Slow to Speed, Fast to Rust
|Written by Norm Mort|
Italian sports cars quickly became successful after World War II — think Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia and Alfa Romeo — but Fiat’s entry-level two-seaters never totally captured the imagination or sales of enthusiasts.
In the 1960s, Bertone and Pininfarina slowly emerged as the top Italian styling houses, and they proved the Italians were particularly good at constructing graceful designs for small sports cars.
Yet, for Nuccio Bertone, the early 1960s were difficult. Fiat had not conveyed any interest in the carrozzeria, and his relationship with Alfa Romeo was not as solid as it had been a decade before. He met with Fiat’s Nicolo Gioia and persuaded him to create a new two-seater sports car based on the 850.