- "600" can also refer to the later Fiat Seicento.
|Also called||Fiat 770 1|
Caseros, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bogotá, Colombia (as the Zastava 750)
Barcelona (Zona Franca), Spain
Kragujevac, Serbia, Yugoslavia (as the Zastava 750)
|Predecessor||Fiat 500 "Topolino"|
|Body style||2-door sedan|
|Engine||633 cc OHV I4
767 cc OHV I4
843 cc 100 R7.038 OHV I4 (600S)3
|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)|
The Fiat 600 (Italian: Seicento, pronounced say-chento) is a city car produced by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1955 to 1969. Measuring only 3.22 m (10 feet 7 inches) 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 then4). The total number produced from 1955 to 1969 at the Mirafiori plant in Turin was 2,695,197.5 During 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]).
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.
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
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.
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.
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. In this version it retained suicide doors until 1969. Later it got bigger front lights, autoadjusting brakes, seatbelts, slightly improved interior and many other small improvements.Zastava 850 had many improvements from the original model, but it retained the same body style, and should not be confused with the Fiat 850. Like the Fiat 850, it is largely derived from the 600, but introduces a fully synchronized transaxle, front disc brakes, and an alternator. The Fiat 850 is thus a popular source of 'upgrade' parts for the 600, but these upgrades can be difficult or costly as few of the parts can simply be exchanged without modification. The 750 used a 25 hp (30 hp in the 750 SE) 767 cc engine, while the 850 received an 848 cc version providing 32 hp and a useful dollop of extra torque.
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".
|Engine||633 cc straight-4 OHV, 21 hp
767 cc straight-4 OHV, 29 hp
|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 were based on the Fiat 600's drivetrain, model 1100 coil and wishbone independent front suspension, and sat 6 people in a footprint just 50 centimetres (19.7 in) longer than the original Mini Cooper. The driver compartment was moved forward over the front axle, eliminating the boot in effect 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.
A 633 cc right hand drive 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
In 1956 Fissore designed a remarkable open-topped Multipla prototype called the "Marinella" with a wooden-slat wraparound bench in the rear.
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).
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.
- 1956-59 Fiat Abarth 750 Berlina (Derivazione)
- 1960-64 Fiat Abarth 850TC Berlina
- 1961-63 Fiat Abarth 850TC Nurburgring
- 1961-63 Fiat Abarth 850TC Nurburgring Corsa
- 1961-67 Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina
- 1961-64 Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina Corsa
- 1964-68 Fiat Abarth 850TC Corsa
- 1964-69 Fiat Abarth 1000TC Berlina Corsa
- 1970 Fiat Abarth 1000TCR Berlina Corsa 14
There were also Fiats with very stylish light and streamlined aluminum sports bodies by the auto design house Zagato in addition to Abarth's mechanical changes, produced is small series.
- Italy - Fiat: 2.695.1974
- 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
- Petrol mileage = ~ 5.7 L/100 km (50 mpg-imp; 41 mpg-US) for the 633 cc engine4
- Petrol tank = ~ 7 US gal (26 L; 6 imp gal) capacity for the 1959 model
- Fiat 770 brochure Retrieved from autos.pytalhost.eu on 26 September 2012
- Tony Davis, The Macquarie Dictionary of Motoring, 1986, page 152
- Fiat 600S: Uso e manutencion Fiat 600S: Use and maintenance (in Spanish), Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fiat Concord S.A., November 1978, 401.598-8000
- "FIAT mod. 600". museoauto.it. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "Fiat 600". museoauto.it. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "News summary: ... and another million". Practical Motorist. 7 nbr 79: page 713. March 1961.
- Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1982). World Cars 1982. Pelham, NY: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books. p. 403. ISBN 0-910714-14-2.
- "Historia". Fiat 600 Club Argentina. Archived from the original on 2009-12-16.
- World Cars 1982, p. 260
- "Fiat 600 and Multipla (1955)". autozine.org. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
- "1955 Fiat 600 Multipla". carfolio.com/specifications. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
- "The Fiat 600 Multipla 4/5 seater". The Motor. November 12, 1956.
- FIAT 600 / Abarth History Retrieved on 4 April 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Fiat 600|
- Bernimotori - Abarth
- Registry for Fiat Multipla and Fiat Jolly MicroCar
- Fiat-600.com - Fiat 600 information, photos and videos
- Slovenian Zastava 750 site
|« previous — Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. car timeline, European market, 1960s–1980s — next »|
|Small family car||1100||128||Ritmo||Tipo|
|Large family car||1500||125||132||Argenta||Croma I|
|Coupé / Roadster||Dino / 124 Sport Spider||124 Sport Spider|
|Sports car||850 Spider||X1/9|
|Panel van||Fiorino I||Fiorino II|
|Compact MPV||600 Multipla|
|Van||600 T||850 T||900 T|
|1100 BLR / ELR / I / T||238|
|Off-road||Campagnola (1101)||Campagnola (1107)|
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