Saint Louis, MO
The Fiat 600 was first introduced in 1955 as an Italian answer to the hugely successful VW Beetle and as a follow up to Fiat s own beloved Topolino. The 600 was designed by the brilliant engineer Dante Giacosa whose extensive portfolio includes the Fiat Topolino 508 Cisitalia D46 and Cisitalia 202. With the Fiat 600 he chose a rear-engine/rear-drive layout inspired by the Beetle though unlike the VW Fiat fitted an inline-four-cylinder engine with water cooling. The 633 cc unit was mated to a four-speed transaxle while suspension was by transverse leaf spring up front and independent semi-trailing arms in the rear. Four wheel hydraulic drum brakes were more than adequate to slow the car from its top speed of 59 mph (later 767 cc versions reached a thundering 68 mph). The Seicento was a huge success for Fiat setting sales records for the company selling over a million examples in six years. The platform proved very versatile with tuners such as Abarth and various coachbuilders producing a wide variety of sporting and luxury bodies to fit the humble underpinnings.One such coachbuilder Viotti had a long-standing relationship with Fiat by the time the 600 was released. Carrozzeria Viotti SpA had been contracted by Fiat to build a large number of special bodies for the Balilla. Between 1933 and 1939 several thousand 508A 508B and 508C chassis were equipped with high quality Viotti bodies. The great Pietro Frua joined as chief stylist from 1957 and among estate cars and convertibles the firm produced a handful of 600 Sport coupes with stylish two-seat coupe bodywork as well as deluxe trim 600s such as our featured car. However like great many coachbuilders of the period regular production orders gradually slowed and Viotti closed in 1964.This delightful 1959 Fiat 600 Coupe is an extremely rare and wonderfully presented example of just a handful to be upgraded by Carrozzeria Viotti. The Viotti touches lend a degree of elegance to the otherwise basic 600 and the two-tone gray and red color scheme pairs wonderfully with the styling. This car was found in Italy in 2004 imported to the United States shortly thereafter and treated to an extensive refurbishment in 2005. It was also recently in the care of the renowned Dominick European Car Repair of White Plains New York and it is said to be a fine driving example.The body is largely a standard 600 presenting in very good order with clean straight panels and good gaps. The gray main body paint is very good quality highlighted by a red roof red body-side flash and red wheel centers. Much of the exterior trim is courtesy of Viotti; with the red body flash trimmed in bright alloy finishing with very cool detail around the side marker. Fiat 600 Viotti badges adorn the front fenders and a lovely intricate faux grille signifies this as a very special model. Chrome bumpers alloy headlight bezels and marker light plinths are in excellent condition with only the lower sill trims showing a few minor dings. Plexiglas wind deflectors adorn the doors presumably a Viotti addition as well. The original wheels are painted in the same two-tone as the body and adorned with lovely chrome FIAT hub caps. Period correct Pirelli crossplys are in good order and give this little 600 just the right stance.The stylish cabin was reworked by Viotti with flashy upholstery patterns and a more deluxe upscale feel to the otherwise basic accommodations. The seats are trimmed in a unique red and white patterned material that is complemented by solid red door cards and quarter panels which present in good order. The floors are lined with mottled red and black rubber mats as original the colors repeating on the rear parcel shelf. The dash is classic Fiat 600 minimalist yet stylish in its starkness. The original gauge cluster sits behind an original steering wheel with the only deviation from standard being a large brass St. Christopher medallion. Original switchgear is all in very good working order.Fiat s 633 c.c. inline four puts out approximately 30 horsepower in standard trim but of course what this cheeky little Fiat lacks in grunt it makes up for in copious amounts of charm. The lightweight alloy engine is very clean and impressively presented with excellent wiring labels plumbing and high quality finishes on the components. Previous owners have resisted the urge to fit speed parts thus retaining the original charm. Similarly the front trunk is tidy and properly detailed with fluted rubber mat an original style washer bag and a correct spare wheel with leather retaining strap. Overall this is a very well restored example combining a quality restoration with the rarity and uniquely attractive Viotti enhancements. We re sure you ll be as taken by the charms this delightful unique and stylish little Fiat 600 as we have been.