1969 Fiat 850 Sports Coupe (unregistered)

spare 850

OK... so I had some fun with the paintwork....

The truth of it is, that I really didn't mean to buy this car at all. Since rebuilding the blue 850 years ago and getting the chromework redone, I had been on the lookout for a good set of headlight rims as the set I had disintegrated when they were dipped for rechroming. A guy in the Fiat club told me he had some so I went round to check them out. They were perfect! The only catch was, he wanted to sell the whole car they were on - not start breaking it up for spares. So I bought it... (the things we do!).

Spare 850 before

That was about 7 years ago. I got it home on a trailer (as it was unregistered), pilfered the headlight rims and proceeded to pretty much ignore it sitting in the driveway.

One day when walking past it to the garbage bin, I noticed a small area of paint peeling off it. Intrigued, I scratched at it with my fingernail... A great big section of paint came away like a sheet of vinyl! And so began the respray.


peeling paint More peeling paint

At the time I lived in a townhouse with only a double garage (which was already full of 850 and X1/9), so I organised with a friend of mine to "do a quick respray" under his house. I thought I might have a bit of fun with the paint scheme as the car hadn't cost me much, so what did I have to lose? I grabbed a photo of my blue 850 into the Paintbox (see C.A.R. Productions main site to see what this is) and started to play. You've got to remember, this was years ago when the current fad was for wild and crazy graphics down the side of cars. So I came up with this, photographed it off the screen & went and painted it on the car.

Standard issue Fiat rust front in primer rear in primer

It had previously been resprayed in enamel, and it was abundantly clear that the preparation had been less than ideal. It also had the prerequisite rusty bits that define it as a true specimen from the Fiat stable. So all things considered, I stripped it. Admittedly, much of this normally laborious task was made easier with judicious use of fingernails. It's true! I removed most of the last respray with my bare hands!

getting into the graphics graphics almost done

After the usual primers and an all over coat of the red, it was time to start the fun bit. It took some serious masking and spraying over several sessions to get the white "wave" and the graduated dark blue effect over the light blue with the lines showing through. But this really was a lot of fun. You should try it sometime! The hardest part was getting the effect to be consistent on both sides and the lines to appear straight and even over the shape of the body.

preparing to respray engine bay

Anyway, after several coats of clear to seal in the effect and 5 months of spare time (maybe this is why I know it as the "spare 850"), the "quick respray" was done. All that remained was to drop the engine to do the engine bay and then to buff it. This last bit is still awaiting completion years later as I moved house soon after I finished the main job, and I simply haven't got around to it since.

To get it finished and registered would only take a few days.... There's still a few interior bits needed and a fresh set of wheels & tyres, but that's essentially it. By now though, it may need some more mechanical repairs as it hasn't been started in about 4 years. If fact, this car has been unregistered and apart from a short journey of about 25km, hasn't been driven on the road for 10 years or so.

"SPARE" 850 Back To Garage