Nostalgia: Photographing the Fiat 850

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

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

The 850 was a small rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car that manufactured by Fiat from 1964 to 1973. In addition to the sedan featured in the above photograph, it was 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. Love 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 ir for a brand new Porsche 914-4.

The above image was photographed at Automezzi Colorado 2015; please join me at Automezzi ’18 at its new location. The photograph was made using the late and lamented Samsung NX1 mirrorless camera. While Sammy never got the memo on size and configuration for mirrorless cameras, this 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.