Siata Spring?

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by flaviaman, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. flaviaman

    flaviaman Low Mileage

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    For the past couple of years I have been considering buying a Spring to restore,
    I am almost ashamed to admit this as I think they are so ugly they are almost “cute”.

    Back in 1969 I can remember looking at one at the Fiat dealer in Seattle (Metro Imports) and thinking it was hideous to my 11 year old eyes...

    I have looked at a couple and driven one which was a fright pig. Anybody have any wise words (besides “you’re insane...”)? Is anyone parting one out? I have seen the website for the gentleman with multiple Springs in The South, he does not seem very communicative....

    There always seem to be 5 or 6 for sale around the country, given how few were built (3,500 is often quoted) and how few remain after 48 years I find this surprising. Certainly there are more Springs for sale in this country than 850 Coupes.....

    I think a Spring would make a nice companion to my Coupe, and the rear “area”
    Is large enough for the dogs...this is why I am not considering a Spider.

    Thanks for your thoughts in advance...
     
  2. kmead

    kmead True Classic

    Location:
    Michigan
    Just to confirm, you are insane. Like Fiat insane.

    They are an obomination but they do have a certain charm about them. The reasons for owning it sound good and yes it is interesting how many come up for sale versus Coupes. Perhaps all the old ladies who bought them never parted with them and they sat in garages for their entire lives :)

    If you can get one in decent shape go for it. It’s all 850 under the skin.
     
  3. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    There were two on CL last year in Illinois. Both at the same small used car dealer. Must have been someone's collection. It really is odd how common those things are! :D
     
  4. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    With a face only a mother could love...a blind mother, that is. ;)


    All magnificent 850 Sedan that is, complete with 4 drum brakes & an 817cc engine with tiny valves, a 1-barrel carb & 4-1 exhaust (aka: "Wheezy"). But still fun to drive just because of all the odd looks you'll get! :)

    I've yet to see Carl create a rat-rod 850 Spring; satin black paint, lowered stance, nice alloy wheels, late 850 front discs, a hot 903 with sport exhaust...or maybe "highboy" style with a narrowed front grille, no fenders & wide slicks on steelies with hubcaps? LOL
     
    NM850 likes this.
  5. kmead

    kmead True Classic

    Location:
    Michigan
    We will need to pull him into this thread.

    Has he ever done an 850 of any kind?
     
  6. Mark

    Mark FIATFREAK

  7. flaviaman

    flaviaman Low Mileage

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks for your input gentlemen....I know these are based on the basic 850 Berlina and would love to know why Siata did not start with the Coupe with the higher output motor, disc brakes and 13” wheels...

    In regards to the Rat Rod look, or at least modifications, every ad I have looked at the car is still has the single barrel Holley-Weber and as Jeff calls it The Wheezy Exhaust manifold. Most have engine compartment under panels in place.

    I am very surprised more have not been fitted with the four branch exhaust and dual throat Weber. Perhaps Karl is correct and little old ladies have been storing them in the garage for the past 40 years...

    Should (when is probably more appropriate) I buy a Spring I was planning on installing a 903 motor but am torn about replacing the wheels with 13” so I can run front discs. I dislike wire wheels intensely, nor do I want to pay to have a set of Borrani’s professionaly rebuilt.

    Conversely steel wheels would not look good, though the later produced ORSA’s had them, and Cromodoras definitely would not look good.

    Mark: thanks for the link to the car in Sacramento, I have seen that one.
     
  8. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Simple economics. They used the 850 Berlina components in order to keep their production costs down, & thus the total retail price of the car lower. This car was meant to be a simple runabout, not a sports car.


    I agree, most alloy wheels look too "modern" for this car. Back in the day, probably the most common alloy wheel re-fitted by Spring owners was this 5.5"x13" version of BWA wheel:

    bwa.jpg bwa7.JPG bwasportiva.jpg bwa5.5x13.jpg

    (This same wheel looks pretty damn good on a Moretti Sportiva 850, btw) ;)
     
  9. kmead

    kmead True Classic

    Location:
    Michigan
    I think it would look good with MGA like steel disk wheel, the fake UnDo knockoffs would be a hoot.
    F3C6DDDE-9E57-4B3D-B452-554405158226.jpeg
    Or like this BGT, the hubcaps don’t look too bad
    0411BC56-4B57-444B-9F14-735C7B9F4B4E.jpeg
     

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