The Fiat 1300 and Fiat 1500 are large family cars manufactured by the Italian automaker Fiat Auto from 1961 to 1967, which replaced the Fiat 1200. The 1300 and 1500 were essentially identical except for engine displacement, as indicated by model names. They were available as a saloon and estate, and spawned a convertible version, which shared little mechanically with the other body styles except the 1500 engine.
The 1300/1500 and their derivatives were also assembled by the Yugoslavian Zastava and Fiat's German subsidiary, Neckar Automobil AG. The floorpan of the 1500C was used as a basis for its replacement, the Fiat 125, while another model, the Polski Fiat 125p, made by the Polish FSO, was created by mating the body of 125 and mechanicals (engines, gearbox, transmission, suspension) of 1300/1500. In the Italian range, the 1300 was replaced by the Fiat 124 in 1966, and the 1500 by the Fiat 125 a year later.
The 1300/1500 were conventional cars, with longitudinally, front-mounted engines powering the rear axle via a four-speed manual transmission. The engines employed were two versions of the same design, differing in bore:
- Fiat 1300 - 1295 cc (bore 72 x stroke 79.5 mm) OHV 4-cyl inline 68 bhp (51 kW; 69 PS) @ 5,200 rpm
- Fiat 1500 - 1481 cc (bore 77 x stroke 79.5 mm) OHV 4-cyl inline 72 bhp (54 kW; 73 PS) @ 5,200 rpm
An innovative feature at the time was the fitting of disc brakes on the front and rear wheels.
Both variants started with a wheelbase of 2,425 mm (95.5 in), but from 1964 the wheelbase of Fiat 1500 was increased to 2,505 mm (98.6 in).
Fiat 1500 L / 1500 Taxi
These models were essentially Fiat 1800s fitted with the 1500 engine, and therefore referred to as "1500" in Fiat nomenclature. The Taxi version debuted in 1962 and had the engine derated to 60 hp (45 kW). The 1500 L (for "Lunga" - Italian for "long") originally had the same 72 hp (54 kW) engine as the regular 1500, and in 1964 was upgraded to 75 hp (56 kW) along with the Fiat 1500 C.
Other manufacturers versions
The Seat 1500 was a car unrelated to the Fiat 1500. It was, instead, an underengined version the Fiat 1800/2100 built in Barcelona, Spain by SEAT. 183,652 SEAT 1500 were produced between 1960 and 1972. SEAT later produced the Fiat 131 & 132 series under the name SEAT 131 and SEAT 132 until 1982.
Siata, the Italian tuning accessories and special vehicles manufacturer, devised a model called TS or 1500 TS that differed from the regular Fiat saloon in styling details, including two-tone paint, but mainly in the fact that the engine was tuned to deliver as much as 94 bhp (70 kW). Moreover, there was a 1500TS Coupé version with a unique body designed by Giovanni Michelotti. Both the saloon and the coupé were also manufactured by Fiat's German subsidiary, Neckar Automobil AG, formerly known as NSU-Fiat, located in Heilbronn (unlike regular Fiat 1300/1500).
The Yugoslavian automaker Zastava, which was extensively cooperating with Fiat, also assembled the 1300 and 1500, branding them as Zastava 1300 and Zastava 1500, respectively. Zastava went on to produce the 1300 by itself when Fiat stopped production. Better equipment was added and models named DeLuxe and 1300E. The production went on until the eighties. The car was nicknamed Tristać in Serbo-Croatian.
Polski Fiat 125p
Although considered a variant of Fiat 125, Polski Fiat 125p was actually a combination of bodywork of Fiat 125 and engines and mechanicals of Fiat 1300/1500.