Fiat 850 in a museum

Fiat 850 Spider for Chuck Bodak

Vasil 'Chuck' Bodak (June 3, 1916 - February 6, 2009) was an American boxing cutman and trainer who worked with over 50 world champions including Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Tommy Hearns, Julio Cesar Chavez, Evander Holyfield, Edward Necco and Oscar De La Hoya. He was known for his trademark headbands with photos of his fighters.

His Fiat 850 Spider was completely covered in boxing leaflets and prints! An over the top car.

850 spider marconi 1

850 spider marconi 2

850 spider marconi 4

This car in now part of the collection of the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, California.

A FWD Fiat 850 Coupé

Think about this scenario: you have a rotten Seat Panda and there is also a half bad Fiat 850 Coupé in your garden. Most of us wouldn't think of converting the Coupé into a front-wheel drive car. Yet you only need one person to think about this. This person lives in Poland. After removing the engine and gearbox and clearing out the trunk, the real work started: fabricating engine mounts, rebuilding the suspension, designing and building the cooling system, making the gearshift mechanism, adjusting the wiring harness and probably much more.

This is the result:

850 coupe FWD front

You can see that there is some weight missing at the back because the Seat Panda wheels have a slight positive camber.
And it doesn't matter that the indicators are not original, this project is not judged on originality.

At the back there is a real trunk, neatly lined. To prevent the luggage from getting wet, the cooling slots were closed:

850 coupe FWD rear

The original logo was probably lost, but this conversion is definitely Special.

The rear reminded me of an Audi 1000 SP Coupe:

850 Coupé FWD lijkt op Audi 1000SP Coupé

The interior remained standard, although a few things must have happened underneath:

850 coupe FWD interior

I couldn't find any other pictures of this Coupé; especially the engine compartment and the front suspension seem interesting to me. If you want to know more, you can go and see the car in the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. They also have this Fiat 850 Spider and a large collection of European cars and all kinds of other weird means of transport.

A Fiat 850 S in the MAuto in Turin

The MAuto shows only one Fiat 850, an S, although it looks like a Special. Only the logo is wrong.
Unfortunately, little information is given and the car was not in museum quality.

850 mauto 1

850 mauto 5

850 mauto 3

Fiat 850 City Taxi, the conceptcar by Manzù

The Fiat 850 with the most exclusive emblem is without a doubt the City Taxi, a concept car designed by  Pio Manzoni (nickname Manzú) on the basis of the Fiat 850 Idroconvert.

Due to the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fiat 127, also a design by Manzú, in the MAuto, the national car museum of Italy in Turin, the City Taxi car was exhibited there and I was able to make these photographs.

Manzoni made an analysis of urban traffic and the qualities required for a city car and determined the basic requirements. The car had to:

  • be as compact as possible,
  • provide good view
  • be easily accessible,
  • be agile and safe and finally
  • be well recognizable.

The prototype built in 1968 on a Fiat 850 chassis was presented to the public at the Turin Motor Show. With its striking orange colour, the City Taxi is one of the first small cars specially designed to carry passengers and luggage.

850 city taxi 1a

The 850 City Taxi is an asymmetrical car: on the left is a conventional door that is only used by the driver, while on the right, passengers enter the car through an unusual and innovative long electrically operated sliding door. The two wipers are particularly long because they have to clean a much higher windshield than normal.

850 city taxi 2

As for the interior, the rear seats can accommodate three passengers. There is also an additional folding seat next to the driver's seat, for an eventual fourth passenger on shorter journeys. In general, the space to the right of the driver is intended for luggage storage. Other luggage can be placed in the space behind the bench, above the engine.

850 city taxi 3

850 city taxi 4

The Fiat City Taxi also has a futuristic dashboard covered with a deformable material, which incorporates the instrument panel, taximeter and the screen of a small TV. Really important innovations in safety, which then became standard in production cars include the articulated steering column to protect the driver in the event of a frontal impact, the soft dashboard and the securing of luggage by means of a strap.

850 city taxi 5

850 city taxi 6

Fiat 850 City Taxi