Roadside Sighting: 1979 Fiat Spider 2000

Getting down to the roots of traditional Italian motoring. The land of hills, beautiful vista’s and possibly the worlds smallest cars. Fiat from Italy known for handbuilt Italian style on wheels with the famous Fiat 500. These little sports cars are sought after much like an MG or Sunbeam because there of a breed no brand can replicate today…a real sports car. Finding such a gem on the side of the road is every enthusiast’s dream of a good day, and this 1979 Fiat Spider 2000 for sale locally in Bensenville, IL is that dream come true.

Beginning in 1966, the early years of production, Fiat named the car the Spider 124. In 1979, the car’s name changed to Spider 2000, this one for sale being produced the first year of the name change definitely earns rarity points. Having a rather short production, from 1979-1982…and having no successor for a decade until the Barchetta was introduced, it doesn’t look like much, but in the right light, this Fiat will can be a show stopper.

Finished in what appeared to be a dark blue, the paint is not in bad shape at all…until you reach the rear of the car, the trunk should luckily only be cosmetic and what looks to be the worst of the Spider’s overall appearance. Such a fine example of a perfect summer project car…check over all the mechanical features, spruce something up about it each weekend and be proud of putting a classic back on the road.

I personally love this color combination, tan interior with a dark exterior. Fitted with wood grain along the dash, a rallye inspired steering wheel, and it only makes sense its a manual! To an enthusiast of old Italian cars or anyone good under the hood would do this car some good.

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  1. Dean

    Interesting advertising approach, at any rate. Looks like a fun car. Lets hope the placement of “for sale” signs isn’t hiding huge holes

    • CanuckCarGuy

      @Dean, I had a similar thought… I wondered where the inflatable gorilla and giant flappy arm guy were hiding!

    • dan d

      I think the signs are holding the back end together.

    • PatrickM

      BTW, who in their right mind would slap a for sale sign on a fender??? Whew!!

  2. Keruth

    Bensenville, IL, hmm,,,,
    These can be fun, but they rusted quickly (A pillar rot is a killer), motors are quite stout (if you stay after the belt). Trans, not so much for the increased power of the 2ltr.(originally designed as a 4spd for an engine w/<50hp about '54 or so, added 5th around '63 or so). Pet peeve that the 131 trans(bullet proof) were avail. after '76!
    Great network of spares ,a few shops that know these well, much nicer than the LBC's available @ same time.
    If it were closer to look at, I would. Less than 2k for this!

  3. chrlsful

    worthwhile vehicles. Had several of it’s father’n grandfather in the 60s (1200 & 1800 Spiders) this 1 and it’s brothers (124 sedans). The end of these lines (the 2000) wuz kinda luxurious for the day. Swapped to Lancia @ that point (the B. coupes).

    • Healeymonster

      Agreed! I also have a 1960 1200 that turns heads as it does not look like the typical 124 design people used to seeing.

  4. ben

    I think he wants to sell it. You maybe able to get it a lot cheaper and if you are a Cub Scout den leader you might start a class in rust repair and dent removal.

  5. alphil

    I didn’t see the asking price for this interesting car,where is it? It may be in the Chicago area,but probably not all of its life,looks pretty good to me AFA rust goes.From what I see of the seats,they even look good,valuable and are very comfortable. I’m tempted,but I’m also in Georgia,so most likely won’t bother the seller for more,much needed information.Hope someone does,this could be well worth rescuing.

    • PatrickM

      …and no listing!!

  6. PJ

    Could be a good car if the body is solid as it appears and if there is little to no mechanical issues – a quick trip to Macco sort the body, and some elbow grease on the interior and you are good to go. But there does seem to be something amiss with the rear wheel on the drivers side, as it looks to be deeper in the wheel well than is should be

  7. Kevin Harper

    What happened to the trunk? The rest is not bad, just replace the trunk lid for a vast improvement

    • Bingo Hall

      Typically it is water dripping and or a box, blanket etc. left on it that absorbed moisture and held it against the paint.

  8. T-Bone Bob

    The 1979s and early 80s were the worst of the entire 124 Spider line. Sure, they bumped the displacement to 2 litres up from 1800cc. But, in the effort to meet the emission requirements, the engine has the lowest output of all the engines. Due to items like a small carburetor, restrictive intake and exhaust manifold, they only generated 80hp. Plus, they were very difficult to keep running properly. This compares to 96hp in the 1.4 litre in the original 1969 Spider and 84hp in the 1.8 of the 1978 Spider. Fortunately, late in the 1980 model run, Fiat switched to fuel injection giving the car 102hp which helped considerably.

  9. Dan

    Perfect for next years Concours d’Lemons

  10. Jubjub

    I was curious about the off placement of the whole rear end? Trailing arm bushings? Besides the trunk and scuzzy wheels, pretty okay looking Spider.

  11. steve

    Little bro had a pile of these over the years. Hollow rear axle positioning links have this…..habit…of rusting out from the inside and kind of snapping off at the most ideal moments…gives a whole new meaning to “brake pull”….
    The axle may be found to have one of the 4 struts still in one piece…

    • Howard A Member

      You don’t say,,,must be a Fiat exclusive. In all my years, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rusted axle housing. Not really something that should be scrimped on. Heck, I bet the A-H that fell off a cliff, still has it’s axle intact.

  12. ben

    rear axle mounts rust from the inside. That makes for some severe turns when one lets go.

  13. John

    Barn Finds was looking for writers a while ago, and said knowing punctuation was a requirement. Maybe not so much…

  14. Dean

    Staff goofs once in a while, as does everyone else last I heard. Lettuce snot get our pantaloons in a wadinski..

  15. arizman2

    I had a ’72 that I autocrossed and road raced up in the Northwest. Held the lap record at seattle international raceway in SSSC. Later uprated to the european dual webbers and on a dyno put 110 HP at the rear wheels. Still have it. Never had any transmission or motor problems and ran the heck out of it.

  16. GARY S

    Just a FYI, I texted the number and the car was sold “months ago “

  17. Mark

    Fiat 500 Sport Car?
    Wow – which planet?
    Please check the Fiat history and why 500 was developed

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      I think John was just pointing out that Fiat may be best known for the 500. It wasn’t built to be a sports car. Then again, ones could argue the Abarth version of the 500 was pretty dang sporty!

  18. Mark

    Abarth version has only different exhaust and little bigger carburetor.
    Abarth name come more often on Fiat 124, Fiat 125, 127, 131.
    One model 126 Abarth tested on rally in .argentina 1977 – driven by Zasada

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