The newest addition to Car's Garage (the real garage that is) is this magnificent 1968 Fiat 850 Spider.
OK, so it's not actually mine... it belongs to a good friend of mine, and since he has no room to properly store the car at his place, I naturally offered a place in my garage. This way, I can make sure it's really well looked after and of course, the "storage fees" might just add up to the occassional drive :-).
We first spotted the car at the recent Fiat Concorso. There it was, parked almost on it's own away from the rest of the Fiats, looking sensational in it's gleaming red paint. It proved to be irresitable!
Next step: got on the net to do as much homework on the car as possible. I managed to track down a mechanic in Melbourne who had worked on it in the past who. Although he was rather circumspect - rightly protecting the privacy of the previous owner, he did provide some very interesting information as to the overall quality of the car, and an indication of the kind of money spent to have it converted to right-hand drive and restore it about 7 years ago. This certainly confirmed our general impressions of the car.
Later that week, we went back to take another critical look, which turned up very little in the way of problems with it, so by Thursday of the same week, I found myself driving it home!
What a buzz! I love this car!!
It required some re-arranging of the garage to get the boat out and into the carport to make some room in there with the other two 850 Sports' and the Bertone... While several of the cars were shuffled out onto the street, I just couldn't resist the photo opportunity.
The car is in very genuine and outstanding condition. The body especially is immaculate, and it appears to have never been damaged or even rusted anywhere! This is exceptional in a 31 year old car.
It came complete with a beautiful wooden Nardi steering wheel, Abarth wooden gearknob, Crommodora mags that were specifically produced for the 850 (confirmation of this is cast inside the rim), brand new tyres, and a plethora of Abarth badges adorn the body and interior - 10 in all!
Even the soft top appears to be nearly new, with just a small tear near the mechanism that's easy to repair.
The mechanicals appear to have been slightly neglected in the last few years, so the first thing the car got was some new back brakes (drums, linings and wheel cylinders), a new clutch and throttle cable, and a bit of a tweak generally. This is not a problem, and it does give us the chance to really have a thorough look around the car to make sure everything is right.
|FRIEND'S FIATS||Aussie Rob Doug David||US Scott Dan|