All Original: 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider

Finding an original and unrestored classic Fiat that doesn’t have rust problems can be a difficult task. However, this 1974 124 Sport Spider seems to fit that description. It presents nicely and promises plenty of enjoyable motoring for its next lucky owner. The Fiat is located in Seattle, Washington, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $8,000, and it appears that he is firm on that price. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder araknid78 for referring this beautiful Italian classic to us.

The photos of the Light Blue 124 that the owner supplies leave a bit to be desired, but they do show a lot of promise. I initially thought that there was some rust visible just behind the rear wheel arch in this photo, but I believe that it might be some sort of reflection. The Fiat appears to be very original, and if the paint is from the factory, it has survived exceptionally well. The panels look to be nice and straight, with no apparent dings or dents. The Black convertible top also seems to be in good condition, although the rear window has become cloudy. This isn’t that unusual and could be addressed without replacing the top. Even if the next owner does choose a complete replacement, tops are easy to find for around $300. That would seem to be a cheap investment. The trim, chrome, and glass all look to be in good condition, leaving the impression that there is very little to do externally to have the Fiat presenting at its best.

When I look at the Fiat’s interior, I feel a certain sense of disappointment. This isn’t because there is anything radically wrong, but because the owner has let himself down so enormously in his listing. The exterior of the 124 looks so tidy, and the interior trim appears to be in good condition. I just have to wonder why the owner didn’t give the interior some form of a clean before he took the photos. Look below the dirt and dust, and this appears to be an interior with no upholstery issues. The seats look free from rips and tears, as do the door trims. The carpet looks like it might be in good condition, and the beautiful wooden wheel appears to be free from wear problems. The interior isn’t perfect, because the timber on the dash is looking tired, and will probably require replacement. Kits are available to address this issue and generally cost around $380. The lens for the clock is also quite cloudy, so this is another issue that will need to be addressed. It is hard to assess the condition of the pad, but it is to be hoped that this is okay. Replacement pads are available, but they do cost an eye-watering $850. There is a CD player fitted into the vehicle, but the original radio is included in the sale. I honestly feel that it would only take a few short hours with some cleaning products and a vacuum to have the interior presenting respectably. Replace the dash timber, and it would look pretty stunning.

The disappointment with the interior presentation is nothing compared to the lack of photos or information on the Fiat’s mechanical condition. There are no engine photos, and the owner reveals little in the listing about the state of the drivetrain. He does mention how original the Spider is, right down to the genuine Fiat fanbelt. Under the hood should be a 1,756cc DOHC 4-cylinder engine, which is backed by a 5-speed manual transmission. The 124 Sport Spider was renowned for its stopping abilities, and this was thanks to the fact that 4-wheel disc brakes were a standard feature. The engine might only be packing 91hp, but these are a willing performer. Given enough room, they will happily top 105mph. While he might not provide a lot of information in his listing, it does appear that the owner is at least approachable to answer any questions about the vehicle. However, in undertaking some research for this story, I did find the Fiat listed for sale on another website. That listing provides only marginally more information, but it does at least state that the car runs and drives well.

On face value, this 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider does show a lot of promise. It has taken the combined forces of two separate listings to establish that it is a classic that runs and drives well. The owner seems to be willing to answer questions from genuinely interested individuals, and that provides some reassurance. If it checks out to be solid and rust-free, it looks like it isn’t going to take a lot of work to have the Fiat presenting nicely once again. It might not be a muscle car, but I am pretty sure that it would attract plenty of attention wherever it goes.

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Comments

  1. CJinSD

    I had a 1976 FIAT 124 Sport Spider. It rusted into pieces thirty-one years ago, having spent most of its dozen-year existence in Maryland. The worst visible rust was in the rocker panels, which aren’t visible in any of the seemingly-random photos in this listing.

    2
  2. Steve Bush Member

    Seems like this could be a nice car but not sure I’d want to deal with this seller. He’s comes off as somewhat of an ass with his firm price of $8000 while failing to properly clean the car or provide better pics.

    10
  3. steve sammut Member

    The thing with a car like this is that there are too many of them out there to have to deal with a car with so few pictures and information. It isn’t rare by any means. I’m not sure how good the Fiat rust control was back then. I purchased a 74 128 Coupe new and it didn’t take long for the car to have rust appearing in places I never thought it would, even though it was garaged and pampered. At 60k, the SOHC engine was still going strong, but the body and paint, not so much. I still haven affinity towards these Spyders, but I really need to see it in person before handing over the cash.

    1
  4. Tonywa28 Member

    It’s been a while, but pretty sure those bumpers indicate an earlier car. Don’t appear to be the clunky five mph bumpers I recall that works have fine with a 74.

    • Tonywa28 Member

      Would have found on a 74

    • Dave

      ’74 was last year of chrome bumpers. Was first year of the 1800 engine. Worked at Fiat dealership from ’72 to ’79 and never saw a spider this color in ’74.

      • Tonywa28 Member

        Thanks Dave. I thought 74 was the turnover year.

  5. Mountainwoodie

    A Craigslist ad on Ebay! Go figure! Amazing what sellers are asking for these disposable little cars. Believe it or not the seller is in line with some of the other Spyders asks on Ebay

    Having had two as I’ve pointed out, a coupe and a Spyder, aside from the tinny dashboard bits and predilection for rust, they are a blast to drive when tight.

    I’m guessing the seller is a bit of FIAT aficionado which might explain his attitude, but its not going to help him sell his car. But it seems as if hes in no hurry.

    Personally I might go for the first year of the one piece bumpers, 1976 I think.

    1
    • Dave

      1975 was first year of the tubular crash bumper on these.

      • arizman2

        The tubular bumpers weigh a ton

  6. AMCFAN

    74 is difficult to find. Last of the better chrome bumpers.

    I think if in the market for one I would “try” contacting the seller and first expressing interest before making any kind of judgement on who the person is by the ad they write.

    3
  7. chrlsful

    Like others would expect an under hood pic. Never saw 1 w/this color (1 of my several 850s was) having a green and red amongst the 124s.
    Funny the muscle car reference in the write up as that’s what my buddies had then. This out ran them on the twisties and all but the last 2 or 300 in the 1320, Never put on any Abarth bits on but certainly would if having another today.
    Enjoy the auction.

    • arizman2

      raced one in SCCA showroom stock series, later, added a set of abarth cams, 10.5:1 pistons and the european factory twin 40IDF carbs, the car was a hoot. I took top time of the day at many autocross meets with it.

      1
  8. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Eight grand for a fugly blue car with a rear window that looks like that? PASS. About the only thing going for it are those Italian wheels.

    1
    • arizman2

      Ya, those wheels are true magnesium, featherweight, can toss one in the air with one finger.

      1
    • arizman2

      Those wheels are magnesium, so light you can toss one in the air with one finger.

      1
  9. Araknid78

    Nice

  10. Stevieg Member

    I live on the same block that I was raised on. Yup, that statement is part of my reply here.
    The father of a neighbor child I grew up with had one of these, in red of course (I think the majority of these were red). It disappeared from the street in the 1980’s, right around the time the boys mother passed away.
    I forgot all about it when one day last week I was driving down the alley. The old guys garage was open (yup, he still lives there too). There was the car! I was shocked. I slammed on the brakes of my car & tried to ask the old guy if he might want to sell it. I know he has been thinking about selling the house, he and I talked about that previously.
    Unfortunately, he was busy with the bench grinder & didn’t hear me. I was in a rush, so I moved on with my day. Besides, I don’t think my 49 year old body is going to fit in it, and I am trying to liquidate, not add to the fleet.
    Maybe if any of you are interested in my neighbors red one, I can get you in touch with him. It would have to be before July 30th. I might be unavailable for some time after that.

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