By on February 18, 2015

04 - 1980 Fiat 124 Sport Spider - Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWill the steady procession of Fiat 124 Spiders into America’s self-service wrecking yards never cease? So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’71, this ’73, this ’75, this ’76, this ’78, this ’80, this ’80, and now yet another sporty little Fiat from the Malaisiest year of them all. Here’s a beat-up but not hopeless example I spotted in Northern California.
01 - 1980 Fiat 124 Sport Spider - Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinUnlike its MGB competitor (then on its last year of production), you could get the 1980 124 Sport Spider with factory fuel injection. 80 horsepower, which today’s American car buyers would consider unacceptable in a lawn tractor.
05 - 1980 Fiat 124 Sport Spider - Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior yielded some good stuff to a lucky Fiat owner, looks like.
08 - 1980 Fiat 124 Sport Spider - Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars rusted even in California, but this one looks solid.

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14 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1980 Fiat 124 Sport Spider...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Wonderfully solid body, but sadly I doubt she’ll ever see the road again, just not worth the cost to resurrect.

  • avatar
    velvet fog

    80hp is acceptable in a lawn tractor, but just barely.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    It always makes me sad to see these fun little Roadsters being scrapped when clearly not junk .

    If you actually TRIED one , you’d be surprised at how much fun 80 hp can be in a light car .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      +1

      Back in ’80, I had hopes that my dad would see fit to give me something like this as a high school graduation present and talked the Fiat dealer into letting me drive one. I fell in love with it.

      Of course, had Dad been silly enough to actually buy this, it’d have lived its life in St. Louis and Des Moines, Iowa, where I ended up going to college, so it’d have rusted to a fare-thee-well…but what does an 18-year-old guy care?

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      Ditto! I love driving my 48hp Beetle much more than my 300hp Subaru.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Those hood bulges look gross! I think if it’s the early 80’s and I’m going with unreliable roadster, the answer is always something British.

  • avatar
    Discoman

    The autostick trim piece in the driver’s seat is a nice touch.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    When I graduated HS and didn’t want college yet, I went to work in a fabric factory. The manager was an extremely nice guy — still works there — and had a ’79 Spyder. He loved it and was very proud of it.

    During that first winter I worked there, the Spyder was breaking down all the time. Charlie decided to quit while he was ahead and replaced it with a 280ZX. Not as much “character” but faster, more comfortable and much more reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      And almost as prone to rust!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I remember the Zs rusting with the best of them, but the 280ZX wasn’t really in the same class as the FIAT when it came to disintegration. I lived in central Virginia at the time. We used copious amounts of salt when it snowed, but it didn’t snow all that often. 240Zs, 260Zs and 280Zs were killed by rust, but plenty of 280ZXs lasted long enough to just plain wear out.

  • avatar
    Nooly

    These are great cars if you can find one without rust. Upgrade to electronic ignition on the older models, add a header and a Weber carb, and the car is a blast to drive. You have a little bit of a back seat, a very user-friendly top mechanism (literally takes a few seconds to put it up or down), coil springs and discs all the way around, and a 5 speed transmission versus the 4 speeds of the competitors of the day. If you’re mechanical at all, then the car is very easy to maintain. Great cars, but beware of the rust!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The post 1980 models seemed to be of better quality and more reliable with fuel injection. After Fiat ditched the U.S market in 1982 Malcolm Bricklin sold these as the Pinafarina until around 1985. Those cars seemed to be better made, I doubt many around are rusty and had a more modern dashboard.


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