Fiat 850 Coupe - Classic Cars
The Fiat 850 Coupe
The Fiat 850C was another one of those small cars that Fiat does so well. Like its smaller brethren the Fiat 500 the 850C was rear-engined, but this time by a four-cylinder 843cc engine in early versions and a 903cc engine in later versions. The coupe version of the saloon was released in 1965 and ran until 1972, although due to its rampant popularity there the Spider convertible continued in America until 1974. It was eventually replaced by the Fiat X1/9.
The convertible Spider was styled by Bertone, but Fiat did the coupe in-house, and made a pretty good job of it. Forget about using the rear seats or carrying much in the way of luggage, and you had a nice car. A lively engine, good handling, despite being rear-engined, with good traction and responsive brakes and you had another of those little cars that could embarrass much bigger engined vehicles on a good day.
The Fiat 850 Spider
In 1968 a newer version with a bigger engine was introduced which edged up the top speed to over 90mph and added a few minor styling revisions. The figures I have seen say 380,000 coupes were built by the time it was dropped in 1971, but that wasn't to clear as to whether that included the Spider variants or if they are in addition to that number. Wikipedia quotes 2.3 million worldwide of all variants - so pick a number.
The early American version got a reduced engine in the form of 817cc to meet, or avoid - depending on your point of view, regulations at the time applied to engines greater than 50 cubic inches.
The Fiat 850 was also produced as the SEAT 850 in Spain for some years and as Pirin-Fiat in Bulgaria. And back in 1967, Road & Track said of the Fiat 850 coupe, it is "one of the handsomest, best-balanced designs ever seen on a small car."
The Fiat 850 on Amazon
Technical Specifications: Fiat 850 Coupe
Engine: four-cylinder, 817cc/843cc/903cc
Transmission: Four-speed manual
Top speed: 91mph
Acceleration: 0-60mph in 18 seconds
A Restored Fiat 850 Spider on You Tube
More by this Author
The original Jaguar 2.4 saloon was released on the Jaguar stand at the 1955 British Motor Show at Earls Court in London in October of that year. Prices in the UK started at £1,343 but Jaguar had little trouble in...
It was in a 1071cc Cooper S that Paddy Hopkirk won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally. But it was the 1275cc Cooper S which always received most attention from the Competition Department as it was the car with the most chance...