1967 FIAT 850 Spider First Series CL

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1967 FIAT 850 Spider First Series CL

Background

Unveiled in March 1965 at the Geneva Motor Show together with the Fiat 850 Coupé, the Fiat 850 Spider was, together with the closed body model, the sports version of the popular Turin-based utility car, launched the previous year to replace the Fiat 600. The technical layout followed in its entirety that of the two-door saloon from which it was derived, with the classic 'all rear' layout (engine and drive at the rear). The sports versions with and without a roof (the latter designed and built by the Bertone coachworks in Turin, and not by the parent company) differed, however, in a number of important mechanical changes compared to the original car: the liquid-cooled, four-cylinder, 843 cc engine received a significant increase in power, going from 37 hp to 49 hp on the Spider version; the front brakes were disc brakes instead of drum brakes for more powerful braking; the rims had an enlarged base and measured 13 inches instead of 12 inches; the axle ratio also changed, with a final reduction from 8/37 to 8/39. With the Fiat 850 Coupé and Spider, Fiat reintroduced the historic laurel circle logo, first introduced on racing cars in the 1920s, and adopted it for all its subsequent sports models.

The Vehicle

The example we propose, identified by chassis number 012735 and registered for the first time in Italy in 1967, is not a Fiat 850 Spider of normal production. In fact, it belongs to the small batch of cars marketed directly by the Bertone coachworks under licence from Fiat and is marked - with a special inscription on the registration - by the initials CL, an acronym that stands for "Convertibile Lusso". Specifically, the car has a slightly different look compared to the traditional model, with slight changes to the details both outside and inside, where it differs in its more elegant and refined finishes. The mechanics, completely standard, are from the classic Fiat 850 Spider, with the liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder, 843 cc, 49 hp engine positioned at the rear, combined with a four-speed manual gearbox plus reverse (all synchronised) and traction on the rear wheels only. The odometer reads 19,349 kilometres.

On the Outside

The bodywork, originally green in colour, was completely restored in the 1990s by a professional who repainted it in a bright pastel red. The bodywork does not show any particular blemishes, except for a few very slight cracks - visible to the naked eye only at very close range - in the most delicate areas, such as the base of the windscreen and the bonnet. The front and rear lights, as well as the turn signal switch, are original or in any case conform to the period of construction of the car and are perfectly intact. The bumper, the bonnet hinges, the petrol filler cap, the door sills, the windscreen, rear window and window frames and all chrome parts in general are shiny and clean, with no traces of oxidation. The iron rims and wheel caps are also intact, as are the Bertone badges on the front wings and the exhaust tailpipe. The car does not have a fabric soft top, but a hard top in the same colour as the bodywork. The CL badge is missing from the rear section. The restoration of the bodywork in the 1990s resulted in a change of livery from green to red, but judging by the details, it was a very careful job, carried out only after the complete disassembly of the moving parts and interior trim of the car. In fact, not even the slightest traces of the original paintwork can be found in hidden areas of the bodywork, such as the engine compartment or the boot. The paintwork has only minor surface imperfections in a few areas, which can be removed by means of small, targeted measures that do not, however, require a complete painting of the bodywork.

On the Inside

The interior is almost entirely upholstered in ice-white soft leather, with the exception of the dashboard, which is finished in black plastic and is completely intact. The carpeted floor is also black. Slight traces of rust are present inside the ashtray and in some fixing screws. There are a few small cracks and tears in the hard-top lining, in the armrest between the seats and on the passenger seat, in the outer covering of the left-hand side of the seat. The door panels, on the other hand, are perfectly intact, with the chrome parts (handles and window winding handle) free from oxidation. The gearstick paddles and dashboard trim, both in leather, are also in excellent condition. Some minor defects can be noted at some gaskets (cracked rubber), some points of coupling between the body and the hard-top and the interior door hinges. The sun visors are missing. The three-spoke perforated plastic steering wheel is perfectly intact, with the characteristic laurel circle Fiat logo in the centre. We think the combination of the red exterior and the ice-white leather that covers almost the entire interior is very elegant and "just right". The seats, well padded, are in more than good condition and do not require any particular repair work, except for a thorough cleaning of the leather (in some areas there are small spots) and the repair of the passenger seat, slightly torn in the front left.

Underneath

The engine compartment is very neat and tidy and is completely free of rust. On the left-hand side of the engine bay, which is perfectly legible, is the metal identification plate, which bears the car's homologation code, chassis number and engine number. None of the rubber parts - from the distributor cables to the engine cooling system hoses to the auxiliary service belts - show signs of wear. The metal air filter housing is also original and well-preserved, with only very slight traces of oxidation also visible on the four separate exhaust manifolds (one for each cylinder). The plastic of the coolant tank is not cracked or dulled, making the fluid level immediately visible. The spare wheel well and boot lid are completely free of oxidation, as is the battery compartment. The underbody is also in a very good state, with no signs of corrosion on the underbody or on the metal parts of the chassis, such as the suspension arms, the leaf springs and the stabiliser bars of the suspension. The fact that the engine and many parts essential to its correct functioning have recently been overhauled and refurbished with the replacement of some parts is undoubtedly a plus for a car over fifty years old, as well as an extra guarantee for those who want to use it.

History Highlights

As the documentation accompanying the sale shows, the car has had only three owners since new: the first bought it in 1967, selling it in 1993 to the second, who kept it until 2016, when it changed hands for the third and final time. In 2020, the car underwent a thorough mechanical overhaul, with the replacement and overhaul of several engine and chassis components. In particular, the engine oil and filter, brake pads and master cylinder, gearbox oil and oil seal were replaced. In addition, the steering box was overhauled and the axle shaft covers and fuel pump were also changed. The timing chain, being made of metal, does not need to be replaced. The same applies to the clutch and shock absorbers. As things stand, the car is in perfect running order and does not need any work to be used regularly.

What We Think

From a historical and collectors' point of view, the charm of the open bodywork and the prestige of the brand name of one of the most famous automotive brands in the world represent a sure added value to a car that is in itself fun, delightful and ideal for entering the world of vintage Fiats. Overall, the car is in more than good condition. In short, a simple polishing of the exterior surfaces and the exterior chrome plating will be enough to give the bodywork a shine, making the car (almost) as good as new.

The estimated value for this Fiat 850 Spider is between €13,500 - €18,000.

It is highly recommended to view the car in person, specifically the car is located in the province of Avellino, Italy. To make an appointment, just click on "Contact the seller". Don't hesitate to ask further questions or make comments in the comments section below or see our "FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions".

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

Antonello

  • Location: Avellino, Italy
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 119000
  • Engine: 843 cc
  • Gearbox: manual
  • Steering position: LHD
  • Colour: Red
  • Interior: Black
  • Estimated Price: €13,500 - €18,000

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