In a message dated 96-11-27 00:48:29 EST, you write:
>I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who knows of the
>existence of one of these cars which might be for sale and in decently
>restorable condition. It would be helpful if it is located within
>1500 miles of Edmonton, however I would make exceptions for a decent
>car. For those of you whose atlases don't go far enough north, we are
>about 400 mile due north of western Montana.
>Oh God, it has started to rain. It's minus 17. Blecch!
You really should see someone about this masochism problem...17 below, and
you want a Fiat?
I have to confess to owning a 69 Spyder myself (can I still be on the list,
Driving that car really let you get good at cliping apexes and planning ahead
on all the turns, so that you didn't have to move the steering wheel once
throughout the whole turn. Why, well for one, the horn buutton always popped
off into your lap at the most inopportune moment scaring the living beejeezus
out of you, but more importantly, you didn't want to scrub off even the
slightest bit of speed as it would take another hour to build it up again.
Talk about underpowered? The only way to keep traffic within sight was to put
your foot to the floor and shift every so often. I raced every car on the
road, and the only ones who knew it were other 850 drivers. Upon meeting
another tortured soul, that maniacal look came over them, the glazed eye, the
hint of spittle, the quivering throttle foot. When the stoplight changed,
amid the floating valves there emerged both winner and loser, Moss and
Fangio, together again...and no one else had a clue. Its a tough life when
the only car lower than you on the automotive pecking order is the Subaru
It is said that gold is the only material that can be hammered until it is
only 1 molecule thick. Somehow the Fiat factory had discovered this
alchemists feat, and applied it to what they laughingly called steel, to form
the bodywork of the 850. I fully believe that the cars had rust holes in them
before they got to the paint booth. (Anecdotal evidence does give some
credence to this "theory")
Whenever two or more bedeviled owners met, the talk always turned to the
virtual cornicopia of wasted time and ability utilized in that ritual known
as "Trying to Start the Fiat in the Wintertime" (hereafter known as TSFW).
Folklore ranged from baking the dist cap and leads every morning to expel
moisture, to leaving the dam**d thing running all night. TSFW was a strong
bonding agent to the Fiatisti. (MY personal method evolved into getting up an
extra half hour early to tow the wretched bugger with a real car til it
started - even then if it stalled before running the prerequisite 15
minutes-you had to tow it again (I wish I could say I was making this up, it
would be funny if it weren't true)).All this and it never got to 17
below...well maybe close, this was in Western New York, in what is known as
the "Snow Belt", and with good reason.
A note on the crankshaft...see bodywork, metalurgical skills applied to this
unit also. Only crankshaft I have seen break waitin at a stop sign.
Cute yes, but thankfully off the endangered list and onto the extinct
Nick in Nor Cal
ps really cold today hi 65 low 38, maybe i'll take the TVR out tomorrow...