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Member Article: What is the Steyr Puch?

Words by Mat.

One interesting manufacturer of vehicles is the Austrian Steyr Puch this article focuses on the Fiat based models. Majority of their vehicles were for the Austrian market.

Steyr developed Fiat models under licence, the 1100/1200, 1400/1900 also upgrading it to 2000 and the 1800/2100 and also the 2300/s.

These were concurrent to the Italian Fiats.

From 1957 until 1975 Steyr Puch built their own version of the Fiat 500, It contained a slightly larger flat twin cylinder engine as opposed to the inline twin cylinder of the Fiat. Together with their own suspension allowed for a more robust ride.

There were a few versions of the 500, the 500D with a hard roof in place of the typical sunroof and the more powerful DL, with finned rear lights. The rear headroom was expanded, as can be seen in picture below. Apart from the roof and the engine cover, the Puch bodies were identical to the Fiat ones.

There were also versions of the Giardiniera, the 700C and 700E, both having a larger 643cc engine.

Later on this larger engine was put into the 500 to become the 650T and later TR 1 and TR2 which were the “rallye” versions with larger capacity and more power.

The final iteration being the 500S which was just a Fiat 500 with the original Steyr Puch engine.

They had also built their own version of the Fiat 126 with the flat twin engine from 1973 to 1975. Only 2,009 units were produced.

Steyr Puch also provided the drive train for the Fiat Panda 4×4, a tiny yet capable off-roader. Built from 1983 until end of production in 2003. I would love to have one of these!

Styer Puch also made military vehicles that were also made for commercial production; these include the Haflinger, which was also used in Australia, and the Pinzgauer. They also developed the G-series with Mercedes which is still in production under the new company Magna Steyr.

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