84-year-old David Franklin

84-year-old David has owned 55 Fiats

Riley Riley

In a lifelong show of loyalty an 84-year-old car enthusiast has taken delivery of his 55th Fiat.

David Franklin from Buckinghamshire in the UK purchased his first ever Fiat in 1963, a red, rear-engine 500D with forward opening doors.

His most recent purchase is the New 500 (RED) Edition — his and Fiat’s first electric model.

David’s relationship with Fiat began in 1962, when he joined the company as a “Progress Chaser” at Fiat’s first-ever, UK-based concessionaire in Wembley.

Spending 12 years with the brand, as a Car Tester, Technical Representative and Technical Office Manager, his career highlight was becoming  Operations Manager for the Fiat 130 – the brand’s, then, flagship saloon, with a 3.2-litre V6.

During his time with the Italian marque, David also became a budding race car driver, competing in off-road production car trials across the country.

Between 1963 and 1967, he entered 31 events, finishing first, 14 times, second, nine times and third, once.

The car at the centre of it all?

Whatever Fiat David happened to have in his driveway at the time.

This ranged from a Fiat 500, Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 1500, Fiat 850, Fiat 850 Coupe and Fiat 850 Idromatic.

While working at Fiat, David also met the love of his life, Michela.

Within two years, David and Michela were married in the idyllic village of Bellagio overlooking Lake Como in Italy where Michela was born.

A Fiat 2300 Estate carried the couple along with David’s parents to Italy for their wedding day where it acted as their wedding car.

While David moved on to work for the family business with his brother in 1974, he kept buying Fiats.

“Fiat never let me down, so I didn’t let them down,” he said.

David estimates that he’s covered a staggering 600,000 miles behind the wheel of a Fiat (965,000km).

“Having driven Fiat’s consistently for nearly 60 years, it is very hard to say just how many miles both myself and my family have covered in a Fiat,” he added.

“However, up until COVID, myself and Michela would drive to Italy at least once every year, sometimes twice when the kids were younger.

“That’s before you take into account all the miles I’d have travelled for business and competing in motoring competitions!”

Ranking his favourite Fiats, David praised the usability of the Fiat Multipla, versatility of the 850 Coupe which saw him scoop two, first place positions in his competition days and the fun performance of the New 500.

  1. Fiat Multipla
  2. Fiat 850 Coupe
  3. Fiat New 500

List of Fiat’s owned by David

Uno Turbo
Lancia Thema Turbo
850 Idroconvert
850 Coupe
124 Estate
131 (2 door)
131 (4 door)
132 Argenta
2300 Estate
Hot Uno 55S
Tipo 16 Valve
Coupe Turbo 5 Cylinder
Lancia Dedra Turbo
Coupe. 5 cylinder
500X Sport
500 Electric (RED) Edition

Note: David has owned a staggering 55 Fiat’s since 1962, seeing him get behind the wheel of 32 different Fiat models, having owned multiple models of his favourite Fiats, the Multipla, 850 and 500.


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