The history of four world-leading Italian motoring brands
From the most emblematic models to the most successful, revolutionary people, and the most significant events, this section illustrates and celebrates the cornerstones of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
Its elegant silhouette earned it twenty years of success, while its excellent road-holding was the basis for the super-fast Abarth that carried Fiat to victory in rallying.
One of the longest-lived Fiats, the 124 Sport Spider was styled in 1966 by Dutch-American designer Tom Tjaarda, working for Pininfarina. It was based on the Fiat 124 sedan, but unlike the coupé version - the work of the Fiat Design Centre - which inherited the whole of its platform, the Spider was shorter and more compact. The result was the instant classic which, with very few changes, was produced and sold until 1985.
The mechanical architecture was conventional: longitudinal front engine, 5-speed transmission, rear-wheel drive, four disc brakes and monocoque, with a dry weight of less than 1,000 kg. The different series were fitted with a variety of engines: the first was born with a twin cam 1438 cc unit, joined in the second series by the 1608 cc engine with two twin-barrel carburettors which produced 110 HP, while the third series introduced the new 1600 and 1800 with just one twin-barrel carburettor, derived from the Fiat 132.
The 1800 was the starting-point for the Abarth version, which was evolved to a massive 215 horsepower with mechanical injection, but other engines, of two litres or with volumetric supercharger, also appeared in succession in the America,Europe and Volumex versions. While the coupé and sedan went out of production, the Spider continued to enjoy success, even scoring a hit in America, where thousands of the model were sold.
FIAT 124 SPORT SPIDER 1600 - 1970
FIAT 124 SPORT SPIDER 1600 - 1970
inline-4, anterior longitudinal, DOHC, 2 double body carb., 1608 cm³
110 HP @ 6.500 rpm
995 kg (empty)
TYPE OF BODY
Thanks to painstaking restoration at the FCA Officine Classiche in 2016, the 1970 second series car has regained its original splendour, with the original colour and authentic mechanicals.
Purchased from a private owner, the Fiat 124 Sport Spider 1600 - easily identified on the outside by the distinctive "bumps" on the bonnet and larger rear light clusters - was showing its age but was generally sound, and even had its original black registration plates. It has been owned since 2016 by FCA Heritage, which put it in the loving hands of the experts at the Officine Classiche, who restored it meticulously, returning every detail to its original condition.
During the restoration, the team repaired the two original twin-barrel carburettors, with special air cleaner. What's more, when cleaning the inside of the engine compartment they discovered the car's original colour, “Colorado yellow” a delicate yellow which had been painted over with white.
In four weeks, the team rebuilt and reupholstered the dashboard and central tunnel, restored the original two-spoke wood and aluminium steering wheel, stripped down the bodywork to the bare metal and completely repainted it, and regenerated all the chrome details, which were well preserved in spite of their age. The Fiat 124 Sport Spider 1600 was thus restored to its original splendour, ready to be admired at the various events it attends, including the 2018 Ennstal Classic . In this competition the car - equipped with a period tripmaster in compliance with the race rules, which only allow the use of mechanical chronometers - will be driven by an Austrian TV star: famous actor Rudi Roubinek.