The car that put Spain on wheels is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. For this reason, SEAT has restored a 600 convertible, which is exhibited for the first time at the Automobile Barcelona.
A team of around 30 people set out to fully modernize, and completely by hand, this gem which had been sitting for the past 25 years. The following are some of the keys to its restoration.
More than 1,000 original spare parts: 1,500 hours were spent to take it completely apart and restore each separate part by hand. One of the greatest challenges was to locate the more than 1,000 original parts that were changed, according to Ángel Lahoz, an engineer at the SEAT Technical Centre who was responsible for the Project.
Rebirth after sitting for 25 years: The work was done to a SEAT 600 convertible that was built in 1965 and bought by a private individual. It had been sitting for 25 years and so required painstaking electronics and mechanical work. According to Lahoz, “the final result is almost better than when it originally left the factory”, over more than half a century ago.
15 liters of paint: 15 liters of bluish grey paint was used, a color which is “absolutely on trend and reminiscent of the first 600s that came out”, points out Jordi Font, who is head of Colour&Trim at SEAT.
50 meters of houndstooth fabric: 50 meters of exclusive fabric was created for this car, representing “an allegory of the famous houndstooth pattern in black and white that echoes a time past”, explains Font.
Manually operated roof and original steering wheel: The manually operated sliding roof stands out in particular among the car parts, as it was also completely hand restored. The steering wheel and the horn button are original.
Unique 60th-anniversary version: This year the SEAT 600 is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Since its launch in 1957, it became a social phenomenon and Spaniards were finally able to start taking to the road. For many middle-class families, their dream of buying their own car for 70,000 pesetas finally came true.
A car that posted record sales: The SEAT 600 was such a success that in 1958 its production was multiplied by six. The model was built until 1973 and a total of nearly 800,000 units were sold.
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 81% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2016, SEAT obtained an operating profit of 143 million euros, the highest in the history of the brand, and achieved worldwide sales of nearly 410,000 vehicles.
SEAT Group employs more than 14,500 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.