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At the end of the fifties, Fiat wanted to compete with its biggest Italian rival, the Spider Alfa Giulietta. The leaders turned to OSCA, a company that develops engines for both sports cars under Fiat license, but also for competition single-seaters. The engine is therefore a 1500 cc Osca developed by the Maserati brothers.
This engine was first fitted to a prototype, a coupé designed by Pininfarina and unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in 1958. Its design was taken up on the Fiat 1200 cabriolet launched at the 1959 Geneva Motor Show and which was enormously successful. The 1500 version of the convertible unveiled in Geneva in 1959 receives a 1500 cc developed by Ernesto Maserati.
In July 1961, the convertible was renamed 1500 S (unchanged), before becoming 1600 S two years later. The displacement then increases to 1568 cm3. The range was modified and presented at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show. At the same time, both cars underwent a restyling of the bow, which received a modernized and enlarged grille. To differentiate them, the bow of the 1600 has four headlights. However, the 1600 would be discontinued in 1966 following an unflattering reputation.