Fiat 124 Spider - Classic Cars

The Fiat 124 Spider

Claimed to be the most successful Italian sportscar ever, the Fiat 124 was extremely popular in its day, and still has a strong following today.

The Fiat Spider was powered by a belt-driven twin-cam engine that grew in capacity over the years, but started at 1438cc, then grew to 1608cc, before expanding to 1756cc (with a new 1592cc base model being added to the range), and then ultimately a 2-litre engine as each successive engine was slowly strangled to death by legislation.

The Fiat 124 Spider was just as pretty as the smaller Fiat 850 Spider, but appealed to those with a bigger budget.

A Fiat 124 Spider
A Fiat 124 Spider | Source

Fiat 124 Abarth

The 124 Spider got fuel injection in 1980 and there was an ultimate supercharged version (the VX) with 135bhp before production ended in 1985. The later cars were marketed as Pininfarinas - who styled the car originally - rather than Fiats. Even with the ugly federal-bumpers to meet US legislation it still looked a pretty car.

Over the years the transmission went from a four-speed manual to a five-speed manual, and an automatic gearbox became an option.

The Fiat 124 Spider quickly gained a reputation for lively performance and sweet handling, certainly better than any of its British contemporaries. Italian manufacturers of all types have long been good at creating fine engines and chassis, and often with good looks. It was just reliability that often left something to be desired. Rust was often a problem, with electrical problems not far behind.

Abarth, the famed Fiat tuners, built a number of 124 Spiders for homologation purposes to qualify the car for rallying. Its best results being second and third in the Monte Carlo Rally.

Technical Specifications: Fiat 124 Spider

Engine: 1438cc/1608cc/1756cc/1995cc

Power: 90-135bhp

Brakes: Disc/drum

Transmission: Four- or five-speed manual, three-speed automatic option

Suspension: Independent front, live axle rear

Top speed: 102-120mph

A Fiat 124 Spider on You Tube

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