When Fiats were also works of art
Fiat 850 Coupes are these days rare by any standards; and this red one, it turns out, is used regularly in and around London by a cool guy who bought it for just £300 over 20 years ago. It took me straight back to my past, of course. I learned to drive in my Mum’s dark blue Fiat 850 Coupe (ERE 710) and celebrated passing my test on my 17th birthday by half-spinning the 850 down the fast esses of New South Head Road, near my old school. The 850 was gorgeous in every dimension and ours was rock-solid reliable. There was no rust, either – although we did clean it regularly due to the salt in the air from the nearby Pacific Ocean. It was joined later by my Dad’s dark blue 124 Coupe (AJJ 949).
Is it me or is it real? Were cars genuinely more beautiful back then? And why – the 500 aside – is the Fiat range today so relatively mundane? What is today’s Fiat equivalent of the 124 Coupe?