SEAT 600, or simply 600. An institution in the history of Spanish automotive, a social and even cultural icon, which had a spectacular influence on the future of a country that, still, in 1957, continued to suffer different vicissitudes as a result of the Civil War. Perhaps this situation would help to convert a small vehicle into something out of the ordinary, at least in Spain.
The 600, either with the FIAT logo or with any other (the car was sold, under license, both in Spain and in Yugoslavia, Africa, Germany...), was very successful in sales in countries like Argentina, where they nicknamed it "fitito”, while we, among various nicknames, knew him as “Pelotilla”. However, although it was a well-received vehicle, did not have the same social weight that it had in Spain, where it served as a pillar for the development of a way of life and even of industries that had barely a presence in our country before, such as coastal hotels.
However, while in Spain it became one more element of the landscape of our roads, like the Osborne bull, the 600 became an exceptional base for all kinds of transformations back in its native country, in Italy. From simple additions to the bodywork, to convertibles, through sedans, coupes and bodies with four doors. Yes, there was everything on the basis of the 600, especially highlighting the four-door bodies, very much in line with "our" SEAT 800.
The SEAT 800, our 600 with four doors
Officially, the 600 was only marketed with two side doors, and it was SEAT's invention to add another two additional doors, giving rise to the aforementioned SEAT 800. It can be said that the 800 is the only 600 with four doors."official", without a replica in FIAT and, in fact, without SEAT mounting any unit in its facilities, at least not completely. It was Carrocerías Costa who designed, developed and manufactured the SEAT 800, leaving the work of assembling mechanics, windows, trim and, obviously, marketing to the brand.
Carrocería Costa made many modifications to bequeath the car that it presented to SEAT in 1962. The most remarkable thing was the increased length and wheelbase, in no less than 18 centimeters, something that, as one would expect, was very noticeable in the space for the rear passengers.
FIAT quattro porte Scioneri
In Italy, as we said, four-door bodies were also created, but none of the creations was related to FIAT, all were the work of external coachbuilders, very abundant in Italy in those years. One of those creations external to FIAT, it was very similar to the SEAT 800, although the information available about the model is very limited.
The closest thing to the 800 was the FIAT 600 quattro porte Scioneri, although unlike the 800, the modifications were few. For example, the base of the car was the same as the 600, unchanged, however, it coincides in the type and opening of doors. The front ones were of the suicide type and the rear ones opened in a conventional way. A third side window was also added, the front was modified with new frames with larger chrome strips for the headlights, a false grille and a chrome trim on the hood were mounted.
FIAT 600 Scioneri saloon
Coachbuilder Scioneri developed several four-door versions of the 600, including the so-called “Scioneri saloon”, a car with a particular design, which visually makes us believe that we are facing a longer car, but nothing is further from reality: the length, in fact, was the same. That sensation is caused by the rear fins, which protrude from the body at the top, serving at the same time as support for the pilots. The additional rear doors also create this impression, doors, by the way, that open like on the 800.
The modifications went further, with recessed headlights, a false grille, different bumpers, a small bulge on the hood and a chrome side strip, which starts at the end of the front fender (where it joins the chrome strip that runs along the gutter) and that runs along the entire side, finally passing at the height of the rear fender. Furthermore, it seems you could request a two tone paint.
Scioneri coupe saloon?
One of the most curious creations, and perhaps one that should not be in this selection, is a bodywork, also the work of Scioneri, of which there is hardly any information and there is only one photograph (or at least, we have not found any more) and of poor quality. We do not even know the official name, because the minimum available data call it exactly the same as our previous protagonist: FIAT 600 Scioneri saloon.
The little information available indicates that it was Scioneri's first proposal based on the 600 and it is, at least considering the image we have found, quite striking. Many things change, possibly it is a body made from scratch or taking advantage of few original elements, highlighting what appears to be a rear door without a handle. How does it open? we don't know, but it might be necessary to open the front door firstAlthough that could mean removing the B-pillar, which is unlikely, but not impossible. The same information found, considers the possibility that a single unit was manufactured, surely disappeared.
FIAT 600 Caprera quattro porte
The Caprera quattro porte is a tremendously striking car, especially due to the changes that were made to the rear, clearly, with the intention to give it a sedan image, highly valued in those years for its size and the perception that people had of the three-volume bodies.
Introduced in 1963 and built on the basis of the FIAT 600D (including the 767 cc engine) and the entire rear end is transformed, lengthening the line of the wings beyond the rear hood, integrating the pilots and obtaining a slightly crude style (and clearly yankee inspired). Trimmings were removed and the FIAT 110 bumpers and spurs were used to limit cost.
FIAT 600 Lucciola Lombardi
The Lucciola Lombardi (lucciola means firefly in Italian) is perhaps one of the most curious and striking transformations to install additional rear doors. With an image very similar to that of the SEAT 800, the length and the battle are maintained, but some very unique doors were installed. The front ones open in a conventional way, but the rear ones are of the suicide type, in addition, the B-pillar was eliminated, which forces the closures to be placed above and below the frame, while a huge access hole to the passenger compartment is achieved.
Lombardi, to counteract the loss of rigidity due to not having a B-pillar, reinforced the structure, although we do not know what kind of reinforcements were applied and the effect it could have on the total weight of the vehicle. Some trims were also applied to the C-pillar, the rear wing bulge was lengthened to the door, and a missing front grille was installed, among other things.
FIAT 600 Weekend Accossato
Once again, as in one of the previous cases, we find ourselves with a design that, perhaps, does not fully match the idea of a 600 with four doors, but It is as interesting or more than any of the ones shown here. Basically, because it is a transformation where a completely new body is mounted, which only has two doors. "and a half".
On the right side, at the rear, there is a door designed to help put things in and out of the interior, and so that parents can put the little ones in more comfortably. The design was Michelotti's work commissioned by Ernesto Accossato and unveiled in Turin in the 60s. It wasn't an ugly car, it's even cute (if a bit chubby), but only one unit was built, billed as a coupe.