Fiat 850 Sport Coupé: optical illusion

Fiat 850 Sport Coupé

For the holidays they also looked for some suitable presents. For example, in the circle of friends, someone's daughter is completely crazy about the Fiat 850 Sport Coupé. She's only sixteen. But it will be fine. And what better way to give such a person in the waiting period than a nice scale model?

Appearances are deceiving

Google's picture book showed the perfect, beautiful freestanding Photoshopped model. The site was clicked. The model fell off. Because the American company Hyman ltd from St. Louis had the perfect Fiat 850 Sport Coupé in scale 1 to 1. It was a real one. And at $ 33.500, the freestanding Fiat was well above the holiday budget for a XNUMX-year-old. Funny: Such a small Italian classic is not exactly what you would expect from a purely American classic dealer.

Very nice cars that 850 Coupe's

Great examples of how evolution can work. Because the 850s, which got the internal designation Type 100G by Fiat, was a further development of the 600 and became a huge sales success. After the Berlina from 1964 came the beautiful Coupé and Spider in 1965. They both got a more powerful engine of 1968 instead of 52 hp in 47. The Fiat 850 Sport Coupé got double headlights, the cylinder capacity grew from 843 to 903 cm3.

Not made for eternity, difficult to restore

Almost all body panels of the Fiat 850 family are welded, only the rear panel can be unscrewed. That makes a restoration a difficult and expensive job. At the front, for example, near the headlights, there are several plates on top of each other, which makes recovery at least 'challenging'. The attachment points of the front suspension and the transition between the A-pillars and the sills also consist of brave cutting and pasting. And for such a small car there are quite a lot of other pain points: the mudguards at the front sills and the attachment of the anti-roll bars, the hollow space under the windshield, the window pillars and the bottom of the doors. Fortunately, the construction on the rear side is clearer. A literal case of 'that ends well, all right'.

Engine-technical there was little to criticize

The small four-cylinder is only quite sensitive to its cooling. Think of the water pump, the air guides and the radiator fins. Intake manifolds can crack and the timing chain may need replacing.

Detached as a plus?

We still don't quite know what to do with such detached trade photos. They do of course focus 100% on the object. However, they are very clinical. And if you initially mistake them for commercials for model cars? Then you may have to change the way you look.

Our tip: click on such a picture and look at the price: Below $ or € 100 it is probably a scale model. Or even easier: just search in your own country. We have the scale models. But also the 1 to 1 copies are usually cheaper here than in the various foreign countries from which buyers search on Dutch sites.

Wouldn't you swear it was a scale model?


There were already 'dry' press photos at the time


But such a presentation makes us greedier (Stuurman Classics)



Leave a Reply
  1. Yes, I don't think about reporting the Abarth versions of this charming coupé.
    There are three of them:

    All “derivazioni” of the 850 and successful in (hill climb) races.

  2. My neighbor from Moerwijk had one. A white one. He turned the rims, put Abarth stickers on them, put the hood ajar and as a 7-8 year old I still thought: "Apart you write differently, don't you?" Another boy next door, slightly older and half Italian, explained the name Abarth and immediately remarked that it was not "real". Would I have been stung by the scorpion by then?

  3. in ca 1968 I drove from Deelen to Hoenderloo in my gray 2nd hand Opel Kadett A.
    2 headlights loomed in the distance. They came (I drove max 115 km) very quickly closer.
    It took me in for Hoenderloo, I had to make room for it to happen properly.
    boy, a yellow coupé with wire wheels all around and an abarth sticker on the rear.
    then you're still in front of you with your lazy Kadett.
    chasing was no use. however, the image stuck in my memory.

  4. At that age, I absolutely loved the NSU. A mate two years older started his driver's license career with this Fiat. A great car that attracted a lot of attention. Especially getting in and out, both about 2 meters long, well you can imagine it.

  5. The charm of fiat is that it makes very charming cars where you can feel very much at home, also because it is unpretentious. As a very nice alternative for the girl for the girl of 16, I would like to recommend a fiat barchetta spider, something more modern, actually the successor of the 850 spider.

  6. This is a treasure of a car, right? Note that the second set of spotlights got bigger later on. It wasn't a racing car, but what a simple charm. Fiat has given us many accessible coupés, such as my 124 Sport Coupé (with 5 gears) and overhead camshafts. Oh, those 60s! Thanks Dolf!

  7. The time when manufacturers could still give a person the feeling of an expensive sports car for a modest price. This was done by making a special version of a mass product such as the regular Fiat 850 and Seat 850 (The Spanish version of this 850 Coupé was strolling in Barcelona).

    Simca had the 1000 Coupé, which later evolved into the 1200S, in the showroom, Volkswagen had the Karmann-Ghia, Renault had the Floride / Caravelle, Skoda the 1000MBX and later the S110R. But nothing could give a hint of sportiness and luxury so cheap and so beautiful as this Fiat.

  8. Ff something else. When I see the interior of such cars and compare it to the current built-in seats, tree-wide center tunnels and thick window pillars, I think obesity is also a design problem.
    And it's a shame that the beautiful clocks (with ACQUA) have been lost in digitality.

  9. A car for the youth before starting a famiglia.
    Also a car to live up to as an average famiglia father: when the bambinis are out the door, the Fiat 850 also leaves (and the madre sometimes too) and a sports car finally arrives 😉

  10. I was also only sixteen when I fell for this beautiful model. First version without the extra headlights and not yet with the dented rear. Together with the Spider, these were real childhood dreams.
    But it never came to that. Only the counters I found a few years later in my first second-hand car. The Autobianchi A112 (the Italian competitor of the Mini) had the same clocks. The steering wheel was also borrowed from Fiat. Not difficult, because they belonged to the same group and shared more parts. Only the handling of the 112 was much better. The all-behind era also seemed to gradually make way for everything in the front in the Fiat group. With Autobianchi as the pacemaker. But that Coupeetje… Fifty years later it still remains a big boys dream!

  11. Yes you had two types of coupé 850. Difference spotlights and the rear lights. Type 1 or Type 2. Inside were just Alfa Romeo. We don't talk about storage, because he didn't have that.

  12. What a wonderful time the 60s were and very democratic,
    then you could buy a very nice sports car with a Jan-modal-middle income.
    In 2020 you have to be among the top incomes to be able to finance a not too ugly car.

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NSU TTS. Popular athlete from Neckarsulm.

An MV of a million. Or less?