1968 Fiat 850 Reviews

1968 Fiat 850 Spider 0.85 from Panama

Model year1968
Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership1971
Most recent year of ownership1976
Engine and transmission 0.85 Manual

Summary:

Great little car

Faults:

The main frame rusted very fast, since it did not have anti-corrosion paint.

The system that raised and lowered the windows was a cable system and not a gear system, and the cable snapped frequently.

General Comments:

The battery lasted a very long time, since it was in the front, away from the engine, which was in the back.

With such a small engine, it was very economical to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd March, 2011

1968 Fiat 850 Spyder 835 from North America

Year of manufacture1968
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 835 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance100000 miles
Previous carMG Midget

Summary:

Bellisima!

Faults:

Intermittent electrical problem with the battery. Not bad for a 40 plus year old car.

One oil seal on timing case.

General Comments:

This little car handles great and can take corners with precision and predictability. Sure, it is a bit (well actually very) slow on the acceleration, but boy does that little engine want to rev up and do its business. Like every other Italian car I have owned, it is fantastic in the mountains, and the more curves and narrower the roads, the better it performs.

The styling is right on. Younger people assume it is some type of old Porsche design. It's too bad the flush headlamp lenses had to go for US standards. I believe this was the last year for the simple bumpers and the round marker lights. It has a great cabin layout for a small car and the boot retracts easily. The Italianate driving position may not suit everybody.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2009

1968 Fiat 850 Sport Coupe 4 cylinder in line from North America

Model year1968
Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership1968
Most recent year of ownership1970
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder in line Manual
Distance when acquired23 miles
Most recent distance79000 miles
Previous carFiat 850

Summary:

Great memories, great little car in its class

Faults:

Great and reliable little car, a mini Ferrari in all but performance at 6000 ft altitude.

The only problem I had was cylinder head gasket at about 60,000 miles. Normal; proactive maintenance essential. I changed the engine oil every 1500 miles. Oil is much cheaper than engine parts.

General Comments:

Loved this car, went on many long trips in excess of 300 miles. Entered it in a few sprints and hill climbs, but not really serious competition.

Handled well, reasonable speed (about 90 mph tops).

Engine revved freely to 7000 rpm.

Had a tendency for a "light" front end on wet roads with a low fuel load.

Limited luggage space.

Would love to find another one to bring back to a good state of repair to use.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2009

1968 Fiat 850 Sport 850cc from North America

Model year1968
Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership1973
Most recent year of ownership1975
Engine and transmission 850cc Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Previous carFiat 850

Summary:

It was an ideal first car that provided excellent road feel and predictable handling

Faults:

The convertable top did not seal very well, but it was down most of the time anyways.

General Comments:

Great fun to drive, you could wind it up like a watch and drive it hard all day.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st February, 2007

1968 Fiat 850 Spyder Convertible 850cc from North America

Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership1970
Most recent year of ownership1970
Engine and transmission 850cc Manual
Performance marks 0 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 0 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.6 / 10
Distance when acquired4000 miles
Most recent distance8000 miles

Summary:

Not a classic

Faults:

This car had no power, even on flat roads at sea level. 850cc is not enough. The cheapest Harley road bike has 883cc's. Imagine trying to safely keep up with traffic on the freeway with an 850cc car.

This Fiat suffered from "bump steering" -- the same thing that killed the Corvair. The rear suspension was designed to rotate inward rather than longitudinally. When you hit a bump, the rear end suspension geometry would the direction that the car was going and could result in an accident from loss of control. A car with this type of defect would result in $billion$ dollar law suits today. If you got into an accident in or with one of these today, you might still be able to sue Fiat, or the parent corporation GM. Fortunately, there are almost none of these things on the road today.

This car is NOT a classic, but a shameful piece of garbage that should have stayed in Europe.

I could barely keep this car on the road because of the wacky rear suspension and the fact that most of the weight was on the rear wheels, leaving the front wheels barely touching the pavement. The rear end would swing out at the slightest provocation. I took a smooth corner at 30 mph one day an spun out over the side of steep bank. Trees caught the car and saved me.

General Comments:

This was the second car I owned in my life (1970) and my last Fiat. It is no wonder that they are in bad shape today. The smartest thing that Fiat ever did was to rope (a dope) GM into a buyout of the failing car company before 2004.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st October, 2002

6th Aug 2003, 23:23

Either the person writing this road test was the victim of a poorly maintained vehicle or is not an amateur of small European sport car. I had the pleasure of owning an 850 Spider that I purchased brand new in Europe in 1967/68. My recollection was that of a superb little machine, very fast and very exciting when driven aggressively on some of the little back road of France. On the highway, the little beast would, flat out keep up with the DS19. I remember a trip from Limoges to Paris when through the long straight-aways of Sologne I was following a friend Citroen DS 19 with my speedometer stuck at 160km/h (100MPH)for a little over 40 or 50 milles . Not bad for an underpowered machine! On tight curve the car handling was very clean and the excellent braking system made weight transfer a pleasure. For a young person on a tight budget it was a dream machine. I wish I still had that little car!

Average review marks: 5.3 / 10, based on 5 reviews