Nostalgia: Photographing a Fiat 850 Sedan

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Regular readers of this blog know that I have a thing about Fiats. Don’t ask me why; I really don’t have an answer other than my nostalgia for Fiats that I have owned back in the day. My red 1968 Fiat 850 Coupe cost me $1667 brand new and was the best and, as hard as it is to believe for some of you, was the most dependable Italian car I ever owned. On the strength of that positive experience, I purchased a 1970 Fiat 850 Spider from the same dealer. It cost me $2049 brand new and was the worst Italian car that I ever owned.

The Fiat 850 was a small rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car that manufactured by Fiat from 1964 to 1973. In addition to the sedan in the featured photograph, the 850 was really a family of cars that shared many core technical components:

  • Fiat 850 Special, a “sport sedan” version of the 850 sedan, launched in 1968 with a 47 hp engine.
  • Fiat 850 Familiare had space for seven passengers in three rows. Think of it as a mini minivan.
  • Fiat 850 Coupé was introduced in 1965 and had a top speed of 84 mph. I loved my 1968 Coupé.
  • Fiat 850 Spider had an engine tuned to produce 49 hp allowing it to reach a top speed of 90 mph. The lovely body was designed and built by Bertone. My own 1970 Spider was a disater and I ended up trading it for a brand new Porsche 914-4.

How I made this shot: The above image was photographed at a previous Automezzi Colorado. The photograph was made using the late and lamented Samsung NX1 mirrorless camera. While Sammy never got the memo on the size and configuration for mirrorless cameras—they were not alone on this— the camera produced stunning image quality. Lens was a NX 16-50mm f/2-2.8 (at 24mm.) Exposure was 1/640 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 400.

For another take on nostalgia, please read my post “Nostalgia Ain’t What it Used to Be.”


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