Mickey Mouse, the world’s most famous mouse, is turning 100 years old in 2024. Fiat has created five one-off Topolino cars dedicated to the iconic character to celebrate this milestone, each with a unique design inspired by different artistic movements and Disney themes. The cars are displayed on the north ramp of the Lingotto, the former Fiat factory in Turin, Italy, where they create a colorful and creative tribute to Mickey Mouse and his legacy.
The Fiat Topolino, which means “little mouse” in Italian, is a small car that was produced by Fiat from 1936 to 1955. It was one of the first mass-produced cars in Europe, and it became a symbol of Italian motoring culture. The Topolino also appeared in several Mickey Mouse comics, and the name “Topolino” is still used to refer to Mickey Mouse in Italy.
Mickey Mouse, on the other hand, is a cartoon character created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1928. He is the mascot of the Walt Disney Company and one of the world's most recognizable and beloved characters. He has starred in hundreds of animated films, TV shows, comics, video games, and merchandise and has influenced popular culture, art, and entertainment for generations.
The One-off Topolinos
To honor the 100th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, Fiat has collaborated with Disney and Pinacoteca Agnelli, an art museum located on the roof of the Lingotto, to create five one-off Topolino cars that showcase the character’s charm and versatility. The cars are based on the new Fiat Topolino, a modern reinterpretation of the classic model, with a retro style and an electric powertrain.
The five cars have different designs, each reflecting a different aspect of Mickey Mouse and his history. They are:
- The Cavazzano Topolino: This car was designed by Giorgio Cavazzano, a renowned Disney artist who has drawn Mickey Mouse for over 50 years. The electric car features a black-and-white color scheme, with Mickey Mouse’s face on the hood and his signature on the side. The car pays homage to the original appearance of Mickey Mouse in the 1920s when he was first introduced as a mischievous and adventurous character in the Steamboat Willie cartoon.
- The Historical Topolino: This car was designed by Fiat Centro Stile, the design department of Fiat, and it is inspired by the historical evolution of Mickey Mouse and his role in society. The car has a red and yellow color scheme, with images of Mickey Mouse from different eras on the doors and the roof. The car showcases how Mickey Mouse has adapted to the changing times, from the Great Depression to World War II, from the Space Age to the Digital Age, and how he has become a symbol of optimism, courage, and friendship.
- The Modern Topolino: This car was also designed by Fiat Centro Stile, and it is inspired by the modern artistic movements and the contemporary expressions of Mickey Mouse. The car has a blue and green color scheme, with geometric shapes and patterns on the body. The car represents the creativity and innovation of Mickey Mouse, who has explored various genres and styles, from musicals to science fiction, from fantasy to comedy, and who has inspired many artists and creators.
- The Street Topolino: This car was also designed by Fiat Centro Stile, and it is inspired by the street art and the urban culture of Mickey Mouse. The car has a purple and orange color scheme, with graffiti and stickers on the body. The car reflects the popularity and influence of Mickey Mouse in the street scene, where he has been used as a medium of expression, protest, and celebration and where he has interacted with different subcultures and communities.
- The Abstract Topolino: This car was also designed by Fiat Centro Stile, and it is inspired by the abstract art and the conceptual aspects of Mickey Mouse. The car has a white and black color scheme, with minimalistic and symbolic elements on the body. The car illustrates the essence and the identity of Mickey Mouse, who has transcended his physical appearance and become a universal icon, a cultural phenomenon, and a source of inspiration.
The five one-off Topolino cars are displayed on the north ramp of the Lingotto, a spiral structure that was once part of the Fiat factory, where the cars were tested on a rooftop track. The ramp, which is now open to the public, offers a panoramic view of the city and the Alps, and it is a landmark of Turin’s industrial and architectural heritage.
The exhibition, open from January 18 to February 28, 2024, is a collaboration between Fiat and Pinacoteca Agnelli, which hosts a permanent collection of modern and contemporary art and temporary exhibitions and cultural events. The exhibition aims to offer a unique and accessible experience to the visitors, who can admire the artistic and creative value of the one-off Topolino cars, as well as the historical and cultural significance of Mickey Mouse.
The exhibition is also a gift from Fiat to the city of Turin, where the company was founded in 1899 and has contributed to the economic and social development of the region. Fiat has a long tradition of engaging with popular culture and artistic endeavors, collaborating with fashion designers, musicians, celebrities, and artists to create limited-edition models and special projects. The exhibition is a testament to Fiat’s passion for innovation, design, culture, and connection with the people and the city.
The one-off Fiat Topolino cars dedicated to Mickey Mouse are a colorful and creative tribute to the world’s most famous mouse, who is celebrating his 100th anniversary in 2024. The cars, which are displayed on the north ramp of the Lingotto, the former Fiat factory in Turin, Italy, showcase the character’s charm and versatility, as well as his influence on popular culture, art, and entertainment. The exhibition, a collaboration between Fiat and Pinacoteca Agnelli, is a unique and accessible experience for visitors who can explore the intersection of design, animation, and motoring heritage. The exhibition is also a gift from Fiat to Turin, where the company has a long history of engaging with creativity and culture. The exhibition is a celebration of Mickey Mouse and his legacy and a celebration of Fiat and its vision.