The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum | Lot 283
1960 Fiat Multipla
$66,125 USD | Sold
| Madison, Georgia
15 February 2013
Higher horsepower 600D specification with seating for six.
Manufacturer: Fiat SpA
Origin: Turin, Italy
Motor: Fiat 4-cyl., 4-stroke
Displacement: 767 cc
Power: 29 hp
Length: 11 ft. 9 in.
Identification No. 100D108083570
The ground-breaking Fiat Multipla has been called the ultimate expression of Dante Giacosa’s genius.
As the 600 sedan was the intended replacement for the Fiat 500 Topolino, Giacosa knew he would be questioned by management about a station wagon version of the new car, this variant having had much success as the beloved “woody” model of the Topolino, known as the Belvedere. He knew that with the 600’s rear engine water-cooled layout, a conventional square back-with-tailgate was not possible. And the tail, with its sheet metal, had to be left unchanged; otherwise, it could not be called a derivative of the 600 sedan. So he moved the driver over the front wheels and built a mock-up to test the ease of entry, which was then deemed to be acceptable. The two, large side doors were a satisfactory substitute for the missing tailgate. Other differences from the sedan would include, besides the startling flat-fronted “unibox” design, an auxiliary radiator up front, wishbone and coil front suspension, different gear ratios, worm-and-roller steering, a slightly larger fuel tank, and interior lighting.
It was a novel concept—the mixed-use station wagon. Called Multipla “All-Service” in the literature, the idea was to multiply the serviceability of the 600 for either family motoring or business use.
The multi-place seating was made very flexible through a combination of folding seats. Three versions were available. The four/five-seater, which had two bench seats that folded to make a bed; the six-seater, which had a front bench and four separate seats that individually folded into the floor to make a large, perfectly flat, metal loading surface; and the taxi version, which had a single front seat with a luggage platform up front, separate folding seats in the middle, and a bench seat in the back, together with a division.
The spacious doors with roll-up windows at the front and sliding windows at the rear open in both directions, being hinged on a common “B” pillar. The spare wheel is located in the front dashboard. This car is built to the 600D specification, meaning that it has the larger displacement motor that makes 32 SAE horsepower, larger brake cylinders, and a pancake air cleaner. It has a remarkable load-carrying capacity of one person plus 882 pounds, or six people plus 132 pounds. The example presented here was fully restored by the museum, and the color scheme is a deliberate departure from the stock Multipla’s sombre range of mostly dark shades.