It’s always nice to discover new things in this hobby, especially if they’re as cool as this.
This little 600 was built by German company Hümmer who, like Grell, are a mainly a producer of promotional toys. Normally their offerings are 1/87 scale diecast trucks made for breweries but the Fiat was made as far as I can tell as a promotional gift for the German food brand Mondamin. Mondamin produce baking and cooking products, and their logo is finished in a distinctive chocolate brown, which explains the colour of the Fiat, but not really why it has anything to do with sauce thickeners.
The Fiat 600 went into production in 1955 and became the first rear engined, unibody car in the company’s history. Following a similar brief to the designers of cars such as the Renault 4, Citroën 2CV and Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat intended the 600 to be a capable, reliable and economical vehicle. The design brief called for a kerbweight of 450kg, and the ability to carry 4 people and their luggage at a cruising speed of 85kmh. Powered by either a 633cc or 767cc water cooled inline-four, the 600 proved a huge success. License production was undertaken by SEAT of Spain, NSU of Germany and Zastava of Yugoslavia with local production in countries as far afield as Malaysia and Argentina. As well as the 2 door saloon, an MPV called the Multipla and the 600T van were also available. Global sales were almost at 5 million by the time production ended in 1969.
The Hümmer version isn’t actually diecast, but made of plastic. But I’ve proved before on Lamley that I’ve not got any issue at all with plastic models. It helps when they’re this cool of course…
The details are rather nice; bumpers and headlights are picked out on silver and panel lines, handles and hinges are all visible. The base is screw on and rather pleasantly detailed. And it rolls perfectly.
Scale wise my very rough measurements give me the impression it’s very close to, if not dead on, 1/64 scale. So it’s a rather diminutive thing but all the better for it.
These things can still be found occasionally on Ebay though I picked mine up via a German 1/87 model specialist called 1zu87.com, and there are other sellers that can be found with a little trawl through Google. Until I’m lucky enough to be able to afford, let alone find an example of the legendary Mini Buby Fiat 600, this is a more than welcome alternative.
(Find the Mondamin Fiat 600 on Ebay)