This Is A Weird Way To Sell An Old Fiat

Illustration for article titled This Is A Weird Way To Sell An Old Fiat

There’s a Fiat 850 for sale not too far from me. The ad caught my eye, because I love rear-engined Fiats. This one looks like a decent candidate for restoration, but the way it’s being sold is peculiar. The owner is pitching it as a huge carrying case for a pair of headlights, and maybe some wheels.

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Here’s the full ad:

Illustration for article titled This Is A Weird Way To Sell An Old Fiat
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Right there in the headline he’s pushing the “Lamborghini Miura headlights” and the “Dino wheels.” I mean, sure, technically, both the Fiat 850 and the Miura used the same headlight lens and bucket assembly, which you can still find for sale online, for around $600 for the whole assembly.

I mean, the seller’s not wrong, but this sort of thing is hardly uncommon; low-volume exotics used a lot of parts from lesser cars. This would be sort of like selling a clapped out pre-‘67 Beetle as a “Pair of Porsche 356 Headlights in Rolling Case” or maybe a beat-to-shit 2002 VW Passat as a “pair of taillights for an Invicta S1,” or a Nissan 300 ZX as a “Nice set of Lamborghini Diablo Headlights.”

Illustration for article titled This Is A Weird Way To Sell An Old Fiat

Those may be the same wheels as a Dino, also, but I’m not certain. I’m too distracted by the headlight thing.

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Really though, I hope whoever buys this actually restores a nice little 850 Spider and doesn’t go all Oedipal yanking the lights for some improbable project Miura.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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DISCUSSION

Jesus Christ that car has a LOT of nose on it. Maybe it’s not all that physically long, but the proportions on it. And (I’m not a Fiat guy) you say it’s rear-engine? Why in the hell did they design it with the front wheels so far back from the front? I can just see the conversation on this thing being designed...

“You wanna move the front wheels further towards the front. It’ll improve the road manners of the car. Longer wheelbase, so it won’t be so ‘bouncy’ and stuff. Especially since all the weight is over the rear end”

“Naw. We got to thinking about this. If we keep the wheels pretty much under the driver’s feet, it’ll give it a technically shorter turning radius. We can say it’s turn radius is only 1 meter. I just hope the Car reviewers don’t notice the nose sticking six meters (hey, Italy, right?) out the front.”