7th Jun 2008, 10:37
I am 22 years old and I bought a Fiat 850 Spider, because I like 2 seater classic cars, and this car is absolutely fantastic to drive, so low to the ground... and it's a rare sight, I just love it... I plan to restore it... I suggest you get one before it's too late... it is underpowered, but there are many things you can do to make it run... Abarth was the solution...
8th Jun 2008, 13:13
Wow, as someone above said "what a trip down memory lane!"
I purchased a brand new Red Fiat 850 in 1969 when I was in high school. All the other guys drove american cars and I was considered different. But the girls loved riding in that car.
Rolled it while autocrossing. Luckily had a roll bar. Had the body rebuilt and continued autocrossing after lowering, installing camber compensator big cam, race tires.
Kept the car two years. Was a blast to drive, never broke down. Started to fall apart towards end, maybe because of racing.
Sold the 850 and bought a 1000 Abarth to race.
Several years later around 1974, bought a used 1970 850 and installed a 1600 cc Fiat 124 engine in it. There was a company around in those days that sold conversion kits. It was actually a pretty easy install - took about a week. Conversion entailed reversing engine rotation! Installing radiator in front trunk, changing gear ratio.
That Fiat was real fast! Drove it for several years and sold it. I wish I knew where it ended up.
Thinking about buying a stock 850 for daily driver. With gas prices, it might be a cheap, but fun transportation.
8th Jun 2008, 13:47
The guy the whom wrote this comment in the first place, doesn't know what the word 'STYLE' means... it has the beautiful Italian style, designed by the famous Giorgetto Giugaro for Nuccio Bertone.
This car was a blast to drive!! So low to the ground and I wish I still had it. It brings me so many good memories, I had a new one in 1971, it was 'rossa' and it was my baby Ferrari... and mine had the Abarth twin exhaust, bigger Weber jets... and it was enough to have so much fun :-) It used to eat Ford Escorts and Cortinas, all with bigger engines, 1100cc and 1300cc... it is a very nice classic car to own these days... and this guy, who apparently doesn't own one and doesn't know what an italian sport car is... I suggest he does some research about ABARTH, he used to bore these engine to 1050cc and used to get out about 100bhp from them!!! No joke!! That is fast on a 675KG car!!
And for people in the USA, there was the FAZA competition, they used to tune the Fiat 850...this car is so fun and the feeling it gives you... you cannot describe it, you have to buy one and drive it :-)
6th Jul 2008, 09:18
I've had several 850s, the latest for over 11 years. Chris Obert and Co. has all the parts you need.
9th Aug 2008, 15:52
I own a 1972 Fiat 850 Sport Spider. If you don't think the 850 is a Classic - look around. You will see more MB Gullwings than you will 850's. And the price just keeps going up. True Italian lines. But thankfully you can still get one. They are about the cheapest convertible you can buy today; especially for a 30+ year old Italian classic. Check out the pics in "Fiat850" in Yahoo Groups. A ton of information and links available on 850's. Yippiee!!!
28th Oct 2008, 13:28
It was wonderful to read all the comments left by Fiat owners. I owned a 1967 red 850 spyder when I was in college in Tampa in the mid-70's. It was a sweet car and a real head-turner. I remember the top leaked all the time. I has to kept a constant supply of towels behind the front seat. The carburetor jets were always getting clogged. I kept several replacement Weber carburetor jets in the ashtray.
What finally did the car in was rust to the frame. Especially where the front suspension attached to the frame. Eventually the car looked bow-legged. My mechanic couldn't find any rust-free place to weld additional supports on to. Parting was bittersweet.
Looking back, it was a fun car to own, but I spent too much time working on it. It wasn't a classic, by far. If my son wanted to buy a fun little convertible I'd steer him towards a Miata.
Mack from USF
21st Nov 2008, 15:00
I'm 13 and looking at buying a 1968 Fiat Spider for $2500. It needs major restoring but I'm not sure yet. Can anyone help me out???!!!
1st Jan 2009, 13:46
Fiat 850 Spider trivia. The car shared parts with a Lamborghini Muira, or at least Lambo dipped into the Fiat parts bin. The door locks and pulls, the side marker lights and the early tail lights (IIRC) also some interior bits, mostly switches.
17th Jan 2009, 16:50
Handling issues? The little 850 was a bit light at the front, but given the "poor student" poor quality tires I had, its handling and ride were remarkably good.
This was an inexpensive roadster that was a joy to drive on a warm day and had a snug, well equipped cockpit on the cold days - the rear hinge down metal tonneau cover gave the car a great top down appearance as well. The heater was better than anything I had on MGs and Jags I later owned!
Yes, it was a car that needed TLC and some mechanical empathy - not a turn the key and forget it car, but it got me hooked on sports cars. I would gladly own a rust free example even 35 years on...
17th Jan 2009, 20:06
In 1968 I was stationed in Spain, just outside of Madrid. I did not know anything about Fiats, but I wanted to get a sports car. I was shown an MG, a triumph and the Fiat 850 Spyder. I fell in love with the Spyder. Because of high Spanish tariff taxes on imported autos, there was not much of a choice. There was only one 850 Spyder. It was white and I bought it. It was only the second 850 Spyder ever sold in Spain. Everywhere I drove in Spain it drew a crowd. You could drive it at 90 mph and it hugged the road like it was only going at a slow speed. Climbing mountains was slow, but all the other pluses made up for that. Gas was cheap then, but the almost 40 mpg was still appreciated. I drove it across Europe and shipped it to the United States.
In the States, in 1969, my wife became pregnant. A two seat roadster was not a good family car, so reluctantly the Spyder was traded in for a larger car. I have always wanted to get another Spyder, and after almost 40 years, have done just that. Last month I purchased a 1970 Fiat 850 Sport Spider. While it is licensed and insured as a collector car and can't be used as my everyday driver, I will still drive it more often than my Chrysler LeBaron GTC or my Studebaker Hawk. I figure the gas saved driving the Spider will pay for the car in about a year.