Owned for 50-Years: 1970 Siata Spring

Finding a Siata Spring for sale today is a bit of a rarity, but we’ve had two very different examples appear here at Barn Finds in close succession. This one looks like a pretty clean example, and it has now been owned by the same person for around 50-years. Barn Finder Roger seems to have an eye for these little Italian classics, and I have to thank him for referring this really nice example to us. The Siata is located in Alamosa, Colorado, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $7,150 for this red beauty.

The Spring was introduced in 1968 as a vehicle specifically aimed at the Italian youth market. Like so many low-volume car makers throughout history, Siata was in pretty dire financial straits by the time the Spring went to market, and it wasn’t enough to save the company from bankruptcy. A newly formed company called ORSA took over manufacturing and continued to produce the Spring until 1975. This car looks like it might be one of the last production cars that rolled out of the factory before the bankruptcy struck, and it appears to be in very nice condition. The car is fitted with soft-top and side curtains, and while the curtains look original, I don’t believe that the ill-fitting soft-top is. Apart from that, about the only thing that detracts from the appearance of the Spring is the original wire wheels, which look like they could stand to be restored. The owner doesn’t mention any issues with rust, but the fact that the vehicle is kept garaged gives us cause to be quietly optimistic.

There are no clear photos of the Spring’s interior, but the first photo and this one seem to indicate that the interior is in quite good condition. The dash, pad, and timber dash fascia look like they are all in pretty good order, while the seats, which aren’t original, also look to be quite good. We don’t get a look at the door trims or carpet, but what we can see is quite encouraging.

Powering the Spring is a 4-cylinder Fiat engine of 843cc, producing 37hp. Given the fact that the Spring is based on the Fiat 850, it should be no surprise to learn that this power is sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transaxle. With such a tiny engine with such paltry power output figures, the Spring was still capable of springing (sorry about that) a surprise by accelerating all the way to 81mph. The car has apparently been out of service for several years, but the engine is said to run. It will probably need some work before it is ready to tackle the open road again, but with the mechanical components all being derived from the Fiat 850, finding any necessary parts shouldn’t be a huge issue.

While Siata built around 3,500 examples of the Spring, many of these have succumbed to the sorts of rust issues that were so common in Italian cars of this era. It is estimated that of those original cars, there are probably only about 350 cars left in existence today. More often than not, examples that appear today are also suffering from some major rust problems. This one might be a bit different, but only a personal inspection would confirm this for sure. It is not a car with performance that will set the world alight, but if it is solid and clean, then it does represent a slightly unusual Italian classic that would stand out in a crowd.

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Comments

  1. Ben T. Spanner

    My local Fiat dealer with a sales floor that held 2 cars, had a Spring on the sales floor for well over a year. The “styling” is an acquired taste; looking like a warped British roadster. They were a tough sale, being priced way above a Fiat 850 convertible.
    I knew one young lady bought one and parked it outside. It quickly deteriorated. The chrome plating and the upholstery quickly looked shabby. As I recall. there were no parts.
    It’s about as desirable as a plastic MG TD replica. I like 850″s, I owned a coupe.

    1
    • Martin Horrocks

      Agreed on the undesirability of the Siata Spring! This one at least is half the price you usually see in Europe.

      I still don´t want it.

      2
  2. Skorzeny

    Makes me think of a Schwarzenegger line from Predator, ‘You are one ugly mother…….’

    1
  3. angliagt

    Car & Driver did a test on one of these when they were new.
    They didn’t have a nice thing to say about it.

    2
  4. canadainmarkseh Member

    I’ve never herd of one of these cars. It looks like a cheep kit car with the reliability of a Chevy Vega. It’s like the Vega from the other day nice shape but still a turd.

    1
  5. JMB#7

    This may sound odd, but it looks like a mini Jeepster.

    2
  6. chrlsful

    Fiat, 1X the biggest car co, tried another niche mrkt the easy way (converted an 850). Good for the ‘moneyed sea side set”, I’m not 1. Gimme another 850, them I liked…

  7. T-BONE BOB

    At least it’s better than the one from the day before

    https://barnfinds.com/handmade-italian-1974-siata-spring/

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