Rust-Free Survivor: 1982 Fiat 2000 Spider

For anyone who is considering purchasing a classic Italian car, the importance of the term “rust-free” can never be underestimated. Well, the good news is that this is precisely what you appear to be getting with this 1982 Fiat 2000 Spider. Barn Finder Ikey H referred this great little Fiat to us, so thank you so much for that Ikey. It is located in Braintree, Massachusetts, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $5,995 for what looks like a very promising little soft-top.

Finished in the imaginatively named Fiat Dark Blue, the Spider looks to be in very nice condition. The owner states that it has been in storage for the past 14-years and that it is rust-free. It certainly looks promising, with the panels and paint in really nice condition. It would appear as though the Fiat has worn a luggage rack at some point during its life, and that this has been removed from the car. The mounting holes remain in the trunk lid, and I would be either sourcing a replacement rack, or I’d have the holes closed off permanently. The last thing that you want is for water to find its merry way into the trunk on a long-term basis. One bonus with the Fiat is that it has also recently been fitted with a new soft-top.

The interior of the Fiat sends us a few mixed signals, and there will be some work to get it to really sparkle again. The dash itself looks really good, but the pad does have a crack in it. The carpet will require replacement, but it is the soft trim that is a bit odd. Fiat might be guilty of of a lot of things, but major color mismatch on interior trim isn’t usually one of them. However, if you compare the color of the seats, door trims, console, and the pad at the bottom of the dash, the color simply isn’t consistent. I mean, it isn’t horrendously bad, just a bit unusual. Having said that, a new dash pad and a fresh carpet set would still have the interior looking pretty nice.

There are no engine photos, but under the hood is the fuel-injected 1,995cc DOHC 4-cylinder engine, which sends its 102hp to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission. In keeping with its sporting aspirations, the Fiat features what are very effective 4-wheel disc brakes. Performance figures for the Spider would be classed as reasonable, but not exceptional. The car carries a surprising amount of weight, tipping the scales at 2,290lbs, which is quite high for a 2-seat sports car. Still, I can not only vouch for the fact that these are a fun little car, especially when pointed at a piece of twisting road, but the engine sounds wonderful with a few revs on board. As previously stated, the Fiat has been in storage for the past 14-years, but it doesn’t look like this has done it any real harm. The owner says that it has 81,000 miles on the clock and that it runs really well.

Many an enthusiastic owner has handed over their hard-earned money in the past to fulfill their dream of owning a classic Italian sports car, only to have this dream morph into a nightmare as their pride and joy literally dissolves before their very eyes. The world is littered with these types of horror stories, but there is every chance that the outcome with this 1982 Fiat 2000 Spider could be very different. This is a 37-year-old Italian sports car, and if it has lasted for this long and remained rust-free, then that tends to indicate that this is a potentially good car. Finding a good example today is becoming more difficult, so this is a car that would seem to be worthy of a personal inspection.


  1. sir mike

    A rust free Fiat in Mass??? Must never have been driven in east coast winters.Really nice looking Fiat.Best of luck seller

    Like 4
  2. h5mind

    I am an incurable “Fiat Nut” and have owned many of these over the years. I never owned one that wasn’t harboring rust, however. Recommendation to any buyer: remove the seats and carpet. Then chip out the tar-based underlayment, which is backed with thick fibrous material– dollars to donuts you’ll find some moisture and rust lurking there. Once everything is cleaned up and treated, lay down some DynoMat and you’re good for another 37 years. Upholstery did fade at different rates, hence the mis-matched colors. For the non-purists, Miata seats can be made to fit without much trouble and offer better support. Funny how a seat can transform the handling!

    Like 4
    • Ike Onick

      Thanks for the tip! I have a 1981 50th Anniversary Edition for sale as we speak with the exact issue you describe. Now I know what to do (Or tell the buyer to do!) DynoMat to the rescue! Good old Barn Finds!

      Like 1

    Get the mechanicals nice and tight…and send your kid to college in it. Should be able to handle at least the freshman year…and your kid will be the retro-coolest.

    Like 1
  4. rallyace

    I had a Fiat once. The terms Fiat and rust free are mutually exclusive.

    Like 1
  5. Bill OBrien

    I had one of these things in tan,
    I was gifted this wonder of the road after the right front ball joint failed sending my horrified mother and sister into a guard rail.
    A short flat bed ride back to my house and my father decided this was going to be his first and last “rebuild the front end in the driveway” project. He actually did it and I had the job of repairing the fender. After all was done I seemed to be the only soul brave enough to drive it over 30MPH as my father was not exactly your best at fixing things.
    I enjoyed the car and it was a blast to drive up in the hills of northern NJ, especially in the fall with the top down. The electric system went screwy in ways I have never seen. Mind you I was a mechanic (young) at the time I still was perplexed by this thing.
    The car broke the clutch cable every 3 months WTF? Turns out that the body to engine ground went bad and all the grounding went through the clutch cable. Try trouble shooting that!
    Then I had to weld an exhaust bracket. WONDERFULL that let all the gremlins come running out for more pasta on a daily basis. I say pasta because the wires under the dash looked like my friend Tonys kitchen table on pasta night. Seems when I welded on the car, the internal voltage regulator decided to take a trip to northern italy and didn’t tell anybody. The headlights were either dim or so bright that they looked like todays HIDs. This all of course varied with RPM unless you had the wipers on, I kid you not. Nothing like driving a convertible at night with the wipers on as not to piss everyone off in oncoming traffic. I took them off and kept them handy in case of rain, ya know, hey you put the top up and I will get the wipers put on. OH the girls Loved riding in this thing.

    in the middle of the dash there was a huge red light that said OXYGEN SENSOR well we all better jump when that sucker goes on, this must of been more important than lack of oil or overheating in someones mind. When it even started to glow, the car bucked wildly. was it the sensor? oh heck no. it was something else that had a few wires going to it on the intake. Wiggle them a bit and your back running down the highway.
    Running down the highway far from home was also a “how brave are you feeling today” event.
    One night driving to see Bruce Springsteen, the headlights were doing their strobe light thing but this time it was accompanied by the smell of rotten eggs, couldn’t be my car right? well the battery was in the trunk and when I opened the it I was horrified to see the battery about twice its original size boiling acid all over the trunk floor. Grabbing my trusty voltmeter showed something like 28 volts. I had little money and had to convince a non english speaking gas station employee to sell me a dead battery. I swapped it out with the car running by using the jumper cables I always had to carry. That dead battery was also chernobyl when I got home.

    On my 21st Bday while pulling into a bank on a friday at 5 pm, the upper ball joint let go again. I spun to a stop blocking the entrance to a bank. People were very angry at me as they could not cash their pay checks. It was at this point I called it a day for my Fiat life. I repaired the ball joint and sold it happily to the first person that looked at it. They were thrilled to have a cool little convertible.

    Like 8
    • Rodney - GSM

      Fantastic! Who would not want to buy this after that colorful ownership story. Great read.

      Like 3
  6. Andrew Franks

    I had a 1979, Green with Tan. It was absolutely reliable in L.A. traffic, Freeway speeds and dicing in general were not a problem. I drove it twice from L.A. to San Francisco and back. On the final trip South when one used the Directional Signal Lever the Windshield Wipers would also operate. The car was parked and a drunk driver hit it and totaled the car. I would advise anyone to but these cars, the later model year the better, just make sure you are near a mechanic who knows Italian cars.

  7. John Oliveri

    FIAT stands for Fix It Again Tony, me being of Italian heritage I must say, we make beautiful babies, but questionable automobiles, always wanted to own one as a 4 th car, nothing to depend on, just go a few blocks at a time in, but I don’t own a tow truck, so I talk myself out of it all the time, this one is a really nice one too

    Like 1
  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    Such nice cars, too bad they were such a poor design. I know, some, like h5 above, had good experiences with them, but most had ones like Bills, nothing but trouble, and some have the gall to rip on Lucas electrics, of which, I never had any trouble. I had a friend in the 70’s that was a Fiat salesman in Waukesha, Wis. and I’d visit the dealer, and at any given time, there were no less than 10 -15 124’s ( later 2000) behind the shop waiting on parts. Given what I know about these, you’d be nuts to buy this, and for $6g’s to boot. You can get an older Vette for that.

    Like 1
  9. Barry Traylor

    Quite a few nice photos, but why not one of the engine?

  10. t-bone Bob


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