Alfa Alternative: 1958 Fiat 1200 TV Spider

1958-fiat-1200-tv-spider

The seller of this 1958 Fiat 1200 TV Spider claims it was originally discovered in a barn by the previous owner. From there it was moved into dry storage, where it remained for nearly 25 years. It is now running and driving, but could use some cosmetic work. With Alfa Romeo Giulietta prices on the rise, this could be a cheaper Italian alternative. It can be found here on eBay with bidding still at $3k.

1958-fiat-1200-tv-spider-interior

Overall, this Fiat looks very solid, but it does have some rust. Fiat’s of this era, or any era for that matter, are highly rust prone and finding one this solid is rare. As you can see, it is going to need work inside as well, but the swivel seats are still there, as is the dash and gauges. There is some damage to the driver’s side rear, but it doesn’t look too serious. This could make for a great project if the seller’s reserve isn’t too high. So, should Tony fix this one again? Or should it just be left in the barn?

WANT ADS

WANTED 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix Rust free vehicle. Interior and motor/transmission not important. Need good sheetmetal Contact

WANTED 1979 Chevrolet Monza Looking for the Town Coupe version, brown, ideally California but willing to buy from anywhere. Contact

WANTED 1982 Corvette Chevrolet Corvette Under 40,000 miles. White exterior, Contact

WANTED 1966 Buick Riviera GS Ready to buy now!!!….. 66, Riviera GS. Jerry: 303 663 3963 jschofld@aol.com Contact

WANTED 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Looking for true 138 SS 4 speed car project . Doesn’t have to have motor or trans Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Randy Rush

    Owned 3 of this vintage sedans. All the mechanicals are cheap, the chrome and trim is impossible . But I would own this in a heart beat.

  2. rapple

    Cute car and worthy of rescue, but this is an “Alfa alternative” in the same way pepperoni pizza is an alternative to bistecca alla fiorentina.

  3. Charles

    Cute! That will make a nice car for the right person. That has to be somewhat rare, as I have never seen one of that model before.

    There were quite a few Fiats around when I was a kid in the 60’s, mostly 500’s and later model Spiders. Mechanically they always seemed to be broken or messed up in some way. Still I have always had a soft spot for a Fiat. My favorite Fiat is the Jolly, an open air version of the 500 designed to be carried aboard a yacht, and used as an island car when the yacht visited a port. Since those are bringing 60 to 80K on the auctions these days, I am certain that I will never own one. Maybe I will luck up on a decent affordable 500 one day.

  4. B Collins

    I had a later “1500” that had similar lines, but a single opening grill if I recall. Was a pretty car, with round Alfa Style instruments,…..sounded nice with a glass pack, looked good,….bubbling paint in the usual areas indicated that things were not as good as they looked. Sold it to a guy that was shipping it to Europe for restoration.
    Brian

    • Don Andreina

      If original, that would have been the Pininfarina body housing a 1500 supplied by the Maserati brothers at OSCA. Rare and desirable hybrid that’s yet to have its day in the sun.

    • chad

      jesh, I did too. But wasn’t it a (straight) spyder? No pivit seat? Damn thing would do 65 mph in first.
      I liked the 124s better (only b’cuza the 5 speed).

  5. Paul

    I owned a couple of Fiats & didn’t experience problems with them , they were fun to drive despite a little odd seating position. I have seen these over the years , never realized they had swivel seats, you learn something new every day, this one appears to be very good for it’s age, as Randy Rush put’s it & having owned a few old Alfa’s I am quite sure body parts are very hard to come by so starting off with this is very good.

  6. Dolphin Member

    This must be one of the most unrusty vintage Fiats left, a survivor of the depreciation that brought these down close to worthless many years ago. Very nice to see that it avoided the crusher and is in such good shape. Not surprising it’s bid past $3K already.

  7. Don Andreina

    Thank you Dante Giacosa and Luigi Fabio Rapi for a fantastic in-house styling job. This is one for my garage if only I lived close enough, beautiful compact lines that make it look like one of those small run prestige Italian jobs. The prototype considered twin headlights but fortunately they erred on the side of minimalism. Would put something a bit more modern under the hood and keep these lines as original as possible. E squisita!

    • rancho bella

      Closer for sure Don……..you got that right. The buyer of my Sunbeam Tiger (red left hooker) in Melbourne paid a fortune in import fees and other fees I can’t remember plus the shipping………dang.

      I had a ’61 Fiat Spider O.S.C.A. in high school. We drove all over and into the Colorado Rockies from SoCal. A lovely car. Never left us stranded.

      Old Fiats started going up in price when the factory started selling new ones here a couple of years ago. Good potential this one.

      • Don Andreina

        Things have changed a little duties-wise and you can now get a LHD car fully road registered as opposed to limited club reg. A friend imported a Dino spider landed for about $40k which I think is reasonable considering rarity and desirability. Fiat eventually replaced the OSCA with the 1600, but that little jewel motor would rock my barchetta.

  8. Kman

    I had a ’69 124 Spyder and it was so much more sophisticated than my two previous Triumphs. I could put the top up and down one handed at a stop light in 3 seconds AND it didn’t leak. A lovely little car I bought new in Italian Racing red but yes, I was soon on a first name basis with my mech, Geo. I’d still love this little beauty tho’. And I would take an Alfa 1760 Giuletta Spyder in a heartbeat. That’s what I really wanted then but I think it was $1k more. $3500 was quite a bit back then.

    • paul

      Yes, funny, I too remember the day that I stepped up to the little Italians after years of Brit cars & marveling at how easy & one handed the top worked.

  9. Paul B

    Cute, but slow, and the 3-bearing 1200 engine is rough and not very durable. Evokes mixed feelings. Whoever buys it will get none of the exhilarating handling and performance of a Giulietta, but it is charming nevertheless.

Leave a Reply to chad Cancel reply

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.