We're kicking it ‘60s style all week here on Nice Price or Crack Pipe, and today we're also going with a classic Italian. But does this Siata come with a price that you'll think is worth springing for?
In the sixties Ford was really on a roll. The company's new thin-wall V8 when applied to a willowy British roadster proved devastating to all contenders on both road and track; it created an entirely new class of car with the introduction of the Mustang; and Ford made good on its promise to beat Ferrari at Le Mans, again, and again, and again.
That winning streak was renewed yesterday with the commanding 89% Nice Price win collected by the extroverted '66 Fairlane Stroker, whose only failing (if you could call it that) was the perception of it having two too many doors.
Today's contender barely has two doors, and if one were looking for a ‘60s representative that was the polar opposite of yesterday's Ford, you needn't look much further than this 1970 Siata Spring. Now, I know what you're thinking, we're only doing ‘60s cars this week and here is this Siata rocking a 1970 title. Well, if the new millennium taught us anything - and it didn't - it's that a decade begins in the one-year and ends in the 10th. That makes this 1970 a sixties car. Got it?
That time space conundrum may be a little hard to grasp, but it's nowhere near as confounding as the existence of the Spring. The Siata brand dates back to the ‘20s - Societa Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori - initially making its name by offering performance parts for Fiats. It wasn't until after WWII that the company began building their own cars, for both street and competition. The spectacular 208S is probably the best known of the handful produced, looking similar to the contemporary Ferraris of the era and powered by Fiat's jewel-like 2-litre 8V (named so as to not incur the wrath of Ford's lawyers).
The Spring doesn't look like a Ferrari. In fact, it looks nothing like the Bertone designed Fiat 850 spider upon which it is based, nor anything else for that matter. Launched in reaction to the results of what at this time seems highly questionable market research about the automotive needs of Italian youth, the Spring had a short three year model run, and basically drove the company into bankruptcy.
Shockingly, another firm, ORSA, bought the rights and tooling for the Spring and continued production for another 5 years. This one is one of the Siata-built cars however, and comes with a patina of funk that would make any rat rod proud. With only 817-ccs from its albeit professionally rebuilt Fiat four, the Spring is far more mouse than rat.
Along with the claimed rebuilt mill comes an equally refreshed carb, although there's no indication of any of that in the pics. In fact the engine bay shot looks like something out of one of those found footage horror movies, although no amount of cocaine cam can mask the dull castings and overall blanket of rust in evidence. Just where exactly are these new kibbles and bits?
They must be there somewhere as the ad claims in bold all-caps glory that the car is 95% complete, only requiring some bodywork and a few dabs with the old paint brush to make it right as rain. It also notes the exclusivity of the marque in stating that there were only 3,000 total produced, and remain but a tenth of that number in existence today. Can you guess why that is?
The sixties were a time where both the weird and wonderful coexisted harmoniously, and cars like the Spring were brought to market despite such obvious impediments to their success. That doesn't mean that they lack either interest or value today, and in fact as representative of the last product of the venerated Siata name, I'd wager that this Spring will be worth rescuing.
But is it $2,500 worth? That's a lotta' Lira for something so odd and of limited capacity. What do you think, for that price is this Siata worth saving? Or, does that price ensure that Spring is NOT in the air?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.