The platform for the 124 Fiat Spider was the 124 Sedan. The 1972 Fiat 124 Spider such as the one featured in this article was styled by Pininfarina, a style seen on many Alfa Romeo's as well. I think you'll see a lot of similarities between the Fiat Spider and Alfa Romeo Spider.
The Fiat 124 also came as a coupe which was a bit longer ( 5.5 inches) than the Spider. The Fiat 124 Spider was first introduced in 1966 and they would go on to be the most successful of the Fiat sports cars.
When the first Spiders were imported into the U.S. the new safety law legislation did not exist. Starting in the 1970's these new regulations, while covering all vehicles in the U.S., mandated changes for all cars imported into the U.S. The ball officially got rolling in 1970 with the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For the Fiat Spider this new law affected primarily safety bumpers. All small roadsters were affected by the new safety regulations, some more than others. Safety law modifications to the Fiat Spider were not nearly as extensive as those necessary to the MG.
The Fiat Spider Racer
The Fiat 124 Spider started road rallying during the 1968-69 period after the creation of the Fiat Rally Service over the previous years. In 1967 the Fiat Rally service was greatly expanded which opened up the channel to overseas competition.
In 1971 an official Fiat factory team was entered in the National Rallies. In 1971 Fiat also bought out Abarth, a racing car maker from Turin Italy, which had been associated with Fiat since 1952. When Fiat completed this buyout they had their own official racing department. The Abarth name was used extensively by Fiat during the 1980's with their performance car offerings. There are some similarities with Abarth and Fiat and the Shelby and Ford Motor Company association although Ford Motor never bought out Shelby's business.
Fiat Spider Dino
The Fiat Spider Dino has to be mentioned in any discussion of the Spider. The Fiat Spider Dino was a collaboration between Fiat and Ferrari. This partnership connected the famous Ferrari brand with Fiat and Ferrari gained the Fiat engine which allowed them to qualify for Formula Two competition. The Spider Dino was a mass production vehicle for Ferrari and a limited model for Fiat.
The Fiat Spider Dino came with a V-6 engine putting out 180 horsepower during the 1969 through 1973 model years. A smaller V-6 delivered 160 horsepower during the 1967 through 1968 model years. The Fiat Spider Dino was built as a two seat convertible and a four seat coupe.
Pros and Cons for the Fiat Spider Series
Fiat Spiders had great styling, good performance and relatively simple engineering. The car was not costly to buy and the trunk space was excellent. On the minus side the car was considered to be rust prone and the mechanics could at times be questionable.
1974 Fiat 124 Spider Specifications
The 1974 Fiat 124 Spider was built with a Fiat designed 1.8 liter straight four cylinder engine delivering 116 horsepower. The car was officially rated with a top speed of 115 MPH. The original Fiat Spider engine from 1966 was a 1.4 liter design.
The transmission on the Fiat 124 was a four speed manual. A five speed manual would be added in later models.
Front suspension was independent coil springs with rear suspension of a longitudinal axle and coil springs. Brakes were disc.
Dimensions for the 1972 Fiat Spider included a 89.8 inch wheelbase, an overall length of 156.3 inches, a width of 63.4 inches and a height of 49.2 inches. The car's weight average about 2,100 lbs.
You may want to compare the 1972 Fiat 124 Spider to the cars featured on our articles linked below...
The 1972 Fiat Spider 124 Collector Car
The Fiat 124 Spider as well as the Alfa Romeo Spider are excellent cars for people desiring Italian classic cars. Both of these automobiles have excellent designs and for the most part are very reasonably priced. As mentioned above, performance was considered good and the cars were economical to operate. The Spider convertibles were also known to have a convenient top mechanism.
The Fiat Spider was manufactured from 1966 to 1985. During this production run there were about 200,000 of these models built. North America was Fiat's largest market for the Spider where about three quarters of all produced were sent. Germany received the second largest amount of the Spiders. A small amount of right hand steering wheel Spiders were built for the United Kingdom and much more rarer there.
Values for Fiat 124 Spiders will vary a lot depending on overall condition, restoration, mileage and any degree of rust that may be on the vehicle. With that said, as of this writing the prices asked for 1974 Fiat 124 Spiders range from about $5,000 to the mid teens. You'll likely find a good number priced at about $8,000 to $10,000. These kind of prices make this an excellent entry level car for those wanting to collect Italian sports cars with popular Pininfarina styling.
(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)