In November 1966 – shortly after the Fiat 124 Sedan was introduced – Fiat launched a Spider version of the 124. Pininfarina was responsible for development and production, which had a chassis that was shortened 14 cm from the aforementioned Fiat 124 Sedan. The design of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider was tough and controversial. Experts call it one of Pininfarina’s best and most successful designs. It has always been a desirable car. European versions – such as the first with a 1438cc engine – are certainly sought after and rarities. The Spider-based Abarth 124 Rally – actually too rugged for street use – also has great privacy and interest.
In 1970, the Fiat 124 Sport Spider – after making the first cosmetic changes already in 1969 – got a 1608 cc engine from the Fiat 125, but with 110 hp. The power source – available in addition to the 1,438 cc – breathes through twin Weber IDF-40 carburetors and gives the Sport Spider a top speed of 185 kph. From the outside, the Sport Spider with a larger engine was recognizable by the two bubbles on the hood: they were intended to accommodate the high-powered chassis power unit. In August 1972, Fiat supplied the Sport Spider with the new – and longer – 132-cylinder engine. This had a cylinder capacity of 1592 cc. A year later, it was joined by a larger 1,756 cc, which delivered 118 hp. They were fitted with a Weber double carburetor.
Departure from Europe, change of name
In the United States, the Fiat 124 Sport Spider was so successful that since 1975 Fiat began producing the car exclusively for North America, with a power supply of 1,756 cc. This variant Fiat 124 retained the Sport Spyder name until 1978. In 1979, the car’s name was changed to Spider 2000. The type designation referred, among other things, to its new 1995 cc engine.
In 1981, a bulging version also appeared in America – the result of cooperation between Fiat and Legend Industries. Towards the end of 1981, Pininfarina – the actual founder – took over the entire production process of the car. In those years, the car was also available in Europe again. In the fall of 1982, the Fiat 124 Spider was withdrawn from the program. The legendary design also remained in production. He continued his career in Europe as Pininfarina Spidereuropa. In America it was called Pininfarina Azzurra. The American version was equipped as standard with leather interior trim, a stereo radio player and power side windows.
Special Edition: Spidereuropa Volumex
In 1983, a special edition – limited to 500 pieces – Spidereuropa Volumex was presented. The 2-liter engine is equipped with a Rootes compressor. This modification resulted in a power of 135 horses and a top speed of 190 kilometers per hour. After nearly 200,000 Spiders, production of the original Fiat 124 Sport Spider ended in 1985.
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More than 8000 spiders registered in the US, it is also known in Europe
The majority of all spiders made (both Fiat and Pininfarina) were sold in the United States: more than 170,000 copies made their way there between 1968 and 1985. According to Fiat, there are still about 8,000 registered copies in the States United. But the distinctive, powerfully loved and beloved classic still enjoys great interest in Europe as well. Several copies are returned to our continent. This is not without reason, because from our point of view cosmetic and technical properties create a beautiful harmony of sportiness, taste and solidity.
– Fiat 124 Special, a global car
– Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, timeless beauty.
– Read also Fiat 125. The Italian full-size sports sedan.
– Fiat 130 and specialists
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