Fiat 600 Multipla Joins V&A Museum In London Exhibition

Fiat 600 Multipla
600 Multipla stars in the retrospective "Cars: Accelerating the Modern World"

The Italian pioneering iconic Fiat 600 Multipla will star in “Cars: Accelerating the Modern World” exhibition at the V&A museum in London.

Opening on November 23rd, the exhibition focuses on the impact of the desirable Fiat and includes car models that have represented real social and economic accelerators throughout the twentieth century.

The exhibition will endeavour to highlight innovative cars that have changed the world in the last 130 years in terms of design, innovation and social impact. Structured in three main sections, it includes over 250 objects and 15 cars, including the first ever patent car, a prototype of a flying car and one of the most iconic models of Italian car making the Fiat 600 Multipla.

Fiat 600 Multipla

Presented at the 1956 Brussels Motor Show, the Fiat 600 Multipla offered a completely new shape and exceptional interior space. With three rows of seats it could comfortably seat six people or, with four seats folded down, it could offer a large, versatile load space. With its versatility and extraordinary practicality, the “Multipla” became the pride of Italian taxi drivers and families for over a decade.

Fiat 600 Multipla
The car’s presence in the museum’s exhibition is part of the celebration of the 120th anniversary of Fiat

The car exhibited in London is part of the FCA Heritage collection, and is normally on display at the Fiat Historical Center in Turin. In the 120th year of Fiat, FCA Heritage have organized a number of activities to celebrate Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino reaching this key milestone including the 1899 Fiat 3½ HP, owned by FCA UK and on permanent display at the National Motor Museum of Beaulieu, participating in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

The Fiat 600 in brief

The 600 Multipla has four doors: two front doors opening upwind, and two rear doors. The car’s versatility made it possible to fold down one or both rows of rear seats to create a uniform flat loading surface almost two meters long. The Multipla could also be transformed into a tiny camper van with a rear “double bed”, as it was advertised at the time. The taxi version rapidly invaded Italian cities, becoming one of the icons of the country’s postwar economic boom.

In 1960, Fiat upgraded the range of the 600 – saloon and Multipla – with the new D version. Displacement capacity grew and performance improved, but without increasing consumption: low operating costs remained the key to the success of the Fiat 600. With this improved performance, the diffusion of the Multipla in its taxi set-up increased: the front passenger seat was replaced by a luggage stand, while the taximeter was placed on the dashboard. The external body remained unchanged, while the rear of the interior was fitted with two fixed seats and two folding seats, for either two or four passengers.

Fiat 600 Multipla
Fiat 600 Multipla

The Fiat 600 Multipla will join other interesting classics including Messerschmitt, KR200 Cabin Scooter Bubble Top, Karl Benz Patent-Motorwagen and Hispano-Suiza Type HB6 ‘Skiff Torpedo’ on display as part of the “Cars: Accelerating the Modern World” exhibition at the V&A museum until 19th April 2020. For more details about the exhibition visit www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/cars.

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