Published on September 25th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Did Your Dad Own One?
Well, my dad did and it was his first car which was a ‘hand me down’ from his sister who was migrating to Europe. Not the best little car for a 6-foot man, my dad still treasured this little Fiat and only when he needed to start a family he traded it in for a bigger car a few years later. This Fiat entered production in 1955 and continued until 1969, when it was replaced by the Fiat 850.
Today the Fiat 500 is very very very scarce in Malaysia as they are all mostly rusted away or even worse, left to ‘die’ without documents as owners have passed on and the next generation left them in workshops or car parks to be claimed by our harsh weather.
Despite its diminutive engine size and overall dimensions, the Fiat 600 really was a ‘proper car in miniature’ – monocoque construction with 4 seats and a 4-cylinder, water-cooled engine. It had 12-volt electrics, flashing indicators, twin electric wipers, stalk controls for lights and indicators, an interior light and a lamp in the engine compartment as standard for easy fixing when the sun goes down. The Fiat 600 also had a remarkably spacious interior for its size and had all-round independent suspension, with semi-trailing arms at the back.
The 600’s floorpan was so good that it inspired numerous small-volume spin-offs, notably the Abarth 750, the rapid 1000TC, plus the Bialbero and Monomille sports coupés. This car will rust just about everywhere, but it’s best to walk away if the chassis is gone. You can easily spend more than the car is worth on restoration.
Prices today move from RM2,000 to RM11,000 for a restored unit with rust hidden away under a few coats of paint and primer.