Elegant Estate: 1962 Fiat 1800B Familiare

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

This is one ruggedly-beautiful wagon, or estate. It’s a 1962 Fiat 1800B Familiare and it’s on eBay with a current bid price of £806 ($1,008). It’s located in Haverhill, United Kingdom, about 70 miles northeast of London. Thanks to Dik S. for submitting this elegant estate.

I think that this is one gorgeous, crisp, handsome, stately estate/wagon. The story on this one is that it “was owned by a old boy who parked it in a shed after he got too old to drive over 20 years ago! It was started regularly so that nothing seized until he passed away just over 5 years ago, it was then moved out of the garage and left under an old cover where it was forgotten about and left to die.” It sure looks solid for being: A) a UK car, B) a UK car, C) a UK car (you get my drift). It’s like finding a car this old in the Midwest US, they usually aren’t this solid due to rust issues.

I recently looked at a 1965 Trabant 601 Universal (wagon) and, for some odd reason, this rear 3/4 angle reminds me of that car. I know, there isn’t a lot of resemblance other than the subtle rear fins, but that’s all it takes for me to love this car. The Fiat 1800 was available in a four-door sedan and a five-door wagon, or familiare and they were made from 1959 to 1968. I think that this is one of Fiat’s most elegant designs. The seller says that this car will need “some work on the sills, and there is rust around the rear valence area and rear of the boot area, and some around the the front valence area, and the floors and chassis all seem good and solid.”

A black car with a red interior? I’m in! Unfortunately, it was originally a white car and it was repainted black years ago. You can see that it wasn’t the best paint work from looking at the door jams and some other areas. The seats, front and rear, look great. The rear compartment also looks good and should have more than enough room to stow your kids’ sports gear, and wouldn’t it be fun to drop them off at practice in this Fiat rather than the usual, boooooring SUV? I think so.

This is Fiat’s 1.8L inline-six with around 80 hp. The seller mentions that when they got the car it had been sitting for a few years and they “put a battery on it to see what occured and everything seemed to come back to life. I then put a pipe on the petrol pump and into a can of petrol and a drop petrol down the card and turned the key! The engine started and ran fine, I let it run for a couple of minutes and it purred like a kitten it could barely be heard running, and when revved it sounds beautiful. I noticed there was a small leak of petrol from the petrol pump on the side of the engine” so they turned it off. The brakes will need to be redone and the clutch slave cylinder needs a new hose, and, and, and… But, once you’re done, you will never see another one parked next to you. Have any of you owned a Fiat like this one? Can this one be saved?

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Comments

  1. KeithK

    I just wanted to beat Howard to the punch. Love you Howard and your posts. Starting up an import business anyone?!

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  2. Manuel

    Not a UK car but a French one (and LHD) with‎ old Orne department reg‎istration (in Normandy).

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    • Arno D.

      Just to add a precision, the registration plate was issued between 1964 and 1965, so not the original one.
      I think there’s a side glass missing on the right back door, or is it just me?

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  3. Howard A Member

    Thanks Keith, and let ME be the 1st to say, I was UN-Familiare with the Fiat Familiare.( rimshot) IDK, from what I’ve seen come out of Italy, this looks pretty fancy. I doubt your basic Fiat 500 owner would be buying this next.( without a generous promotion, fact is, I bet their BOSS drove this) Normally, I don’t care for Italian cars, but this looks really cool. Right size, probably plenty of power. I couldn’t imagine finding parts, but, again, If I can find a fuel shutoff for a 1966 Suzuki K10 on ebay, you could probably find parts for this.

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  4. Jubjub

    Sweet wagon. Like the Cortina too. Bummer it got bashed in the bum.

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  5. Rich

    I see alot of Ford styling in the front. Great looking car!

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  6. jrmedsel

    Does anyone else see a lot of Peugeot 404 in the styling of this car? It’s a different take on a gorgeous Italian car….

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  7. redwagon

    arno d not missing a window but all 4 doors have vent windows! how cool!

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    • Arno D.

      You’re right, thanks for spotting that, I guess I’ll have to get a pair of new eyes…

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  8. Klharper

    I have not driven one of these, but I have driven the 2300 sedan, which is basically an update of these. It is a competent car but really not that exciting to drive.
    I really would not be to interested in this car but at that price it is a bargain. It would be good for those car club weekends
    In response to Howard. The boss would not be driving this, he most likely would be driving something like a Lancia Flaminia or at the very least a 2300s. This is definitely a family man’s car and not one that lived in Rome or any major city.
    The steps of ownership are from the 600 to the 1100 and then to the 2100/2300. While the 500 is romantisized as the car of Italy, it was really the 600 that put Italy on wheels.

    Kevin

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  9. ron cox

    My Father used to have a 1800b saloon but his had been fitted with the 2300 engine these were well built fiats ours was eventually sold on and later written off in a frontal crash i think it was a 1966 car

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  10. VR LIVES

    Looks llike a mini Packard to me.

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  11. Franklin

    YES! I learned to drive stick (4 on the tree) on my parent”s Fiat 2100 sedan in 1960. Great car, my mom even autocrossed (gymkhana) it in suburban Baltimore.Great way to start my almost 60 year car addiction…..still an addict!

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  12. Gavin

    My 2 Fiat 2300 Familiares. The 1800 was underpowered and slow unfortunately. So Fiat then produced the 2100 and it was not much better. The 2300 is far better and a good cruiser, having virtually no extra weight than the 1800 but 500 extra ccs. This is Queensland, Australia

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