For so long as I’ve been poking round in American vehicle graveyards (35 years), the presence of the occasional Fiat 124 Sport Spider has been a relentless. Even whereas Pininfarina-badged, Malcolm Bricklin-imported 124 Sport Spiders had been nonetheless accessible as new vehicles in the USA, I used to be seeing 20,000-mile late-70s examples about to be crushed.
These days, most of those vehicles present indicators of decades-long outside storage after awaiting restorations that by no means got here. Right here’s an especially tough and rusty one which I noticed in a San Francisco Bay Space yard a few months again.
What number of of those vehicles have we seen on this sequence? Many. This ’71, this ’73, this ’75, this ’76, this ’78, this ’80, this ’80, and this ’80 (plus this ’80 within the Junkyard Treasures Collection on Autoweek). That doesn’t depend the numerous I didn’t trouble to , in fact.
Like many older vehicles present in Bay Space wrecking yards, this one has historical military-base parking permits. Having grown up in a Bay Space metropolis with an enormous Navy base, I’m aware of the acres-wide long-term storage tons on bases the place troopers and sailors saved their often-quite-hooptified automobiles, and this automobile has the look of 1 that spent 25 or so years on the Mare Island Naval Complicated (not removed from this yard), getting the paint burned off by the solar and the steel rusted by the wet winters.
Automobiles do rust in California, typically very totally within the case of close-to-the-Pacific parking locations, and so they are likely to do it from the highest down. This automobile has rust the place rainwater gathered and the place the paint failed.
That is the one Fiat 124 I’ve ever seen with air con. This seems like an aftermarket (most likely dealer-installed) unit.
With solely 86 horsepower accessible from the 1,995cc Fiat Twin Cam four-cylinder engine, acceleration with the AC on will need to have been leisurely. This automobile had a curb weight of two,240 kilos, which gave it 26.05 kilos for every horsepower; examine that to the 62.5-horse/2,338-lb 1979 MGB and its 37.41 pounds-per-horsepower (or to the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider and its 15.26 lbs/hp ratio).
Value restoring? Hell no, not when you may get a pleasant one for 5 grand. Some helpful components are right here, although, and we will hope that they get rescued earlier than The Crusher digests this outdated Italian.
“Engineered for the Eighties.”
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