It’s widely believed that the Fiat 500 was Fiat’s first rear-engined post-war people’s car, but it was, in fact, predated by the 600, or Seicento. Produced from 1955 to 1969, it measured only 321cm in length but could still accommodate four people and their luggage. It was such a success in post-war Italy that some 2.6 million were built at Fiat’s Mirafiori plant. The 600’s popularity was not, however, confined to Italy alone, as a wide range of countries, from Russia to Argentina, built the car under licence. Power came from a water-cooled 4-cylinder motor which could propel the little Fiat to 59mph with the 633cc engine, or to 68mph with the later 767cc variant.
A year after the 600’s debut, the Multipla was introduced, and this was based on the same mechanical components, but with the front suspension from the bigger Fiat 1100. The Multipla was nothing less than the first people carrier or MPV, and it could seat six despite being only 50cm longer than the Austin/Morris Mini! Not surprisingly the Multipla was widely used as a taxi in its native Italy.
The Multipla on offer here was produced in 1959 and delivered new to Rome. It shows 31,922 km on the clock and has recently undergone a restoration and interior retrim. It looks glorious finished in two-tone red and cream with an interior to match. A somewhat cheeky looking, and rather unusual vehicle that would be a pleasure to pootle around in. :