SEAT 600
SEAT 600

SEAT is popping open the cava for the 50th birthday of a car that almost single-handedly put Spain on wheels: the legendary SEAT 600.

To Spain, the SEAT 600 is a car of enormous social and cultural importance.  Selling almost 800,000 units over the course of its 16-year lifetime, the 600 and its various derivatives became very much part of the Spanish landscape.

The car came into life through SEAT’s negotiations with Fiat, which were initiated in order to produce a second car in Barcelona to join the 1400 saloon.  The original model, designed by engineer Dante Giacosa, used a water-cooled four cylinder in-line engine, installed lengthways behind the rear axle and connected to a four-speed gearbox.  With an initial cylinder capacity of 633 cc, the SEAT 600 had a power output of 21.5 hp – not much by the brand’s ‘Auto Emoción’ standards of today, but more than adequate at the time.

In spite of its small size, the 600 was far from an uncomfortable car.  In fact, comfort was one of its greatest virtues and the guiding motive for its interior and exterior design. Giacosa first created the passenger compartment, which then enabled him to ergonomically position the steering wheel and dashboard, and to determine the ideal dimensions of the doors for easy access.

Over the ensuing years, numerous derivatives of the 600 were added, including a commercial version, while successive improvements boosted engine size, performance, specification and comfort.  A four-door variant, the 800 – which had no equivalent in Fiat’s range – was launched in 1963.

SEAT 600 Technical Data
Model 600 N 600 D 600 E 600 L 800
Production period 1957-63 1963-69 1969-73 1972-73 1963-68
Cylinder capacity (cc) 633 767 767 767 767
Power output (hp) 21.5/24.5 29 29 32.5 29
Maximum speed (mph) 59/63 68 68 71 67
Length (m) 3.28 3.30 3.30 3.30 3.48
Weight (kg) 590 605 605 615 635

Published : 15/08/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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