SEAT 600 BMS, a restoration with Iberian flavour

SEAT didn't want to do just another restoration of this 600, the occasion deserved something really special, and the SEAT team decided to make a kind of respectful tribute to the mythical utility car. Probably never has such a modest car received so much pampering and affection, and with a result that is as elegant as it is discreet. The occasion to present it was the 2017 Barcelona Motor Show.

The model chosen has been a SEAT 600D convertible of the first series, and the first thing that catches the eye is its beautiful bluish gray metallic paint, very current, but at the same time, similar to the light gray present in the original palette. The ivory painted rims and white sidewall tyres are also part of the discreet modifications, small changes that, far from betraying the spirit of the 600, enhance its design, simplicity and charisma. For the rest, the exterior of the car respects the original model, although with a really spectacular quality of finish, much better than that enjoyed by the SEAT 600 when they came off the assembly line...

SEAT 600 BMS, a restoration with Iberian flavour

The interior has also been treated with the same good taste, respect and love for detail, replacing the PVC upholstery (skay) for high quality leather, and the original fabric for a new one really exquisite and very pleasant to the touch.

In terms of mechanics, the 600 BMS is based on the specifications of the model manufactured between 1964 and 1965, with its square fuel tank placed to the right of the front compartment, its flat bumpers, beautiful original aluminium hubcaps... The seats have also been respected, which in this series only folded down the backrest to access the rear seats. As a detail that illustrates the respectfulness of the restoration, suffice it to say that the cooling circuit has no expansion tank, exactly as in the 64/65 model. More than 1,000 parts have had to be replaced or painstakingly restored, and more than 1,500 hours of work have been put in...

Obviously, the car retains its four drum brakes, its tiny wheels, and its suspensions, independent with leaf spring on the front axle, and oblique wishbone on the rear axle. The engine is also of origin, a 767 cc inline four, which delivers the same 32 hp at 4800 RPM as the original model... Okay, it may not be much, but if we take into account that it only weighs 600 kg, surely the car is more agile than you might think. In any case, it does a respectable 108 km/h on the flat...

SEAT 600 BMS, a restoration with Iberian flavour

Of course, all the mechanical components are absolutely the same as the original ones, although most of them - such as the gearbox, for example - have been completely redone. As proof that SEAT wanted the BMS to be something serious, the car has all the documentation up to date, and has been registered. Small, very small, the 600 is only 330 cm long by 138 cm wide and 140 cm high, 26 cm shorter and 26 cm narrower than the already small SEAT Mii.

Although the entire car is made using original SEAT parts, the aim was to achieve the highest possible quality finish, so the fit and feel is infinitely superior to that of the original 600D. The restoration process has been so meticulous that instead of painting the bodywork and then assembling the mechanics and interiors, the whole car was assembled first before painting, in order to make all the necessary adjustments. Once this process was completed, it was completely disassembled again before the painting process, reassembling everything again, this time with the assurance that everything would fit perfectly, and minimizing the risk of damaging the paint ... A level job!

Personally, it reminds me a bit -and saving the distances- of Singer's work on the 911, and I feel proud that the Spanish brand has made such a big effort to pay homage to such a humble car, but so important for many.

What does the SEAT 600 BMS mean?

The 600 is becoming a popular classic that Spain is very fond of, and in which some people invest much more money than it would seem reasonable, maybe this 600 BMS will inspire many others to restore and care for their beloved 600, hopefully.

Will the SEAT 600 be reborn? I see it difficult, and although I imagine that a detour could be made to avoid "stepping on" FIAT's rights to the original 600, I don't think there is enough market for a "new" SEAT 600, perhaps in part because Fiat has already established itself in the market with its 500, a car with very similar aesthetics. Maybe a successor to the Mii with some nod to the SEAT 600 design? If only...

Be that as it may, the 600 BMS announces that SEAT is proud of its history, and now that they're in the mood, let's see if they can surprise us with something authentic, maybe a 21st century 1200 Sport "Bocanegra", a halo car that gives identity to the brand... Why not?

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