Meet the cute Fiat 600 Multipla

Once upon a time, the Multipla was actually beautiful

22w ago

If you scroll through the list of the ugliest cars ever made, chances are that you will encounter the infamous Fiat Multipla-a car that looks like Shrek’s uglier cousin. However, the Multipla name did not appear for the first time in 1998. It appeared way back in 1956 and, back then, it looked rather pretty.

After WWII, Italy was facing massive restoration of the country, as well as its companies. Even Fiat needed to restart its production line, something they did rather cleverly. They were aiming to make cheap, small and simple cars, which were born in the iconic shape of Fiat 500 and, later, 600. Their compact car recipe proved to be successful not only in Italy, but in many foreign markets. However, there was a certain issue on the consumer side as the country was facing a massive baby boom.

The icon. Fiat 500

The icon. Fiat 500

Of course, Fiat, as the country's leading car manufacturer, came up with a cunning plan. Since many families had more than 3 kids, Fiat’s small cars were not practical for family road trips. So, the solution was simple-make a family-friendly version of the 600.

In 1956, the famous Italian company presented a very cute car called 600 Multipla with a starting price of just 730.000 Italian Lira (about EUR 9.300 in today’s terms). This was basically a bloated 600, with the engine still being in the back and a spare tire being inside the cabin in front of the passenger. The Multipla was only 353 cm long (10 cm less than a modern Panda), but could accommodate 4-6 passengers, depending on whether it had 2 or 3 rows of seats.

Obviously, a taller person would not have a comfortable ride, but I guess most people did not mind that since 2.7 million units were sold during its 13 years of production. Many of the cars were also converted to commercial vehicles and taxis. Initially, Fiat used the same 633 cc engine from the 600 with just 22 horsepower, and the little Multipla could reach a top speed of 90 kph. In 1960, the engine was upped to 767 cc from the 600D which could offer 30 HP. It is also believed that many Italian taxi drivers replaced the Fiat’s heart with more powerful Abarth engines to help them deal with chaotic Italian traffic.

Unfortunately, not many 600 Multipla’s exist today, despite huge production numbers. The cars were mostly used as disposable transporters and were driven until their final breath. So, if you want one in perfect condition, be ready to pay about EUR 50.000 for it. On the other hand, a 600 Multipla in a terrible condition would be about EUR 10.000, which would make it a rather cool restoration project. As for the parts, many of them are interchangeable with the standard Fiat 600, so it would not be a hassle.



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Comments (9)

  • They were amazing cars. Visit Bring a Trailer site and check out old auctions. You will be surprised how much money they are fetching!

      5 months ago
  • Great car little Fiat's are 😎

      5 months ago
  • Got one, love it. Bad condition though.

      5 months ago
  • The Multipla is one of my favourites car ever, both the 50's and the 00's versions. The 50's is just one of the most clever cars ever built! I really would love to try one, and even more with some Abarth extra spice! 😁😁

    Excellent article, Alen.

      5 months ago
    • It's an awesome little thing. It's actually on my bucket list to buy it one day. And, while I'm at it, I may even look for an Abarth engine 😁

        5 months ago
  • Friend had one it was lovely, then some shit stole it and was never seen again

      5 months ago