Last Year Made: 1969 Fiat 600

030416 Barn Finds - 1969 Fiat 600 1

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I can’t imagine driving this car in the gridlock known as Atlanta. This 1969 Fiat 600, found here on craigslist in Roswell, Georgia, will take some work to get back on the street before the next owner has to worry about merging and/or being crushed by one of the many jacked-up, diesel pickups on the roads there. The asking price of $3,995 may be reasonable considering what restored examples are bringing these days. Thanks to Barn Finds reader David Casey for finding this one!

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1969 was the last year for production of the Fiat 600 after a fourteen-year run. The 1,300 lb, 11′ long, Seicento – pronounced “say-chento” – wasn’t made to perform Atlanta freeway duties, of course, it was made for the skinny, cobblestone streets of Italy. Folks who don’t like microcars because they automatically think that they should be able to keep up with modern freeway traffic aren’t being realistic about what their original purpose was meant to be. They were designed for navigating, somewhat briskly, through narrow, winding roads in crowded cities, not for driving on freeways at 75 mph all day long.

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Speaking of not being able to drive at 75 mph all day long, or at all, this one isn’t up to going 0.75 mph as it is now as you can see from the engine photos. The engine, according to the seller, “.. appears to be in good shape and is already out for inspection.” Parts availability shouldn’t be as much trouble as it is for some other microcars and once you finally do get it up to speed you’ll have to stop it with four-wheel, manual drum brakes, so it’s a good thing that it isn’t a fast car. This 4-cylinder is water-cooled which is somewhat unusual for a rear-engine model of this vintage, so you’ll have a good heater and defroster for those cold evenings once you get it on the strada again.

030416 Barn Finds - 1969 Fiat 600 2

As you’d expect from looking at the exterior of this car, the interior also needs to be nursed back to health. It’s hard to beat a red interior, at least for me it is, and this one looks fairly good for its age. It has a few seams that are coming apart and it needs a good bath, but don’t we all?

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The little dash pod is bellissimo as are most of the details on this beauty. It’s not an Italian bombshell on the order of Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Gina Lollobrigida, but in the mid-60s they were making these cars at the rate of 1,000 a day; yes, you read that right, and they sold every one. They made almost five-million of these cars worldwide and they cost the average Italian buyer the equivalent of $7,300 US dollars at the time; not a bad price, no? Would you buy and drive this little car on modern roads or are you looking for something a little more suited for freeway-duties?

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  1. mark

    they cost the average Italian buyer the equivalent of $7,300 US dollars at the time; not a bad price, no?………………….In 1972 you could buy a Cadillac Sedan DeVille for the same amount of money.

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    • Kevin Harper

      Not to be picky but where are you getting those prices. I did a quick Google search and a 1960 caddy sold for about 5500 to 6000 usd and the fiat sold for about 1250


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      • Scotty G

        Sorry folks, I said the equivalent of that amount but I meant in today’s dollars, I should have more specific. I meant that the price would be unheard of today for a new car.
        And, one should always add “about” when mentioning equivalent dollar amounts a few decades apart from each other. Thanks for the clarification on that!

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      • mark

        My grandfather purchased a 1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille for 6900 dollars cash in 1972. The 7300 dollar figure is from the article about the Fiat.

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  2. James

    The ads for this car in England boasted of “60 miles per (Imperial) gallon, and 60 miles per hour.”

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    • George

      48 mpg US gallon

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  3. HoA Howard AMember

    I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable in freeway traffic with this (except L.A., where you only go 15 mph anyway) With 28.5 hp ( as Jay Leno sez, it’s that .5 that gets you over the hill) it’s hardly a performer. ( 0-60 times can’t be measured, since it only claims to go 59 mph) but 0-50 times creep towards the 1 minute mark, but for around town, it would be great ( just watch those intersections, hate to get “T-boned” in one of these). Thing about Europe, like Scotty sez, everybody else has cars like this, so it’s not a big deal. With 5 million made, I’d think there are better examples to buy and/or restore. I’m sure someone in Europe has a pile of these, and I’m afraid this one is a little much to restore.

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  4. Kevin Harper

    I had one of these many years ago, pulled it out of a junkyard and had to cut a tree down to do that. I paid less than a hundred for it and only had it for a short period of time as a guy came by and offered me several hundred for it and I only saw a big profit.
    I don’t remember it but I have an old picture of me standing in the seat of my grandfathers and hanging my head out the window. I was probably 3 or 4. So I guess I started early.

    I wouldn’t mind having another but it is not high enough on my list to spend the kind of money they want for this one.

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  5. Rex Rice

    My wife currently has hers for sale, both exterior, interior & mechanics completed from a solid daily driver. I don’t understand where these high prices come from. Hers is listed at under $9000
    We have driven this on freeways, pedal to the metal because these engines are truly bullet-proof.

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  6. stillrunners

    Rex – nice car and yes there is a local guy whipping on of these down the road…..was next to him just yesterday and I swear that motor was going to blow,,,,he just kept going…

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  7. gunningbar

    “Engine is out for inspection” made me laugh

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  8. Charles

    I have always had a soft spot for this model.

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  9. BMW/Tundra guy

    It’s still out there! I live not too far away from where this vehicle is for sale. If anybody is interested. Just reply to this with some contact info.
    As for getting run over by a “jacked up diesel truck”. You would first have to have the ability to have motion. Atlanta roadways are NOT known for their motion. What they ARE know for is total lack of motion, always!!
    Let me know if any one wants me go take a look. I wouldn’t charge! I’d like to have an excuse to go look at it!

    Like 0

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