The Truth About Cars » Italian Sports Car 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 » Italian Sports Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1973-fiat-124-sport-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1973-fiat-124-sport-spider/#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=475473 Where do all these junkyard Fiat 124 Sport Spiders come from? You don’t see them on the street, you don’t see them half-covered by tarps and raccoon nests in driveways, and you don’t even see many of them at Italian car shows. And yet I’ve been seeing these cheaper-than-an-Alfa-Spider Italian sports cars at wrecking yards, […]

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Where do all these junkyard Fiat 124 Sport Spiders come from? You don’t see them on the street, you don’t see them half-covered by tarps and raccoon nests in driveways, and you don’t even see many of them at Italian car shows. And yet I’ve been seeing these cheaper-than-an-Alfa-Spider Italian sports cars at wrecking yards, at about the same rate, since I started visiting U-Pull-It in Oakland in the early 1980s. Here’s the latest example, a little green devil I spotted at U-Pull-&-Pay Denver last month.
Just in this series, we’ve seen this ’71, this ’75, this ’78, and this ’80, and we might as well add the 124′s little brother, this ’71 850 Sport Spider.
I’d like to show you photos of the Twin Cam engine that may or may not still live under the hood of this car (who knows, maybe someone with a sense of humor has swapped in a BMC B engine), but the hood release was stuck and I didn’t feel like freezing my fingers futzing with it for more than a few seconds.
The warning lights in these cars are junkyard gold— high-quality chrome and real glass lenses. I’ve used them in such projects as the Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox, the scratchbuilt instrument panel in my ’65 Impala project, and other projects. I didn’t grab these, because I’ve already got a lifetime supply in my parts stash.
What I’ve learned from all these 124 Sport Spiders that I’ve seen about to get crushed over the years is that one of these cars would make an excellent Ill-Advised Engine Swap Project. Hmmmm… it seems there’s a shop building swap bellhousings to bolt the 3-liter V6 out of an Alfa Romeo 164 to a non-transaxle, rear-wheel-drive Alfa transmission. If we listen to the Alfa Mafia, that engine makes 270 horses with mild (i.e., terrifyingly expensive) intake and exhaust modifications. Or, if you want to be boring (and not go broke), there’s always the Miata drivetrain donor.


This ad is for the ’80, but it’s pretty much the same car as today’s find, only with more smog control and uglier bumpers.

01 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 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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Junkyard Find: 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1974-alfa-romeo-spider-veloce/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1974-alfa-romeo-spider-veloce/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2011 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=409569 I’ve never owned an Alfa, and every time I see one in the junkyard I feel a twinge of guilt for never having rescued some poor abandoned Spider project prior to the inevitable ride to the junkyard that all such Alfas take after a decade or two spent sitting under a tarp in the driveway. […]

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I’ve never owned an Alfa, and every time I see one in the junkyard I feel a twinge of guilt for never having rescued some poor abandoned Spider project prior to the inevitable ride to the junkyard that all such Alfas take after a decade or two spent sitting under a tarp in the driveway. Here’s yet another rust-free Spider that’s going to get eaten by The Crusher because nobody was willing to save it.
Alfa Romeo made the Twin Cam for 40 years, and the one in the ’74 made a claimed 129 horsepower from its 1,962 cubic centimeters. That’s very good for the Malaise Era, though it’s worth noting that the Datsun 260Z of the same year sold for more than a grand less than the Alfa ($5,289 versus $6,550), had 33 more horses under the hood, and weighed only 184 pounds more. Of course, the ’74 Fiat 124 Sport Spider sold for a mere $4,395, but buyers had be willing to overlook the car’s 92.5 horsepower (any time a car manufacturer claims a fraction of a horsepower, look out) and general terribleness.
This car, which I found last week in a Denver self-service yard, appears to have spent many years with its interior exposed to the Colorado elements. Too far gone to be worth restoring, although it would have made an excellent 24 Hours of LeMons race car.
What does it mean when the “THROTTLE” idiot light comes on? Broken throttle cable?

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