Diminutive Displacement: 1968 Fiat Spider 850 – Sold?

by | Apr 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

June 3, 2023, Update – While this “Classifind” expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect it may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

April 6, 2023 Update – Apparently, after not achieving a sale last fall, the private seller of this 1968 Fiat 850 Spider we first came across in September of 2022 just placed a new listing.  While the pictures and one-sentence description remain the same, the asking price is down from the original ask of $22,500 to $19,500.

November 4, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?”  Until we come across a replacement Craigslist ad.

Some Craigslist ads leave us asking more questions than they answer.  Our latest example is this nicely detailed baby blue 1968 Fiat Spider 850 for sale, originally listed in September 2022 and relisted in April 2023 on Craigslist in Houston, Texas. While we assume this example received a thorough restoration, the seller does not provide the details confirming whether it’s restored or if it is a survivor car.

If you’re unfamiliar with Fiat’s entry-level sports car, the car’s fifty (that’s right, 50) cubic inch engine, cooling system, and transaxle all sit in what many assume to be the trunk.  I always wondered why Fiat engineers chose to put a radiator directly behind a rear firewall with almost no air circulation.

Last offered for $19,500 (the original ask was $22,500), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is at the high end of the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for Fiat 850 Spiders produced between 1965 and 1973.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the sports car featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is nearly double that of this guide’s current #1 “Excellent” appraisal of only $12,700. As a third data point, the Haggerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Excellent” estimate of $18,600 and its “Concours” appraisal of $28,500.

Fiat produced its small rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 850 in sedan, coupé, and spider body styles from 1964 through 1973.  With upcoming U.S. emission laws applying to engines larger than fifty cubic inches, Fiat circumvented the rules by importing the 850 with a high-compression engine displacing exactly fifty cubic inches.  Despite having excellent fuel economy, the 850’s 9.2:1 compression ratio required the use of higher-cost premium fuel.

In 1968, Fiat revised the successful Spider and Coupé again and gave them a bigger 903 cc engine producing fifty-two horsepower. The pair were called Sport Spider and Sport Coupé (engine code 100GBC.000). The Sport Spider body stayed essentially the same, but with a restyled front. The headlamps were moved forward slightly and the glass covers were eliminated giving the car a “frog-eye” look, and the original flush front turn indicators were replaced with units hung below the bumper. Several limited special edition versions of the Spider were offered, including the Racer featuring a body-colored metal hardtop, and the Racer Berlinetta featuring a black vinyl hardtop.

The Carrozzieri Italiani YouTube Channel features this 1968 Fiat Spider 850 launch ad in Italian:

With just exterior pictures and a brief description to go on, you’ll need to ask the seller for more pictures of the interior and especially the undercarriage to confirm whether this 1968 Fiat Spider 850 is a solid Texas survivor or if prior rust issues have been repaired.

This is the seller’s current description:

“1968 feel spider convertible, running and driving in perfect condition for sale.”

Here is the seller’s original brief description:

“Nice running car, 1968 fiat spider 850 works perfectly  for the age pls don’t waste my time and yours if you are not interested.

Show or go: What would you do with this restored 1968 Fiat Spider 850?  Please comment below and let us know!


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