The SEAT 600 (Seiscientos, also nicknamed pelotilla (little ball), seílla or seíta (both stand for little SEAT)) was a Spanish car made by SEAT from 1957 to 1973. It helped to start the economic recovery (called the Spanish Miracle) after the hard years following the Spanish Civil War. It was a relatively inexpensive (then 60.000 Spanish Pesetas) vehicle and was the first car within the modest economic capabilities of many Spanish families of the mid and late 1960s.
The SEAT company was born as a joint venture of the Spanish government and Fiat, and almost all SEAT models up to 1982 were license-built Fiats although the 1200/1430 Sport "Bocanegra" and 133 were models created by SEAT in the 1970s.
Technically, the car was not very modern; it was just a license-built Italian Fiat 600 of 1955, with a rear engine/rear wheel drive layout. The engine was a 4-cylinder, water-cooled unit formerly with a displacement of 633cc./19hp and later 767 cc, yielding at 4600 rpm.
The Fiat version enjoyed far less success in its homeland than the Spanish model, probably because the Italian market was more advanced than the Spanish.
There were two initial series:600 and 600 D, distinguishable by the use of "suicide doors". Third series 600 E had normal doors, bigger headlamps,a different plastic grille and other improvements. The final production run was the 600 L Especial, produced only for a few months in 1973.
A slightly longer 4-door version of the same car, the SEAT 800, was also built from 1964 to 1967. It was also known as a 4-door 600, although the official designation was 800. This car was only built in Spain.
A commercial body called SEAT 600 Formichetta was also available.
There were also tuned cars. The most common ones were prepared by Abarth, but the Conti, Autolinea or Zakspeed were known. those cars were equipped with SEAT 850 or SEAT 1430 engines, tuned up to . They also changed the brakes and wheels, providing the SEAT 600 the unique capacity of great acceleration and relatively high speed, .
Up to 797.319 SEAT 600 and 18.000 SEAT 800 were made until 1973. It was exported to Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Finland.