Far From The Family Tree: 1970 Siata Spring

Garr LarsonBy Garr Larson

I can relate to this 1970 Siata Spring. Like me, this yellow duckling is by far the ugliest off-spring from a family whose lineage had been beauty, grace, and elegance before it’s arrival.  Found here on Craigslist, with thanks to reader Christo S, this odd little kit car looking design was the last gasp for profitability before the end of this Italian car manufacturers nearly 30 years of production.

I love that much of the research and history of the Siata brand declares the Spring, produced between 1968 and 1975, the “End of Siata”. Not that I’m mean spirited, I just think if this model was your best effort to create an affordable car for Italian youth, then you probably have come to the end of your corporate life. I mean you had the Fiat 124, the BMW 1600 GT, the Alpha Romeo 1750 GTV, and I will even contend the Fiat 850 (the this car was built on) would have been a more acceptable mode of transportation.

That being said, the Spring can look nice when it’s all dressed up. With the wire rimmed spare tire on back, the canvas cover over the folded top, and a sparkling coat of paint, it could be a fun Malibu drive for sure. As it is, however, I feel like I’m waiting to count the number of clowns that might come out of it somehow. Considering its family history, it’s an apple that has fallen very, very, far from the family tree.

Just look at its ancestors: the 500 Pescara which (as a partnership with Fiat) won the 1948 Italian Road Racing Championship. The Barchetta Sport Spider, designed by Mario Revelli de Beaumont, a man of Italian nobility who influenced many of Fiats most timeless designs. The Amica, with its flirty European character, and finally the 208S – an obvious but respectable version of the AC Ace Bristol Roadster. Perhaps, if you’re a fan of 1950’s MG TD’s, you’ll love this Italian version. If not, it might be best left alone as a relic and last generation of grand Italian auto genealogy.

 

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Comments

  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    I don’t recall the Spring being a kit car, but it sho’nuff was so ugly, that Emmett Kelly, Bozo, Clarabell or Chucko would have wanted to have been seen dead in it..!

    Still, it would be nice to see someone restore and use it…




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    • Beatnik Bedouin

      I meant, ‘wouldn’t have wanted to be seen dead in it…’




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  2. Klharper

    “Alpha Romeo” seriously?

    I remember going to look at a Siata Spring when young, hoping for something small and sexy. What a disappointment




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  3. angliagt

    I hate it when they put $1 in the post description,
    but list a higher price in the posting.

    I read a Car & Driver road test on these,& they said that
    it was one of the worst cars ever made.




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  4. mark

    Looks like what you get when a designer drinks a 12 pack and tries to copy a VW Thing.




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  5. Ben T. Spanner

    I remember a Siata Spring sitting on the showroom floor of my friend’s Fiat dealership. I was a foreign car mechanic in the 1960’s but the Siata Spring had the poorest build quality I could ever remember. Note the pot metal hinges on the engine cover and on the doors. The top was the quality of a Crosley super sport

    These were poison for the dealers, and sat for many months before being sold to someone who thought it was cute. I did know one young lady who drove one. Lots of problems with unique hard to get Siata parts. The paint, upholstery and plating all failed quickly.

    A junk yard in Columbus Ohio had a Siata 208S, or similar sitting in the dirt in the 1980’s.




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  6. ccrvtt

    Could we please suspend the “no profanity” rule just this once?




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