Fiat 124 is back


#1

In 2017. It will be a modified Mazda MX-5, with a turbocharged 1.4L engine producing 158 HP. That’s a little more than the 2L engine in the Miata. It looks like a lot of fun. Of course, the Mazda looks like a lot of fun, too.


#2

I’d go with the Miata (if I fit) - no way I’m picking the Fiat engine…


#3

My oldest son has a Mazda Miata. What a ball to drive. Really fun. I’ll tell you what though, when you’re on the freeway, traveling along in the middle of a group of semis at about 70 mph, you really do feel like a mouse running with the elephants.


#4

Interesting. I had heard they were using the Miata as the basis for a new Alfa convertible, but a Fiat 124 Spider replacement makes lots of sense. I’d still buy the Miata version for greater engine reliability.


#5

The Miata is literally in a class by itself. It’s the gold standard for, indeed the only standard for, an affordable old-style ragtop roadster.

My dad has a Fiat 124 Sport Spider when I was young. I loved driving it. But they rotted almost instantly.

Personally, I’d go with the Miata. I have to wonder about Fiat’s logic in trying to make a modified Miata when the real thing is readily available and affordable. You’d think they’d want to make a competitor of their own design and feel. Or maybe they hope to sell it in Italy?


#6

It would be cool if the exterior was a direct match to those 60’s/70’s Fiat 124’s. That car had good styling. And it was pretty fun to drive, held the road pretty well. A little busy on the freeway though.


#7

I wish I had one (restored) simply for emotional reasons. I’d feel like my dad was riding with me. :smile:


#8

:slight_smile:


#9

The 124 came in several versions from the Spyder, the sport coupe and a 4 door econo box. Are they going to use the name Spyder or just 124.


#10

Every reference I can find suggests that they’ll be using the name Spider… always spelled with the “I” rather than the “y”, which surprised me.

I’m used to seeing the word “spyder” used to refer to ragtop versions of sports cars. I don’t know if it really means that.


#11

I bought a new 124 , maroon with a black interior in '71 .Great except for the rust that started after a few years ,. Mechanically perfect but that soviet steel was as bad as modern Chinese !


#12

My uncle had one and I would go to Rally’s with him. Fun car, but as mentioned, it rusted early. I am not sure if it was a FWD or RWD though.


#13

It was RWD.


#14

From what I’ve read… Mazda builds it in Japan with a FIAT engine built outside Rome. I’d trust the car-portion but not the engine portion. Car and Driver magazine HATED that engine in their Dodge Dart although they had no problems. Reviews of the same engine in the FIAT 500L shows LOTS of check engine lights.

Buy the MX-5 version, put a better sounding aftermarket exhaust on it, done!


#15

Fiat/Alfa didn’t have any small rear drive platform to build a roadster on, and they have historically sold quite a few around the world. Mazda has been actively seeking joint ventures since being dumped by Ford. Fiat was a very logical partner, though at first I had only heard of an Alfa version. Giving Fiat a version makes sense, too, as Fiat has sold plenty of moderately priced roadsters over the years. Assuming reasonable styling, I’d certainly be inclined to buy the Miata version, but a really pretty Alfa would have some appeal. High school friends had rusted out Flats, including the roadsters, so my feelings about them are less than fond, though they looked nice enough. It was the X1/9 I really loved to see on the road, even though I knew it wasn’t well made. What a pretty car that was (US bumpers excepted.)


#16

“It was the X1/9 I really loved to see on the road, even though I knew it wasn’t well made.”

I once managed a body shop (unfortunately) in the late 70s/early 80s I believe, and a customer dropped off an X1/9 (when it was not a very old car) that had a few rust spots and he wanted it fixed up and repainted.

My painter examined the car and found it had rust in places where cars don’t rust (rust holes right through the body metal around the windshield, for example) and he wasn’t excited about working on it.

We wrote the guy a very high an extremely high estimate with no guarantee, to scare him away. I called him with the news and he wanted to know when we could get started! The painter got ready to work on it and the more he looked, the more rust problems he found.

I called and told the Fiat lover that we wouldn’t take his money because it wouldn’t be “fixed” and to come pick it up.

I have bought and owned many Chyrsler/Dodge vehicles, but after their involvement with Fix It Again Tony, I’ve kept my distance. When my 19 year-old Caravan gives it up, I’m done.

CSA


#17

A coworker had a 3 year old X1/9 in Dallas. It has a rust hole in the middle of the rear fender, could see the engine.


#18

I have owned a 2002 Miata for the last 10 or 11 years, and it has done exactly what it was supposed to do the entire time. A reliable, steady and very enjoyable sports car, feels like an MG-B, looks like a Lotus, and as durable as an old Toyota Corolla. What more could you want?


#19

“feels like an MG-B”
“What more could you want?”

How about Lucas Electrics and animal derived parts in the carbs to give it that authentic MG feel? A friend had an MG-B back in the day. The hit or miss reliability of that MG gave one that real “MG feel”. :neutral:

CSA


#20

Feels like an MG-B that happens to be running right. I know, that wasn’t very often, but it did happen once in a while. With a Miata it happens every time. Those MG side draft carbs with the dripping seals around the jets were just another good idea lost in bad execution. But you folks know that.