Fiat 124 is back

I have to yet test drive a Miata, not sure if I will fit. Also not sure if I can feel safe in that thing going down the fwy between two semi trucks.

I’m sorry genex, I honestly read your post as “Great except for the rust that started after a few hours”. I thought it was a slight exaggeration, but very funny. Then I re-read it. What a let down.

I recall reading somewhere that the reason Fiats rusted so fast was that Fiat shipped them on the upper deck of the ships… whether there’s any truth to that I don’t know.

The thing I can’t understand is that by using the Miata and putting their own engine in it, Fiat will be competing head-to-head with the actual Miata, well known to be extremely fun AND highly easy to own and reliable. I don’t know that I’d want to enter a market segment competing with a legend using a modification of their own car. Time will tell how it works out. If it works out.

Anyone remember the Sterling? British body, Honda engine, train wreck? This sounds similar.

@texases Yes! Hondas ae manufactured in may countries and they are all good. Only British Leyland (Rover PLC) could screw up a Honda!

the same mountainbike: I purchased a 10 year old Bertone (Fiat X 1/9) in 1991 that was rust free. About the only native vehicles in this area I see with rust damage are ones the idiots drive on the beach without pressure washing afterwards. I have no idea why they do this as the speed limit is 20mph. Of course there are many beaches not driven on as their access is 100+ foot cliffs. Shipping Fiats on the deck could contribute to rust but not as much as Fiats stupid commercial with the cars “swimming” to America.

I test drove the X-1/9 many years ago and thought it was fun, but not up to being used as a daily driver. I went tearing through the gears, revving the engine in each, and felt like I was flying… until I looked at the speedo and discovered I was only doing 50mph… or maybe it was 40! I should also mention that the cast potmetal door handle broke off in my hand…

Unfortunately, up here in NH rust is an issue. And in Fiats it really showed. I’m hoping the new Fiats fare better. Today’s technology to combat corrosion is a far cry from what it was decades ago, and I hope it’s integrated into modern Fiats. I like Fiat, their cars are fun, but they need at today’s prices to be also long-term. Time will tell.

I have to yet test drive a Miata, not sure if I will fit. Also not sure if I can feel safe in that thing going down the fwy between two semi trucks.

I fit my kid’s Miata. I’m NOT petite, trust me.

I wish…I’m 6’5", mostly in the torso, I look over the windshield.

I grew up in LA, and even there Fiats had a reputation for rusting. Probably not as quickly in other climates, but more than most other cars. That they were also woefully unreliable and just felt cheap made them even less attractive. The convertibles were you only models with any appeal, and they succeeded only because their British competition had just as many problems. If you wanted a cute little roadster back then you had to be prepared for the worst. There were the Datsun roadsters of the late sixties, and they had some fans, but they weren’t all that great, either. The Miata changed everything and killed the competition (at least in the US.) Mazda even came up with a practical folding hardtop that didn’t eat up trunk space. A bit awkward looking, but very handy. I hope the new one also has that option, but with better styling.

I can fit in a Miata, but can no longer bend my body parts sufficiently to get in and out of one.
When they first came on the market I test drove one and I absolutely loved it.

The Miata is/was everything the MG B, Sunbeam Alpine, Triumph TR6, Fiat Spyder, and others should have been but never were.

I got to visit the new one in my visit to the San Francisco Auto Show today. I really like the new styling, and it looks even smaller than before (it is a tiny bit less long.) Unfortunately, the folding hardtop is no more, though the soft top has a rigid panel at the front and when folded into its well the look is quite clean, much like the Booster. I don’t think I could manage climbing in and out on a regular basis, but some will find it doable, and we’ll worth the effort.

Sorry I missed you at the SF Auto show yesterday. I tried on a Miata, too, and it felt just like a Miata. Maybe a little snugger inside, but that may be because the dash is more styled than before. It still is what it has always been, and if you are not fit enough to get in and out, that’s not the car’s fault, is it?

For many of us it has nothing to do with being “fit”… it has to do with getting old.
When I began to have problems I was in my mid forties and in excellent shape. I used to work out five to six morning a week with freeweights, do 120 situps almost every morning, moiuntainbike five to six times a week from 12 to 25 miles (occasionally longer), and an occasional road ride typically 25 to 50 miles. Then I started to feel something wrong in my back when mountainbiking, and it kept getting worse until I ended up in the hospital just from doing simple things. Eventually I had two heart attacks, developed type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and on and on and on.

I love the Miata. I’ve always loved ragtop British roadsters, and always will. The Miata was and still is an MGB reinvented without the weaknesses and with solidity, even better handling, the easiest operating ragtop ever designed, and real reliability thrown in for good measure. To suggest that I can’t get into and out of it because I’m not “fit” ignores the realities of aging for the vast majority of the population, suggesting that it’s our own damned fault that we can no longer get in and out of the cars we love. Assuming that I’m not misunderstanding you, and I don’t think I am, I hope you never have to find out how wrong you are… but the odds are that you will.

Unfortunately we are all guilty of not fully understanding the limitations of aging and disabilities can have on people. I didn’t when younger now I do. I am just glad that in my physical fit days I made the memories of racing bicycles, fast sport motorcycles and sport cars I could not get out of now. I really don’t think wentwest meant to insult anyone.

In my case it’s disabling medical conditions, not age. I still got in and out of well over a hundred cars yesterday, just more slowly and awkwardly than I used to. I’ve been suffering from an unexplained case of severe osteoporosis for a couple of years, bad enough I had nine broken ribs, two broken lumbar vertebrae, cracked heelbones and pain in both hips by summer of last year Things are doing much better now, but some of the ribs still ache a bit and I’m a lot stiffer than I was. Anyhow, it was pretty much impossible to get in or out of a low slung car with all those broken bones, so last year’s auto show visit was a bit disappointing. This year I was there for seven hours, enough to make it through the whole show and spend time with all the new models, which is my main reason for going. The new Civic was much improved, the new Prius is ugly outside, but improved inside, and the new Volt is a huge improvement over the cramped, weird looking first generation. And the Miata is just right, which the third generation car was not until considerably altered. It’s a sweet little critter with a skin that looks tautly stretched over the mechanicals. The reptilian headlights give the front end a less friendly air than before, but it’s an original look and works just fine.

The Volt is improved in large part because Chevrolet designed it to be an electric car for this generation. The last generation was based on the Cruze, and retrofitting the Cruze meant there were a lot of inefficiencies. Before you get all over Chevy for doing that, remember how much it costs to design and build a completely new car. Chevy chose to move into electric vehicles slowly by retrofitting an existing design and using a hybrid configuration. No one would have bought a Chevrolet that cost almost as much as a Tesla.

I’ve always wanted a Corvette. Now that the children are all grown, I’ve thought about finally buying one. I can still get up and down easily, but I’m not sure about 10 years from now. I found @wentwest’s comment a bit severe, too.

If they couldn’t turn the Cruze into a useful electric car they shouldn’t have bothered. They had been working on the Volt for many years by then and had to know what the packaging issues were. Many of the problems of the old Volt were caused by poor styling choices, not the platform they based it on. The rear headroom was lousy because the roofline was too low. The dashboard was an ergonomic mess. The exterior styling tried too hard to be distinctive and just ended up strange. The amount of space the battery occupied down the center of the car was inevitable and didn’t bother me too much. The new car doesn’t try so hard to be futuristic and works a lot better, with adequate space in back (for two) and more conventional styling inside and out. It’s rather nice, though GM’s iffy reliability would still keep me from buying.

To me, the new Volt looks like the new Civic, and both rear ends are close to a 2000 Neon.