blackrabbit New Reader
10/10/10 7:33 p.m.

1971 Fiat 850 coupe by blackrabbitracing, on Flickr another project!! a 1971 Fiat 850 coupe... she's actually very complete and VERY original having been sitting since 1982! the motor was removed in 81 for a rebuild and when the machine work was finished the prev/owner brought home all the new bits.... high comp pistons, "hot cam", bearings,seals etc... and the some bastard promptly stole the block, alloy pan and exhaust from insde the car!! right out of his driveway... luckily I have a spare 903 core in the shed

KaptKaos Reader
10/10/10 9:14 p.m.

I love 850s. I should have never sold my Spider. Have fun with her. Be sure to post progress pix.

ditchdigger HalfDork
10/11/10 12:38 a.m.

Congratulations! The 850 coupe is a stunning looking car. There has been one in my garage for over a year now and I don't even own it

Nice to have another 850 in the readers rides What are the plans?

rconlon HalfDork
10/11/10 8:47 a.m.

The 850 Fiats are classified as a micro car, under 1 litre. But, do not act like one. They cruise well and have reasonable ergonomics. My first car was an 850 Fiat Sedan and it kept up to traffic very well.

Cheers Ron

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Webmaster
10/11/10 8:52 a.m.

Great find! Keep us updated on the buildup, I'd love to see more on this car.

racerdave600 HalfDork
10/11/10 1:34 p.m.

Like they said, keep us updated! I've always liked those, and loved my old 600. A friend's dad used to have an Abarth version with a twin cam in the tail if I'm not mistaken.

m4ff3w SuperDork
10/11/10 9:41 p.m.

I really like 850 Coupes.

BoxheadTim Dork
10/11/10 11:30 p.m.

I'm still hoping that I'll eventually manage to find one that won't need the bottom 5" replacing. Congrats to the find!

Travis_K Dork
10/12/10 9:43 a.m.

Those really are cool cars, its too bad that no one realized it until they are pretty much gone. I imagine most of the ones lift are still sitting wherever they have been the last 20+ years waiting for someone to find them, There was one on the local craigslist here for $650, but it had enough surface rust that i think there would have been enough that you couldnt see it would have disintegrated without some major rust repair/prevention.

rconlon HalfDork
10/12/10 10:39 a.m.

I drove this museum speciman about 9 years ago. It was found by a friend looking for spare parts and he bought it. It was essentially never used but stored from the show room floor and just warmed up to keep it oiled. The new owner drove it around, let me try it, and then took it north west. Best example of original show room condition that I ever encountered. Cheers Ron

fly65 New Reader
10/13/10 9:08 p.m.

In reply to ditchdigger:

file for abandonded vehical

blackrabbit New Reader
10/14/10 10:08 a.m.

Thanks for the kind words fella's. will try and keep you updated as work progresses.. but not much will likely happen before spring. the car is now "staged" for proper storage ie cleaned, washed interior removed and bagged, all parts sprayed w/anti rust coating and boxed up on shelves in the storage. awaiting its turn in line

NCtim New Reader
10/14/10 4:51 p.m.

Oh my gosh! I'd almost forgotten I had one in college. It was British Racing Green and had the worst electrical system ever encountered. I drove it while working on my 72 MGB. Overall, it was a decent little car.

ditchdigger HalfDork
10/20/10 6:39 p.m.
NCtim wrote: and had the worst electrical system ever encountered.

I hear this a lot and I am curious. Just what is it that makes it so bad. It is very simple to the point that early models didn't even use any relays. I will admit that the alternator equipped cars had a bit of obviously retrofitted wierdness but the rest of the system is quite straight forward.

What classic cars would be considered to have a "good" electrical system and how would they differ from the Fiat?

racerdave600 HalfDork
10/21/10 7:53 a.m.

I've owned a ton of Fiats, and never found them to have horrible electrics, at least not like my TR4 that would randomly set fire to itself. Most of the problems the Fiats have are due to ground issues. Cleaning the grounds on a periodic basis (I used to spend a couple of hours once a year) will cure almost any electrical problem they have.

Of course some don't have the largest alternator or generator of any car known to man, but that's a different story. And previous owner electrical "repairs and installation" can also cause problems.

André Rousseau
André Rousseau HalfDork
10/21/10 8:06 a.m.

Yeah when I got the racer. I stripped out the PO's work and put in a full fuse panel and upgraded the whole control system.

Wiring is easy.

The GT6 is decent, but I added a panel. Issue for me was do I keep it all original or upgrade it/custom fit everything to remove the mess of wires.


NCtim New Reader
10/27/10 4:34 p.m.

In reply to ditchdigger:

For one thing, when I turned the steering wheel the horn would honk. Left turn indicator activated the windshield wipers. Heater fan sometimes dimmed the headlights or killed the parking light circuit altogether.

TR8owner New Reader
12/13/10 9:57 a.m.

Oh man, I knew a girl in high school that drove one of those. She was a cool chick. Wonder were she is today. Thanks for the memory.

pro4art New Reader
1/1/11 8:05 p.m.

Always loved the coupe body style. They drive amazingly well, and with a fresh engine, really have decent performance. You do have to use the full range of the gas pedal, and all of the tach. In reply to blackrabbit:

pro4art New Reader
1/1/11 8:15 p.m.

Most Fiats have enough wiring in them to rewire a MGB 1 1/2 times. More relays used in later years. The wiring is complex, but simple, if you have a good manual. MGB's are very simple, not many circuits, and Brit wring colors are mostly the same for many years. I've had 22 Fiats, was a Fiat race wrench for 6 years, Service Manager at 2 Fiat dealers, and never experienced any real problems. Also, the Fiat system being more complex, dumb asses got lost easy. In reply to ditchdigger:

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