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Foliage Filled Fiat: 1980 Fiat 124 Spider

030316 Barn Finds - 1980 Fiat 124 Spider 1

I’m not afraid of a lot of things, but I don’t like spiders. Fiat Spiders, on the other hand, I very much do like. There is one really big spider hiding in those leaves but it looks like it’s harmless. This example listed here on craigslist in Attleboro, Rhode Island sounds like it’s gone from being a nice, usable car to being just a nice parts car over the last four years. I know that I wouldn’t look as good as this car does if I were sitting outside for four years uncovered, exposed to the elements. They’re asking $750 and surely it’s worth that if someone is looking for parts for their running example. There were 14,435 Spiders made in 1980 and there are some nice ones still out there on the street.

030316 Barn Finds - 1980 Fiat 124 Spider 4

Supposedly, this car “ran great when parked last time..”, but that’s also the last time that it has been started. Although, the seller also says, “Will start right up with starter (sic) fluid gas is bad in tank.” There are no interior photos but the windows look good and the top looks relatively secure with no rips, although it looks a little saggy on the passenger side. I’d be worried about mice, they seem to be able to get into almost anything, especially if a vehicle has been sitting outside for 1,400+ days. The factory wheels look great as does most of the trim and the other exterior bits and pieces.

030316 Barn Finds - 1980 Fiat 124 Spider 3

From what I understand, this engine is a 1,995cc unit and it should have 102 hp on tap, or, it did when it ran. It looks pretty leafy under the hood but from this lone photo it looks complete and there isn’t a carburetor here for mice to build a nest of leaves in since this one is fuel-injected. This family of Fiat engines was designed by the ex-chief engineer for Ferrari, which has to be good for some bragging rights. The seller mentions that it has a new head and cams and that the transmission and rear end are solid.

030316 Barn Finds - 1980 Fiat 124 Spider 2

And speaking of rear ends, isn’t that a wonderfully styled rear? This looks like a good buy for a Fiat collector, even if it’s just for the fuel injection system. There should be a lot of usable parts here: is this leafy Fiat Spider worth the $750 asking price?


  1. Avatar photo Rodrigo morilla

    I love this car!! One of my favorites I would buy it

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  2. Avatar photo Eric Dashman

    A few comments: usually a really strong engine, but it’s an interference engine. New head and cams suggest to me that the timing belt broke and wrecked the head (at least). When right, it’s a great engine…lots of pop and high revving. Parts look great, but it is a northern car and Fiats tend to be like the early Japanese cars, i.e., they dissolve. There is a hint of rocker issue under the left door. On the other hand, for the price, there’s lots to like as a parts car. I’d do it if it was closer to NC where I live.

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  3. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    This car looks scarier than a normal 124. The “Italian MGB”, but in my eyes, t’was no MGB. Never cared for Italian cars, (and no, not just because the old man hated them, well, maybe a little) and any Fiat I came in contact with, was a POS. In the ’80’s, I had a friend that worked at a Fiat dealer, and there were always, at least 10, 124’s ( among other Fiat’s) behind the dealer, waiting on parts. ( I guess the same could be said about any dealer, really) One can’t deny they were cool cars ( although, never liked that steering wheel angle) and I’m sure provided the owners with a taste of “open-air motoring”, when they ran, that is, but quite frankly, this could continue sitting, and there are plenty of decent 124’s around ( mostly warm climates) I agree, parts only.

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  4. Avatar photo Jonny the Boy

    Looks restorable to me, but I’d have to see it in person. And it looks in better shape than a lot of those Spiders that came in for service at the Bertone (formerly Fiat) dealership where I worked in the late 1980s!

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  5. Avatar photo Woodie Man

    Perfect place to leave a convertible

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  6. Avatar photo Jay

    Having owned two of these in the past, a ’72 and a ’78, I would say from the pictures that this car is easily restorable, so long as the shock towers aren’t rotted. They are little rocket ships and fun to drive… when they are running right!

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  7. Avatar photo Rex Rice

    This is a good buy. I don’t think the FI cars have an interference engine. If the interior is decent, this is a good candidate for getting back on the road. My 1980 124 is coming up on 350,000 & is running great.

    Like 0

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