RM Monaco 2016 – 1965 Fiat 600 Multipla – First 7-Seat Minivan?

No reserve for the auction of this delightful Fiat Multipla in cobalt blue over white.

The origins of the minivan are widely debated, but this three-row machine is damn close to nailing the template.  Albeit with rear-engine, rear-drive layout.  That engine in the trunk would be a godsend for summer vacations — where a front-engine car’s tremendous heat would have the cabin near-boiling after a few hours on the autostrada.

1965 Fiat 600 Multipla

RM Sotheby’s


14 May 2016

1965 Fiat 600 Multipla

Without Reserve

  • Chassis no. 100D.108 126736
  • Engine no. 100D.008 4541

Photo Credit: Tim Scott ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

22 bhp, 633 cc overhead-valve inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, A-arm front and radius arm rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,000 mm

  • Fully restored throughout
  • An icon of 1960s Italian design

As Italy’s population took to the road again after the Second World War, there was a growing demand for practical yet affordable transport. The Fiat 600 was already a bestseller by 1956, when the Multipla was first launched, but the new model soon found a loyal following of its own.

Designed to fulfil the needs of larger families and commercial users, the 600 Multipla was created by the engineering genius Dante Giacosa. Giacosa’s design was truly a feat of engineering packaging. By advancing the passenger compartment over the front wheels and moving the engine to the rear, he created one of the first successful monospace cars and was able to extract six seats from a car that was only 11 feet and 6.9 inches long!

This Multipla always resided in Italy until it was imported to the United Kingdom by its current private owner. Unusually, the ownership of the car can be traced back to 1976, when it was registered in Catania to a Sig. Rapisarda; the car then passed to a Sig. Leotta before heading north to Monza, where it was owned by a Sig. Brioschi. The last Italian owner carried out a no-expense spared bare metal restoration, with a detailed photographic record of the work.