Part 1: The car – before I bought it

I bought the car from a guy down in SoCal.  He had a car business called Italian Precious Metals where he sold interesting, usually restored cars online and presumably locally.  I first saw the 600D in the background of an eBay auction he had going for a nicely restored Fiat 500 that he called Guido.

I contacted him about the 600D and he sent me a bunch of pictures of it.  Below are some of the pictures he sent me.

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According to the paperwork I have on it, he had owned it back to at least 1999.  I don’t have any earlier photos, so I can’t be sure of what kind of shape it was in before, but he stated that he had just gotten it back from a body shop that he was very unhappy with.  Apparently, the body shop guy had had the car for a long time, done little work, and charged way too much.  All in all though, it didn’t appear to be in bad shape.  Very little visible rust on it.  The item in worst shape is the engine bay lid, but it came with a spare.  The tires are brand new and still had the nobby things on them.  You’ll notice that there are some very nice cars in the background.  On a side note, I’m still jealous of his awesome shop floor.  🙂

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles History of the California License plate, the plates it came with were probably issued between 1976 and 1982.

Basic information on 1963- present plates:

  • 1963 was the last year a complete new plate issuance to all vehicles occurred (the plates had a black background and chrome yellow characters).
  • 1970 is the year the basic plate was changed to a blue background with yellow characters. It was also the last year any black/yellow plates were issued.
  • 1976, year round registration started which requires a month expiration sticker afixed to the upper left hand corner of the plate.
  • 1982 is the year when the standard plate was changed to a white background with blue characters with a sun graphic and CALIFORNIA in red block letters. It was also the last year any blue/yellow plates were issued.

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The interior is in great shape.  The floor pans look very solid and he said that the seats are original and unrestored.

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The engine bay had seen better days, but at least it is all accounted for.  He assured me that it ran and drove just fine.  The voltage regulator is sitting on the exhaust manifold and the coil is resting on the radiator.  It looks like it had some aftermarket headers.

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All of the interior and trim bits had been removed by the body shop guy.  Careful inspection reveals that the windshield and center Fiat emblem are missing.  Real bummer about the windshield…

I purchased the car and arranged for shipping with an owner/operator called Red Carpet.  It arrived on April 10th, 2008 in a covered car carrier.  It was riding on the top level above a nice Mercedes AMG with brake rotors as big as the 600′s tires.  I found out later that the 600 leaks a little oil.  I hope it didn’t leak on the AMG, too much…  The shipper guy was super nice and even said that he owned a 600 back in the day.  He helped me push it into my garage even though it was late at night.

I started to work on it on April 11th.  🙂

If you have any questions or comments, contact me using the contact page or email me at myfiat600d@gmail.com.  Cheers.

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