Stored Since 1975: 1959 Fiat 600

The owner of this Fiat 600 is very open about the fact that he bought this car with the specific intention of selling it. Some of the details, such as the actual mileage, are a little bit vague. The car is largely complete, and apart from one rust spot, it also seems to be quite solid. If this is a car that grabs your interest, it is located in Franklin, Massachusetts, and listed for sale here on eBay.

There is a spot of rust on the trailing edge of the front fender on the driver’s side, but it isn’t bad. This shot of the floor has me a bit more concerned. It is hard to tell, but in the right-hand side of the photo, in what would be the driver’s floor pan, it is hard to tell whether there is just an accumulation of dirt and gunk, or whether there is some rust there. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, the rest of the car looks quite solid, and the owner says that it is still wearing its original paint. I also have to say that this Fiat has one feature that always drags me in: Suicide doors.

Under the hood is the 633cc 4-cylinder engine, coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. The owner refers to the engine as being air-cooled, which is incorrect. The engine doesn’t run, but it does turn freely, and everything in the engine bay looks to be complete, and it also looks pretty clean. There is some confusion over the mileage of the vehicle. The owner states that when the car was titled in 1970, the mileage was listed as 90 miles, and when it came off the road in 1975, the mileage was sitting at 1,200 miles. I don’t think that I’d be too reliant on this, and I personally would just consider the Fiat to be a 60-year-old survivor.

As with the rest of the car, the interior of the Fiat is largely complete. There are a few items such as a crack in the steering wheel and badly damaged door trims to attend to, but it is hard to ascertain the condition of the rest of the interior trim. The 600 shares one significant attributes with similar vehicles from around this era, such as the VW Beetle and the original Mini. For a relatively small car, the cabin is remarkably spacious. With the Mini, it was a case of the car being a front-engined, front-wheel-drive car, while the Fiat and the Beetle were both rear-engine, rear-wheel drive cars. This allowed for a far larger cabin, and the Fiat can easily carry four people, and can even carry five adults at a pinch.

Disregarding the question hanging over the mileage, this Fiat 600 seems like a reasonably clean car that is going to require a complete restoration. They are a fairly uncomplicated car, and the vast majority of the restoration work could easily be completed in the average home workshop. Nicely restored examples have become a popular classic, and they tend to fetch some respectable prices. At the time of writing, bidding has reached $1,525, and the reserve hasn’t been met. If the reserve isn’t too high, then this car has a lot of potential as a restoration project.

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Comments

  1. CapNemo

    Door panels. The inner door panels are damaged.

    2
  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    Plan on finding a lot more rust than what’s shown/seen…

    These are fun, if very underpowered, cars to drive. An Abarth 1000 Berline was the hottest variation of the 600 and they were surprisingly quick.

    I’ve always had a hankering for a 1950s/60s Multipla ‘van’, albeit with a souped-up Fiat 850 engine/gearbox swap.

    1
  3. Jeff

    There is no way in a trillion years that the mileage is as stated, the rubber on the brake and clutch pedals are almost completely worn off.

    Another Beat Car & Another Scam!@

    4
  4. Kenneth Carney

    This would make an awesome EV! With
    today’s battery systems, and those torquey electric motors, you could make
    one of these into a quick little car. This
    car is too complete for me though. It
    needs to be restored and preserved by
    a new owner that will take the time to
    do this car right. With all that being
    said, just the body shell, frame, and four
    tires would be all I’d need to build a really
    nice EV. Another reason I say this is that
    parts for these cars are almost non-existant here in Florida and I have seen
    a few carcasses in some U-Pull-It yards
    near me. Add some sticky tires, a trick
    suspension, combine these with the
    abovementioned EV components, and
    you’d have a winner. Yeah, I could never
    drive it, but my family would have a really
    great time doing so. As for me, I’d have
    the satisfaction of building a very fun
    little car that would be enjoyed for many
    years to come.

    3
  5. Wolfgang Gullich

    Fun fact: the front end treatment of the 500 and 600 was designed by Claus Luthe when he was fresh out of design school. You might recognize him as the man who would rise to be BMW’s head of design after designing such classics as the E30 and E30 as well as the NSU Ro80 and original Audi 100

    4
  6. Kevin Harper

    Unless you are doing an Abarth clone hotrod not worth the time. You can still buy nice drivers of these in Europe for less than 10k and the slightly later 600D with non suicide doors go for 5 to 6k.
    If you are going to do the hotrod version then the Autobiancia 1050 engine slots right in. The Abarth version of the 1050 put out 70 up stock, which doesn’t sound like much but you aren’t moving very much car.
    Parts for these are still readily available and easy to aquire.

    • dweezilaz

      Except: This car is not in Europe and those sub $10,000 nice drivers are.

      1
  7. Howard A Member

    Funny, I’ve got that Deja vu feeling. Remember a while back, I made an enemy from some dealer in Texas, where I called out their baloney on a Fiat that looked like this claiming ultra low mileage, with an equally entertaining baloney story. If this is truly low mileage, like the other one, they must come from the factory this way.

    2
    • Sam61

      Ditto Howard. Baloney stories taste better with a large side order of BS.

      4
  8. Chuckster

    Air-cooled ? Did he not see the radiator when he took the picture ?. Sorry, too many things don’t smell right

    1
  9. MMM

    If this is original paint, why is there overspray on the aluminum VIN tag??? Also noticed that the left rear corner has been crunched. You can see the wrinkles in the engine compartment pic. A good project car, but not 1200 miles good. The flipper/seller should have done a bit more homework and provided a more truthful description. I’ve had MANY of these cars over the years including several genuine Abarth versions (still have an original Abarth 1000TC) and know these cars well.

    1
  10. Little Cars

    Adam. We drive from the left side of the cabin over here. Jes sayin…

  11. Fred Franke

    I live in Spain and we still have loads of these small 600 under the name SEAT.
    Good ones sell here for around 2000 Euros. They are fun to drive and there are many clubs for them over here.By the way : They are all water cooled !

  12. xrotaryguy

    If you zoom in, the floorboard on the right is absolutely rusted through. And if it’s rusted through in one spot, there’s probably a lot more to be concerned about.

    Not that it can’t all be fixed. Not for me though. It took a couple years for by elbows and shoulders to finally heal from cutting the floors out of a convertible Corvair. Good luck!

    1
  13. Gaspumpchas

    Wont reveal the reserve, it discourages bidders? IMHO, If the reserve isn’t revealed. how do you know if you want it and it fits your budget?? Takes all kinds I guess. Sure is a cutie.

    Cheers
    GPC

  14. juan

    The first years (I´m not sure but Fiat started making them in 1955 or 57) are way more valuable than the later ones, you can find spare parts in Europe and they are cheap, but to be sure yo´ll have to see the car in person and evaluate, but not always is about the money, the fun to restore such a rare car (at least in the US) and when you go with it at an Antique Car Show you´ll be the center of attention.

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