When 86 Horsepower Was More Than Enough For a Sports Car!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
when 86 horsepower was more than enough for a sports car

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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  • And003 And003 on Apr 06, 2012

    Maybe Dustin Hoffman should have driven THIS in 'The Graduate,' no?

  • RRJ RRJ on Apr 11, 2012

    You don't think 62.5 hp is enough? Try having a brake line rupture when driving in traffic.

  • Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
  • Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
  • SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
  • Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.