84-year-old takes delivery of his 55th Fiat and this time he’s driving electric

An 84-year-old car enthusiast from the UK has taken delivery of his 55th Fiat and this time he’s converted to an electric vehicle (EV). David Franklin is possibly the world’s most loyal car owner but after decades of driving internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is now an electric convert. 

Franklin, from Buckinghamshire in the UK, began his lifelong love affair with the brand in 1962, having joined the marque as a Progress Chaser at Fiat’s first ever UK-based concessionaire in Wembley. 

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Within the year, he went onto buy his first-ever Fiat, the iconic first-generation Fiat 500D, setting Franklin back £399. This much-loved and collectable car would be worth a lot more these days. 

Spending 12 years with the brand, progressing through the ranks as a car tester, technical representative and technical office manager, Franklin’s career highlight with the brand was holding the role of operations manager for the Fiat 130. This was the brand’s flagship saloon boasting a V6 3200cc engine.

During his time with the Italian marque, he was also a budding race car driver, competing in off-road production car trials across the country. The car at the centre of it all? Whatever Fiat happened to be on his driveway at the time. This ranged from a Fiat 500, Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 1500, Fiat 850, Fiat 850 Coupe and Fiat 850 Idromatic.

While Franklin moved from Fiat on to work for the family business, his loyalty to Fiat remained, ensuring that a Fiat was always in the garage. He estimates that he’s covered a staggering 600,000 miles (965,606km) behind the wheel of a Fiat.

As of February 2022, proudly sat on the front drive, is Franklin’s New 500 (RED) Edition electric car. While reminiscent of the chic and ground-breaking Fiat 500 he owned back in 1963, the latest addition is his most significant purchase yet, with the car being the first fully-electric vehicle he has ever owned.

David Franklin, Fiat enthusiast, said: “The electric 500 is like all Fiats, great fun to drive. It’s very quiet, handles incredibly well and is very quick off the mark – sometimes my glasses end up on the back seat. I am sold on the idea of electric cars now.”

This is a great story and so good to see Franklin is now an electric convert and embracing the technology. Once most drivers get behind the wheel of an electric car they don’t want to go back. This is thanks to them being easy and fun to drive, as well as being quiet and calming. Plus, they are cheaper to run and require less servicing than ICE vehicles thanks to fewer moving parts. 

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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