The Truth About Cars » Fiat 124 Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 02 Aug 2014 03:20:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Fiat 124 Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1976 Fiat 124 Sport Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1976-fiat-124-sport-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1976-fiat-124-sport-spider/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=753777 So many Fiat 124 Sport Spiders get junked, and the process has been going on for my entire junkyard-prowling career. In the three years of this series, we’ve seen this ’71, this ’73, this ’75, this ’78, and this ’80, and we might as well add the 124′s little brother, this ’71 850 Sport Spider. […]

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06 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo many Fiat 124 Sport Spiders get junked, and the process has been going on for my entire junkyard-prowling career. In the three years of this series, we’ve seen this ’71, this ’73, this ’75, this ’78, and this ’80, and we might as well add the 124′s little brother, this ’71 850 Sport Spider. I don’t even photograph every 124 Sport Spider I see, because they’re almost as common in wrecking yards as ’85 Camrys. Today’s ’76, however, holds the Junkyard Find record for Scariest California Beach Neighborhood Rust.
13 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinCars that live within a block or two of the Pacific Ocean in Northern California (I found this car in one of my favorite East Bay yards during a recent drive around California in a new Mirage) often rust in a weird top-down pattern. For example, the truly frightening ’84 Toyota Van we saw last October. California cars with bad weatherstripping often rust inside the trunk, as water leaks in and sits for months during the long, rainy winters. This Fiat managed to rot from both types of California rust.
01 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHow does this even happen?
17 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car comes from the era of separate emissions requirements for new cars sold in California.
10 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI have quite a collection of these SLOW DOWN lights, which were used to warn of an overheating catalytic converter (presumably the CATALYST indicator light warned of some other cat problem). Ferrari 328s had them, too.
14 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDefinitely not worth restoring, but maybe someone will grab the Twin Cam engine for a nicer Fiat.
IMG_2237Given how cheap these cars are, we see surprisingly few 124 Sport Spiders in the 24 Hours of LeMons. I can think of a couple of Twin Cam-powered examples, and then there’s the Volkswagen TDI-powered Smokey Unit Fiat. This car is pretty quick, but its real advantage in endurance racing is its tremendous range on a tank of diesel.
19 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe last owner of this Fiat was against Proposition 86.

01 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 -1975 Fiat 124 Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Fiat 124 Sport Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1977-fiat-124-sport-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1977-fiat-124-sport-spider/#comments Wed, 29 Feb 2012 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=432165 After yesterday’s yesterday’s ’71 Fiat Junkyard Find, we should check out the slower, uglier version of the 124 Sport Spider that resulted from Fiat’s attempts to meet American safety and emission standards. Fiat did a better job than British Leyland in this department (e.g., black-bumper MGB, Malaise Spitfire), but that’s clearing an extremely low bar. […]

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After yesterday’s yesterday’s ’71 Fiat Junkyard Find, we should check out the slower, uglier version of the 124 Sport Spider that resulted from Fiat’s attempts to meet American safety and emission standards. Fiat did a better job than British Leyland in this department (e.g., black-bumper MGB, Malaise Spitfire), but that’s clearing an extremely low bar.
As I mentioned yesterday, there appears to be an unlimited supply of forgotten 124 Spider projects in the garages and back yards of America, which results in a steady trickle of these cars showing up in junkyards. Every year since the early 1980s, the number of junked 124 Spiders remains pretty much constant. Of course, you don’t see them on the street these days, but you really didn’t see many 25 years ago, either.
If there are any Denver-area restorers who haven’t abandoned their 124 Spider projects, this intact spare-tire hardware will be a nice find.
Even though these cars were really fairly terrible, I must admit they are a lot of fun to drive. Fiat was very good at making slow cars feel fast.

01 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 02 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 03 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 04 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 05 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 06 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 07 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 08 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 09 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 10 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 11 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 12 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 13 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 14 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 15 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 16 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden 17 - 1977 Fiat Spider Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Malaise Master' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1971 Fiat 124 Sport Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1971-fiat-124-sport-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1971-fiat-124-sport-spider/#comments Tue, 28 Feb 2012 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=432144 In my 30 years of crawling through junkyards, one thing has remained constant: there’s almost always a Fiat 124 Sport Spider to be found. Crusher-bound 124 Spiders are about exactly as common now as they were in the early 1980s, and I suspect they’ll be just as common in 2032. I usually don’t even bother […]

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In my 30 years of crawling through junkyards, one thing has remained constant: there’s almost always a Fiat 124 Sport Spider to be found. Crusher-bound 124 Spiders are about exactly as common now as they were in the early 1980s, and I suspect they’ll be just as common in 2032. I usually don’t even bother to photograph them (though I have documented this ’78 and this ’75), but lately I’ve developed some affection for the sports car that made the MGB seem reliable. Here’s one— a little older than most— that I spotted in a Northern California yard earlier in the month.
Genuine Pininfarina design here!
The Fiat Twin Cam engine in this car displaced 1438cc and made a decent 96 horses in ’71, but that number dropped a lot when emission laws and net horsepower ratings came into play. The Twin Cam got bigger as the decade went on, but the power got smaller.
Look, a number on the door. Race car!

15 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 01 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 02 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 03 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 04 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 05 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 06 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 07 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 08 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 09 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 10 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 11 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 12 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 13 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden 14 - 1971 Fiat 124 Spider Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Fix It Again Tony' Greden

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Down On the Mile High Street: Fiat 124 Sport Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/down-on-the-mile-high-street-fiat-124-sport-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/down-on-the-mile-high-street-fiat-124-sport-spider/#comments Wed, 12 Oct 2011 15:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=414429 After seeing the sad little yellow Fiat convertible in a Denver junkyard, let’s admire a happy little yellow Fiat convertible that’s still managing to evade the cruel jaws of The Crusher. These things didn’t change much during the first few years of production, and I’m not a sufficiently maniacal devoted Fiat aficionado to spot the […]

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After seeing the sad little yellow Fiat convertible in a Denver junkyard, let’s admire a happy little yellow Fiat convertible that’s still managing to evade the cruel jaws of The Crusher.
These things didn’t change much during the first few years of production, and I’m not a sufficiently maniacal devoted Fiat aficionado to spot the subtle model-year identifiers on this car, but I’m going to guess it’s a ’70 or ’71 model. I found it parked in front of a Denver church on a Sunday, so it may be one of those much-sought-after “little old lady only drove it to church on Sunday” cars. If so, I’m impressed by the little old lady’s choice of a 40-year-old Fiat over, say, a Buick LeSabre.
This car appears to be a super-original, rust-free example; probably not worth a ton of money (if we are to go by the Hemmings Motor News Classifieds), but a lot rarer nowadays than its British competitor, the MGB. The ’71 124 Sport Spider listed at $3,382 and boasted 90 horsepower, while the ’71 MGB sold for $2,875 and had 92 horsepower. Having driven both types, I’d say both are pretty poky, but the Fiat seems faster.
DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-9 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-1 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-2 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-3 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-4 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-5 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-6 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-7 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-8 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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When 86 Horsepower Was More Than Enough For a Sports Car! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/when-86-horsepower-was-more-than-enough-for-a-sports-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/when-86-horsepower-was-more-than-enough-for-a-sports-car/#comments Fri, 31 Dec 2010 16:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=378936 OK, we’ll admit that the ’75 Fiat 124 Spider was ridiculously underpowered with just 86 horsepower out of its Twin Cam engine, but compare that to the 62.5 horsepower of the ’75 MGB, a car so miserable that its manufacturer couldn’t afford to round the power figure down a half-horse. This car scaled in at […]

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OK, we’ll admit that the ’75 Fiat 124 Spider was ridiculously underpowered with just 86 horsepower out of its Twin Cam engine, but compare that to the 62.5 horsepower of the ’75 MGB, a car so miserable that its manufacturer couldn’t afford to round the power figure down a half-horse.

This car scaled in at a lightweight 2,320 pounds, so it wasn’t quite as poky as the power numbers might suggest.

I’ve been seeing junked 124 Spiders quite regularly for decades now; my theory is that every 124 Spider still on the planet is now sitting in a back yard, waiting to be scrapped. You see one on the street every now and then, and some brave souls even race the things.

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