1972 Fiat 850 Sport Spider


Small, rear-engined, designed by Giugiaro at Bertone, the Fiat 850 Sport Spider is an intoxicating dose of late ‘60s Italian motoring. A troubled past, including a famous rust recall, thinned the herd over the years, but nowadays a well-preserved 850 Spider is the perfect entry to Italian classic car ownership. A 903cc, 52 hp inline four powers the later cars, and despite these modest figures it will crack 90 mph wide open. The best speeds in the Spider are far lower though--this is a car to cruise through town, or through nature, reveling in the sensory overload that life in a tiny drop top affords. 


Originally a California example, and with a believed accurate 34,500 miles on the odometer, this 850 Sport Spider represents an increasingly rare opportunity to own a solid, original car free from concerning corrosion. Once on the lift the “x brace” chassis presents in all its glory, complemented by crisp rockers and excellent floors. Unrestored and dry, it showcases what these cars could be when properly maintained and kept in the right conditions. 


Outside, the bright and cheery giallo paint presents well and matches the little Spider’s personality perfectly. There are a few chips toward the rear, but in general it is best described as a tidy driver throughout. Chrome and glass are similarly nice, as are the black plastic trim pieces under the headlights. Underneath the tonneau panel a new, upgraded canvas soft top folds out, fitting snugly and boasting an unblemished rear window. The wheels are recently refinished too, and look great with new hubcaps. 


The cabin in the 850 is surprisingly spacious and well-appointed. This one is beautifully done, with fresh coco mats over excellent rubber mats, an extremely well-preserved dash, and a working, period Motorola radio. Both seats are recently restored and include a set of extra top covers. All electrics work well, and a very nicely preserved owner’s manual still resides in the glovebox. Up front in the trunk there is a correct spare, though the rubber mat is missing. 


Mechanically sound and lots of fun to drive, this 850’s drivetrain feels exactly as a low-mileage car’s should. The engine is quick to start and happy to rev, punching above its sub-one-liter weight. A solid four-speed gearbox and clutch, along with great brakes and suspension further the experience, allowing the driver to fully explore the car’s nimble and entertaining handling. 


Available immediately and located in our showroom, this 850 Sport Spider is offered on North Carolina paperwork. Call (914) 402 5799 or email info@midcenturymotoring.com for more information.