Not A Kit Car: 1970 Siata Spring

It can’t be too reassuring to the designer’s ego when a person has to say “not a kit car” while describing a 1970 Siata Spring. It would be like an architect’s pièce de résistance being referred to as a prefab. This factory production vehicle can be found on Craigslist in the Edmond, Oklahoma area with an asking price of $3,800. Thanks to Rocco B. for sending in the tip for this Siata Spring!

I ran across a really nice yellow Siata Spring a couple of years ago and in a convoluted way, somehow ended up having someone grab it out from under me on eBay even though I was the high bidder. I’m still not sure how that worked but I’ve wanted one ever since. The yellow one was rust-free, or as rust-free as any Siata Spring has ever been. This green car “needs some TLC, but body is in good shape.” It sure looks like it’s in good condition, rust-wise. For the record, Hagerty is at $7,200 for a #3 good condition example and $3,800 for a #4 fair condition car.

Yes, for the record, it absolutely looks like a kit car even to me after seeing them online and up close and personal over the last few years. The Spring was the last gasp for Siata, formerly a maker of some super sexy cars. The Spring would be one of their non-super-sexy cars, and it would be their last car. The company went bankrupt in 1970, but in a refreshing turn of events, the works were purchased by a company called ORSA (Officina Realizzazioni Sarde Automobili) and they kicked things up a notch, adding a new drivetrain with more power, disc brakes on the front, and a few other things. They ended up shutting down production in 1975, unfortunately. These are rare cars, despite the lack of, ohhhhh, maybe design prowess, at least compared to other Italian cars of the same era.

This example has a CVT transmission.. HA, I was just seeing if you were still awake. No, it has a 4-speed manual, of course. The seller says that the “Family has owned the car since ~1974 and it has approx. 32k miles. Father can no longer get in car; I do not have time to fix up. It was running/driving when parked and stored in garage. Car is original/stock parts and ~95% complete including the original wire wheels. Front vent windows and the side screens are also included.”

Hey, that engine looks familiar. The 1968-1970 Siata Spring used Fiat’s 850 drivetrain, for the most part. This engine, I believe, would be their 817cc boxer-four which would have had around 40 hp. It ran when it was parked but there’s no word on when it was parked. It looks like a healthy coating of surface rust on everything in there but hopefully the underside is solid. Even though they’re rare, have any of you owned a Siata Spring?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    “You think you hate it now – just wait until you buy it”.
    Horrible cars.I think that guy who bought it did you a favor.

    Like 1
  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    There used to be quite a few of this model running around SoCal. I always thought of it as Siata’s ‘Emmett Kelly Special Edition’, as the proportions are just plain wrong.

    Getting back to this example, I’d suggest that any potential purchaser look underneath the car for structural rust.

  3. Michael

    Those tail lights are awful.

    Like 2
  4. Scott Tait

    “A FACE ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE” gotta be one of if not the ugliest cars ever made , just my pennies worth!

    Like 4
  5. Stephen Sharp

    Nice, but would look better pictured top down. You failed to mention rear engine,
    wheel drive, if I had the money……

    Like 1
  6. Blyndgesser

    It’s an in-line four. Not every rear-engined car is a Volkswagen…

    Like 3
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      I had Subaru on the brain – thanks, Blyndgesser.

      • bigdoc13

        Also,if it is the engine from the roadster,it would be 903CCs.

  7. Steve A

    I’m not even REMOTELY interested in it.
    I’m reminded of the old saying, “You can’t polish a turd.” 😂

    Like 1
  8. sir mike

    And they went bankrupt in 1970 WHY????

    Like 2
  9. Doug

    When this was built, Siata was part of the Fiat empire – this is basically an uglier body on the Fiat 850 Spyder chassis. Fix It Again, Tony !

    Like 1
  10. CanuckCarGuy

    A rather unfortunate looking car… looks as though the design was inspired by farm equipment.

    Like 3
  11. Booya

    It’s on the upgrade path from the King Midget.

    Like 1
  12. Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

    I remember seeing one at the local Fiat Alfa dealer and had a hard time recalling the name on the back; I thought it was a Singer, but Siata makes more sense.
    Ugh Lee car; front end looks like the recent “tribute” of the original Datsun sedan.

    Like 1
  13. Ben T. Spanner

    I traded a dead VW for a running Fiat 850 Coupe. The right car at the right price. My friend owned a Fiat dealership and a Siata Spring sat on the showroom for more than a yaer. The couldn’t park it ouside as it leaked rainwater when new.
    I knew a young lady who bought one. It deteriorated rapidly, the top rotted, then the interior. The poorly plated exterior hinges corroded. There were no parts except for the Fiat bits.
    Sad to say, but a kit car patterned after an MG TD with a VW engine is a better car.

    Like 1
  14. Randy W

    I thought these were originally called King Midgets.

  15. Jim Norman

    I remember thinking these were cute when I was in the market for a small sporty car in 1968, and I looked one over in a showroom in Detroit. As I recall, the price was in the $1,800 range. I honestly cannot see the justification for any appreciation in price at all, only depreciation. I’d be willing to pay a max of $800 for one now, just to have a fun summer project. By the way, what I wound up buying in 1968 — from a dealer across the river in Windsor, Ont. — was a Peugeot 204 Cabriolet, a two-seat convertible. Price new, delivered, was $2,330. I loved that car.

  16. Mike

    “Hey, nice kit car”

    “It isn’t a kit car”

    “Yeah, but still….”

  17. chrlsful

    liked my 2 or 3 850s…
    Different strokes, there’s a bit 4 every bite, thasss Y they make chocolate’n vanilla, etc.
    Thnx Scott-o-
    I like stuff’ats differnt too…

    Like 1

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