My Car Quest

March 3, 2024

Interesting Collector Cars For Less Than $50k USD-Fiat 850 Spider

by Mike –

We have featured several classic cars as examples of cool collector cars that can be had for less than $50,000 USD.

Today we are discussing one that is well below the $50,000 number – the Fiat 850 Spider.

Fiat 850 Spider

In the mid-60’s Fiat wanted to make a volume sports car, one that would be an enthusiast’s “first sports car.” The first model was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro while he was at Bertone.

Fiat 850 Spider

The original 843 cc engine (placed in the rear) was tuned to produce 49 hp which allowed it to reach a top speed of 145 km/h (90 mph). Later a 903 cc engine producing 52 hp was introduced.

The body built by Bertone was steel. The convertible top folded and could be tucked neatly away under a metal lid.

Fiat 850 Spyder

Fiat 850 Spider at Concorso Italiano

With a 1600 pound curb-weight and 5.50″ x 13″ tires, the little spider delivered light. The first generation had a headlamp that looked like a plexiglass cover but that was the headlamp itself. Nevertheless, US headlamp laws required them to redesign it so the newer ones would meet U.S. laws.

Hemmings wrote in their analysis of the car,

If you find one that needs both bodywork and an engine, our best advice is to keep on walking.

Fiat 850 Spider

This is a classic car that is inexpensive to buy but may be expensive to restore if you buy the wrong example, still it packs a lot of fun for so little money.

Read more of what Wallace Wyss wrote about the Fiat 850 Spider at this link.

Number made: 124,660 from 1967 through 1974

Fiat 850 Spider

Hagerty Price Guide value for a condition 2 example: $13,300

Fiat 850 Spider

Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide median price: $9,100

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



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Interesting Collector Cars For Less Than $50k USD-Fiat 850 Spider
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Interesting Collector Cars For Less Than $50k USD-Fiat 850 Spider
The Fiat 850 Spider is inexpensive to buy but may be expensive to restore if you buy the wrong example, still it packs a lot of fun for so little money.


  1. Anthony Moody says

    Dear Mike,

    A very good choice!

    The closest I came to one was when living in Jamaica in the seventies’, however with three small daughters I had to opt for the Coupe model which proved to be a fabulous little car – excellent handling vis a vis its peers, an engine that just wanted to rev, and no rust given the benign Jamaican climate.

    I replaced it with a Fiat 124 Coupe, another car that was streets ahead of its rivals in that price range and never let me down.

    Best wishes,


  2. Mike Clarke says

    The Fiat 850 shares more with different exotic cars than maybe any other car. The headlights are the same used on the Lamborghini Miura. The door locks are shared with the Iso Grifo. The front turn indicators lights on the series one 850 spider is used on the Bizzarrini 5300 Strada and the taillights are used by the Lancia Stratos. Good company

    • Raymond Zinn says

      Boy, if knew that I would have kept them. Probably worth more that the car is now, and that’s in good condition :D.

  3. Raymond Zinn says

    Well, unless you intend to never use this car in the rain, pass it by.

    Personally, at 9k it’s way over priced. Yes, it is fun to drive and throw around, but overall the car is not of good quality and truly reflects Fiat products of the time.

    I owned one of the first over here (USA) ’67 in Chamois Tan (actually a blue color) owned for 5 years.

    There is a good reason that you will be hard pressed to find a decent one that will not require constant attention.

    They have no real inner panel rust proofing. The drip channel that the soft top’s metal cover fits into drained directly into and onto the inner rear sheet metal and, in time, would actually rust through, effectively (no joke) cutting the body in half.

    On mine, the transmission mounts broke off. The speedometer fell out, (all the welds) holding the seat of broke.
    It had a major gas tank rusting problem and no fuel filter, thank goodness for Weber carbs.

    I fell in love with it at the ’67 Chicago Auto and got it the same month (Feb).

    The first thing I found out was that they (Spyder, coupe, and 500) refused to start at 40 Deg F, (4.4 c). believe me, we tried everything. Took it to the dealership and when they opened their service door I was met with a line of brand new ones along with their owners, all with the same problem. Never solved as far as I know. They also had breaker (distributer) points that just would not last, I always had extra sets.

    It would load up if you were in traffic and would have to accelerate to higher speed, I would drive in the lowest gear possible when having to quickly move out with traffic. Hotter plugs didn’t help much.

    Do not compare it to the 124s’ as they seemed to be better cars. They (Fiat) pulled out of the country along with Renault back then, that should tell you something.

    But after all that I still loved to drive it. Also get as close to it as possible as it was smaller (inside; about it seems, half the size of my NA Miata, ha, ha) than my Lotus Elan SE, so sit in it as it was made for long arms and short legs as they say, or used to say about Italian sports cars.

    A true Love Hate Relationship. Good luck………By the way, $2100.00 new. yed 2100.00.

    Oh yes, like my old 62′ E Jag there’s absolutely no body protection front and rear, Look at the pretty picture the bumpers were mounted to the sheet metal, not the frame, LOL.

    In spite of all the problems, it was a wonderful fun car to drive, no I did not abuse it.
    After sitting there for 15 minutes or so, the mechanics restarted each and every one of them as normal.
    They had no answers. In order to use it, I made a preheater fo the carb with a hair dryer.

  4. I had one of these, wish I still did. Now it’s a collector’s car, there’s no way I can buy one. Unfortunate circumstances forced me to sell it. I still miss it a lot. Most enjoyable car ever. I lived in the San Francisco bay area, one of the best places in the US to have a car like this.

  5. jesus mendoza says

    Jesus Mendoza, I have a brother that lives on Phoenix Arizona and he has one he just got it and it’s a 1972 Fiat 850 spider L4-0.9l Vin 100GBS.04 2-bbl it’s red color all Original it’s been sitting for the last 43 years but its good shape if I’m not mistaking it only 3000 miles its’ a nice car but don’t want to keep it sad part

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