A quick-change car with clean lines and a soul that has spanned 3 decades. In less than 4 meters in length, everyone could dream of different realities.
Base Fiat 124, rebellious soul. This was the basic concept that has conquered thousands of people not only in Italy. Spider and coupe, the latter with the # 124 floor, were shorter than the progenitor, even if a lot of mechanics were the same. Under the careful guidance of Pininfarina, they were also marketed in the United States of America. And it is no coincidence that the designer for the spider was Tom Tjaarda, born in Detroit, the home of the car par excellence.
The success of the 124 was immediate, so much so that it won the Car of the Year Award in 1967, just one year after its launch. This was the driving force behind all this, with Fiat immediately deciding to give space to the creativity of its designers and follow the sentiment of the time.
The Sport Spider had a four-cylinder twin-shaft engine with a displacement of 1438 cubic centimeters under the hood. The carburetor was double-barreled, with a rubber timing belt control. It was something that had never been seen in the 1960s, and the performance was definitely benefiting. In fact, 90 horsepower could be released at 6500 rpm, with a declared speed of 170 km / h. The rear was a rigid bridge, with two pairs of longitudinal struts, just to improve driving precision. In addition, the brake booster was standard.
The success was total, and 3 series produced, between 1966 and 1985. To favor this exploit, a big credit goes undoubtedly to the price policy. Fiat, which has always been attentive to making mass cars, with the 124 Sport Spider, created the most economical car with a twin-shaft engine, 4 disc brakes, intermittent wiper, five-speed manual gearbox and radial tires. A 2 + 2, not a real 4-seater, so as not to affect the line. Over the years the Sport Spider engine was modified with a 1800 cubic centimeter with a double body, used by the Fiat 132.
A success that, as we said, also arrived from the other side of the ocean. But as they say "country you go, custom you find", for marketing it was necessary to slightly modify the stylistic line. First of all, to obtain the homologation, larger and protruding bumpers were added with particular structures capable of absorbing shocks. In the side part, light devices were added and the taillights were increased in size. The engine also had to adapt to overseas demands, with a 2-liter, which did not have a distributor and carburetor, but an injection system and electronic ignition.
Success in Europe, cleared through customs in the USA and later brought back to Europe. While the rally experience of the "base" 124 was going well, Pininfarina decided to go and make some important changes. The original elegance was revived, eliminating the increased bumpers and side lights. In addition, the mini rear seats were eliminated, bringing the car to a 2 dry seat. The engine remained the one with 105 horsepower, now pushing the car over 180 km / h.
After a few years, European drivers also demanded more horsepower. The Volumex version arrived in 1982, with a 136 horsepower Abarth volumetric compressor, for a declared speed of over 200 km / h.