So My dad died about three weeks ago. In his honor, I’ve been trying to write something witty, something solemn, and even something really, really long. But ultimately I decided that first and foremost this is a blog about cars, and he liked cars, and even instilled in me that passion. So instead of eulogizing him and writing some long, drawn-out diatribe about the guy he was, I’ll write about one of his cars: the Fiat 132. It was the first car he ever let me attempt to move (almost taking out a family friend/one of dad’s colleagues in the process) and is to me one of the cars that stands out most in my memory as “Dad’s car”.
Tag Archives: Fiat 850
So spring (or summer, apparently) has sprung – at least in the Mid-Atlantic region, but also throughout much of the rest of the country, from what I hear. What that means to me is that it’s time to dust-off your convertible, change the oil, pump-up the tires, put the top down, and head-out for a relaxing drive in the country, or the city, whichever is your pleasure. What’s that? You don’t have a convertible? We would argue that there is a convertible out there for nearly any budget or anyone with a credit card that they’ve given-up trying to pay off and therefore don’t mind piling onto. Who among Car Geeks doesn’t relish the wind in their hair, the sun on their face, and the sound of the exhaust bouncing off the trees? Now is the time before prices jump-up for the season. What we offer here are some thought starters…
My Dad’s 1969 Fiat 850 Spider is my oldest automotive memory. 850 spiders were also the cars that my TTS co-conspirator and I first bonded over, at the approximate ages of five and three, respectively. Suffice it to say, we both have a soft spot for Fiat 850s, especially clean, original ones like this which are essentially non-existent at this point. They were cheap when new, and most were driven hard (you sort-of had to) and left outside. Combined all that with their propensity to rust, like all Italian cars from the 1960s and 1970s, and you’ll find that nice 850s are nearly impossible to find, and the few you do find are usually out there for all the money. Find this clean survivor
on CraigsList in New York for a reasonable $5,995.
So there I was, out for a Saturday drive in Dad’s Toyota Tundra king cab on my way to fetch various and sundry moldings and power tools from the local Lowe’s Depot, bombing around the backroads listening to the unfortunately melancholy CD that I gave him some time ago, and I spied this pretty little mid-80s Porsche 911 Targa – and I love mid-80s targas, especially sans whale tail – curving up the country lanes. But it wasn’t the car that caught my eye, it was the two little heads bobbing back and forth and up and down in the back seats. And it got me thinking…
An occasional TTS reader, who is also a Porsche 911 fanatic, told me he likes the blog but asked when we are going to cover some “real” cars? Considering some of the very real cars we have covered, I can only take that to mean that down there in Oak Ridge, Tennessee where the scientists glow green in the dark (also, incidentally, where my the aforementioned reader lives and works) “real” must somehow equate to squat, rear-engined, and German. If I were to accept that definition, in my world it would also mean “air-cooled” – as nature intended. But alas, he’s a water-cooled Porsche junkie. Nonetheless, the dialog reminded me of a sad chapter in my own life – related to the last of the Porsche 911s – the 993 – a car just like the car featured here
which can be found on Cars.com here in Marin County, California for a very reasonable $31,555.
Automotively speaking, there is much to dislike about the great State of Virginia. Emissions requirements in “populated” areas (read: the greater DC area) are extreme, requiring dyno tests every other year until cars reach 25 years old. Detailed safety inspections are an annual joy unless you register for antique plates, which have strict requirements on use that are actually fairly strenuously enforced – which is to say you shouldn’t get caught commuting in your antique car. But one thing Virginia makes very easy, and more importantly very cheap, is the acquisition of vanity license plates.