Rust Free Fiat Find? 1972 Fiat 850


As an ex-Fiat owner (and yes, I like them) I can honestly say there have been times that I’ve doubted that any 1960’s or 70’s Fiat was ever rust free! However, that’s the claim for this find, which has been “stored in a barn since 1988.” It’s located in Grants Pass, Oregon and is listed here on eBay with a buy it now of $3,500.


While a few things look slightly out of kilter, and there are some dents on the right hand side, what looks like original paint (I know it’s an original color) is actually quite presentable. The SnugTop aftermarket hardtop is a nice ad (I hope there’s a soft top as well) and it sits relatively straight–or at least it would if you can get air into that left rear tire.


The seller tells us there are 72,000 miles on the little Fiat. I’m wondering how difficult it would be for a paintless dent removal place to take on the right front? I’ve never tried them on anything that large–has anyone else here?


I’m guessing it’s the rear engine, but I remember being amazed at how much room an 850 Spider has compared to a Spridget. You can see there are some rips in the seats and you’ll need new carpet, but the dash doesn’t look bad at all. Just look at those dainty pedals!


Here’s one of the biggest surprises; the car actually runs! The seller doesn’t spell out what work was done to get it running, and I’m left wondering if the car was actually prepared correctly for storage–so many finds aren’t, but this one looks pretty clean under the engine cover, and maybe someone actually loved it? I’m probably lucky this isn’t closer, as I loved my father’s 850 Coupe and wouldn’t mind having a Spider. What about you–lime green anyone?


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  1. Diavolino

    These cars are super fun to drive, and almost quick if you rev the hell out of them. I learned to drive a stick shift on my dad’s 850 Spyder. If it were closer I’d seriously consider it. My dad was going to give me his 850 but its front end literally collapsed due to weakening from rust.

  2. Ben T. Spanner

    I traded a dead VW for a running 850 sport coupe in the early 1970’s. My wife loved it and drove to work daily, drag racing the city busses. I bought a header new for cheap. Had to drill new holes to bolt it on. clamped on a Thrush, and had a new exhaust. My friend had an 850 sedan, really rare, but cool.

  3. brakeservo

    It looks to me like the entire front end is tweaked, nothing that can be repaired quickly/easily – and when you’re done, it’s still a FIAT! These things rusted so terribly that 30 some odd years ago the Federal government made Fiat recall entire cars due to dangerous rust – hit a pot hole and find the seats fall through the floor or the engine drops off, or the suspension collapses!

  4. Mark

    I had one of these briefly when I was a college student. I traded $55 in cash and a boom box for it. Fun, toy-like little car. The top was gone, so the previous owner had fashioned a chunk of canvas as a makeshift replacement. It was like driving with a carnival tent on your head. Can you imagine one of these with a GSXR or 1,300 cc Hayabusa engine in it?

  5. Tim W

    A friend bought 1970 850 Spyder in 1977 for his girlfriend, rode with him from Brooklyn to upstate NY. Put it up on the lift at my Grandfathers garage after the trip & the front suspension & struts were rusted beyond repair- surprised we survived the trip.

  6. angliagt

    I’m heading up to Southern Oregon to deliver the
    Volvo 142.I’ll have an empty car trailer coming back …hmmm.
    Reality is,I don’t need another project,especially from
    a different country than my other projects.

  7. Rex Rice

    My wife drove her 850 Spider for years without problems. This is a great car if the rust is addressed.

  8. angliagt

    I DIDN”T bring it home,or the ’74 MGB I saw,
    or the Merak either.
    I told my Wife I save over $5000 today!

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