Rare Coachbuilt Coupe: 1963 Fiat 600 Viotti

Viotti was an Italian coachbuilding company that operated out of Turin, Italy, between 1921 and 1964. They produced special vehicles for several different manufacturers, including Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Fiat. Production records are sparse, but various sources agree that less than 100 examples of the Fiat 600 Viotti Coupe were built between 1957 and 1963. Of those cars, less than 20 are claimed to exist today. This 1963 Fiat 600 Viotti Coupe was produced towards the end of the company’s life and is a pretty little car. It has been fully restored and is ready to find its way to a new home. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder Roger for referring this rare Italian classic to us. It is located in Los Angeles, California, and has been listed for sale here on craigslist. The sale price has been set at $24,000.

The Viotti is a car that presents extremely nicely. It was stripped back to bare metal in 2018 and received a repaint in this stunning shade of Blue. The paint still holds a beautiful shine, but I can spot some minor discoloration with some of the trim. However, the majority of the chrome, along with the glass, appears to be in good order. The panels themselves are straight and free from any rust issues. The same would appear to be true of the vehicle’s underside. That is as clean and solid as you could ever hope to find on an Italian car of this vintage. What I find interesting is how some of the panel gaps and fit are so inconsistent. I was a bit worried about this, so I went in search of images of other examples of the Viotti. This issue is not isolated to this car and seems to be a constant across Viotti construction. I find this to be quite curious when you consider that this is a coach-built classic. The 13″ wheels wear Fiat spinner hubcaps, which add a touch of character to the car. These are not the same as the ones that would have originally been fitted to the vehicle, but they are probably about as close as you would be likely to find today. The spinners on the original items would have been 2-spoke chrome, and the caps were a turbine-style item that covered the entire wheel rim.

Being based on the production Fiat 600, the Viotti featured similar mechanical specifications to the donor car. That meant that up until 1960, the Viotti was produced with the rear-mounted 633cc 4-cylinder engine. From then until production ended, the engine bay was occupied by the upgraded 747cc engine. This produced 25hp, which found its way to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transaxle. This vehicle was treated to a tune-up in 2018 and has accumulated very few miles since. It is said to run and drive nicely. I have included a video at the bottom of this article. It provides a walk-around, along with a chance to hear and see the car driving. It sounds crisp and healthy. Looking around the engine bay does reveal one aspect of this car that I find to be disappointing. The engine itself presents nicely. The painted surfaces of the engine bay are a different matter entirely. The metal preparation doesn’t look particularly good, and this gives the paint finish a rough and amateur appearance. I would have expected better in a vehicle of this type, or am I being too harsh? I also believe that the engine bay should be finished in Black, so if the buyer decides to address the paint finish issues, then they should also consider applying the correct color.

The interior of the Viotti presents extremely well, and this is for a good reason. All of the upholstery and the carpet was replaced earlier this year. The Ivory and Blue seats and door trims look perfect, with the Grey carpet adding to the interior’s appeal. However, the pattern and stitching of the vinyl are not correct for this car, so that is one issue to keep in mind when considering the vehicle’s relative value. The fit of the door trims at the top is not as nice as I would have expected. However, this is one of the few things that I can find to be critical of with this car. The painted surfaces retain the same beautiful shine as the exterior, and the Ivory steering wheel appears to be free from wear issues. As far as luxury appointments are concerned, the buyer will get a heater and an ashtray. Beyond that, there isn’t even the facility to fit a radio. It’s very basic, but it is typical of Fiat equipment levels at this time.

This Fiat 600 Viotti leaves me torn. I really like it, and I suspect that it would be an enjoyable car to own and drive. The presentation of the interior and exterior are impressive, but I find the finish within the engine bay to be extremely disappointing. I believe that it lets the car down, and is not what I would expect from a coach-built classic. It would be possible to address this issue, and the reality is that it would seem to be worth the effort to do this. They are a rarity, and when they occasionally do come onto the market, they sell for some impressive prices. The earlier examples can reach up around $40,000, but figures of $30,000 are a possibility with a car from this model year. That should give potential buyers plenty to think about.

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Comments

  1. Bradley

    Wow , this special edition is as graceful as all Fiats used to be in the 60’s. Rare , this time it doesn’t seem a Viotti’s design but a Michelotti , ever met such a sibling style with the tiny BMW 700 Luxus of those same years .

    Like 3
  2. Paolo

    Just when you think you have seen them all…the Italian auto industry can still surprise and delight. As far as the finish goes, could this really be the original color? From my observation of Fiats and other Italian cars of the time I’m thinking not. I’ve seen light baby blues and pastels and subtle metallics in dark blue and silver. I never saw a primary blue of his hue and intensity until the early 1970s when Earl Scheib offered it as part of the limited palette available to customers wanting their cars painted for $49.99. It really looks like a color from the wrong era and does complement the design of the car. Nothing I can think of was this color blue in 1963. Correct e if I dwell in the slum of ignorance.

    Like 2
  3. Paolo

    “Correct ME if I dwell…” Sheesh!

  4. Paolo

    Watching the video I was thinking, take the site and raspy sound of that car and multiply it my 1 million, equip each car with an aggressive Italian shifting and weaving, all trying to pass each other and add the sound of 1 Million horns and you get a pretty good idea of what traffic in Rome was, and probably still is, like.

    And shame on the seller for not sounding the horn. A loud working horn is essential equipment for one of these.

    Like 1
  5. Paolo

    sigh… “take the SIGHT and raspy sound…”

    The more I use the internet the worse my spelling gets. I more and more have to look up simple words.

    Like 1
  6. Mike

    This was on BaT last June and only got to $10,600

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1963-fiat-viotti/

    Like 2
  7. ken tilly UK

    My question is, WHY? Why would anybody want a Coach Built Fiat 600 ever, especially back in the sixties when Fiat had plenty of larger, more impressive cars that could have benefited from a decent coach builder? It must have cost a great deal more money than a standard 600 Fiat but at the end of the day it’s still a 600 and would only perform like a standard 600.

    Like 1
    • Elanguy

      The 600 and 500 made terrific city cars and this added a big helping of style and rarity to the mix. And it still had the tax rates and upkeep of the regular Fiat. So definitely not for everyone, but I see the logic. The buyer probably had a bigger Lancia for longer trips.

      Like 3
  8. t-bone BOB

    cute little coupe

    Like 1
  9. Theodor

    Obviously this little machine can cost $ 10,000 and even rising near $ 30,000 second the auction . It doesn’t matter its size , it neither can be stained with the prejudices and animosities against Fiat’s infamous rust or other worst adjectives that are false . This special series’ Viotti’s is an unique piece of Fiat 600 , as unique as your wedding’s ring or your fiancee’s custome . And beyond it’s suspiciously resembling some old BMW 2 cylunders 600cc and noisy microcars like Glas Isar O7 , this Viotti’s creature emanates some featurings which makes it close to an exclusive piece of art in motion , since an Art’s marchant can met many significant expressiions in the shape : it’s signed off Viotti , it’s genuinely “talking” to your eyes that it belongs to the ’60s era of European automobilism , it also represents both an Italian elegance that’s gone today and it even smells very Fiat . Moreover here is the amazing : this sixty’smobile reflects how were the youth drivers of then and how dramatically universal men at the steering wheel evolved for today ( 2020′ s ) standards and wifi’s connections

    Like 2
  10. chrlsful

    there’s ur answ mr. ken

    Like 3
  11. Robert Eddins

    OMG……MIGHTY MITE how neat.
    I like this auto. It seems so fun to drive. Can I wash it and drive it to dry it off?

  12. Bill McCoskey

    When I lived in Germany in the early 70s I remember seeing a couple of these Viotti 600 Fiats. Both had the late squared front, with the eyebrows over the headlights as found on this example. They also had a pronounced chrome “eyebrow” over the center fiat emblem and side chrome trims, the look making the front area like a “grill”. I believe this car is missing that part.

    Google Fiat 600 viotti and you can find photos of similar cars, and ALL of them have this missing chrome trim.

    • Martin Horrocks

      It could be that they were Neckars, Bill.

      Neckar was the German Fiat importer until about 1972 and they did some special cars like the Weinsberg (unique take on Fiat 500). Neckar also marketed some coachbuilds under their own name Neckar Mistral = Siata 1500, Neckar St Tropez = OSI 1200 Coupe/Spyder, Neckar Riviera = Vignale Coupe. Usually these were Michelotti designs.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Martin,
        I’ve gone online and looked at multiple dozens of Viotti Fiat 600, late series cars. All of them, including many in Italy, have that front chrome surround. Perhaps this is a transitional car, or possibly this piece was an option.

  13. Martin Horrocks

    @ken tilly UK

    The Fiat 600 is a brilliant piece of design. A sexy Abarth Bialbero is pure Fiat 600 chassis underneath the curves. You need good skills, but a well-driven Fiat is much quicker than it should be.

    But yes, the original buyer was insane. Now, however, it´s rational to pay this money for such a rare car, product of Italian artisans, never to be repeated. If you keep the car 10 years, you should make a very nice profit.!

    Like 1
  14. Bill McCoskey

    About 25 years ago in a NW Washington neighborhood, I found, sitting in a 2-car garage, a pair of Fiat 1200 cabriolets with Viotti bodies, one was white, the other was light blue. Both were brought to the USA from Italy in the late 1960s, by a US Army officer, and not for sale [Gonna restore them both]. These both had less than 20k Kilometers showing.

    I left my business card with the owner, and also slipped one card into each glove box with the annotation I was interested in buying the car[s]. Never heard from anyone, and about 10 years later I came back and approached the house. I was told the Army officer died years before, and the cars were pulled out and scrapped!

    • Stevieg

      That sucks Bill! I love cars, I love history. To hear a story like that is heartbreaking to me.

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