Classic Convertible: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider

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Summer is coming people. That means warm weather, sunshine, and ample opportunities for hitting the road in your classic car. What better car to hit the road in than a classic Italian convertible? This Fiat 124 Spider shows a lot of promise, and with bidding sitting at $2,550 in a No Reserve auction, this is a car that could offer those opportunities. The Spider is located in Hollywood, Florida, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

I have to say that this little Fiat is a really attractive looking car. There are no visible signs of rust, but being an Italian sports car, it would pay to give it a pretty careful check. The panels and paint look good, with plenty of shine to that red paint. The external trim and chrome look to be in good condition, as does the glass. The soft-top is present and looks to have had little use, although it is a bit creased. A bit of time in the sun should see those creases banished in no time. The wheels aren’t original, but they do suit the car quite nicely.

One of the great automotive noises of all time is the sound of a Fiat twin-cam engine at work, and the Spider shouldn’t disappoint. Under the hood is a 1,756cc 4-cylinder engine, which sends its power to the road via a 5-speed manual transmission. The little engine only produces 84hp, but they are willing little ponies. The great strength of a Spider is not outright performance, but how well they respond when you point them at a piece of twisting tarmac, and this is where these cars come into their own. The owner says that the Spider runs and drives well and that the transmission shifts smoothly.

The interior of a Spider is always a nice place to be, and the interior of this one looks quite good. There is a little bit of wear on the edges of both seats where the piping is, but the overall impression is that the upholstery is in good order, while the dash pad looks to be free of cracks. The Spider is fitted with an aftermarket CD player and rear speakers, and while this doesn’t thrill me, it’s something that I’d learn to live with. There is a small amount of wear on some of the controls, but once again, this appears to be insignificant.

There are two battles that you can face with a Fiat 124 Spider. The first is to locate a rust-free example. The second is keeping it that way. This one shows a lot of promise in that respect, and if it is clean, then it can be kept that way if the owner remains vigilant. A nice one today can cost around $16,000, but a mint example can push closer to $30,000. With the bidding so low at present, this is definitely a car to keep an eye on.

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  1. redwagon

    It does look nice. Originally sold in Denver now for sale in Florida.

    $2,550 with 4d23h to go in the auction.

    If I bought it in Miami would it make it back to Minnesota?

    Like 3
    • 63Comet

      I live in Fargo and if I wanted this, I’d make the bet that it would. Interstates are cleared after that last storm anyhow and one can always rent a trailer.

      Like 1
  2. h5mind

    I have had the pleasure of owning numerous of these cars, including the Spider Turbo. These twin-cam engines really wake up with a set of side draft carbs and better exhaust. The very first thing I would do with it is pull out the seats and remove the tar-backed sound-deadening on the floors- I found moisture trapped in the fibrous insulation in every one I did. Second is unscrew the cosmetic rocker panel covers to clean out any sand or rust hiding there. Many of their notorious electrical problems were due to poor ground wires on rusted metal. Clean and protect all ground connections and fuse sockets and these are wonderfully reliable and fun cars.

    Like 6
    • DonC

      Spot on h5mind. I owned a 1982 2000 from 1985 to 2015. 30 years of love. The floor comment is so true as is the ground wire. I’m tempted to buy especially as I live in Tampa. The interior looks really good. By the way, I restored my 1982 and she’s now with a collector in Australia!

      Like 0
  3. Don

    The bidding stopped At $3000 at Mecum auction in Phoenix on one of these, wsnt much interest in it at all….hopefully this one will do better Or it’ll be a steal….

    Like 2
  4. Barry Walker

    I owned 3 of these at one time (’69, ’71 and a ’72) so always had at two running g at any time. Most fun cars I have ever owned. Turned my new wife away from her ’59 Thunderbird and ’78 Satellite with the handling and pep of a small spots car. She now has 130,000 miles on her ’95 Del Sol DOHC VTEC and hates automatics. Would seriously think about this one, but wrong side of the country and way too deep into a ’59 Corvette project car.

    Like 0

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