Offered for the first time is this unique 1959 Fiat Multipla. This special version of the famous Fiat 600 is rarely found. None are restored and upgraded to this level. Our goal was to provide a view into the past when these cars were a staple of Italian traffic and commerce, yet upgrade the mechanicals with proper Fiat parts to allow the car to be used in today’s city traffic.

We believe the car has no equal. This was Joe Potter’s project and he and the rest of us here are known for detailed attention to every component and this project is no different. Nearly 1000 hours have been lavished on this car. Many of those hours were weekends and after work spent on this in house project. We only assemble and prepare cars the right way and this one is no different. A rare vehicle, properly restored, and upgraded to be a beautiful and usable vehicle. There is great expense in labor and parts required to prepare and restore a car to this level. We are pleased we did this one as it provided a good deal of fun, entertainment, and satisfaction.

Fiat Multiplas were available in two interior configurations and this is the more desirable of the two. The rear seats fold down completely flat into the floor and provided Italian vendors the ability to haul goods and cargo to market during the week and the entire family of six to church on Sunday. A great design feature not copied until over 40 years later.

All Mulitplas came with only a standard 633 cc motor. This was not sufficient power to move a potential of 6 people and luggage. Fiat compensated for the low power by changing the final drive ratio of the trans-axle to 6.11 gears. For those of you that don’t recognize that number, its in tractor range. This allowed the car to make it up steep hills but limited top speed to 61 MPH. We utilized an 850 based Fiat motor so it would have more power and also changed the final drive ratio to the same as a regular 600 sedan. The engine was built with modest street compression, the standard Abarth 30/70 grind cam, and stock 2 barrel carburetor. The net result is that it drives anywhere you want it to and is completely usable in modern traffic.

The trans-axle was fully rebuilt and no expense was spared. New bearings and syncros as well as new first-reverse slider and new first gear, and new reverse idler were sourced from around the world. This trans-axle is the correct early unit with the hand or emergency brake mounted on the trans-axle itself. The brakes were completely rebuilt stock. There are drum brakes on all four corners. We did retain the proper front brakes on the front, which on a Multipla are larger than a regular 600. The suspension is all stock and totally overhauled with the addition of gas shock absorbers. The result is a great handling car that it is quite stable and a pleasure to drive. The ride is not harsh, so does not jar passengers when going over pavement irregularities.

To provide the best foundation, every component, nut and bolt was removed the body. Then the bare tub was then completely stripped of all finishes. All rust or corrosion was professionally replaced with new metal until only a shiny bare tub remained. We refinished the bottom side of the car with Urethane bed liner. We chose this for its adhesion properties and the resulting waterproofing. We also used the bed-liner on the inside floor of the car for the same reasons. The interior floor is fitted with the factory rubber mats. The rest of the car is painted in a two stage modern urethane. The bottom color is Aston Martin green and the upper half is a dark silver that was picked to highlight the green. The interior paint is completely finished in the Aston Martin green and looks a sharp as the exterior.

All the exterior trim was polished or plated to a high standard. The front bumper and trim on the nose is all stock and unmodified. The rear bumper is a second generation unit and is much flatter than the stock bumper. We went with this bumper as we liked the cleaner look on the backside and left off the over-riders as they were too much of a distraction from the cool slope of the rear of the car.

The interior upholstery is all stock layout and we matched the seams and color changes as per original. The material colors were chosen to complement the paint colors and the pinstriped accent.

The wheels and tires are real Minilites out of the UK, correct 12 inch diameter, and correct 4 x 98 bolt pattern. Tires are new radials.

This Multipla was purchased out of Portland Oregon in boxes fully disassembled. The gentleman we bought it from found it in Idaho complete and not running for many years and still had the Idaho tags and title. It now has an Oregon title. The body when received was in pretty good condition. The main floors were rusty in the center from trapped water when it was sitting. We found no rust in the rest of the car. The doors, side panels, and such were all metal and we did not do any metal repair other than replace the floors. The glass is all new or the original and was is in great condition.

Please give us a call if you have questions or we can tell you more about this special vintage Fiat Multipla. It only has about 200 miles on it since the restoration completion. We built it for fun, and an exercise in what if. We also do Abarth full Alloy restorations. We currently have three 750 GT Zagato Double Bubbles for sale now. Call and speak to Bob at 541.543.6791

Photo Credit: Mike Dean Photography. All images copyright Sports Car Shop 2011.

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