Power to wait: 1969 Fiat 850 Spider

According to any gearhead you ask, we live in the golden age of horsepower.  Today, even a minivan approaches 300 hp.  Back in the summer of ’69, very few cars could dream of  such numbers. Such is the case with our current victim, post fodder, example.  Find this 1969 Fiat 850 Spider for sale in Mendocino County, CA for $7,500 via craigslist.

The 1969 850 spider was powered by a rear mounted 903cc engine pounding out 52 hp.  Interestingly, when the car debuted in the U.S. Fiat reduced the rest of world displacement of 843cc down to 817cc in the U.S.  817cc equals 49 cubic inches, and at the time, emission laws only applied to engines 50cc and over.  Clever folks, those Italians.  In 1969, Fiat increased the displacement to 903cc’s all across the globe.  This car still sports it’s original air cleaner set up, which is usually tossed when “upgrading” with a larger carb.

The front trunk (frunk) looks clean, but, like the engine room, it has been painted black, including the under hood/trunk.  This is usually the sign of a color change, and the seller is very economical with their text.

Inside, the interior doesn’t look too bad, the seats have been reupholstered with cheap bottoms and the dash is wearing a toupe, but it wouldn’t be a bad place to be on a sunny day.  

See a nicer Italian Wizzer? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.