Fiat Topolino - Click above for high-res image gallery

Back in the waning days of the Carter administration, Chrysler was in an all-too-familiar position. The company was on the verge of insolvency with a lineup of products that almost no one wanted. That time, they just managed to avoid bankruptcy court. But as the company got a batch of government-backed loans, they were proclaiming a new line of cars that would pull them out of the gutter. Before long, the K-cars arrived and for the next decade most of the company's lineup was derived from those roots.

Today, fresh out of bankruptcy court, engineers are scrambling to finish a fresh lineup as management is telling the world, "Wait till you see what's coming next!" Only this time, the origins lie in products from Italy instead of Highland Park, MI. There are a decent number of Fiats floating around steamy Woodward Ave. today, although none so far are of the contemporary type that we expect to see badged as Chryslers soon. In fact, most are even older than the assorted K-cars also plying the pavement.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

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