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Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Fiat 600 Multipla Was the True Definition of a Minivan: Weird Car of the Week


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

We Americans love the throw around the term ‘minivan.’ But when is a minivan actually a mini-van? When you’re talking about the lovable Fiat 600 Multipla, that’s when.

From 1956-1965, Fiat developed the Multipla based on the standard 600 frame. The 600 was somewhat of a spiritual followup to the original 500 platform—Fiat execs betting on Europe’s fixation with affordable, simple vehicles. But looking for slightly more spacious versions, the mini Multipla was born.


The original Multipla was just 50 centimeters longer (19.7 inches) than the original Mini Cooper. Even then, it was able to fit six vertically challenged human beings, and and was powered originally by a 633cc inline-4 (later upgraded to a 767cc).

Top speed was a blistering 57.1 mph, and a 0-50 mph time was tested to be 43.0 seconds by The Motor magazine in 1956. Not that any of those specs matter–the Multipla was a larger-than-life mini-minivan that served many a purpose throughout Europe.

Even though the Multipla ended production in 1965, it was the vehicle of choice for taxi cabs across Italy up until the early 1970s. Its spacious interior and impressive 32 mpg made it a prime candidate.


Fiat revived the Multipla nameplate in 1998, and continued production all the way until 2010, with mixed success. But it was the original Multipla that enthusiasts crave for.

Hagerty’s estimates a pristine, original 600 Multipla from 1956 will set you back somewhere near $27,000. But as buyers crave for the unique, we can only assume prices for the 600 Multipla will start to balloon.