala 2015" will take place: an evening devoted to defending the universal values of basic human rights, in aid of "Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe". The organization's central priorities are focused on the power of the individual to generate change, and involve supporting defenders of human rights via strategic partnerships.

FCA has long been committed to various urgent issues such as sustainable mobility and education, both of which it supports through numerous projects. At "I Defend Gala 2015" it will participate with its New 500: a global icon sold in over 100 countries, a perfect emblem for the worldwide corporate charisma of FCA, based on the harmonious collaboration and different nations and cultures. The key moment of the evening will be the donation of a Fiat showcar, namely the very first New 500 to roll off the production line, which will be auctioned off during the event.

This one-of-a-kind convertible, "Bossa Nova White" with 1.2 litre 69 HP engine, Lounge trim level, is personalised with skill and flair by the Umbrian master craftsman Stefano Conticelli, who by using leather as a medium knows how to express the excellence of Italian products, just like the New 500. The car has a calfskin exterior customisation. The natural honey gold colour of this particular material, which is treated to withstand the elements, enhances the car's iconic style elements: wheel arches, rear light clusters, headlights and chrome-plated whiskers. The picnic basket applied on the tailgate is made of the same material, while the mirror domes are covered with mahogany. This material, together with the sky blue profile of the applications and line running under the windows, is a tribute to the famous Riva yachts.

The prestigious charity gala, of which this is the first edition, will combine art and gastronomy and will feature numerous celebrities of all kinds and internationally famed artists, all contributing to the defence of ethics and human rights. The evening will be conducted by Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy, actress and author and President of the "Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights" Foundation. After her opening speech will come the auction: ten lots, featuring prestigious works of art including a series of photos by American photographer Harry Benson and a work by Michelangelo Pistoletto.

This will be followed by a gala dinner conceived to leave an unforgettable memory in the minds and palates of the over 200 international guests, including actor Martin Sheen, and many Italians, such as the actress and TV presenter Giorgia Surina. The menu will be conceived by a gastronomic genius, Gualtiero Marchesi, and will celebrate the sublimity of Italian cuisine.

In the course of the evening a further thirty lots will be auctioned, this time through a system of silent auction, using digital devices to bid for strikingly individual items. As well as the silent auction, the music of Ilaria della Bidia and readings from the lives and works of notable defenders of human rights. Naturally, the activities carried out by the Foundation to promote tolerance, intellectual exchange and freedom of expression will by described and illustrated.

Turin, 16 July 2015

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