If you are in the market for a classic 2+2 convertible with a timeless Pininfarina design, and a punchy little engine then look no further, the Fiat 124 Sport Spider is the perfect match for you.
It debuted in 1966 and was based on the Fiat 124 Coupe and Sedan shortened platform as well as a shorter wheelbase, greatly contributing to the Spider compact and sporty look. It was built by Fiat until 1982 where production was assigned to Pininfarina until the car’s retirement in 1985.
The little cab was fitted with an inline-4 double overhead cam 1.4L engine, which seen its displacement increase over the years to finally reach 2L in 1979, and fuel injection from 1980. Although little and with a power output of “only” 133hp in its best performing supercharged version (branded “Volumex”, the engine was the work of an ex-Ferrari engineer who applied his skills to develop the most relevant engine to fit the little Fiat.
700 turbo models were created for the US market, and less than 1000 units for the FIA rally homologation labelled CSA (C Spider Abarth) for the Group 4 class. The CSA featured the 1.8L engine which was improved to deliver 126hp vs 118hp on the standard version by upgrading the carburettors and exhaust, making it the most powerful naturally aspirated variant of the lineup.
You can easily find a 124 Spider project for around £5-£6K, a decent one for £9K, and a superb one for £12K and up. You can get the Turbo version for £25K+ while the Arbarth are around £50K+ due to their rarity. Regardless of the prices, you have very low chances of losing money over time… However, as you know, car investment is not an exact science!
For the money, you get a very nice package and a proper head turner that will put a smile on everyone’s face as you drive by. The design is somewhat (arguably?) reminiscent of some 60’s or 70’s Ferrari Spider models.
For 2016, Fiat brilliantly revived the 124 name with its MX-5 based new model also available in Abarth version.
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