A mega meeting Fiat 600 invaded the streets of Caseros yesterday, Sunday 14 May, where the municipal authorities led by Mayor Diego Valenzuela announced the work project of the future Tres de Febrero Fitito Museum.
The appointment was in the Municipal Playón located near the old factory Fiat Concordia where this icon of the national industry was produced for 22 years (between 1960 and 1982).
At the event, which brought together more than 400 units belonging to three fan clubs (“Club del Fitito de Argentina”, “Reunidos por el 600” and “Fiat 600 Club”), a monument built on one of the walls of the old factory where Expoyer operates today, the first production pole and distribution of auto parts for Fiat, Peugeot and Volkswagen.
“The Museum will have an interactive and audiovisual exhibition, and its objects will tell the story, from Italy to Argentina, of the 302,000 Fititos that were produced between 1960 and 1982. They will visit us from all over the place,” explained Valenzuela.
For his part, Diego Consiglio, president of “Reunidos por el 600”, declared that “it was a historic event because since the factory was closed, no Fitito has set foot on this terrain”.
emblem of national industry
In more than two decades of history, the 600 has been a model that has created a very strong bond with the Argentines. It also had special significance for the Italian automaker because it was neither more nor less than its first vehicle produced in Argentina.
The Fiat 600 was very popular. Its affordable price has allowed many people to fulfill their dream of doing the first km 0, but it also had many other aspects: it was the favorite car of women, the one that young people almost always used to learn to drive and, in adolescence , glory, one of the favorites of the jet-set world and also of the cinema, since he was able to be the protagonist of many Argentine films.
Another peculiarity of the 600 was that of being the first rear-engined Fiat model.
The first examples of the Fitito began to be seen on Argentine roads from 1958. They were vehicles imported from Italy, where they had been manufactured since 1955.
In 1959, then-President Arturo Frondizi’s auto industry promotion scheme encouraged Fiat and other brands to start producing vehicles in the country.
And after a million dollar investment, the company inaugurated its factory located in the city of Caseros in Buenos Aires in 1960, from where the first national 600 came out on April 8 of the same year, albeit with the largest number of parts imported from Italy.
The “Pallina” was not a whimsical, but rather an accurate nickname for its rounded body which, at first, opened its two doors from front to back (a system known as “suicide”) and had a tiny 633 engine cm3 which delivered a powerful 21.5 horsepower.
With only 3.20 meters in length, up to four passengers could travel who, although a bit cramped, could also add some other luggage in the trunk located in the front of the car.
During its 22 years, five versions were produced: 600; 600 D (1962), which was characterized by incorporating a larger (767 cm3) and more powerful engine; 600 E (1965), which changed the door opening system; 600 R (1970), which brings its power from 32 to 36 HP; and 600 S, the fastest and with the biggest engine of all.
Ben Stock is a journalist working for News Rebeat, where he covers the automobile section. With a passion for cars and the industry, Ben brings insightful and in-depth reporting to his readers.