Sunday, September 14, 2014

2k: Repeat Offender: 1974 Fiat 124 Spider

The subject of this next feature appeared on this website in March of 2014 and reader PeteL chimed in the comments and said he picked it up.  We ended the original post (link here) with the statement: "What a beauty.  If it really is rust free and just needs the tank drained and carb de-gunked...this could be extremely well purchased at this price." turns out that the engine needed more than just new gasoline and PeteL has put the car back up for sale.  Find this 1974 Fiat Spider offered for $2,500 in Renton, WA via craigslist.

Sometimes when you see something that looks too good to be ain't true.  PeteL in his own words: Well Vince, I didn't reply because the story was less than great. I picked up the car after a friend checked it out...ran very rough but was on 10yr gas and sort of stopped. The body was great...which really motivated me. Well I am located on the East Coast and the car was on the West so I had a Fiat specialist give it a thorough check. Not good and as I could not do any work...the bill to get her whole again was too high for me to commission the work at the shop and my plan of spending some time in the Seattle area working did not transpire so I am putting her up for sale.

So there you have it.  The 1.8 liter inline-4 cylinder twin-cam engine good for 116 horsepower will need a complete rebuild.  It isn't going to be cheap if you pay an independent eye-tallion repair shop to do the work...there must be a better way...

As luck would have it, I found this 1999 Ferrari 360 V8 engine offered for $8,499.99 buy-it-now or make offer in nearby Portland, OR via eBay.  Ferrari is owned by Fiat, so you would expect that putting this into a Spider would be just a matter of a few bolts and maybe a few carefully placed hammer strikes.  

Cosmetically the car is in good shape and the photos from the new owner show a nice paint job and well cared for interior.  Regardless of the engine condition,  you've got to agree that this car is still a good buy at the current asking price. 

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  1. Hopefully someone will buy it and rebuild the engine and not part it out. You hardly ever see chrome bumper Spders anymore. Beyond the engine this one looks to be in good shape.

  2. " so you would expect that putting this into a Spider would be just a matter of a few bolts and maybe a few carefully placed hammer strikes."

    LOL.....DT strikes again! Careful with the hammer!

    Once again.....slippery sellers.trusting buyers= recipe for disaster!

  3. It is sad to see a project like this stalled because of an engine rebuild. The Fiat 124 was not a terribly exotic engine, so one only really needs basic rebuilding skills to pull it off.

    Unfortunately Spiders are not worth a lot of money, so as soon as one has to hire a professional, the project goes underwater, even at this asking price. GSTS.

  4. The 124 Spider 2000 is the #1 bargain in the world today. I own 3 and I'm not done yet.

  5. Had planned on putting that Ferrari engine in a Topolino, but your E-Z Swap seems better. Yep.

  6. Looks like it also needs a new radiator, and that rust under the windshield trim is cause for worry. Note that looking at the engine compartment, the car was originally red. Speaking of red, what is that odd red hose snaking though the engine compartment?


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