1966 Fiat 1500 Cabriolet

The Fiat 1500 is one of those lesser seen Italian roadsters, but it is nevertheless a good choice for someone looking for some thrills in a good looking package on a budget. With a 1.5 liter, OHV four cylinder engine, it's not a speed demon, but that's not what cars like these are about. A car like this is for those sunny holidays down by the beach; the kind of days when you leave work behind and time is but a mere abstraction. This 1500 Cabriolet for sale in California is a great specimen for those looking to enjoy their investment, not merely just study it locked away in a garage.

1966 Fiat 1500 Cabriolet

California car with the original black plates. I purchased this car from a collector in San Diego that had five of them he had planned on restoring. Because of health issues and other circumstances he decided to sell. I was given my choice of the five. Since none were running at the time and knowing of the rust issues common to most Italian cars of this era {especially ragtops}, my choice was easy. This car had it's original paint and virtually no rust. Floorboards, rockers, battery box and spare tire bay, all solid and original. I'm sure the hardtop helped save the inside and the underside appears to have been heavily undercoated at some point in it's life (possibly at the original dealership). I have included a few pics to show how it looked when I got it.

Interior was removed and reupholstered, dash was cracked so it had to be repaired and recovered. New carpet, new convertible top. Hardtop was originally gloss black, but decided to redo it in a textured black rubberized coating. Repaint was done in the original color. The left rear corner was the only spot that appeared to have been worked on before. There were some minor dents that were repaired before paint. The doors hood and trunk were removed from the car for painting. The inside of the trunk was left original. There are a few minor blemishes in the paint that can only be seen under close inspection. Since all of the trim is original, some areas are showing some minor pitting and could use replating ie. gauge trim rings,outer door handles and rear bumper.

Tires all hold air and have plenty of tread, but they are old and should be replaced before driving any distance, spare tire also holds air. All of the stainless side trim is there and looks great. Front bumper and grille are excellent. Since the car had not run in several years, carb was removed and cleaned, fuel lines and tank cleaned and flushed. New gas was put in and the engine fired up on the first try. It has done the same thing every time since. It does not smoke, idles smooth and shifts fine thru all five gears. Brake shoes and pads were replaced, a new master cylinder was installed and some brake hoses were also replaced. All lights and gauges work. The clock is not in the center spot and has been replaced with an ammeter.

Heater wipers, horn, lighter all work. The original radio and speaker are there but the radio is either not hooked up or broken. These motors are known to be very reliable and I have found that parts are easily found on eBay. I have owned many small convertibles from this era ie. (Datsun Roadster, Renault Caravelle, Triumph, Sunbeam etc.) and in my opinion this Fiat is the best looking of the bunch. The lines and proportions are spot on. Your not going to win many drag races in it, but if you're looking for a drag race you're probably not reading this. You can see how the body lines mimic the Ferrari 250, which by the way, will win some drag races. But you'll have to dig a lot deeper if you want it parked in your garage!

This is the final version of the 1500 Spider with the increased power (up to 83 hp) and the 5-speed gearbox, the unique steering setup is actually quite responsive. This is not a concourse showcar and I am not trying to represent it as such. My hope is that the person that buys this car will fill the tank with gas, put the top down and drive it every chance they get. As with any car this old, I'm sure there will be things that will need to be sorted out over time, as the car is driven.

I have tried to be as accurate as possible in my description, if you have any questions, or would like specific pics, please ask and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can. Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs. A nonrefundable $1,000 deposit is required within 24 hours of auctions end. I can assist with getting the car somewhere locally for pickup. Thanks for looking and good luck.

A show quality 1500 Cabriolet might breach $20,000. With a no reserve auction, I would suspect this car might bring somewhere between $12,000 to $15,000. While this car is meant for sunny days, the hardtop adds a bit of year round practicality for markets outside of California.

-Paul

3 thoughts on “1966 Fiat 1500 Cabriolet”

  1. My very first car! It was 1969. I’d gone to exactly one used car lot to shop for a Triumph Spitfire. This was parked beside it. It seemed more modern, with five gears. That beats four, right? I paid $750.

    My two most specific memories of the car were the wonderful ragtop, which I could raise with a sweep of my right arm at a stoplight and never leaked, and the ultra-long throw of the shifter. Fifth gear left my hand close by the left knee of my date, which was a bonus.

    Pulling into the high school parking lot, I felt like a cool cat. Good times were had in that car, having nothing to do with zero-to-60 times or lateral acceleration. But college was coming up, and I needed money more than a car. The Fiat’s engine needed an oil seal job for serious money –$150 — so I let her go and got an Italian bicycle. Hey, ten speeds beats five, right?

  2. Greg,

    By clicking on the link above the main picture on these posts, you will be taken directly to the ad. In this case, the auction has no longer been archived, indicating the car is not for sale.

    Regards,

    Paul

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