Excerpt from the ClassicDriver Magazine article in 2021:
„This incredible Fiat Panda is the smallest six-wheeler in the world
March 26, 2021 | Alexandra Felts, Classic Driver Magazine
With this idea, Horst Koch and his daughter Linda drew six correct ones. Created in the 1980s and now extensively restored, the small, manoeuvrable pickup fits perfectly with the current panda mania. We talked to Linda Koch about the clever porter.
Did Gianni Agnelli have any idea of the future cult potential in the small everyday giant Fiat Panda? Horst Koch from Koch Klassik in Heilbronn apparently does. Back in the 1980s, he was still an authorized dealer in Heilbronn for Fiat, Lancia and Ferrari and had the idea of turning the all-rounder into a pickup. It was to be manufactured in a small series at Autohaus Koch until the mid-1980s and used, among other things, as an advertising medium for companies. Unfortunately, the partner for this project died and the series had to be stopped before it even started. But a specimen with the spectacular six wheels was built, which has now undergone a comprehensive restoration and is once again causing enthusiasm.
„A small-format Mercedes-Benz G model,“ says Linda Koch with a smile. The Fiat Panda as a pickup with six wheels was created in 1986 and was developed entirely in-house in Koch’s workshops. The driver’s cab corresponds to a standard Panda, but with an attached loading area. That’s why he received his very own plaque – KK. „The plan at the time was to create an advertising vehicle with a practical loading area.“ In the same year, the pickup even made an appearance in front of a large audience at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main and at the Geneva Motor Show.
The small one was not one of Horst Koch’s only conversions. When he was still a Fiat dealership in the 1980s and before he freed himself from this corset 20 years ago to specialize in the sale and maintenance of classic vehicles, he also had the idea of tailoring an affordable convertible out of the Panda. There were few of these on the market and demand was high: around 250 were built, including the 4×4 version.
„The envisaged series with three axles was never designed as an all-wheel drive,“ says Linda Koch, „because the technical effort would have been enormous and would have exceeded the budget.“
Originally, the flatbed panda was painted blue on the outside and lined red on the inside. “We wanted to make it more modern and at the same time more discreet for today. That’s why we chose a shade of gray on which possible foils come into their own.” As much as possible was retained from the original, such as the white rims with the KK emblem, which were also available as in-house tuning kits at the time. The highlights include the black leather seats with decorative stitching in gray paintwork. The historical link between Koch then and Koch Klassik today is marked by the old KK stamp on the horn button in the steering wheel and the new Koch Klassik logo embroidered on the headrests. This panda duly celebrated its premiere in a freshly restored condition  at the Concours d`Elegance in Schwetzingen.
„It drives like a normal car,“ says Linda Koch. „You get in and experience the typical Panda feeling.“ She is also impressed by the road holding of the front-wheel drive with a 70 hp four-cylinder engine. „Now he’s being taken care of, but when the weather is nice he should be in front of our company. In addition, we will use it as normal, because the loading area is lined with a rubber mat that can be easily hosed down. […]“
The doors are currently stuck with our company logo, but this can be easily removed. In addition to the 6 wheels, special highlights are the in-house KK rims from the 1980s, accessory programs for Fiat and Lancia, the removable Plexiglas roof, the passenger compartment that can be opened to the loading platform, the officially registered trailer hitch, the lighting of the loading area and the fantastic sound from the made stainless steel exhaust. All conversions are registered and approved by TÜV. The vehicle officially runs under the manufacturer’s designation „KK Automobile“ and no longer as a FIAT, since the conversion work in 1986 was so enormous. Therefore, we are considered the manufacturer and the vehicle is considered the test vehicle.
A valuation report from ClassicData with the condition grade 1- is available.
Interest aroused? We look forward to your inquiry.
Errors and changes excepted.