Turin Taxi: 1967 Fiat 600D Multipla

When I look at the various cars that appear on our desks here at Barn Finds, I always find myself drawn towards those that are quirky or unusual. This 1967 Fiat 600D Multipla is one of those cars, and its custom touches make it stand out from the crowd. If the next owner doesn’t want to maintain the faux-taxi appearance, removing these touches would take less than a day. What they would be left with is an original Italian classic. The Fiat is located in Oxnard, California, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN price has been set at $29,000, but there is the option available to make an offer. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder Araknid78 for referring the Fiat to us.

If there is one characteristic that has helped Fiat to stand out over the years, it is that the company can produce interesting cars. The 600D Multipla is no exception because it can squeeze a surprising number of people into a relatively tiny space. The total length of the Multipla is a touch over 11½-feet, but it is capable of seating four adults in comfort (or five if they are light). There is reasonable head and legroom, but there is still space left over to squeeze in some luggage. This particular Multipla has been treated to a total restoration and generally presents well. The Dark Green and White paint does shine, but there are a few issues to consider. There are no visible signs of rust, with the panels and the floors appearing to be spotless. However, some of the panel gaps and fit look a bit out, and there are a few areas where the paint seems to be thin. This is particularly obvious around the bottom of the rear wheel arch on the passenger side and below the back door. Given the Fiat vulnerability to rust problems, adequate paint coverage is vitally important. There are also some signs of overspray and some poor masking. This raises some questions about the quality of the restoration work. The trim and chrome shine in the sun and the glass is free from obvious flaws. The Multipla was a popular choice as a taxi in its home country. The owner has chosen to recreate that look on this car. However, the signage and stripes are vinyl and would be easy to remove if a more stock look is required. The illuminated roof sign is magnetic, so removing that is also straightforward.

European manufacturers during the period from the 1940s until the late 1960s were heavily focused on producing light and space-efficient vehicles. This was, in large part, motivated by the fact that raw materials for car production were scarce following the end of World War II. Finances were also tight, so there was no room to be lavish with vehicle design or construction. It was this line of thinking that gave rise to cars like the original Mini. This was a triumph of packaging efficiency, featuring a front-engine/front-wheel-drive configuration. With the 600, Fiat went in the opposite direction, opting for a rear-engined car with rear-wheel-drive. Tiny engines were the order of the day, and while vehicle performance wasn’t lightning fast, it was still considered to be adequate. The Fiat 600 Multipla was initially offered with a 633cc 4-cylinder engine, but this was upgraded to a 767cc unit in September of 1960. With this upgrade, the model name received a change from 600 to 600D. This little dynamo produced 32hp, which found its way to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transaxle. Of course, this vehicle was no rocket, but it could reach a top speed of 75mph. Generally, the engine bay of this Fiat looks okay. It seems like some of the paint preparation and application has been left wanting, with the paint within the engine bay having a very rough appearance. The fuel lines have been painted over in some spots, and are bare in others. The VIN tag has a significant covering of overspray.  Even the paint on the air cleaner is thin and almost transparent in many places. I have included a YouTube video at the bottom of this article. It provides a walkaround of the vehicle, plus a short test drive. During the video, there are no signs of any squeaks, rattles, or odd noises. The engine sounds nice, and the car appears to drive smoothly.

When you give the interior of the Fiat a cursory glance, you will initially struggle to find anything significant of which to be critical. The seats are fitted with beautiful red covers, while the door trims are finished in matching material. The floors wear black carpet, and this appears to be free from wear and fading. However, some of the painted surfaces let the interior down badly. The paint on the dash, in particular, is extremely rough. It has a very amateur look to it, as though the surface hasn’t been appropriately prepared before painting. It also scores poorly with significant paint runs. As far as luxury equipment is concerned, it isn’t even a remote consideration. Any car that attaches the spare wheel to the front of the cabin within reach of the passenger’s feet is not likely to be fully loaded. Take a look around. No radio, no A/C, and not even a glove compartment. These were designed to be cheap and purely functional vehicles. The reality is that they succeeded admirably in that goal.

I want so badly to like this 1967 Fiat 600D Multipla, and on face value, it looks very promising. However, it raises enough questions in my mind that I would want to perform a personal inspection before hitting the BIN button. Even more interesting is the fact that this is not the first time that this Fiat has been offered for sale. I found a listing for it on another site, and this shows the vehicle selling for $28,500 back in May of this year. That listing uses many of the same photos and the same video. That makes me wonder whether this is a flip, or whether the previous sale has fallen through. What do you think?

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  1. Howard A Member

    75 mph off a cliff maybe,,just love the speed claims. I happen to have ridden in a Multipla. It was the mid 70’s, a friend was a salesperson at a Fiat dealer, and took one in on trade. While it didn’t look this nice, I remember it being relatively nice. We went for a ride, 4 adults, ( not hefties either) and the thing was so gutless, he never did get it into 4th gear. As far as novelty goes, probably off the scale, again, $30g’s? Why not?

  2. chrlsful

    these are tops to me.

    They predate so much later (I believe).
    During the late ’70s/early ’80s I saw the repros: all the ‘pre mini van’ MPV_
    Eagel Summit, wagovan, tercell, Mitsu and Stanza. Last was the Mazda 5
    still being made today. So transitioned into the minivan that’s gone onto crossovers etc. An icon like the falcon – a ford product answ that tried to stem the vedub bug’s desemation of usa auto co.s It became the muscle cars (stang) and SUVs (early bronk).

    Never B able to afford in this condition. Enjoy the auction – the net both helped and killed my interest/income. No longer able to aford each raw product, able to see much more than ever possible, competing w/that aquatic TV show from the late 60s, friend of Sandy’n Bud

  3. Elanguy

    These are an absolute hoot to drive. 75mph? Probably not even with the “huge” 600D motor (and it was only rated at 32 HP)

    And being able to go 65 or 75 mph in one of these and wanting to are two different things. Yes, after I stuffed in a 1050 Abarth mill into this I would definitely want to take it up to 75mph, ONCE and only once I would guess.

    The difference in the driver’s position gives a very amusing experience, but what is fun at 25-45 mph isn’t the best for going twice that speed. For that I would stick with a standard 600 sedan

  4. patrick

    The previous sale fell through – no fault of the car. The winning bidder had logistical issues and couldn’t complete the sale.

    • ChingaTrailer

      Usually Bring A Trailer relists sale fails where the buyer flakes out. So maybe the seller was using a shill who was never outbid?

  5. Rick

    I like the spare tire air bag.

    • chrlsful

      “it’s missing it’s metal cover. Extra 1/4 inch leg room ! 1,000$ add on here”…
      (he said, his voice dripping w/sarcasm)

      • Araknid78

        Mine had a canvas cover which was better for the passenger

  6. PairsNPaint

    What a hoot this would be for an in-city Uber!

  7. Randy1911a1

    I owned one in the mid 70’s..bought it for a few hundred bucks and drove for about a year or so. Top cruising speed 35mph with a passenger on flat Arizona highway. Went from Phoenix to Tombstone once and told them would be there in 6 hours and pulled into town exactly 6 hours later.!! Swing the drivers door open and bungee the front and back door handles and hit the road..A/C.. coolest feature was drop down the back of drivers seat..drop the back of back seat down and all lined up to make the whole interior a bed.

  8. Barney

    My dad had one of these when I was about ten or so. Maybe 1960 or 61. He ran it into a parked car. I guess they had a devil of a time getting him out of it. Alcohol was involved

  9. Louis Chen

    Such fond memories of my stint in France, studying at the Cordon Bleu in Paris! My room mate and I had the pleasure of riding one of the TAXI when we went on summer vacation in Rome! it was quite enjoyable especially the driver! He was a rather informative pesrson while driving around Rome. We were surprised that it was quite a decent ride. It wasn’t smooth as our 2CV. The price here is way off though! This specimen would be great at local car shows and at small town parade/home comming events.

  10. Stevieg Member

    I believe it was built backwards lol. I think it would be more aerodynamic in reverse! Cool oddity, but when the front seat passenger is looking at the spare tire, the value can’t be too high lol.

  11. Araknid78

    My very first car was one of these (at age 15). Except, it had the two rows of jump seats in the back instead of the single bench seat. It enabled me to get five passengers instead of only four. I was able to get it to 60 mph…fully loaded…down a step hill. But that was with the smaller 633cc engine. So, 75mph seems doable with the larger 750cc…down a hill.

    Still miss it even after all these years

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