The Sheen is Off – 1967 Fiat 600

It’s pretty rare to find any kind of older, pre-1970s Fiat in decent shape for short money. With the ubiquity of the new Fiat 500s, it’s also hard to find a Fiat that Charlie Sheen has not advertised. Nowadays, the only Fiats of this period that are cheap are projects or complete rust buckets. And that’s not much of a surprise, either – as I was mentioning on a recent post about a VW Rabbit, the older economy cars just diappear after a while, and even enthusiasts don’t seem to have them. Which is funny, because there is a distinct type of fun in these simple, cheap cars. For example, this 600 in Duboistown, PA near Williamsport. It’s $3800 for a running, inspected car with some rust in the rear floors – really not so bad for a car of its age outside of the dry states. Assuming, of course, that the Pennsylvania state inspection means the structure is solid and all electrics and brakes work, this would be a great driver project.

1967 Fiat 600 right front

Judging by the pictures, this car is pretty straight. Wet sanding the paint might bring out the sheen (ha!) one last time. Strangely, the period Talbot bullet mirrors look huge on this car – I would remove them and replace with some smaller factory mirrors. There does look to be some roughness around the wheel wells, and the wheels could do with some new paint and probably tires, but in the grand scheme of things that is not a great expense.

1967 Fiat 600 front

The seller explains that the car has minor rust in the rear floorboards. Expect some holes, but as with the Saab Sonett just featured, you can rent or borrow someone’s welder and learn a new skill without it being visible or risking ruining something really significant. Of course, the problem is that once you start digging, you’ll find more, but that’s part of the joy of old cars, no?

1967 Fiat 600 rear

For some reason I love that rear view. It’s so of its period, with the small tail lights, Fiat 600 script, and vented engine cover. You can see a bit more rust here, but honestly, for a weekend toy, this won’t be a recurring issue, particularly if you keep it garaged. And if the work required gets to be too much, you can probably find someone else who’s interested in taking on one of the rare driver projects.

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2 Responses to “The Sheen is Off – 1967 Fiat 600”

  1. Rick Says:

    Hey! This is the car that I bought last year (a bit below the listed price)! Rick from Lewisburg, PA here, and after some engine work and a fix of the transmission linkage, I’m able to drive this little guy. Tonight, I was looking up how to pull a Fiat 600 engine for a winter’s rebuild project, when I stumbled across the pictures of your article in the “images” category of Google search. Yeah, you’re right, it didn’t pass inspection this time because of rust holes in the floor…and a few other places. You see, the front and back windshield both leaked pretty badly before a silicone fix. Windshield gaskets cost $89, but first, I have to pay off my 4 new tires. Last season, I replaced the whole brake line system, purchased a front emblem off the internet, located, bought, and installed the window handles, gave it a good cleaning and installed a radio that works. This past weekend, I repaired most of the floor and wheel holes with rivet and home sheet-metal work (that looks pretty darn good for a home repair) and that will keep this car alive until a new owner wants to go for a full professional restoration. But for now, on an average guy’s budget, I’m limiting the decay, making small consistent improvements on my free weekends, and keeping it, driving it and enjoying it! Next, it’s time to fix the oil leaks. On first inspection, it looks like a pan gasket fault, but I’m not sure yet. I’m happy that parts are still available and I was able to find a basic manual. This car is sure a crowd pleaser…. really fun to drive and getting back in shape slowly. A really fun project that keeps me active and enjoying life. As a clinical psychologist, I find working on my Fiat 600 to be very therapeutic! ….Nice article by the way. Regards, Rick

    • Chris Keen Says:

      You can’t help but wonder what happens to some of these feature cars, so it’s nice to hear this one made it to a caring home, and that it’s being enjoyed. Thanks for posting back!

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