New York had the Checker cab as its de facto taxi; parts of Italy considered the Fiat Multipla as their 'standard' cab, at least until the 1970s. It was capable of seating six people within its tiny dimensions. Based on the Fiat 600, the Multipla differed in that the front seats were moved forward of the front axle, which opened up the space behind them for cargo or passengers. The car came with a rear-mounted, 633cc water-cooled engine.
Sold for $49,500 at 2015 RM Sotheby's Hershey Auction.
The Fiat Multipla was a unique body style built on the 600 that was intended to enhance the serviceability of the 600 for either business or family motoring use. It was given a rear-engine design with the rest of the body design built around the engine. Engineer Dante Giacosa relocated the driver over the front wheels and provided two large side doors for loading cargo. The doors were hinged at the B-pillars allowing easier access, and the rear seat could fold flat to provide additional space for carrying cargo. In the front was an auxiliary radiator and the chassis utilized a wishbone and coil-front suspension.
Powering the 600 Multipla was a 633cc overhead-valve four-cylinder engine offering 22 horsepower. They had a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
The Fiat 600 was a small and inexpensive automobile that was easy to produce. It was introduced to the public at the Geneva Motorshow in 1955. The automobile was capable of transporting up to six individuals. During its production lifespan lasting from 1955 through 1969, nearly 2.7 million examples were produced.
The introductory saloon model featured two doors and four seats. The base engine was a 633 cc water-cooled four-cylinder power-plant capable of producing nearly 22 horsepower. The engine was located behind the rear seats and drove the rear wheels. The suspension was independent and featured monocoque construction. A four-speed manual gearbox with cable operated clutch was standard. The combined dry weight of the vehicle was just over 580 kg.
The following year two more versions were introduced, the Multipla and a version with a full-length canvas roof. The Multipla had three rows of seats and could accommodate up to six people. The four back seats could be folded into the floor, exposing a large cargo area.
In 1960 the 600D was introduced and featured a 767 cc engine now rated at nearly 30 horsepower. Various aesthetic and mechanical improvements were added. In 1964 the front doors were now hinged and in 1965 the 600D received a larger fuel tank and new headlights.
The Fiat 600 helped mobilize the entire Italian country and is considered an economical phenomenon.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008