HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1972 Fiat 850 Sport Spider brimming with Abarth...

Pick of the Day: 1972 Fiat 850 Sport Spider brimming with Abarth power

The little Italian roadster is called a 'resto-mod' with a performance engine


The Pick of the Day is a diminutive-but-refined 1972 Fiat 850 Sports Spider that the private seller in Scottsdale, Arizona, describes as a resto-mod by virtue of its performance engine and stylistic modifications.

The 850 Spider was a stylish entry for Fiat’s stable of minicars, with rear-engine design and an attractive 2-seat convertible body designed and produced by Bertone.  They sold pretty well in their day to those who admired their charm and agility, but they’re now quite rare as collector cars, and for good reason.


“These are incredibly hard to find as most have rusted to the ground,” according to the seller’s advertisement on, adding that this Fiat “underwent a full rotisserie restoration and is rust-free!” 

This restored Fiat seems to have benefited from its stay in the dry Southwest, looking solid and fresh, and ready to drive and enjoy, the seller says: “Starts easily, idles smoothly.”

“This Fiat is a lovingly restored resto-mod with an upgraded engine (903cc inline four-cylinder Abarth engine), bumper delete, custom burlwood dash panels, modern retro-style radio with USB input, and 4 speakers, 4-point restraints, handmade leather-pouch tool kit,” the ad says.


Abarth, for the uninitiated, is an Italian tuning company that specializes in making little Fiats into fiercely competitive racers and sporty road cars.  The Abarth treatment for this pint-size engine undoubtedly raised the horsepower and made it rev more freely.

The 4-cylinder engine has gone just 15 miles since its rebuild, the seller notes, with the 4-speed transaxle rebuilt at the same time.  The Fiat also has a new braking system, with a new master cylinder, rotors, calipers and brakes lines, as well as new tires and shocks, and a new battery, according to the seller, and the seat covers and soft top are also new.

“It is ready for coffee and cars, an ice cream run or, with four-point restraints, plan something a little more adventurous!” the seller adds.

The Fiat’s asking price, which the seller calls “a steal,” is $15,700.

 To view this vehicle on, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Growing up in ’70s Indianapolis, I had a neighbor with one of these. Compared with my first car, a ’67 Impala SS, it seemed laughably small and slow- but was really fun to drive. Right up until the seats fell through the floor, along with the carpet and floor mats. Apparently, Fiat had rust issues.

  2. Yeah, I don’t know how many window winders and axle boots I replaced on mine. Also one engine and one transmission. That said, most fun street car I ever owned.


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