Norev’s 1/18-scale replica of the Fiat 500 Giardiniera stands out as one of the best-detailed 500 scale models manufactured to date. The fact that they chose to reproduce a Giardiniera, the wagon variant of the 500, adds to the model’s desirability because 1/18 and similarly-sized 1/16 500 sedans have been replicated countless times over the years by companies like Solido, Bburago, Welly and Minichamps.
Norev has gone above and beyond in packing the Giardiniera with life-like details and the switches on the dashboard, the fuel lines coming from the tank, the marks on the speedometer and even the springs that hold up the front hood in the real car are all accounted for. The rear seatback folds down like in the real car and the trunk floor flips open to reveal the engine but it does not stay up by itself.
No model is perfect and the 500 Giardiniera has its share of defects. The most annoying bit is undeniably the roof, which is inexplicably made out of a piece of plastic that is poorly integrated into the metal bodywork, giving the wagon an overly tall silhouette. Additionally, like most 1/18-scale Norev models of the era the Giardiniera is very fragile and even picking it up and moving it around to take photos is a nerve-racking experience
The blue Giardiniera was introduced several years ago and the car has since been re-released in red with an open soft top and white with a closed soft top. Finding one in a model store is hit or miss but most online retailers should carry at least one of the three version.