The 1400 was conceived as the vehicle to build the foundations of SEAT’s business, the model being a well-engineering and modern, but conventional, four-door, front engine, rear-wheel drive saloon, equally at home as an official State authority vehicle or providing transportation to the masses as a public taxi.
The 1400 was built at SEAT’s Zona Franca manufacturing plant in Barcelona, with an initial workforce of 925 employees. Priced at 117,000 pesetas (around £616) at launch, SEAT’s initial 1400 production rate was just five cars a day during the first year, with that number rapidly climbing in the following years.
By the end of the SEAT 1400’s initial production run in 1954, 1,345 units had been built. The 1400 continued with the introduction of the SEAT 1400 A in 1954, the 1400 B in 1956 and 1400 C in 1960, along with a number of special versions. The model helped SEAT’s growth skyrocket, with around 3,000 examples built in 1954, using nearly 100 per cent nationally sourced components.