Sold – $8,500 (Plus fees)
Penned by the exceptionally talented Tom Tjaarda, built by Pininfarina, and debuted in 1966, the Fiat 124 is an embodiment of the halcyon days of sublime driving in southern Europe throughout the sixties and seventies. Front-engined, rear wheel drive, lightweight, and low to the ground, the 124 Spider is a nearly no-frills sports car that perfectly puts drivers in direct connection with the road and machine. First sold in the United States in 1968, and later updated in 1971, the 124 had everything any weekend cruise would need as standard equipment including a more potent powerband. Now on sale for the next seven days is a positively prime example of a 124 hailing from 1971. The bidding has begun, and the details are below!
Painted by Fiat in Forest Green, the current paint is a re-application of the original color which was applied under the previous ownership. The current seller denotes some waves throughout the coating due to the required surface preparation prior to painting. A new tan convertible top (manually operated) was installed during this work. Included alongside the top is a protective roof boot fashioned to resemble the rear seat leatherette. The exterior chrome around the windows and throughout the body has mild tarnish that can likely be polished out.
Aside from the standard brightwork, for 1968 the grille was updated to a honeycomb configuration, and U.S. safety bumper equipment was mandated. However, the U.S. rubber bumpers have been replaced by slimmer, form-fitting European chrome units. Additionally, mounted to the rear decklid is a chrome luggage rack. Although the bumpers have been replaced, U.S.-market safety lighting remains installed. This 124 rides on new tires attached to the original cast aluminum wheels wearing factory hubcaps.
Inside the Spider, the seats (front and rear) are covered with tan leatherette featuring tuck-and-roll style centers. This leatherette, along with the black floor carpeting, was freshly replaced by the previous owner. During the same renovation, the original dashboard and center console were exchanged with refurbished pieces. Other enhancements include a new shift boot retainer, heater valve, heater core, door stops, console cover, and footwell map pockets. In 1968, a center console was added for a standard radio, but the previously installed aftermarket radio which replaced the original unit has since been removed. In its place, the void has been tastefully concealed with a black blocking plate.
The new dashboard features black stitched leather with passenger-facing wood veneer panels. Within the panel are six black rimmed Veglia gauges. Included are a 140-mph speedometer, a 9,000 rpm limited tachometer (6,500 rpm redline), analog clock, oil pressure gauge, fuel level meter, and coolant temperature gauge; the oil pressure gauge is new. Currently, the five-digit odometer indicates just around 85,000 miles. The original Fiat-badged two-spoke steering wheel has a crack within the rim.
For 1971, Fiat installed a new DOHC 1.6-liter inline-four cylinder motor that upped output to 108 horsepower. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. Service records attached to the 124 show a short block, head gasket, and timing belt replacement was performed in 2006. In more recent history, the carburetor has been rebuilt, a new transmission mount installed, and the air filter and oil filter have been changed. The current owner has also replaced the central portion of the exhaust and rear muffler.
Suspension and chassis-wise, the 124 is a pleasantly capable sports car. A dual circuit brake system ensures power is always ably applied to all four discs, and the original torque-tube rear suspension was phased out for upper and lower trailing arms in 1969. Our example has new front brake pads; completely new rear brakes; new driveshaft U-joints; and new bushings for the front control arms, Panhard bar, and sway bars.
Acquired from Bring a Trailer in March of 2018, this 124 is being offered in far better condition than found a year ago. The factory spare tire and tool kit are still with the car, although the toolset is incomplete. The first issued blue California license plates are included with the sale, as are several service records, a Haynes repair manual, a German magazine featuring the Spider, and a clean California title. So if you are searching for a little seventies roadster to help you soak up the sun, just remember it is sunnier in Italy than England.