Presenting: The 2011 Chrysler Fiat Cars - Part II
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away called Toronto's Little Italy, I knew the Marchionne family. As I remember, they were a pleasant Italian-Canadian family, perhaps a bit more in the Canadian Anglo mainstream than most of the relatively recent immigrants who tended to huddle around the espresso bars, salumerie and shoe boutiques on College Street and St. Clair Avenue in an almost xenophobic manner, discussing Italian politics and soccer while listening to Italian radio programs and gesticulating about the mangiacakes wearing ill-fitting suits who would be driving by in their huge cars.
The Marchionnes had made an effort to enter the mainstream and were among the early-adopters to begin to fully draw the benefits of Canadian society through the economic boom of the Sixties and Seventies. They were among the Italian immigrant minority that didn't just shake their heads at the strange Anglos, but very wisely chose to fully integrate with them, while still maintaining a fierce pride in their Italian heritage and traditions.
Sergio Marchionne was a nice young man: I remember that he was usually well dressed and had that bookish look about him. He was not the kind of youth who would paint his face in the Italian flag and go dancing down Dufferin Avenue when his soccer team won the Serie A. Sergio had a conviction that his education was paramount and he was nowhere near as footloose and fancy free as most of his Italian-Canadian peers of the time. Focused and intellectual were the primary terms that would apply to him. Young Sergio kept his nose to the grindstone and his eye on the prize.
Well, we've travelled through an inordinate amount of time and a countless number of galaxies, and now that nice young man who kept his eye on the prize is the CEO of an astounding transatlantic industrial group which has married two of the most unlikely automotive manufacturers on the planet to create the world's sixth largest car maker: One known for its huge off road chuggers and the other for tiny little cars that fall apart when they hit the first bump. This legendary tinniness, of course, led to the classic Fiat jokes:
How do you get spare parts for a Fiat?
Just follow another one around.
Have you seen the latest Fiat anti-theft device?
They enlarged the logo.
How can you get a Fiat to do 60 miles an hour?
Push it over a cliff.
What is the smallest part of a Fiat?
The owners brain.
Why are Fiat drivers like Corned Beef?
They both come in tin cans.
What did the Trabant say to the Fiat?
Who's the butt of the jokes now?
How do you oil a Fiat?
Drive over an Italian.
What's the difference between a Fiat and a tampon?
The tampon comes with a tow rope.
What occupies the last six pages of the Fiat owner's manual?
The bus and train timetables.
A man went to a dealer and said, "I'd like a gas cap for my Fiat."
The dealer replied, "Okay. Sounds like a fair trade."
How do you make a Fiat go faster?
Tell the tow truck driver to speed up.
What do you call a Fiat on a hilltop?
Two Fiats on a hilltop?
Three Fiats on a hilltop?
A funny place to build a Fiat factory.
...and all the various meanings for the name (which is actually an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino or Italian Automobile Factory of Turin):
FIAT - Fix It Again Tony
FIAT - Feeble Italian Attempt at Transportation
FIAT - Fart In A Tin
FIAT - Fails In Attempted Turns
FIAT - Failure In Automotive Technology
FIAT - Fits In A Thimble
FIAT - Failed In A Tunnel
FIAT - Flats In All Tires
FIAT - Found In A Trench
FIAT - Frenzied Italian At Traffic-lights
Continued in Presenting: The 2011 Chrysler Fiat Cars - Part III