Fiat 600

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This article is about the car manufactured from 1955 to 1969. For the car manufactured from 1998 to 2010, see Fiat Seicento.
FIAT 600
Fiat600.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer FIAT
Also called Fiat 770[1]
Production 1955–1969
Assembly Turin, Italy
Caseros, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rancagua, Chile
Bogotá, Colombia
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 RR layout
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 3,215 mm (126.6 in)
Width 1,380 mm (54 in)
Height 1,405 mm (55.3 in)
Curb weight 585 kg (1,290 lb)
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 3.22 m (10 ft 7 in) long, it was the first rear-engined Fiat and cost the equivalent of about € 6,700 or US$ 7,300 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 Fitito (a diminutive of FIAT) and former Yugoslavia where it was nicknamed Fićo (pronounced [fee-cho]).

Characteristics[edit]

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 95 km/h (59 mph) empty with the 633 cc inline-four engine to 110 km/h (68 mph) with the 767 cc version. The car had good ventilation and defrosting systems.

Steyr Fiat 600

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.[6] 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.[6] As of 2011 there are only 65 left in the UK that are road legal.[7]

Derivatives[edit]

SEAT 600/800[edit]

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[edit]

NSU Fiat 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[edit]

Main article: Zastava 750
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[edit]

Fiat 600R built in Argentina
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.[8] 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.[9]

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,[9] 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 110 km/h (68 mph).[10] 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).[9]

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)[edit]

FIAT 600 Multipla
01432Kraków.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer FIAT
Production 1956-1969
243,000 units[11]
Body and chassis
Class Mini MPV
Layout RR layout
Powertrain
Engine
  • 633 cc OHV I4
  • 767 cc OHV I4
Transmission 4-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,000 mm (78.7 in)[12]
Length 3,531 mm (139.0 in)[12]
Width 1,448 mm (57.0 in)[12]
Height 1,581 mm (62.2 in)[12]
Curb weight 700 kg (1,543 lb)[12]

The original FIAT 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 50 centimetres (19.7 in) 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.

Rear view (1959)

A 633 cc, RHD Multipla, was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1956 and was found to have a top speed of 57.1 mph (91.9 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 43.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 38.4 miles per imperial gallon (7.36 L/100 km; 32.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £799 including taxes on the UK market.[13]

Multipla Marinella

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[edit]

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.[14] It is powered by a rear mounted 633 cc 4 cylinder engine.[14]

Jolly[edit]

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. 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.

Abarth versions[edit]

Main article: Fiat-Abarth 750
Fiat Abarth 850TC

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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • Petrol mileage = ~ 5.7 L/100 km (50 mpg-imp; 41 mpg-US) for the 633 cc engine[4]
  • Petrol tank = ~ 7 US gal (26 L; 6 imp gal) capacity for the 1959 model

References[edit]

  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] (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. ^ a b "News summary: ... and another million". Practical Motorist. 7 nbr 79: page 713. March 1961. 
  7. ^ http://howmanyleft.co.uk/vehicle/fiat_600_d
  8. ^ Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1982). World Cars 1982. Pelham, NY: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books. p. 403. ISBN 0-910714-14-2. 
  9. ^ a b c "Historia". Fiat 600 Club Argentina. Archived from the original on 2009-12-16. 
  10. ^ World Cars 1982, p. 260
  11. ^ "Fiat 600 and Multipla (1955)". autozine.org. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "1955 Fiat 600 Multipla". carfolio.com/specifications. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  13. ^ "The Fiat 600 Multipla 4/5 seater". The Motor. November 12, 1956. 
  14. ^ a b Grown Up Multipla: 1969 Fiat 600T Van, www.dailyturismo.com, Sunday, March 16, 2014
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Italian Wikipedia.

External links[edit]