The 124 Sport Spider is a 2+2 convertible sport car that was marketed by Fiat from 1966 to 1982. The bodies were made and assembled by Pininfarina during the entire model run, from introduction at the November 1966 Turin Auto Show. The majority of the cars were exported to the United States however this was a rare european one. Introduced for 1967, the Sports Spider and the Fiat 124 Coupé were related to the 124 saloon in name and through the use of much of the mechanical running gear and, in the case of the Coupé, a shared platform. However, the Sports Spider utilised a shorter platform along with a shorter wheelbase. Fiat designed and manufactured the Coupé in-house while the Spider’s monocoque was designed and produced by Italian carozzeria Pininfarina — at the time Pininfarina’s most successful commercial venture.
The engine used in the Spider and Coupé was a double overhead cam, with an aluminium cross flow head. It started in 1966 with a capacity of 1438 cc progressively increasing to 1608 cc in 1970. This family of engines was designed by ex-Ferrari chief engineer Aurelio Lampredi and in one form or another remained in production into the 1990s giving it one of the longest production runs in history. The double overhead cam version was the first mass manufactured DOHC to utilise reinforced rubber timing belts, an innovation that would come into nearly universal use in the decades after its introduction. Its family powered race cars such as: FIAT 131 Mirafiori, Special T, Lancia Beta Montecarlo and Delta Integrale1600 was powerful for its capacity at 108 hp.
The Suspension was conventional by unequal length wishbones and coil over damper at the front and by coil sprung live rear axle at the rear which was located by a Panhard rod and two pairs of forward extending radius rods to aid braking and acceleration and to control axle wind-up.
In 1969, the Spider was one of the few affordable cars with 4 wheel disk brakes, double overhead cams, intermittent wipers, steering column mounted lighting controls, radial ply tyres and a 5 speed manual transmission. Its convertible top could be raised and locked in place in 15 seconds. An early special version was the group 3 124 Spider Abarth which incorporated such things as an independent rear axle, hard top, different seats, interior etc. and only came in 3 colours.
1970 BS #021861 – #022588
Our car is one of 727 worldwide how many survive today?
What to do with a box of bits? A longstanding AM Cars customer brought us this Fiat to have a look at. The car had been dismantled and hadn’t been on the road since 1979. Whilst it is a little different to the usual Quattro restorations we agreed to take a look.
Sending the shell to be shotblasted it revealed the extent or lack thereof of the Italian metal.
We then started to fit new floors, wings and doors. Whilst a lot of work it demonstrates what can be achieved.
The interior was retrimmed in leather, the hood in mohair, the dashboard in wood and new chrome parts were imported from Germany for the exterior. The mechanics, rebuilt engine and gearbox and rebuilt suspension where put back in together with a new loom and period Blaupunkt stereo for that final touch.
More images of the restoration: