Friday, October 7, 2016

Ol' Blue Eye-talian: 1973 Fiat 124 Spider

There has been a bit of hype lately about the new Fiat 124 Spider, so I thought it was appropriate to revisit the original.  In case you are a hermit living in a cave, the new 124 Spider is Miata under the skin, built on the line in Ujina Plan No. 1 in Hiroshima, next to the Miata.  The original Spider was designed by an American and built by Pininfarina in San Giorgio Canavese.  No shipping engines across the world here...  Find this 1973 Fiat 124 Spider for sale in Clinton, WA for $1,400 via craigslist.


Unlike the new 124, powered by a farty 1.4L turbo, the 124 originali was powered by a twin cam 4 designed by the great engineer, Aurelio Lampredi.  In this year of Spider, it would be displacing 1600cc's, good for around 110hp.  But, who knows how many ponies are left in this one's grubby engine room?  Oh, and the ad says it leaks a little oil on the ground.


The interior doesn't look too bad, no need to evict a family of raccoons or make sure your Hantavirus shots are up to date  It's hard to tell the condition of the dash (probably cracked) and the wood (probably cracked too).  From the factory, the vinyl seats were stitched together with cotton thread that rotted at the mere thought of UV, so you'll need to do the seats, or at least stop at Pap Boys for some koverz.



The ad lists the mileage as around 31K, but the odometer is 5 digit, so you be the judge.  The car was previously in Hawaii, so the seller is honest in mentioning the word rust, but no specifics.  From the photos, the rockers look good, but the part you see is just a cover, you will have to take them off and examine the structural rockers underneath.  But, for an ask of $1,400 and probably declining as the PNW weather slips into rain mode for the next 9 months, how could you go wrong (leave your comments on how below)?


See a better example of an Italian orginal? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent.

7 comments:

  1. These cars are such a bargain. Tjaarda styling for pennies on the dollar. Isn't mentioning leaking oil is a bit redundant for a vintage Fiat ad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Styling and a great engine. Agree you drive this until the wheels fall off, you get tetnus, or the tin worm or moss get it.
      Which is faster tin worm or moss? Or in this case it is a rolling stone which will keep the moss away?

      Delete
  2. The Hawaiian salt crust is probably staving off the Pacific Northwest moss growth, but I can hear it rusting from here. I'd drive it like crazy until the seats fall through the floor, then swap that great-sounding engine into an MG Midget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Styling and a great engine. Agree you drive this until the wheels fall off, you get tetnus, or the tin worm or moss get it.
      Which is faster tin worm or moss? Or in this case it is a rolling stone which will keep the moss away?

      Delete
  3. Do these suffer from the "classic Italian driving position" problem common to smaller Fiats (i.e. they assume your arms reach your toes when in a seated position)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the steering wheel position is almost bus like, so you need to drive it like a contemporary Italian would have, with hands at 4:30 and 7:30.

      Delete
    2. I had a brand new 1974 124 Coupe. Switching the cams and distributor for earlier non emission control items made it a different car. I bought a blown up 1967 or so engine for $25 and had all the pieces

      Delete

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