Garage Italia Customs owner, Lapo Elkann, has a passion for cars, particularly the ones with a link to his grandfather Gianni Agnelli – the former leader of Fiat. In a new undertaking for Garage Italia Customs, it has gotten ahold of the old Fiat Panda 4x4 that Agnelli used to drive around the snowy roads in St. Moritz in Switzerland. The firm fully restored the modest little hatchback but gave it a cabin far better than anything the factory ever offered.
Agnelli used to take a helicopter from Italy to the famous Swiss resort town and kept this all-wheel-drive Panda there to get around. The little car was fairly basic transportation for the ritzy place. The 1.1-litre engine produced a mere 53 horsepower.
Garage Italia Customs focused on tweaking the Panda's aesthetics and left the mechanical parts as they were from the factory. The exterior wears a subtle (some might say boring) shade of silver paint. Dark blue and black pinstripes run the whole length of the body. The original Panda and all-wheel-drive-system supplier Steyr Puch emblems are at the back, and Garage Italia Customs adds its own logo, too.
The more significant tweaks are on the inside. Garage Italia Customs works with Italian fabric mill Vitale Barberis Canonico to get the dark blue patterned cloth that adorns most of the interior, including the seats, rear bench, the lower portion of the dashoard, and the door panels. It's Agnelli's favorite colour. Garage Italia Customs also puts its emblem on the leather sides of the seats. There's still quite a bit of original black plastic in there, too.
This creation is a one-off, but it's not exactly clear what Garage Italia Customs intends to do with it. Perhaps Elkann can follow his grandfather's lead and take the boxy hatchback for a drive around St. Moritz.