The Fiat 600 (or "Seicento") is a supermini produced by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1955 to 1969. Measuring only 3.22 m long, it was the first rear-engined Fiat and ...More »
The Fiat 600 (or "Seicento") is a supermini produced by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1955 to 1969. Measuring only 3.22 m long, it was the first rear-engined Fiat and cost the equivalent of about € 6,700 or US$ 7300 (590,000 lira then). The total number produced from 1955 to 1969 at the Mirafiori plant was 2,604,000. During 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the car became very popular in countries such as Argentina, where it was nicknamed Fitito (a diminuitve of Fiat).
All models of the 600 had generators with mechanical external regulators. Braking was provided by hydraulic drum brakes on all four wheels. Suspension is via a unique single double-mounted leafspring-- which acts as a stabilizer-- between the front wheels coupled to gas-charged shocks, and an independent coil-over-shock 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, 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 absolutely necessary to complement the rear-mounted radiator.
The top speed ranged from 95 km/h empty with the 633 cc engine to 110 km/h 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.
The Soviets copied this car as the Zaporozhets ZAZ-965, produced from 1960 to 1963, as Spain during the Franco era did with the SEAT 600 (also called the 600E, but different in several respects from the Argentinian model). In former Yugoslavia the model was also very popular, and was produced uder the name Zastava 750 (Fićo). It was produced by the Zastava factory in Kragujevac (in Serbia) from the early sixties until 1981. The Fiat 850 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.
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