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1960 Fiat 600 Multipla

In the years that followed World War II, it became obvious to Fiat management that the future lay in a small car, cheap to manufacture and cheap to buy. Chief technical designer Dante Giacosa set about finding a replacement for the 500 Topolino: Project "100".

Much development and testing resulted in a shape enclosing four people with a minimum of sheet metal, powered by a simple, reliable four-cylinder engine mounted at the rear for cost reasons. The resulting Fiat 600 was one of the great success stories of the twentieth century, with some 2.7 million cars produced.

The mixed-use station wagon, called 600 Multipla (All Service), was introduced a year later, in 1956. The idea was to multiply the serviceability of the 600 for both family motoring and business use.

The multi-place seating was very flexible through a combination of folding seats.
Three versions were available:
* The 4/5 seater had bench seats front and rear that folded to make a bed.
* The 6-seater had a front bench and four individual seats that folded completely flat into the floor to make a roomy load platform.
* The Taxi version had a single seat and luggage platform in front, separate folding seats in the middle, and a bench seat in back, together with a division.

Differences from the sedan included, besides the bodywork, an auxiliary radiator up front, wishbone front suspension, different gear ratios, worm and roller steering, slightly larger fuel tank, and interior lamps.

The Multipla name is today revived for another unusual ground-breaking vehicle.

Manufacturer: FIAT Societa per Azioni, Turin Italy

Model: 600 DM Motor: Fiat, 4-stroke Body: Steel
Years Built: 1956-1969 No. Cylinders: 4 Chassis: None
No. Produced: 129,994 Displacement: 767cc Susp Front: Coil
No. Surviving: Horsepower: 32 Susp Rear: Coil
Length: 3432 mm Gearbox: 4 + rev Strg: Worm&Roller
Width: 1450 mm Starter: Electric Brakes: Hydraulic
Weight: 580 kg Electrics: 12v 4 Wheels: 5.20 x 12"
Interior: 4 seats Ignition: Coil Top Speed: 96 kph

© 2002