Would You Ever Add A Fiat 600 Multipla Microcar To Your Garage?
One of the nicest things to see in the run-up of classic car prices is that there’s still a place for people’s cars. Pristine, surviving examples of plebeian Citroëns, Volkswagens, Minis—the list continues—often fetch five or six figures, money that could be spent on a nice new car or two. I shouldn’t forget to mention that a Fiat 600 Multipla has all of 22 horsepower, and this one’s low estimate hovers around €30,000. It’s not sporty, fast, or svelte—so why do collectors love these small wonders?
It’s because if you close your eyes and picture the vehicle you grew up in, you’ll soon realize that finding a pristine example of a “normal” car, decades on, is close to impossible. Maybe I’ll have enough cash by the time I’m 65 to hunt down both a mid-’80s burgundy-on-burgundy Mazda 626 5-Door (5-speed!) and a brown-on-brown-on-brown short-wheelbase Ford Aerostar, but doubt I’ll find either. Familiarity is a powerful thing, and it’s a tough feeling to shake when you notice you haven’t seen a once-common vehicle for years. The Fiat 600 Multipla is one of those vehicles.
Correctly predicting that people would soon require more practicality in smaller vehicles, Fiat’s brilliant engineer Dante Giacosa remixed the Fiat 600’s mechanical parts into a seven-seat micro-microbus. This tiny forward-control van was quickly adopted by families with lots of kids and small businesses that needed a useful-yet-slight vehicle. Sure, drivers would struggle to top 65 mph, but who cares? By 1970, the model left production in Italy, but was also made under license in several other countries—to the tune of more than 2.5 million in total.
This example, like many, was sold new into Italy in approximately 1965, with its ownership trail picked up in Catania, as RM Sotheby’s notes, with Sig. Rapisarda in 1976. Before leaving Italy, it was fully restored from bare metal, and was imported to the UK by its current consignor. The auction house notes, “…the car is in superb condition, with deep paint and well-aligned panels. Underneath the car, the quality of the restoration work is also clear. Period accessories were also sought out, including difficult-to-source correct seat coverings and Perspex side window visors”.
Ideally, this Multipla will be used and enjoyed by its next owner frequently…provided they leave enough time when running errands to answer questions from the bemused. At less than 12 feet long, it won’t take up much space in your dream garage—but it might ruin your schedule.
~22 horsepower, 633-cc overhead-valve inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, A-arm front and radius arm rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,000 mm
Chassis no. 100D.108 126736
Engine no. 100D.008 4541