1971 Fiat 124 Spider 2.0 twin cam from UK and Ireland


A unique money vampire


Engine blew.

Gearbox lost 4th.


General Comments:

A unique and somewhat beautiful car. When I am rich I will get a more reliable version of this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2001

26th Mar 2001, 01:24

1971 Spiders do not have 2litre engines as standard. You should really point out that you have upgraded it.

3rd Sep 2002, 15:05

I've been owning a 1971 124 spider (a BS1 / 1608 cc in fact) for more than 10 years now. The first years were spent on an extensive restoration of the car. My experience is that when this is done properly and the car receives regular maintenance (especially on the ignition, the timing belt and valve adjustment), it proves to be an unexpectedly reliable car. The only thing to keep in mind is that spiders don't like rain. Treat your spider with love and care and you'll be rewarded with lots of reliable, topless driving entertainment.

Peter - the Netherlands.

28th Dec 2008, 11:32

I'm reading these with great nostalgia. I bought a yellow 1971 Spyder in 1977 out in Colorado, and drove it all over the front range and back to New Hampshire, until 1982. Second gear synchro died so a transmission rebuild was needed. Then a valve job, for which I removed and replaced the head myself. But it was finally done in by serious rot, especially on NH salty winter roads. Evidently Fiat were never great at metallurgy. Probably a Miata is the logical successor to this car, but I've gone BMW.

20th Sep 2009, 19:57

I have owned a 1973 Fiat Spider for 12 years. 2 head gaskets, 2 master cylinders, 1 complete brake job, 1 new top, interior redone 1 time, rear end gears once. Love it more all the time. They were built to love and repair as needed.

6th Feb 2010, 06:21

Any car is only as good as the mechanic maintaining it. I have a cherry 1971, 62,000 on the clock. It's been in the family the entire time and has never seen harsh weather. This year it had the entire front end and brake systems rebuilt by AFST member mechanics. It's as venerable as it ever was, and I'm quite sure it's one on the best spiders in the world.

1974 Fiat 124 Sp Coupe 1800 from Italy


I inherited the car with 70k miles. I drove it till 145k (present). The original differential was noisy so I replaced it. Blew the timing belt at 144K - may have over extended it's life. Oil seals were shot by 120k.

Installed several distributors, and U-joints, (probably due to worn trailing arm). Replaced the driveshaft rubber donut, a water pump and the thermostat. Replaced ball joints and brake calipers. Lower A-arm bushing aged prematurely. Aging fuel lines replaced and carb cleaning required due to sediment build up.

General Comments:

Engine and transmission are extremely solid (Ferrari designer designed the engine). Body rusted easily, but is one of the most solid constructions I've ever seen (every inch is welded.. including fenders).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 1999

9th Jul 2001, 23:25

I had a 124 sport 1400 and I can agree that the mechanicals are strong. The body however is very very prone to rust and the interior is also cheaply made. All the money went on the oily bits.

1st Aug 2001, 21:36

My 2nd car was a 1600BC coupe.

It was reliable, cheap to run, economical and bloody fast!

I regret selling it. It was rust free and one of the best examples around.

Today it is deemed as a classic.

If a similar car was to be made today using modern materials, the cost would be in excess of $100K!