While many nations have seemingly all but forgotten specific examples of their automotive heritage, Spain is a notable exception.
Spain’s SEAT 600; a licensed duplicate of the celebrated Fiat 600, was the second automobile to be manufactured by Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo.
Introduced in 1957, it rapidly became the most popular car in Spain, generating a waiting list of buyers that sometimes reached two years in length. The 600 put Spaniards on wheels, performing a societal role equivalent to America’s Model T, Germany’s Volkswagen and France’s Citroën 2CV. It would continue in production through 1973.
While later SEATs were technically superior, none have proved a match for the 600 in personality and character, and the Spanish have not forgotten. Their affection can be appreciated by observing the various artistic tributes to the 600 sprinkled throughout the country.
The first major installation was Monumento al SEAT 600 in Fuengirola, Malaga. In June of 2008, a full-size fibreglass-reinforced resin replica covered in bronze was erected in a beachside plaza. The unveiling was proceeded by a procession of over two-hundred 600s from local vintage SEAT clubs with their occupants dressed in period clothing, some piloted by their original owners.
In April of 2010, another life-size tribute to the iconic SEAT was erected at a roundabout in Churriana de la Vega, Granada.
In this example the SEATs are genuine vintage 600s donated by collector Manuel Fernandez Esturillo. The red example is a 600 E, the blue one an earlier 600 D featuring the original rear-hinged “suicide” doors.
Other SEAT tributes abound; in the capitol of Madrid one can spot a vintage 600 above the entrance to a popular pub, Bar 600.