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Barn Spider: 1972 Fiat 850 Spider

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Are there any Fiat fans out there? This dusty, somewhat creepy-looking barn spider has been stored in the owner’s barn for the last six years. That’s a lot of dust for just six years, it looks like it’s been in there since it was born. This 1972 Fiat 850 Spider was purchased by the owner a half-dozen years ago as a project car, now it’s your turn. It’s listed on eBay with a price of $1,250 or make them an offer. It’s in Sulligent, Alabama so you’ll need to add in some shipping costs anyway.

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Barn Finds writer, David Wilk, showed us a much nicer, black ’72 Spider a couple of months ago with an asking price of just a couple of grand or so over this price. That seems like a no-brainer, but if a person really wanted a project car, I’d make an offer on this yellow car. I’d want a yellow one anyway, I like bright cars, especially when they’re small. This car looks a little rough sitting there in the dust.

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At least the photos look good! Dang, photos can really help to sell a vehicle, or help to sell anything, and I will never understand why more time isn’t taken to make sure that things are at least in focus. Everyone from 8 to 80 has a cell phone with a camera on it these days, most of them will take fantastic photos. Sorry, I went off on a little tangent there; back to the car. The seller says that you’re “not going to drive this one home,  you can’t even drive it onto your trailer, but if you are looking for parts it has a lot of good ones.” That doesn’t sound too promising for restoring this car!

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Which is surprising since the body looks so good on this Fiat. Things looks pretty straight and rust-free. Although, the seller mentions that after he bought it he found out that it was much “more rusted out than I originally thought.” The underside “is rusted really badly. Back bumpers completely rusted through.” There are no detail photos so it’s a good thing they mentioned that. You can tell that it needs a top, that isn’t a factory Bertone bungee cord there. They made 140,000 Spiders so there’s a lot of help out there if you’re brave enough to tackle this one.

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This is Fiat’s 843cc, 49 hp, counterclockwise-running engine! No, really! They say that the motor “is there and complete. I started it one time 4 or 5 years ago.” It looks pretty good in there, but if you can’t sort out the rust issues you’re looking at a parts car, from what the seller says. I really like these cars but I think I would personally want a rust-free car and then worry about fixing everything else. What about you, do you think this dusty barn Spider is worth restoring or would you use it as a parts car?


  1. Bill

    The seller seems pretty up-front about the car the price may be a little high, but he has to start somewhere. Sadly, this is just a parts car at the end of the day.

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  2. Michael V.

    Hey, I live less than an hour from Sulligent, so I think I could get it pretty easily, but it sounds too rusty to me. The last picture in the ad shows a pretty large hole in the floor.

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  3. Jim M

    It actually has the later 903cc, 52hp (or 58hp depending on who you believe) engine. An uncracked dash is very rare in these. Need pictures from under the bonnet and underneath below the seats to see how bad the rust really is. Besides the missing air cleaner it has some odd addition to the throttle linkage (most likely a vacuum leak at the base of the carb that caused it to run lean) and a missing cover on the voltage regulator so it may have been put away for either carb. or charging problems. Easily fixable if the rust isn’t too bad. The uncracked dash would indicate garage or other covered storage that kept it out of the heat.

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  4. Eli

    850, Fiat 128,(Yugo) La Strada, all equals the same thing….Junk, Throw away cars. No better in Italy.. The worst of the worst of Italian manufacturing. Period.

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  5. dj

    This is about 75 miles from me. You just never know what you might find in rural Alabama.

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  6. Mark S

    I’m not to familiar with Italian cars, but it it looks pretty simple to me. I think it would make a great candidate for high school body shop and mechanical shop restoration. It can’t be to expensive or hard to find parts and could be put to good use as a teaching tool. If the student mess it up in the process no loss.

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  7. Eric Dashman

    Don’t mean to be a troll, but this was not one of Fiat’s better offerings. Perhaps someone could make it into a nice car, but I have my doubts. I was working in a garage in between other less greasy careers and had to rebuild the engine in one of them. Not hard, but even afterwards, it was grossly under-powered. The cabin was small and uncomfortable. The 124 Spider was so much better a car.

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  8. MikeK

    I noticed a yellow 850 spider in a driveway in Trussville, AL just a couple of days ago. Never saw it there before. Might do the guy a favor and tell him about this parts car.

    Like 0

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