SAMAS Yeti 903

Today's entry will be a shorter one, as there is very little information on this cute 'ute, developed initially in the late-'60s by Delta Veicoli Speciali di Torino, or just Delta. Yes, it's a small off-roader based around Fiat mechanicals (is everything Italian based on a Fiat?!), and yes, it actually entered production to the tune of about 200 units.

As it turns out, it was the next vehicle designed by some of the same team who did the 500 and 600-based Ferves Ranger, the Yeti was designed by Delta to be a small, go-anywhere machine with a neat external framework of boxed steel, canvas roof, and powered by a four-cylinder engine from the Fiat 850. Figure around 45 horsepower.

The first rolled off the assembly line in 1968, and I'm sure buyers found themselves at the helm of an almost indestructible urban runabout—after all, the four-wheel-drive machine had four-wheel steering that was selectable even in low range! Turning radius? Just 2.9m (9.5 feet).

Sort of like the later Fiat 126 Cavalletta, or 'Grasshopper' I'd featured previously, the Yeti was intended to be a little workhorse, and even included a power take-off for generators, cement mixers, and escalators. OK, not escalators…

After a few years of production, the vehicle was transferred into the control of SAMAS, who extensively modified its mechanicals. The good bits with four-wheel-steering and four-wheel-drive remained, but its engine was upgraded to the 4-cylinder from the Fiat 127 and moved more inside the cabin. As for performance, the Yeti 903 provided a top speed of about 100 km/h (62 mph), could take a full load up 100% gradients and tackle a side slope of up to 80%—just the thing for your next Alps adventure.

Weight? 900 kg (1984 lbs). 

Oddly, one source online even says that a few Yeti were seen in Russia in order to participate in trials against the LuAZ-969M. How it got there—or how they fared—is, at least to me, a mystery. I guess you could say that, like the Yeti, this #bcotd entry has been short and sweet.