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The popular Fiat 850: in the movie Sir, you are a widow, Iva Janžurová also drove it

It was a popular and sought-after car. Its production took place between 1964 and 1973 and a number of models were created. The Fiat 850 mainly fulfilled the function of a cheap family car. He was also sold in our country, he starred in many films and TV series. For example, his name was used by director Jindřich Fairaizl in the documentary Inzerát.

The Fiat 850 was a popular and sought-after car. Its production took place between 1964 and 1971 and a number of models were created.

| Photo: Wikimedia Commons, AlfvanBeem, CC0

1968 Fiat 850 Special:

Source: Youtube


The Fiat 850 model was basically based on the Fiat 600, on which it was built. Unlike its predecessor, which, as the portal writes wikipediawas intended mainly for the transport of two people, the Fiat 850 was supposed to take the role of an inexpensive family car.

“After all, this also corresponded to the requirement to significantly increase the rear space of the body,” writes Wikipedia. The two-door saloon, trade name 850, was first introduced in May 1964 and was well received.

More attention was paid to safety, individual elements of the body were strengthened and the tank was moved from the front to the back, behind the back of the rear seat, which significantly increased the luggage space.

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According to the portal, he was behind the creation of the new car Garáž.cz genius chief constructor and chief designer of Fiat Dante Giacosa.

An interesting feature was the left-handed engine

The engine was a Fiat 850 in-line, liquid-cooled cast-iron four-cylinder OHV with a triple-bearing crankshaft. The first versions of the car had an additional oil filter with a paper insert on the side of the engine, which later disappeared.

Fiat 850 Special car.Fiat 850 Special car.Source: Wikimedia Commons, ChiemseeMan, free work

He was interesting according to wikipedia anti-clockwise engine operation. This was determined by the gearbox used. It was originally created for the Simca car company, for its new 1100 model with a front engine and front wheel drive. In the end, the plan failed, so the Italian designers used the transmission in the Fiat 850 model. They were thus forced to reverse the rotation of the engine’s crankshaft, which was logical. Otherwise, the car would have one forward speed and four reverse.

The gearbox was a robust design and had all four gears fully synchronized. Steering was worm gear with a symmetrical arrangement of levers. All brakes were drum, liquid, handbrake mechanical, acting on the wheels of the rear axle.

The Fiat 850 Super version had increased engine power, which brought an increase in the car’s maximum speed from the previous 125 to 128 kilometers per hour. An even more powerful version of the Fiat 850 Special had a top speed of 135 kilometers per hour.

A sought-after car, thanks to its low price and unpretentiousness

In 1965, the Fiat 850 Coupé and Fiat 850 Spider versions were presented at the Geneva Motor Show. The Spider was designed by the design company Bertone and was also produced here. It weighed only 715 kg and, thanks to an engine with a volume of 903 cubic centimeters, reached a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour. He celebrated his greatest successes in the USA, where he became a sought-after item and practically remains so to this day. From 1966 the Fiat 850 had an Idroconvert automatic clutch.

The front of the Fiat 850 Sport.The front of the Fiat 850 Sport.Source: Wikimedia Commons, AlfvanBeem, CC0

The Fiat 850 became a sought-after vehicle soon after its launch thanks to its low price, unpretentiousness and relatively solid utility value compared to cost. In 1968, the Coupé type was replaced by the newer Sport Coupé with four circular headlights on the front. But the main change was the engine, which was later used by the Fiat 127 and Panda models until the beginning of the 1990s.

Dante Giacosa.Dante Giacosa.Source: Wikimedia Commons, Erich Koch, Anefo, CC BY 4.0Dante Giacosa was born on January 3, 1905 in Rome. Otherwise, his family’s roots were in Neiva, on the southern edge of the Piemonte region, about 50 kilometers southeast of Turin. He studied engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin, Politecnico di Torino in Italian, which is the oldest technical university in Italy. He graduated here in 1927.

After completing compulsory military service, he joined Fiat in 1928. He first worked on military vehicles and then in the aircraft engine department. Even before the war, however, he designed several important automobile structures. According to the portal, he was from 1946 until 1970 wikipedia chief designer of the Fiat car company. He then retired, but remained in close contact with Fiat as an advisor to the Fiat Board and the company’s ambassador to national and international organizations.

He wrote several volumes of memoirs about his professional life and the history of the Fiat car company. He was president of FISITA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Ingénieurs des Techniques de l’Automobile) and author of the technical monograph Motori Endotermici, which deals with various issues related to the design, construction and functions of internal combustion engines. The work has become a reference manual for mechanical engineering courses at many universities and has been translated into a number of languages. He died on March 31, 1996 in Turin.

Transporter and Spanish Seat

Also worth mentioning is the “large-space” Fiat 850 transporter and Familiare station wagon with three rows of seats, which was replaced in the mid-1970s by the Fiat 900 E model with bodywork elements of the Fiat 127. In parallel with domestic production, production also took place in Spain under the name Seat. The Spanish models had a few minor differences, the Ebro Siata trambus superstructure was also created here.

Fiat 850 T Familiare.Fiat 850 T Familiare.Source: Wikimedia Commons, Datazip, CC BY-SA 4.0

It was in Spain that the successor to the Fiat 850 saw the light of day in 1974 under the name Seat 133 – Fiat 133. Apparently the last variant derived from the Fiat 850 was the van type 900 E, which was assembled by the Yugoslav company Zastava until 1989.

Fiat 850 in the hands of Carlo Abarth

The Abarth Fiat 850 was produced between 1964 and 1970. Carlo Abarth put a 1,600 cubic centimeter engine into the 850 body and thus reached a speed of 220 kilometers per hour, he even put a two-liter engine into the 850 Coupé Abarth body with which the car reached a speed of 250 kilometers per hour an hour.

Fiat 850 in Abarth modification.Fiat 850 in Abarth modification.Source: Wikimedia Commons, Reinhold Möller, CC BY-SA 4.0

On the car market in Czechoslovakia

The Fiat 850 was also sold in what was then Czechoslovakia. It was sold by Mototechna and Tuzex. In July 1970 she was, according to the website reduced price of the basic Tudor from 83,000 crowns to 69,000 crowns. The portal reminds that the Škoda 110 de Luxe came for the same money. But it was much bigger and had four doors.

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In Tuzex, the 850 cost 14,800 Tuzex crowns or vouchers. Jan Kotlík on the web Třebíč daily revealed that a year later, i.e. in 1971, more precisely on August 30, his parents bought this car at Mototechná Brno. They paid 59,000 crowns for the car in basic equipment.

Tuzex voucher - voucher worth 5 crowns.Tuzex voucher – voucher worth 5 crowns.Source: Wikimedia Commons, Lukáš Řezník, CC BY-SA 3.0Vouchersaccording to wikipedia from the German der Bon – voucher, were Tuzex vouchers used to pay for foreign or luxury goods in the then Czechoslovakia in special Tuzex stores. Vouchers could only be officially obtained by mandatory exchange for currencies. Vouchers were not redeemable and were valid only on the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic. People who did not have access to currencies could only buy bonds on the black market from money changers. Officially, one bond was worth one crown. In the 80s of the 20th century, one voucher was sold for approximately 5 to 6 crowns on the black market.

Fiat 850 in movies and TV series

Of course, the popular Fiat 850 car did not escape the attention of the filmmakers. He appeared in a huge number of films, mainly Italian, where he played major or episodic roles. He also played in one scene in the Fantomas series.

Our filmmakers also used it. He appeared in the film Sir, you are a widow from 1970. The model 850 Spider convertible was used here, which the television viewers of the former Czechoslovakia could see in the scene where Iva Janžurová flees from a crowd of journalists with a pale blue car. The Fiat 850 also appeared in the film Formula risk rider from 1973 or in the picture Death of the Hitchhikers from 1979.

Fiat 850 Spider in the movie Sir, you are a widow:

Source: Youtube

From the TV series, it was, for example, 30 cases of Major Zeman, where both the classic 850 and the Fiat 850 sport Coupé were presented. In the Vyprávej series, the Fiat 850 played a significant role in the work entitled Akce koroze. The complete list of films and series can be found on the website Internet Movie Cars Database.

In the document Advertisement

The name of the Fiat 850 car was used by director Jindřich Fairaizl in his documentary from 1968. The one in the document titled Advertisement, who won the prestigious international prize Prix Italia, raised the question of how it is possible that in a developed socialist society, which is supposed to be a model of virtue, unattainable morality and mutual friendship, the number of murders of young children is increasing and there are also attempts to exchange a child for something material. For example, for a car.

Fairaizl decided to try to find out how much a child’s life is worth to some parents and entered, according to the portal a very controversial advertisement in the newspapers of the time with the text: I adopt a child under three years of age. I am offering a new Fiat 850 car. Zn: “Tuzex – sure deal”. Almost 300 parents responded to the ad. Some even sent a photo of the child.

In the documentary Inzerát, for example, there is an interview with a couple who were thinking of “getting rid” of a three-year-old child in this way. Quoting from a letter from other parents: “We have five children. One girl and four boys. So we would give you one boy. He will be four months old and about to be born. Come and have a look. He has blue eyes and brown hair. You know, we can’t afford a car, but we can afford children. Come either on Saturday or Sunday…” is written on

Portal Garáž.cz writes that, according to available data, a total of 2,203,380 Fiat 850 series cars were produced. Portal gives an even larger number, namely 2,872,049 cars.

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