The Fiat 1300 and Fiat 1500 are automobiles which were manufactured by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1961 to 1967. They replaced the Fiat 1400 and Fiat 1200 coupé, spyder and cabriolet. The 1300 and 1500 were essentially identical except for their engine displacement, as indicated by their model names. They were available as a saloon and station wagon, and as convertible and coupé models which shared little mechanically with the other body styles except the 1500 engine.
The car's 75 hp engine combined with its lightweight construction was unusual for the time, especially when considering the price. Front wheels were equipped with disc brakes with four-pot calipers while rear brakes were alloy drums.
The 1300/1500 and their derivatives were also assembled by Yugoslavia's Zastava and Fiat's German subsidiary, Neckar Automobil AG, as well as in South Africa. The floorpan of the 1500 C was used as a basis for the 1500s 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.
In total, 1,900,000 units were produced worldwide.
The 1300/1500 were conventional cars, with longitudinally, front-mounted engines powering the rear axle via a four-speed manual transmission with a column gearchange. The engines employed were two versions of the same design, differing mainly in bore:Fiat 1300 - 1295 cc (bore 72 x stroke 79.5 mm) OHV 4-cyl inline 60 hp (45 kW; 61 PS) at 5000 rpm
Fiat 1500 - 1481 cc (bore 77 x stroke 79.5 mm) OHV 4-cyl inline 73 hp (54 kW; 74 PS) at 5400 rpm
Both engines had alloy cylinder heads with twin rocker shafts and inlet valves angled at 45 degrees
An innovative feature at the time was the fitting of disc brakes on the front.
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). This longer version was called the 1500 C and also received three more horsepower (for a total of 75) and various other detail differences, including power brakes and bigger taillights with built-in reverse lamps.
The Pininfarina-designed Coupé and Cabriolet models of the preceding 1200 continued with largely unchanged bodywork, although they were now equipped with the larger 1.5 litre engine. The grille, previously in two segments, was now a wider single-piece unit of a more trapezoidal design. The O.S.C.A. engined 1600 S, with a twin cam 1568 cc engine developing 90 PS (66 kW) continued to be available albeit with the same new front end treatment as that of the 1500 Cabriolet. This was called the Fiat 1600 S Coupé/Cabriolet and can easily be recognized by its additional lamps at the outer corners of the grille. All of the coupés and convertibles were replaced by the new 124 coupés and spiders in 1966.
The New Zealand importer, Torino Motors, marketed the 1500 as the "Crusader", with corresponding badging. In South Africa, dealers could also supply the "1500 OTS", a conversion for more power available in two different stages. The OTS was developed by CMI (Cartoria Motor Industries) specifically to suit local production car competition regulations. Rather than the standard car's 83 bhp (62 kW) SAE, the OTS developed 96 and 108 bhp (72 and 81 kW) SAE in the respective Stage I and Stage II variants. A variety of extras were also offered, including lowered suspension and a conversion to a floor-mounted shifter.
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 detuned 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.
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.
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 1500 TS 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 in 1967 stopped production. During the seventies better equipment was added and models named DeLuxe and 1300E. The production finished in December 1979. 201,160 copies were made since 1961. The car was nicknamed Tristać (trista means 300) in Serbian language.
With all-around disc brakes, rear-wheel drive, up to 72 horsepower (the engine could propel the car to a top speed of 155 km/h), the elegant Tristać was Yugoslavia's favorite upmarket car. The Zastava 1300 was also assembled by Leonidas Lara (C.C.A.) in Bogotá, Colombia. Assembly of Zastavas in Colombia began as early as 1969.
For South American market Fiat Concord in Buenos Aires from 1963 produced an 1500 version named «Argentino». This was available as «berlina», «familiar» and a pick-up version with 3 seats in front row named «Multicarga». A total of 123,059 samples were produced.
Although considered a variant of Fiat 125, the Polski Fiat 125p was actually a combination of bodywork of Fiat 125 and engines and mechanicals of Fiat 1300/1500.