Another Single File, another Italian rarity from back when. This time we’re back with Mercury and this is a release that is a world apart from the Speedy cars I covered a few months back. This is Mercury’s take on the Fiat Campagnola.
The Campagnola (derived from the Italian word for country “campagna”) was the result of a 1950 request from the Italian Army for a multipurpose vehicle similar to the Willys Jeep. Both Fiat and Alfa Romeo tendered for the request, but Fiat took the contract. Large scale production began in 1951, and the vehicle was also sold to the public, intended to be an ideal 4×4 for farm use. In 1974 the vehicle was updated in the form of the Nuova Campagnola.
Powered by a slightly enlarged version of the 4 cylinder engine fitted to the Fiat 132 saloon, the Nuovo Campagnola remained in production until 1987. Used by both the public, the Italian Military and the various police departments, it’s this version modelled by Mercury.
This is a bit of a special find for me, as I have been after one of these for a while. I persued a Caribineri liveried version on an Italian swap/sell site to no avail after the seller refused to post, and one has evaded my grasp since. But I found this example listed in error as a Landrover and bagged a real bargain.
I love the total simplicity of it, the utilitarian, blocky looks and the skinny little wheels. It really does evoke the real thing. There’s barely any detail but the real thing is a rather unfussy bit of kit too, so there’s no need for bells and whistles. The construction, like the Polistil Romeo I covered recently, is snap together and there’s a very basic interior visible through the plastic windows.
Campagnolas can usually be seen these days running around Italian hillsides and villages, but not having the Tuscan countryside to hand I took mine along for a drive into my home county of Cumbria, and it looked rather at home amongst the green fields and drystone walls.
I’m happy to finally have this model to share with you all here. Searching out models like this is what keeps me collecting. They may not be the most glamorous things at cutting edge of cool, but they’ve a charm, and they sure bring a smile to my face. Here’s to the next one!