Posts Tagged ‘Italian cars’

969_fiat 600_01

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). The total number produced from 1955 to 1969 at the Mirafiori plant in Turin was 2,695,197. 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]).

969_fiat 600_02


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.

969_fiat 600_03

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. 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. As of 2011 there are only 65 left in the UK that are road legal.


Seat 600/800

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.

969_ceat 600

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


In former Yugoslavia the model was very popular, and was produced under the nameZastava 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 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.

969_fiat 600 jolly

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.

Abarth versions

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.

969_fiat 600 abarth

600 Multipla (1956–1965)

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.

969_fiat 600 multipla

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.

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 Househit Weather with You from their 1991 album Woodface.

969_fiat 600 multipla2

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

Text from Wikipedia 

Read Full Post »


Fiat introduced the ‘C’ version of the famous 500, or Topolino at the Geneva Motor Show in early 1949.


The Fiat 500C Topolino was basically a two-seater with space for luggage behind the seats. This car had an all-new front as well as rear end though the basic overall structure and proportions were akin to its predecessor.

Text and images found at zigwheels.com

Read Full Post »


Although it looks like it just jumped off the pages of a comic book, the Volugrafo “Bimbo 46” wasn’t drawn by a cartoonist. It was one of the vehicles designed after the Second World War to meet the needs of the many people who yearned for movement, but couldn’t afford much.

Seeing a photo of it, at first you may think it was a scale model or toy. You might expect Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, to get in and drive off. In fact, this is a real car, designed by engineer Claudio Belmondo and made by Turin’s Officine meccaniche Volugrafo in 1946.

The small car, fitted with a 125cc four-stroke engine, has no doors and no reverse (when needed, you get out and maneuver the car – small, but by no means light at 125 kilograms – by sheer muscle power).

Only two meters long, it has two seats, four pedals – brake, accelerator, clutch, and ignition –, stick shift at the driver’s left, one driving wheel, and chain drive.

Instead of shock absorbers, it uses simple leaf springs to make bumpy rides slightly more comfortable.

And it makes for an unexpected and fun sight when it jogs along a country road… like a cartoon.

Photos via: www.ortenzifoto.it


Text and images found at ItalianWays

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »


The Siata 208 CS Spider was presented at the Brussels Salon in 1953. It was designed by Siata (the acronym identifying the “Società Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori” since 1949), a small car manufacturer founded in 1926, which specialized in special features and sports cars based on Fiat models until it shut down in 1970.


Made in the Farina factories, the 208 CS Spider flaunted a creative design by Turin-born Giovanni Michelotti, who at the time was particularly famous in the Commonwealth countries: suffice it to say that British Leyland publicized some of their models with the slogan, “From the magic pen of Michelotti”


Text and images found ItalianWays

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

I love to come across lost cars of the past and this beauty in baby blue is no exception. Behold the Alca Volpe, probably the rarest of Italian microcars, only ten of these cars were ever made following a mysterious turn of events involving the manufacturer…

193_Alca Volpe_001

Met with great enthusiasm by the Italian press, the Volpe, meaning ‘fox’, was set to rival the micro car du jour, the Fiat Topolino. Even smaller than the Topolino and cheaper, the Volpe seemed destined for automotive stardom in post-war Italy.

193_Alca Volpe_002

After its celebrated launch in Rome, 1947, despite many pre-orders and pre-payments, no complete deliveries were ever made to any customer. The following year,  Alca was hit with charges for fraudulent bankruptcy. Customer bank deposits went ‘missing’ and courts found that the equivalent of 5.5 million euros today, had been illegally held by the company. It is possible that Alca never in fact built a single running car.

193_Alca Volpe_003

So what about the model we’re looking at? This is one of a handful of Alca Volpe’s that still exist today and was sold recently at auction for a little over $40,000.

Just one problem; it doesn’t actually drive. RM auctions, who sold the car in February 2013 writes in their description:

“This rare car is restored as original, without the motor it never received”.

Text and images from Messy Nessy Chick

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »


Fiat launched the Multipla in 1956 and presented what might have been the first MPV. There were three downsides with the car, the engine was too small, even without a full car, it was too different from other cars to reach a large group of buyers and getting in behind the steering wheel made driving the VW Kleinbus look safe. Having said as much it is in all its strangeness a fascinating and funny car well worth taking care of for future generations.

Images and translated text from “Norsk Motor Veteran” No 6 -2011

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »


One of Lamborghini’s most legendary concept cars, the Marzal built in 1967 was sold at an auction in connection Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este by lake Garda in the North of Italy in 2011. The buyer, a Swiss dealer in cured meat, already owned two one-off Lamborghinis and bought two more along with the Marzal at the same auction. Beside him sat his wife edging him on.

The Swiss must eat a hell of a lot of cured meat – Ted

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: