One of the great things about owning a new Fiat 500 is the comprehensive
warranty called Forward Care. A new 2012 Fiat 500 comes with a 4
year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, 4 year unlimited mileage
roadside assistance. Additionally, wear items are also covered for 12
months/12,000 miles, and that includes: wiper blades, brake pads and
rotors, and clutch assemblies. Cars delivered before January also had 3
year free maintenance, but this was dropped for later cars in lieu of
more flexible financing and incentives. Still, on a car that only takes 4
quarts of oil and has an $8 oil filter, Fiat 500 maintenance costs are
I took advantage of Forward Care when my Fiat 500 Prima Edizione hit
8,000 miles and was due for its first service. My selling dealer was
FIAT of Larchmont, whose proprietor is none other than Alfredo Gulla.
While I had my car serviced, I had the great pleasure of spending some
time with Mr. Gulla.
FIAT of Larchmont circa 1960s. Besides being a Fiat dealer, FIAT of Larchmont was an officially authorized Abarth dealer
Longtime Fiat enthusiasts will recognize the name from Alfredo's Foreign
Cars fame, the oldest Fiat dealer in the country. Mr. Gulla became a
Fiat dealer in 1961 and rose to be a consistent top dealer in the
country all through Fiat's heydays of the 1960s, '70s and early '80s.
Today, FIAT of Larchmont, located in Westchester County, New York, is
still a friendly, family run business and has the distinction of being
the only original Fiat dealer.
Back in 1961, the requirements to be a Fiat dealer were admittedly a lot
easier than today - an initial purchase of just 2 cars got you on your
way. Today, it takes a major, typically multi-million dollar, commitment
to be a Fiat dealer, and looking at the new Fiat of Larchmont Studio
one can see where the money is spent. The facility is beautiful with a
clever bit of Italian design featuring additional parking on the roof -
reminiscent of the old Fiat Lingotto plant in Torino. In addition to the
facility, a major purchase of parts, special tools and training is also
When I was there in December, servicing was being done next door at the
original Alfredo's Foreign Cars location. This was a treat, because the
newly renovated building houses a nice collection of classic Fiat
memorabilia. Mr. Gulla is one of the preeminent experts on Fiat Group
cars with personal contacts that included the late Gianni Agnelli.
and displays of cutaway engines keep you occupied while service work is
done. This late 1960s cutaway Fiat Twin Cam engine came direct from
In addition to being a Fiat dealer, in 1967, Mr. Gulla signed on as an
authorized Abarth dealer and knows the cars very well. Alfredo's Foreign
Cars was also a noted Alfa Romeo dealer and consistently the country's
number one Maserati dealer.
I have a fond memory of visiting his dealership twenty plus years ago
and witnessing the blistering takeoff of a Maserati Biturbo - the sound
of the twin turbo V6 wailing and seeing the Torsen differential
scrambling in vain to put all the power down had people on the sidewalk
stopping in their tracks with their jaws open.
Something you will not see very often: a rare US Spec 1960s Fiat 500. Note the sealed beam headlamp modification.
If you are a interested in a Fiat 500 or are a Fiat enthusiast, and are
in the New York tri-state area, you owe it to yourself to visit FIAT of
Excitement, passion and enthusiasm are what separate Italian cars from
the rest of the mundane mainstream cars. With Fiat dealers like Alfredo
Gulla and FIAT of Larchmont, you are in good hands.