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Fiat 600

This article is about the car manufactured from 1955 to 1969. For the car manufactured from 1998 to 2010, see Fiat Seicento.
Fiat 600
File:Fiat600.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Fiat
Also called Fiat 770[1]
Production 1955–1969
Assembly Turin, Italy
Caseros, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rancagua, Chile
Bogotá, Colombia (as the Zastava 750)
Barcelona (Zona Franca), Spain
Kragujevac, Serbia, Yugoslavia (as the Zastava 750)
Australia [2]
Designer Dante Giacosa
Body and chassis
Class City car
Body style 2-door sedan
Layout Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Related SEAT 600
Zastava 750
Powertrain
Engine 633 cc OHV I4
767 cc OHV I4
843 cc 100 R7.038 OHV I4 (600S)[3]
Dimensions
Length Script error: No such module "convert".
Width Script error: No such module "convert".
Height Script error: No such module "convert".
Curb weight Script error: No such module "convert".
Chronology
Predecessor Fiat 500 "Topolino"
Successor Fiat 850

The Fiat 600 (Italian: Seicento, pronounced say-chento) is a city car produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1955 to 1969. Measuring only Script error: No such module "convert". long, it was the first rear-engined Fiat and cost the equivalent of about €6,700 or US$7300 in today's money (590,000 lire then[4]). The total number produced from 1955 to 1969 at the Mirafiori plant in Turin was 2,695,197.[5] During the 1960s, '70s and '80s, the car became very popular in countries such as Spain (as SEAT 600), where it became the icon, par excellence, of the Spanish miracle, Argentina, where it was nicknamed Fiatito (a diminutive of FIAT) and former Yugoslavia where it was nicknamed Fićo (pronounced [fee-cho]).

Development

Codenamed Progetto 100 ("Project 100"), the Fiat 600 mirrored the layout of the Volkswagen Beetle and Renault 4CV of its era. Aimed at being an economical but capable vehicle, its design parameters stipulated a weight of around 450 kg with the ability to carry 4 people and luggage plus a cruising speed of no less than 85 km/h. A total of 5 prototypes were built between 1952 and 1954, which all differed from one another. Chassis number 000001 with engine number 000002 is believed to be the sole remaining example, according to a recent report by Quattroruote's "Ruoteclassiche" vintage division. It was powered by an innovative single-cam V2-cylinder engine designed to simplify maintenance and did not feature a clutch pedal. At the official launch in 1955, FIAT engineer, Dante Giacosa declared that the aim had been to create something new, both in the interest of progress and simplification. This prototype, however, did not become the chosen design.[6]

Characteristics

The car had hydraulic drum brakes on all four wheels. Suspension was a unique single double-mounted leafspring—which acts as a stabilizer—between the front wheels coupled to gas-charged shock absorbers, and an independent coil-over-shock absorber setup coupled to semi-trailing arms at the rear. All 600 models had 3-synchro (no synchro on 1st) 4-speed transaxles. Unlike the Volkswagen Beetle or Fiat 500, the Fiat 600 is water-cooled with an ample cabin heater and, while cooling is generally adequate, for high-power modified versions a front-mounted radiator or oil cooler is needed to complement the rear-mounted radiator. All models of the 600 had generators with mechanical external regulators.

The top speed ranged from Script error: No such module "convert". empty with the 633 cc inline-four engine to Script error: No such module "convert". with the 767 cc version. The car had good ventilation and defrosting systems.

A year after its debut, in 1956, a soft-top version was introduced, as well as a six-seater variant—the Fiat 600 Multipla. It was a precursor of current multi-purpose vehicles.

Retrospectively the water-cooled Fiat 600 is sometimes over-shadowed by the air-cooled Fiat 500, but the 600 was a remarkably fast seller in its time: the millionth 600 was produced in February 1961, less than six years after the car's launch.[7] At the time when the millionth car was produced, the manufacturer reported it was producing the car at the then remarkable rate of 1,000 a day.[7] As of 2011 there are only 65 left in the UK that are road legal.[8]

Derivatives

SEAT 600/800

File:Seat800LE.jpg
SEAT 800, the sole four-door derivative

In Spain, the 600 model was made under the make of SEAT, from 1957 to 1973. Up to 797,319 SEAT 600 were made. The Spanish car maker exported them to a number of countries worldwide. This car motorised Spain after the Spanish Civil War.

SEAT produced various derivatives of the original 600 model some of them with improvements and special fittings like the use of "suicide doors": the SEAT 600 D/E/L Especial version, the 'Descapotable' convertible and the 'Formicheta' commercial version etc.

The most interesting version produced between 1964 and 1967 by SEAT is though the SEAT 800, the sole four-door derivative of the 600 model which received a longer wheelbase. It was developed in-house by SEAT and produced exclusively by the Spanish car maker without any equivalent model in Fiat's range.

Fiat 600/770 Neckar Jagst

The Fiat 600 was also manufactured at Fiat Neckar in Germany between 1956 and 1967. Presented in a first time as Jagst 600, in 1960 with the release of Fiat 600D it became Jagst 770. The model was manufactured until the end of 1967, more than 172,000 copies.

Zastava 750/850

Main article: Zastava 750

In former Yugoslavia the model was very popular, and was produced under the name Zastava 750 (later 850), nicknamed "Fića" in Serbian, "Fićo" in Bosnian and Croatian, "Fičo" in Slovene, and "Фиќо/Фичо" (Fikjo/Ficho) in Macedonian. It was produced by the Zastava factory in Kragujevac, Serbia, from the early 1960s until 1985, during which time it played a major role in motorisation of the country, due to its affordability.

South American production

File:Fiat 600 R.jpg
Fiat 600R built in Argentina
File:Fiat 600S in Uruguay.jpg
Uruguayan-built Fiat 600S

The 600 was built as the Fiat 600 R by Sevel in Argentina from 1960 to 1982, with assembly operations also taking place (beginning somewhat later) in Uruguay by Ayax S.A., and in Chile.[9] At first, Someca S.A. built the 600 with rear-hinged doors and the 633 cc engine (28 hp), mainly from parts shipped in from Italy. As a new plant was constructed in the Ferreyra, a suburb of Córdoba, the local parts content steadily increased. In 1962 the 600D was introduced, with a 32 hp (SAE) 767 cc engine. In August 1964, around the same time that the local firm changed its name to Fiat Concord S.A., the second 600D was introduced, with slight changes to its appearance. The suicide doors continued to be used until the April 1965 appearance of the 600E, which also gained some extra power. Early in 1967 the 600E received a slight facelift with bigger headlights, new rims, and a new "grille" in front.[10]

In November 1970 the 600R appeared. The external differences were limited to trim, but the interior saw more thorough changes, with a new steering wheel, inner ceiling, and seat coverings. The hubcaps were replaced with tiny rubber caps. The 767 cc 36 hp (SAE) 600 R (thanks to higher compression than the E) was in turn replaced by the 32 hp (DIN) 843 cc (65.0 x 63.5 mm) 600 S in July 1977,[10] a version featuring new bumpers with rubber overriders and a black plastic faux-grille to replace the previous chrome iteration. Top speed was up from 105 to Script error: No such module "convert"..[11] The 600 was finally replaced by the new 147 in April 1982, after having undergone one last tiny facelift in 1981 (black head and taillight surrounds, a black "shield" up front).[10]

In Colombia, it was assembled in the actual motor plant of Mazda in Colombia, Compañía Colombiana Automotriz from 1979 to 1982 with 60% Colombian parts and 40% Serbian parts (from the Zastava 750). Marketed as the Fiat 750Z, colloquially it was called the "topolino".

600 Multipla (1956–1965)

Fiat 600 Multipla
File:01432Kraków.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Fiat
Production 1956-1969
243,000 units[12]
Body and chassis
Class Mini MPV
Layout Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine
  • 633 cc OHV I4
  • 767 cc OHV I4
Transmission 4-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase Script error: No such module "convert".[13]
Length Script error: No such module "convert".[13]
Width Script error: No such module "convert".[13]
Height Script error: No such module "convert".[13]
Curb weight Script error: No such module "convert".[13]

The original F 600 Multipla was based on the Fiat 600's drivetrain, model 1100 coil and wishbone independent front suspension, and sat six people in a footprint just Script error: No such module "convert". longer than the original Mini Cooper. The driver's compartment was moved forward over the front axle, effectively eliminating the boot but giving the body a very minivan-like "one-box" look. Behind the front seat the vehicle could be arranged with a flat floor area or a choice of one or two bench seats.

Until the 1970s, it was widely used as a taxi in many parts of Italy.

A 633 cc, RHD Multipla, was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1956 and was found to have a top speed of Script error: No such module "convert". and could accelerate from 0-Script error: No such module "convert". in 43.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of Script error: No such module "convert". was recorded. The test car cost £799 including taxes on the UK market.[14]

In 1956, Fissore designed a remarkable open-topped Multipla prototype called the "Marinella" with a wooden-slat wraparound bench in the rear. A Fiat 600 Multipla towing a caravan is used in the video clip of the Crowded House hit Weather with You from their 1991 album Woodface.

The Multipla name was re-introduced in the late-1990s, for the Fiat Multipla compact MPV.

600T

File:Fiat 600T (1967), Dutch licence registration BE-61-63 pic2.JPG
Fiat 600T, a van variant of Fiat 600 and a predecessor of the Fiat 850T

The Fiat 600T is a van derivative of the 600 Multipla.[15] It is powered by a rear mounted 633 cc 4 cylinder engine.[15]

Jolly

File:Fiat600Jolly.JPG
The Fiat 600 "Jolly" - with wicker seats

In 1958 Fiat shipped a number of Fiat 600s to the Italian design house Ghia for conversion into the Jolly. Featuring wicker seats and the option of a fringed top to shield its occupants from the Mediterranean sun, these cars were originally made for use on large yachts of the wealthy (Aristotle Onassis owned one).

The car was designed as a luxury vehicle for wealthy Europeans and the US market.

With a cost of nearly double that of a standard "600", they were made in a very limited production. It is believed that fewer than 100 exist today, each one being unique. 32 Jolly cars were used as taxis on the island of Catalina off the coast of Los Angeles in the USA in the years 1958–1962. Famous Fiat Jolly owners include Aristotle Onassis,Yul Brynner,Grace Kelly,Mary Pickford,Mae West,Gianni Agnelli,and James Inglis. Fiat Jollys are highly sought after by collectors,however,replicas are being made and are being passed off as authentic. A genuine 1960 Fiat Jolly "600" model brought a record price of $170,500 at a collector car auction in Scottsdale,Arizona in January 2015.

Abarth versions

Main article: Fiat-Abarth 750

Italian tuning company Abarth produced various versions of the Fiat 600 from 1956 to 1970 under a variety of model names, including Abarth 210 A, Fiat-Abarth 750, 850, and 1000. Many suffixes like Granturismo, Berlina, TC, and TCR were also used and many were built with aluminium bodywork by Zagato and other famed Italian carrozzerie.


Production figures

  • Italy - Fiat: 2.695.197[4]
  • Spain - Fiat/Seat: 814.926
  • Germany - Fiat Neckar: ~ 172.000
  • former Yugoslavia - Zastava: 923.487
  • Argentina - Sevel: 304.016
  • Chile - Fiat: ~ 12.000
  • World total: > 4.921.626

Additional specifications

  • Petrol mileage = ~ Script error: No such module "convert". for the 633 cc engine[4]
  • Petrol tank = ~ Script error: No such module "convert". capacity for the 1959 model

References

  1. ^ Fiat 770 brochure Retrieved from autos.pytalhost.eu on 26 September 2012
  2. ^ Tony Davis, The Macquarie Dictionary of Motoring, 1986, page 152
  3. ^ Fiat 600S: Uso e manutencion [Fiat 600S: Use and maintenance] (PDF) (in Spanish), Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fiat Concord S.A., November 1978, 401.598-8000 
  4. ^ a b c "FIAT mod. 600". museoauto.it. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Fiat 600". museoauto.it. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFAjRy3L_ek
  7. ^ a b "News summary: ... and another million". Practical Motorist. 7 nbr 79: page 713. March 1961. 
  8. ^ Olly Smith. "FIAT 600 D - How Many Left?". howmanyleft.co.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1982). World Cars 1982. Pelham, NY: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books. p. 403. ISBN 0-910714-14-2. 
  10. ^ a b c "Historia". Fiat 600 Club Argentina. Archived from the original on 2009-12-16. 
  11. ^ World Cars 1982, p. 260
  12. ^ "Fiat 600 and Multipla (1955)". autozine.org. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "1955 Fiat 600 Multipla". carfolio.com/specifications. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  14. ^ "The Fiat 600 Multipla 4/5 seater". The Motor. November 12, 1956. 
  15. ^ a b DailyTurismo. "Daily Turismo: 15k: Grown Up Multipla: 1969 Fiat 600T Van". dailyturismo.com. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 

External links