Chasing Classic Cars Star: 1974 Siata Spring

Basing a handmade sports car on Fiat underpinning can offer potential owners of these cars the possibility of plenty of enjoyable motoring miles. It can also provide those same owners with the possibility of their new toy inheriting the dreaded tendency to develop some pretty horrendous rust issues, Sadly, it looks like this 1974 Siata Spring may have plenty of the latter for the next owner to deal with. Barn Finder Roger referred the Siata to us, so thank you so much for that. You will find the little Italian located in Monterey, California, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $2,900 for this little sports car.

Given some of the elegant sports cars that emerged from Siata during their history, the Spring was not one of their more attractive vehicles. The grille has more than a touch of Rover P5 about its styling. Basing a car of a Fiat of this era could diplomatically be described as a brave decision because it opens up a whole world of possibilities when it comes to rust problems. Even though this car is based in California, I can’t help but think that it might have spent at least part of its life somewhere slightly more…er, damp. There are some rust problems with the car, but it is hard to ascertain just how extensive these are. There is a significant section of the body cut out just in front of the rear fender on the passenger side, but it looks like the floors are really badly rusted. There are some pretty substantial holes there, and it isn’t clear just how structurally sound the Spring is. This is a vehicle that would certainly require a personal inspection before any money changed hands.

Starting with the good points inside the Spring, it looks like the upholstered surfaces are in decent condition, and that they would respond well to a good clean. Now onto the bad. The first thing that you can see is the amount of rust in the floor on the passenger side of the car. The corrosion on the wheel and the surrounds for the gauges really does suggest that this car has been pretty wet at some point. This is never a good thing, and would also make me concerned about the state of electrical components such as relays and connectors. It is entirely possible that if the Siata has been as damp as the photos would suggest, then the entire electrical system may require replacement if the car were to be made reliable. There are also no engine photos, and while there are indications that the rear-mounted 903cc engine runs, there is no information on what sort of health it’s in. Still, if an engine rebuild is on the cards, then these aren’t a complicated power unit.

The Siata Spring is not a high-volume sports car, with only around 3,500 cars being produced during the model’s 8-year production run. The early examples tend to be more highly desired, while this car was built not long before production ended. Later examples also don’t appear on the market that often, and even Hagerty value a #4 example at only around $3,600. With the amount of obvious rust in this car, I don’t think that it even achieves a #4 rating, but as I said earlier, only a personal inspection will confirm whether the car has enough structural integrity to justify a full restoration. If it is structurally sound, is it a project that you would be willing to take on?

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Comments

  1. CapNemo CapNemo Member

    Looks like Wayne behind the wheel there. He’s a good man.

    7
  2. angliagt

    One of the worst cars – ever.

    5
  3. LARRY

    You gotta love Wayne..with him sitting in it , gotta be worth at least a 100000$ lol

    5
  4. Ben T Spanner

    This is a collector’s. Bring a snow shovel and a broom and collect all the pieces.

    2
  5. Marcus

    Having a rear mounted engine the large rolls Royce grill is odd. Would have looked better with a roled hood and small vents. Or maybe nothing could help thi s little jalopy . Of course the stuck on rear lights don’t help either.

    1
  6. Del

    The only thng thats Italian hand made that I like is Pasta

    3
    • CapNemo CapNemo Member

      Same here lol!!

      2
  7. Ralph

    Wayne-“This is a real bucket list find for me, its a keeper…..this is a once in a lifetime car…..”

    Next on CCC

    Wayne-“I’m selling the car at Goodings…..”

    3
  8. canadainmarkseh Member

    As I said about the red one this is a turd on the same or worse level to the Chevy Vega. You’d be better off in a gas powered golf cart.

  9. DavidL

    Please, what is the appeal of this car? That it’s based on a Fiat doesn’t sell it to me. The design is not appealing; the grill is too big, everything is just kind of squared off like someone is trying to make it look like a mini-Rolls or something. Fenders don’t seem to fit. Looks like a not very well designed kitcar.
    I am serious about this. I really want to know.

    2
  10. t-Bone Bob

    Just like an 850, the critical thing is to check the ‘x’ brace on the underside.

  11. chrlsful

    “…Just like an 850…”, yes I think its basiclly an 850 for the sea side set. Gimme (another) 850. Had 3’n loved’em.

  12. Donny

    There’s one of these for sale near Columbus, Ohio right now for $4500. Not my car so I hope that’s ok to link to.
    https://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/d/ashville-1969-fiat-siata-springs/6967050108.html

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