Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fiat 850 Vanessa (Ghia)

From CAR Magazine, January 1967 - Turin Motor Show report

Fiat 850 Vanessa (Ghia) (by retromotoring)

Model-girls all fell for the exquisite Vanessa in palest mauve: a light-hearted Ghia exercise aimed at sugar-daddies with Christmas in mind. Exquisite workmanship made sense of a whole host of faintly frivolous but by no means ridiculous ideas, including a baby seat that folded down from the rear backrest with a separate side entrance (useful for shopping, too) alongside, separate front seats with decorous swivelling cushions and elegantly articulated safety backrests, a host of padded drawers and cubicles for makeup, umbrellas, handbag and the like, and a commodious carpet-lined boot in the front. We like the way Giugiaro had taken emphasis right away from the mechanicals, giving the machine an entirely feminine and yet self-respecting air, specifying Idromatic two-pedal drive, hiding the unassuming powerplant under a plain hatch in the tail, chucking out all the instruments and replacing them with inconspicuous coloured lights (including the speedo, which simply lit up little numbers half-buried in plush) and capping it all with a concealed fire extinguisher which would also pump up a flat tyre.

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