Fiat 600 a truly classic car!
Introduced in 1955, the new Fiat 600 had two suicide doors, four seats and a 633cc (21.5bhp) water cooled engine. The engine had four cylinders and was located behind the rear seats. It also had independent suspension on all four wheels. The suicide doors were banned in 1964. During the 50s and 60s it was a cheap and small every day car and in Italy it had great success. The Fiat 600 models varied and in the USA it had special designed bumpers and bigger sized tail lights.
The Fiat 600 concept was born in 1951.
The new model was going to replace the old Fiat 500C (Fiat Topolino) and was designed to carry 4 adults. Fiat also wanted to cut production costs, so it had to be cheaper to build but nicer and faster. Chief engineer was Dante Ciacossa.
The final design of the 600 series and the first prototype was very much alike, and cars was quite easy to produce. The largest problem was to fit the engine.
This is one of the first Fiat 600 sketches..
The final Fiat 600 design
Two years before the production of the Fiat 600 started they chose that the car had to have a rear engine with back wheel drive, due to interior space. Fiat also developed a new engine, which was one of the standard engines for many Fiats during the 60's, 70's and the 80's.
The Fiat 600 is a simple car, with the engine, transaxle and radiator located in the rear. It has a primitive but clever four wheel independent suspension.
When they released the first Fiat 600 it had a advanced chassis and good handling.
All over Europe the car got several positive reviews. The car was small, but effective.
It wasn't luxurious, but very easy to maintain. The first cars produced had less details than the cars produced later. Of course the Fiat 600 didn't have any seat belts or safety zones and many skeptics doesn't like the gasoline tank under the hood, in front of the driver. It's not a high speed car and the maximum speed was 95 km/h. With poor drum breaks that was fast enough...
Other manufactures produced the 600 under license well into the 1970s..
Fiat 600 - 1955
Introduced in Geneva. Mid size rear wheel drive Fiat 600 becomes the design basis for the new Fiat 500, the 500 Nuova. Total weight 600 kg. 4 cylinder 633 cc engine with 22 HK at 4600 rpm. Maximum speed at 95 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 80 km/h in 27 sec...
Fiat 600 - 1956
Fiat starts the production of 600 in Germany (Heilbronn/ Weinsberg).
The German versions are called "NSU/FIAT Jagst". The 1956 model had more chrome, hood caps, and new side windows. The NSU also had canvas "convertible" top.
Fiat 600 - 1957
Series 3. The interior design gets a lift up. Weber releases 4 series carburetors and the doors gets inside vinyl panels.
Fiat 600 - 1958 Series 5: Minor changes. New generator with 230 Watts output.
Fiat 600 - 1959
Minor changes. Rebuilt the cylinder block and adds new carburetors. New maximum speed 100 km/h. Changed the interior clothing.
Fiat 600 - September 30th, 1959
The Argentinean government approves the Fiat proposal to invest 4.5 million dollars in building a plant in Caseros location. On April 8th, 1960 a light grey Fiat 600 D turns into the first Argentinean Fiat.
Fiat 600 - November 1959
Minor changes. The hand brake now works directly on the back wheels not trough the gear box. Changed the light design.
Fiat 600 - 1960
One million Fiat 600 produced. October 1960 Fiat introduces the 600D. Larger motor with new Weber carburetor, better water pump and larger brake cylinders. Fiat 600D now reaches 115 km/h.
Fiat 600 - May 1960 Introduction of the Giardiniera
Fiat 600 - 1961 Fiat 600D series 2 Minor changes. Larger battery (36ah)
Fiat 600 - 1962
Fiat changed the ignition lock several times and this year was not a exception. Minor changes. New ignition lock
Fiat 600 - 1964
New Weber carburetor, tuned the engine. The suicide doors were banned in 1964. All models now attach the doors in front.
Fiat 600 - 1965
Fiat reaches 2 million produced 600's . Minor changes. Larger head lights and petrol tank. New Fiat logo in the front.
Fiat 600 - 1966
Fiat removes the oil filter. After some testing it didn't seem necessary.
Fiat 600 - 1969
The last year of the Italian Fiat 600. Production tools is sent to Spain. They had finished 2.470.000 cars before they moved to Spain and started producing the Fiat 770 S.
Fiat 600 - 1970 Fiat/Seat 770 S (Spain). The same car but different front emblem.
Fiat 600 - 1970 - 1977 Fiat 600 R (Argentina).
Fiat 600 - 1970 - 1973 Seat 600E (Spain)
Fiat 600 - 1971 Minor changes. Production in Yugoslavia (Fiat 770 S)