Tiny Fiat manages to seat six

Riley Riley

Fiat enthusiasts have a treasure-trove of models to choose from at Shannons next auction in Melbourne.

Highlights include a very rare 1959 Fiat 1200TV (Turismo Veloce) Convertible accompanied by a right-hand drive 1100TV body.

Other classic Fiats include a 1953 500C Topolino convertible and an equally-desirable 1959 Fiat 500 Giardiniera Wagon.

But the one that caught our eye is this lovely 1964 Fiat 600 Multipla Wagon.

Expected to fetch between $50,000 and $65,000, the left hand drive wagon has been fully restored.

Built from 1956 to 1969, the Fiat 600 Multipla was a four-door people mover based on the Fiat 600’s drivetrain with Fiat 1100 front suspension.

The little wagon managed to seat up to six people in a footprint just 50cm longer than the original Mini Cooper and on the same two-metre wheelbase as the 600 saloon.

Fiat was able to achieve this by moving the driver’s compartment forward over the front axle, effectively eliminating the boot but giving the body a very minivan-like “one-box”, flat-front look.

Multipla was powered by the same 663cc overhead valve inline-four cylinder engine as the saloon, producing just 15.8 kW at 4600 revs.

A shorter final drive ratio was the only change made to the 4-speed manual transmission, with synchromesh on the top three forward gears.

The car debuted at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1956 and was eventually replaced by the Fiat 850 Familiare.

The 600 Multipla was available in three configurations:

  • 4/5-seat version: Two rows of seats. Fixed front bench seat for driver and passenger, fold-down rear bench for two or three passengers, cargo space between the rear seats and the firewall. The rear seats folded flat on the floor. Original price on the Italian market: 730,000 Lire ($A590).
  • 6-seat version: Three rows of seats. Fixed front bench seat for driver and passenger, plus four single rear seats in two rows. The rear seats could be individually folded flat to the floor, allowing for a reconfigurable cargo area with an even loading surface. With all six seats up storage space was reduced to the rear parcel shelf. Original price on the Italian market: 743,000 Lire ($A601)
  • Taxi version: Introduced at the April, 1956 at the Turin Motor Show. It featured an individual driver seat, passenger seat which could be folded down becoming a luggage shelf, two foldaway jump seats in the middle, and a bench seat at the rear against the firewall. Original price on the Italian market: 835,000 Lire ($A675). Multipla was widely used as a taxi in many parts of Italy until the 1970s.

The winter auction will be held on September 17.



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