Magazine Articles - 1965

Modern Motor - June 1965

Modern Motor - June 1965

During a visit to Italy in November 1964, Fiat in Turin lent David McKay a Fiat 850S for the last fortnight of his stay, in place of the 2300S he had been using. These are a few of the things he had to say:

"The 850S they lent me was a general factory hack and had some 20,000 kilometres (12,500 miles) behind it. I was somewhat apprehensive about tackling long runs in such a small buggy and had visions of being swamped by high-speed buses and trucks - but by the time I'd driven from Fiat's head office to my hotel I knew I needn't have worried. The little blue car had plenty of verve and seemed ready to have a go at anyone and anything."

"....After the flog to Milan and several days of scrambling through the city's appaling traffic, I was beginning to doubt the fuel gauge. I had to keep caning the car in first and second off the lights or I'd get shunted by those ubiquitous green Fiat taxis and the young Ascaris in 1500 sports ( a lovely little car which should be available here if anyone were enterprising enough). Yet fuel consumption was a steady 35 m.p.g. under such treatment - and on longer runs, including some city running, it was around 40."

"Fiat's 850S is undoubtably the best small saloon ever produced by the Italian firm. What a pity it took so long to reach Australia."
NOTE: Only the 850S was ever imported into Australia, (not the Tipo Normale) starting in June 1965.

A Few Statistics:
850 Super
Compression Ratio 8.8:1
Power Output 42 b.h.p. @ 5300 rpm
Top Speed 90 m.p.h. (downhill with a slipstream!) *
Standing Quarter Mile 22.2 seconds *
0-50 m.p.h. 12.8 seconds *
0-60 m.p.h. 19.0 seconds *
Australian Price:
850 Super £832 including tax

* NOTE: See 1964 test by Doug Armstrong of the 850S which shows dramatically different performance figures.

1965, David McKay, Modern Motor.

Australian Motor Sports & Automobiles - June 1965

"At the Geneva Motor Show in March the two new derivatives of the Fiat 850 - a Coupe and Spider - were among the star attractions."

"Production of these additional models has already begun in Turin, although virtually the whole of the current output will be for home consumption and it may be several months before these pleasant little machines become available in other markets."

"The Coupe is entirely Fiat's own and a production of 200 a day is envisaged (compared with a current output of nearly 1000 a day of the normal 850)...."

AMS Coupe & Spider article AMS Coupe & Spider article
A Few Statistics:
850 Coupe 850 Spider
Compression Ratio 9.3:1 9.3:1
Power Output 52 (SAE) @ 6500 rpm 54 (SAE) @ 6500 rpm
Top Speed 85 m.p.h. 90 m.p.h.
Standing Kilometre 45.68 seconds 45.68 seconds
Italian Prices:
850 Tipo Normale 850 Coupe 850 Spider
750,000 lire 950,000 lire 1,050,000 lire

1965, Alan Brinton, Australian Motor Sports & Automobiles.

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