Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Fiat 600

Does this post look familiar? That's probably because Vagabondblogger originally wrote a post about the Fiat 500 and it's resurrection last week. Fiat is going retro and using an old design for a modern car, similar to the VW rebirth of the VW Bug. The problem is, Vagabondblogger mistook a Fiat 600 for the 500. Hey! She's no expert, and she never claimed to be. Vagabondblogger just likes all the old cars she sees in Cairo, especially the VW's, and writes a simple blog once a week, on her findings.

Thanks to he & she , Vagabondblogger was exposed as the amateur she always claimed to be. He & she happens to be a Fiat fanatic, much like the VW addicts who read this blog. What can Vagabondblogger say? She can totally relate.

(Blue Fiat as seen on the Corniche, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.)

From personal experience, all Vagabondblogger knows about Fiats she learned after buying a blue metallic Fiat Strada in 1981, for the amazingly low price of $4,500.00. Fiat Strada (not to be confused with this Fiat Strada) was also known as the Ritmo in Italy, and Egypt. Vagabondblogger, and the Boss Man, drove that thing into the ground, accumulating close to 100,000 miles on it by 1985. Due to electrical problems (the car would stop working all of a sudden) they ditched it. Boss Man's dad, who knew all about cars (he was a mechanic, but specialized in body work) couldn't fix it. Then our country bumpkin, tobacco growin', rabbit huntin' brother-in-law decided to make a go of it. He couldn't do anything with it either (as if!) Then the next door neighbor's teenage son decided he'd take it on. Has anyone ever known what it's like to live next door to people who have cars up on blocks in their driveway? Well, Vagabondblogger's in-laws did. (There's one of those in every neighborhood.)

This cocky little teenager started working on it, and got all frustrated. Fiat made him a very angry boy, so he decided to take a sledgehammer to it (unlike what they do in Morocco - see comments from the original post.) He hammered the damn thing into one big metallic Italian messy heap, sending bits and pieces of it into neighboring yards. The smart ass had to pay to have it eventually towed away. That's all Vagabondblogger knows about Fiats.

So, quite rightly, she was outed by a true Fiat 500 lover. In making amends, she has posted this blog to reflect the information available on the Fiat 600, with a link on the old blog directing it to this one, as well.

He & she sent Vagabondblogger a Yahoo page with photos, but this video from CNN really shows the difference between the Fiat 600 on this post, and the Fiat 500. Besides the dimple in the rear section between the rear window and the trunk, some Fiat 500s also opened into sectional trunks, similar to double door back end on an old VW Bus. CNN International is coincidentally replaying this segment this coming weekend (how do you think Vagabondblogger got the idea to look on CNN to begin with?) The video focuses on the new Fiat 500 Nuova, with a comment by an old timer who says, "itsa not da same." (It never ever really is, is it?) Actually if you look at the new Fiat 500 Nuova, it does appear to resemble the Fiat 600 more so than the Fiat 500. Fiat 500 was so popular though, and brings back fond memories to many who owned it, that it's probably a better advertising gimmick.

Here's an interesting photo group of Fiat 600s.

An excellent Fiat 600 page with a link for technical information and a photo gallery.

(Two-tone, black and white Fiat 600, as seen on Road 9, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.)

According to Wikipedia:

The Fiat 600 (or "Seicento") [say-chento] is a city car produced by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1955 to 1969. Measuring only 3.22 m (126 in) long, it was the first rear-engined Fiat and cost the equivalent of about € 6,700 or US$ 7300 (590,000 lira then). The total number produced from 1955 to 1969 at the Mirafiori plant was 2,604,000. During 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the car became very popular in countries such as Argentina, where it was nicknamed Fitito (a diminutive of Fiat).

In the USSR a similar car was manufactured, Zaporozhets ZAZ-965, produced from 1960 to 1963. Despite speculations, that design was copied from the Fiat 600, ZAZ factory representatives say the car was an exclusively Soviet design, created by Soviet ZAZ engineers jointly with colleagues from Moscow's NAMI [1].

Also in Spain, the 600 model was made under the make of Seat, from 1957 to 1973. Up to 797.319 Seat 600 were made. The Spanish exported them to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Etiopia, Gabon, Guinea Ecuatorial, Reunion Island, Lebanon, Senegal, Somalia and Zaire. This car motorised Spain after the Spanish Civil War.

In former Yugoslavia the model was very popular, and was produced under the name Zastava 750 (later 850), nicknamed "Fićo". It was produced by the Zastava factory in Kragujevac (in Serbia) from the early sixties until 1985. Zastava 850 had many improvements from original model.

(Maroon Fiat 600, for sale at the Nasr City Car Market.)

Many thanks to he & she for setting Vagabondblogger straight.

"The Great Pretender" - The Platters


  1. what happened. Did you wipe out all the comments?

  2. Um, you must be talking about last week's post, which was about the Fiat 500. Thanks to you, I dedicated this post to the Fiat 600, and if you had read the latest post, I linked to you a couple of times. Sheeesh!

    Damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

  3. Oh my God. I didn't initially notice the change my dear, sorry. That is a smart and wonderful modification of the post. I love it even more now. The CNN video is amazing, and hey. It is my first time to be a reference. Thanks vivi. Friends forever

  4. he & she: I thought you'd like that video! It is pretty cool. After you sent the Yahoo pic link, I just happened to see an ad for the 500 news bit on CNN here. The Boss Man & I looked at each other, like WTF! So I got online, found the video, and that really showed the differences between the 2 cars.

    Besides I am writing a weekly post about cars, even though it's mostly on VW's, I do feel that I should be straight and a teeny bit knowledgeable with my readers. If I ignored you, then I would expect my readers to ignore me - what goes around, comes around.