The Fiat 850 is a small rear wheel drive car with a rear engine, which was produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1964 to 1973. At the time the car was first launched, Fiat was already a largely popular car maker with successful models in Italy and other parts of the world.
The technical design of the Fiat 850 was a evolution of the Fiat 600, with an 850 engine capacity while the 600 had an engine with 843 cc. The Fiat 850 was available in two versions. The standard version had 34 hp while the super model had 37 hp. The maximum speed of the 850 was 78 mph. Though the car was not very cutting edge in terms of technical development, it was very popular due to its style–a charming short tail with large headlights.
Fiat 850 Sport Spider.
Fiat 850 was sold in several different versions and body styles during the years that it had been produced. The Fiat 850 Special was the revised version of the Fiat 850 sedan and was launched in 1968. The engine of this car had 47 hp like the 850 Coupe and it had front disc breaks, an improved trim and a sport steering wheel. The car had twenty-five percent more power and the breaks were located behind the wheels and it was a famous sport sedan of the time.
Fiat 850 Familiare was slightly larger and boxier than the Fiat 600 Multipla. The car could seat seven passengers in its three rows, which made it suitable for large families. The car was produced until 1976 when it had been replaced by the Fiat 127. Fiat 900T was also introduced in 1976 and it had most of the same body panels as 850 Familiare, but it had a 903 cc engine like the Fiat 127. In 1980 several enhancements were made to the 900T. The changes were very popular and the new model was named the 900E. Production was stopped on this model in 1985.
The Fiat 850 Coupe was launched in 1965 at the Geneva Motor show. The car featured an engine with 843 cc and had 47 hp and a maximum speed of 84 mph.
The Fiat 850 Spider was also introduced in 1965 and was a sporty two-seater convertible with an 843 cc engine that produced 49 hp and reached a maximum speed of 90 mph. The body was designed by Bertone and the roof section was a folding fabric that could be stored under the rear flap. The design featured elegant, simple and smooth lines. The headlamps tilted to follow the same lines as the winds and the side panels were inspired by the 1963 Corvair Testudo by Bertone. A unique feature of the engine was that it functioned clockwise.
At the time that the Spider, Coupe and Sedan were introduced in the United States, they were marketed with reduced capacity and high compression engines in 817 cc in order to cope with the emission regulations applied to engines which were larger than the size of 50 cubic inches. The compression of the engine had been raised, which required premium octane fuel. The car had also been extended and had been adapted to suit the higher expectations. Both of these versions had a sports steering wheel, sports seats and a round speedometer. The Spider had a totally rearranged instrument panel. The drum brakes had also been replaced by new disc brakes.
In 1968 the Coupe and Spider were given a new look and a stronger engine at 52 hp and 903 hp, and took the names of Sport Coupe and Sport Spider. The body of the Sport Spider stayed more or less the same, but the front of the car was restyled. The head lamps were set into the car’s wings and the indicators had been set below the bumpers. A special edition Spider was launched the same year. The Berlinetta had a removable hard top and today all of these versions are considered to be classics.
The End of Production of the Fiat 850
The production of the 850 Coupes and Sedan was ended in 1971 and 1972, respectively. A year later the production of the Spider was also stopped. By this time around 2.3 million 850 models had been sold all over the world. In Spain the car continued to be produced as the SEAT 850 and there was also a four-door version that could be purchased.