Surprisingly Solid: 1971 Fiat 850 Spider

As many of you are aware, I’m a bit of a Fiat Fan. I know, that sounds crazy, but they really are tons of fun to drive when they are in good shape. And that’s the issue, finding one that isn’t rusted beyond hope and has a decent drivetrain. Thankfully, more and more people are discovering that the are actually fun and affordable alternatives to their Alfa and Lancia relatives. As a result, parts supply has steadily been improving. With that in mind, this 850 Spider looks quite tempting to me! Find it here on eBay in Rio Vista, California with a bid of $1,259.

The previous owner claimed to own this Fiat for well over 30 years and that it had been parked under a mountain of junk in their garage for nearly as long, but the seller quickly discovered that this owner has a tendency to exaggerate. It was last registered and on the road in 1995, but that doesn’t change the fact that this car is incredibly solid and appears to be quite original. This is actually one of the least rusty 850s I’ve seen! It’s a Fiat, so I’m sure it isn’t completely rust free, but it doesn’t look bad.

This one does have one issue, the engine seems to be stuck. Well, at least that’s what the seller thinks. They tried turning it over via the key, but it only clicks. It could be that the engine is seized, or it could also be as simple as the starter needing to be replaced. I would recommend trying to turn it over by hand to make sure it is free. I honestly think with a little work, this could be a nice little driver. The interior isn’t in bad shape, the body isn’t rusted out and parts are getting easier and cheaper to find!


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  1. SteveW

    As 71’s do not need to be smogged,or inspected in CA the owner could have registered without moving it out of the garage. May have just gotten tired of paying. May want to verify back DMV fees.

    • Edward

      They copied porshe but they even look better back then than now

  2. Steve R

    It took 41 bids to reach $1,259. Fiat enthusiatsts are cheap.

    Steve R

    • Oingo

      Or know how much it will cost to fix.

    • jwinters

      why are there 15 bids in a row from the same bidder? that’s probably the seller trying to drive the price up.

  3. Jeffrey Johnson Member

    A Checker wagon tow car, awesome!

    • Loco Mikado

      And a wagon none the less.

  4. John B

    Any time you can fit a car on a trailer designed for a lawn mower, that is what I’d call little!

  5. Ben T. Spanner

    I had a 1968 850 Coupe and my friend had a 1966 2 dr Sedan. I traded a dead VW for mine. Car was solid but exhaust was rusted. Got a header for $20. Had to re drill all the holes to make it fit. My wife drove it every drag racing the city buses. Sometimes she won. Her key broke off in the cylinder but still worked and mine did too. Put kingpins in it, parts were like $25.

    Gas went up and somebody had to have it. He parked on a one way the street
    and a hit and run driver took out the whole right side. End of Fiat

  6. Greg Member

    I’ve owned an 87 X1/9 and a 80 Spider. But I’ve always really wanted one of these. It’s a beautiful design, and even looks good in yellow! It’s within a couple miles from me. May have to check it out….

  7. bob

    It’s a 1970. It has the 1970 specific one-year-only marker lights

  8. Rex Rice

    My wife’s ’72 850 Spider ran for years. At 130,000 miles and one clutch job, she sold it because she thought it wouldn’t last much longer. It’s probably still running somewhere.

  9. MikeK

    I had a blue ’72 Spider somewhere around 1984-ish. Paid 200.00 for it running and driving, and 100 for a parts car to go with it. Drove it for about a year, and sold them for the same money.

  10. STEVE jesus

    Used to work for a Fiat dealer in the early seventies. Remember the day that we filled the exhaust manifold with oil while it was off the engine in the shop. You never seen so much smoke when my mechanic mate fired her up!

  11. Rex Rice

    These are good cars if driven hard and often. They have a bad rep from owners that didn’t beat them hard enough.
    Keeping a gallon of sulfuric acid & some marine bondo around doesn’t hurt either.

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