Fiat 1800 (1959 – 1968) Review

Fiat 1800 (1959 – 1968) At A Glance


+Neat, well-engineered conventional saloon that's much better in 2.1-litre form

-If you want one, and won't settle for a Peugeot 404, head for Italy

A new range of four- and six-cylinder Fiat models were launched in 1959. The 1800 and 2100, were smart looking cars, bringing the top of the Fiat range bang up to date. Powered by either a 1795cc unit with 75bhp or a 2054cc with 82bhp, these cars were the first Fiats to use torsion bar suspension at the front. As well as that, the 2100 was the first post-war Fiat to use straight-six engines.

The pretty Pininfarina Berlina saloon and Familiare estate looked rather similar to the BMC Farina saloons as well as the Peugeot 404, which were also styled by the prolific Italian designer. From 1960, the 1800 could be ordered with many luxury car features including a sunroof, radio, electric radio aerial, whitewall tyres and a heated rear window. However, the 1800 didn’t sell well abroad, and few buyers fell for its charms – unconvinced by its average refinement and patchy build quality. From 1962, the engine from the 1500 was added to the 1800 range, but it didn’t sell either – and started Fiat down a long time of slow-selling large cars.