This next car is a Fiat 850 Sport Spider that would have had a 843cc inline-4 that would have pushed a dismal 49 horsepower into the rear mounted transaxle. Today’s example, however, has been given an injection of speed and power in the form of the legendary tweetle-tweetle-Beetle engine. That’s right, a 1600cc dual port motor with a single carb and (to quote the seller) “twice the displacement, 10x the simplicity, and 100x the reliability!” I’ve never considered a VW engine to be an upgrade…but I guess this is the exception that proves the rule in cases not excepted. Find this 1969 Fiat 850 Sport Spider offered for $7,500 in Torrance, CA via craigslist.
We’ve all had a car that just made us feel happy. It might not have been the fastest car, or the nicest, or the most reliable, or prettiest. But it made you feel happy. Happy to get in it. Happy to wave at people on the road driving their bologna and American cheese on Wonderbread sandwich cars, while you drive in something that warms the cockles. Wait. Cockles? And why would cockles be warm? Did they get left in the back seat of a rear engine Fiat? And what are cockles anyway? Some kind of vestigial organ that your mother never told you about? No, that’s not right. I know what muscles are and I know that Molly Malone sells them with cockles that are alive (well…she is a fishmonger) so they must be some sorta shellfish or crustacean. Anyway, where was I? Ah, find this 1966 Fiat 850 Sport Coupe offered for $6,500 in Westfield, NJ via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
In an earlier post today, I wrote; Anybody who tells you that you need to spend a bunch of money to drive a nice classic car is full of it. But some of you felt that the N600 is just a bit too pedestrian, too slow, and not going to be fun, fast, or exciting to drive. Okay. I know what you want. You want something, a little more…Italian, but for the same low price. Ok, I’ve got something in mind. Find this 1973 Fiat 850 Sport Spider offered for $6990 in Orange County, CA via craigslist.
The Fiat 850 was available as a boxy van, an oddly bulbous sedan, and a cute little spider ragtop, but that best looking version had a fastback roofline and was called the 850 Coupe. They were manufactured in huge quantities (2.3 million 850s were sold worldwide from 1963-1973) but isn’t a car you’ll see very often — probably because of the sheet metal disintegrated in moisture like single layer cardboard and the engines needed to run at 100% duty cycle to keep the driver from being rear-ended by children on skateboards. Despite that, I think I’d enjoy the experience of owning a classic like an 850 Coupe. Find this 1966 Fiat 850 Coupe offered for $9,000 in Scotch Plains, NJ via craigslist.
I’m not afraid of high mile vehicles, particularly if they are from a known breed that survives into the triple digits without costing the owner his lunch each year in maintenance. The BMW 850 fits in that category of expensive to own, but not Ferrari ridiculous, andthe idea of scoring a deal on a low mile V12 powered BMW is compelling..but you have to wonder if a low mile V12 that hasn’t been driven is scarier than a high mile 850ci…I dunno, but the car collecting hobby has turned into stamp collecting these days and this will probably be worth more than the current ask if you just kept it in your garage for a decade and drove it once a week. Find this 1996 BMW 850Ci offered for $17,000 in San Rafael, CA via craigslist.
Italian week is wrapping up over here on DT and I can’t believe we haven’t posted any cars that were held in place by old pieces of firewood…because nothing says “Italian” like scrap wood wheel chocks. And nothing says awesome like a rare Fiat 850 based thing that has styling by Giuseppe Rinaldi and something […]
The cost of entry into the “cool” car club is getting ridiculous these days, and I’m not just talking about Ferraris, Porsches, Supras, but even simple 1st gen Mustangs in great shape are pricy, BUT, you can still find interesting cars in good shape that just aren’t that “desirable” for whatever reason. You’ve just got […]
How bad can it be? Where is the nearest BMW dealer? What is an electric throttle? What is an electron? No these are not the answers to the latest Jeopardy quiz — they are, unfortunately, the things you NEVER want to say after buying a V12 BMW that has sat for at least the last […]
I never like buying cars that don’t run — it ends up being WAYYYY more of a project than expected, that busted engine turns out to be connected to a busted transmission which puts power to a busted rear-end which is equipped with busted brakes– I much prefer to get a car that looks terrible […]
The Italian tuner and small time auto manufacturer Siata (Societa Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori) built a handful of cars using Fiat mechanical parts and retro styling. The early cars were sweet looking mini Ferrari clones such as the S-208 that Steve McQueen owned and drove, but the later Spring (1967-1975) was a wacky looking 2-seater […]