Revell 1/18 Fiat 600D

KIT #: 08915
PRICE: $33.10 from GreatModels
DECALS: None
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Die Cast car

HISTORY

The Fiat 600 (or "Seicento") [say-chento] is a city car produced by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1955 to 1969. Measuring only 3.22 m (126 in) long, it was the first rear-engine Fiat and cost the equivalent of about  6,700 or US$ 7300 in today's money (590,000 lira then). The total number produced from 1955 to 1969 at the Mirafiori plant was 2,604,000. During 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the car became very popular in countries such as Spain (as SEAT 600), where it became the icon par excellence of the Spanish miracle, Argentina, where it was nicknamed Fitito (a diminutive of Fiat) and Former Yugoslavia where it was nicknamed Fica.

The 600D was an upgraded version of the original 600 that was offered starting in 1960 with the engine increased in size from 633cc to 767cc. This boosted horsepower to a bit over 25hp, giving it a top speed of just over 110 kph (about 70mph)

THE KIT

While browsing through the Great Models catalogue for interesting subjects. I saw this and several other Revell 1/18 cars. The rest of them were in the $60 range and mostly exotics. The Fiat appealed to me and so I ordered it. It wasn't until it actually arrived that I realized it was not a kit but a die-cast.

Once I was over the DOH! moment, I unscrewed the car from its plastic base and had a good look at it. I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with not only the paint but also the workmanship that went into this. Few will be surprised to know that it is built in the world's manufacturing powerhouse, China. Even fewer will be surprised to know that the only part on it that is actually metal seems to be the body and the screws that hold it to the chassis. Now I'm sure that there are other metal bits like the axles and steering shaft, but none really visible.

The molding on the plastic parts is very good. Of course, these folks don't scrape seams so you'll find some of those, but the sprue attachment points are pretty well invisible, so one does not see little nubs of plastic all over the place.

Let's take a look at some of the features. The car has pneumatic tires from the feel of them. The doors and engine compartment can be opened. The steering is functional as well. Detailing of the engine is very good with all sorts of hoses and wires visible when one opens the hood (or is it the trunk?). The interior is complete with shifter and pedals as well as instruments. This isn't a fancy car so not a lot of excessive detailing inside. I've ridden in a real one of these and have to tell you that I had the passenger seat back as far as I could and was still a bit cramped. It may fit four adults, but they have to be small and friendly.

CONCLUSIONS

I hesitate to say that this is meant solely for children, though the box does state it is for those older than 3 years of age. Those who like to collect die-cast cars will appreciate its detailing and those who want to play with it, will probably find it rugged enough to handle the frequent off-road excursions that are inevitable. If this sort of thing appeals to you, then go for it.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_600

October 2009

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