THE SEAT 600 is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion a 30-strong team from the Spanish manufacturer have hand-restored and modernised one of the convertibles.
More than 1,000 original spare parts were used and 1,500 hours spent taking it completely apart and restoring each element. One of the greatest challenges, said Ángel Lahoz, an engineer at the Seat Technical Centre, who was responsible for the project, was to find the parts.
The convertible, built in 1965, had been bought by a private individual and left sitting for 25 years, so it needed painstaking electronics and mechanical work, said Lahoz, who added: ‘The final result is almost better than when it originally left the factory.’
The restoration used 15 litres of paint and 50 metres of exclusive houndstooth fabric, and Jordi Font, head of colour and trim at Seat, said the bluish-grey paint colour was ‘absolutely on trend and reminiscent of the first 600s that came out’, adding that the fabric represented ‘an allegory of the famous houndstooth pattern in black and white that echoes a time past’.
The manually operated sliding roof is seen as a particular stand-out, while the steering wheel and horn button are the originals.
The restored 600 is currently on display at the Barcelona Motor Show.
Following its launch in 1957, the Seat 600 became a social phenomenon, and for many middle-class families their dream of buying their own car for 70,000 pesetas finally came true.
It was such a success that in 1958 its production was multiplied by six. The model was produced until 1973 and nearly 800,000 units were sold in all.
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