Friday, May 2, 2014

The Most Epic Fiat Multipla Trip EVER?

I haven't made a secret of my obsession with Fiat Multiplas.   What's not to love: twice the charm of a VW bus stuffed into a package half the size! Some folks dream of hitting the lottery so they can get a Ferrari.  Not me.  I'd get a Multipla.

I'm not sure why I fixated on the Multipla, but I've been fascinated since the very first time I saw a picture of one.  It took another five years to finally see one in person, and it was even cooler than the photos.  I guess part of the reason I love them is that they exemplify a minimalist but utilitarian ideal - what other car can carry six passengers on 633ccs - and be the most stylish car on the road while doing it?  For someone who loves the idea of 'Less is More,' the Multipla is sort of the perfect vehicle.

You can imagine, then, exactly how far my eyes bugged out when Dave Smith sent me a link to an Afghanistan Hippie history webpage that included a few photos of two guys driving their Multipla across the Middle East in the late sixties.  

In 1969, two young Australians, Bruce Thomas and Stuart Harper, pooled their plans to drive overland from India to the UK.  Harper had already purchased a 1961 Fiat 600 Multipla (for $175!)  They had it overhauled and arranged to ship it to Sri Lanka, where they began their overland journey.  

The ensuing trip was nothing short of epic - I can't do it justice with a summary, so do yourself a favor and just click over to Bruce Thomas' Flickr page and follow the story -- with more than 250 photos -- direct from him.   All I can say is WOW...

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