Introduced at the end of April 1961, the almost all new 1300/1500 was designed to slot between the 1100 and 1800/2100, both of which continued in production, whilst it superceded the 1200. The one bodyshell, a conventional four door, three box saloon, was fitted with either a 1295cc (65bhp) or 1481cc (72bhp) engine, a four speed gearbox and disc brakes at the front.
Later that same year, at the Turin Motorshow, the Familiare, or estate, version was released. This had almost identical mechanical parts and dimensions to the saloon, but with an extended roofline and rear hatch.
1962 saw the mating of the 1500 engine to the 1800B mechanicals and bodyshell, to produce the 1500 Taxi. The idea of a large and spacious car with a smaller engine resulted in the 1500L (or 'Lunga') being released in 1963 as a berlina for general sale. The berlina retained the 72bhp of the normal car, whilst the Taxi's engine was derated to 60bhp.
Then, in 1964, again at the Turin Motorshow, the 1500C was released. This had an improved engine, now producing 75bhp, a stretched wheelbase, assisted brakes and various detail improvements to the styling, both inside and out. The improved engine was also installed in the 1500L which continued in production. The 1300 remained as before.
1500 cabriolets were also produced, though only related to the 1300/1500 family through the engine. These are covered on our 'Cabriolets' page.
A coupé based on the 1500 was also designed and built by Ghia with the blessing of Fiat. Around 800 examples of the 1500GT Ghia were built from 1964. In Germany, the Fiat-owned NSU plant produced a Siata designed coupé.
Driveline longitudinal engine at front with rear wheel drive Engine 1295cc (72x79.5mm) ohv 4-cyl in-line with 65bhp @ 5,200rpm
1481cc (77x79.5mm) ohv 4-cyl in-line with 72bhp @ 5,200rpm (in 1500C with 75bhp @ 5,400rpm, picture)
Suspension front : Independent, lower wishbone, coil spring and telescopic damper plus anti-roll bar
rear : solid axle with telescopic dampers and leaf springs
wheelbase : 2420mm (1500L : 2650mm)(1500C : 2505mm)
front track : 1295mm (1500L : 1345mm)
rear track : 1272mm (1500L : 1307mm)
Brakes front : discs, diameter 236mm
front callipers had three pistons, a single inner (diameter 48mm) and two outers (diameter 34mm each).
rear : drums, diameter 250mm (1500L : discs)
handbrake operating on the rear via a cable
Gearbox 4 speed manual
hydraulically operated single dry plate clutch, diameter 184mm
Steering worm and roller
3 turns lock-tp-lock
turning circle diameter : 10.4m
Kerb weight 1300/1500 : 960kg
1500C : 980kg
1500L : 1200kg
model max speed 0-100 km/h standing km Braking (from 100km/h) 1500C (1965) 156 km/h 13.8 sec 35.75 sec 56.7 m
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1300/1500 comment form
My brother had a 1500 mkIII. He built it up from its neglected state, but after two failed registration attempts gave up on it. It was buried by my bother's vindictive ex-wife last year (literally). What a shame! They had some beuatiful standard features, such as the finned rear drums and 3-spot front calipers and were roomy and well-equipped. (Tristan, Australia)
As a hobby, I own two Fiat 1300 cars, sedan and station wagon (and a third one for spare parts). In my view, it's a very pleasent car, and it represents in many aspects the era of the early 60's. (Eli J, Israel)
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