Fiat’s little 850 Special is a cutesy Euro city car built to ferry mustachioed ciabatta to their meetings with silken-hair prosciutto. It’s a ben cotta pasta noodle, wriggling around on tall skinny tires with anasciugacapelli stuffed under the lid out back powering the rear axle. But when you take said 850 Special and swap the blowdryer out for a Kawasaki ZX-12R motorcycle engine, you’ve got the kind of power Il Duce could have only dreamed of.
Werner Stocker did exactly that, building this 1300-ish pound Fiat into a 180 horsepower hillclimb monster. Shown in the video below, the car is running Skradin, Croatia Bongo Hillclimb Monsters event with Italian driver Mirko Venturato onboard. During that event, the car placed in the top ten among silhouettetouring cars, and it’s easy to see that it has plenty of speed onboard. The car looks as though it corners flatter and faster than many open wheel cars, and its diminutive size and quick-revving engine mean it’s stiff competition on these tight corners.
It’s pretty simple, really. I see a bike-powered car, I’m going to post about bike-powered cars. It’s a little automotive kink of mine, and I’m not going to apologize for it. Little cars are great, and I love them dearly, but stuff a tiny motorcycle engine in that bay and zing it to the moon, and I’m basically already in love. It doesn’t hurt that the execution of this particular car is exquisite. From the Abarth-style downforce-inducing engine lid, to the crude stick-on six-inch fender flares, this car has everything you need for a good time.
Somehow the Europeans manage to continue to do motorsport right, with weird little cars running up weird little hills with weird little engines packed in them. Hillclimb is such a rarity in the U.S. that I can only name three of them. Let’s do more hillclimb, and build more weird cars like this one.