Imagined and designed to fill the gap existing in the Fiat offer of those years, the one between the more popular 1100 and the elite 1800/2100, the 1300/1500 was born in 1961 with the ambition to move a little further towards the '' high positioning of this model - almost a premium ante litteram - and respond to the competition of Lancias, Alfa (brands still outside the Fiat glassia) and some foreign manufacturers that were entering our market with the opening of the common market and the cessation of customs duties.
Look at the photos
Look at the photos
Fiat 1300/1500, an example of modernity and quality dated 1961
Attention to competition also demonstrated by the commitment that the Turin-based company put into the study and testing of the 1300/1500, in which the aeronautical department Fiat Aviazione also collaborated.
Even the look, different from the schemes, underlines these ambitions: the Fiat stylists choose the 'soap' shape, a solution adopted the year before by the Chevrolet Corvair, the rear-engined car desired by Ed Cole, and then also taken up by the NSU for the Prinz 4. The bodywork of the 1300/1500 is therefore formed by two overlapping shells, which join at the level of the belt line in a chrome profile that runs along the entire perimeter of the car.
Also innovative for the era are separate circular rear lights, the large panoramic rear window and the adoption of the front light clusters with 4 circular headlights, arranged horizontally.
The Fiat price list of 60 years ago offers the 1300 to 1,190,000 lire and the 1500 to 1,265,000 lire, which correspond respectively - updated to the value 2021 - 15,358 and 16,326 euros.
The basis for both models was the in-line four-cylinder of 1295 cc for the 1300 and 1481 cc for the 1500 version, the first delivered 65 hp and the second reached 72, a value considered high at the time given that the Giulietta Ti in the 'enhanced' version that had also made its debut in 1961, which reached 74 hp.
Fiat 1300/1500 was equipped with a 4-speed manual gearbox with steering wheel control, rear-wheel drive and an important innovation (it was the second in Italy to adopt them after the Lancia Flavia), namely front disc brakes.
Compared to the 1100, the passenger compartment was characterized by greater attention to finishes, as demonstrated by the fabric upholstery (another typical prerogative of Lancias) rather than the traditional imitation leather.
The production of these two versions, also offered with other bodies, ceased in 1967 after reaching almost 1.9 million units.
Versions of the 1300/1500 were also built under license or through subsidiaries such as those of Yugoslavian Zastava, Fiat Neckar in Germany, Seat in Spain and Fiat Concord in Argentina.