Mayday – 1972 Fiat 124 Sport Spider

Traditionally, May 1st (and especially the evening before) are festive days here. Tomorrow’s a holiday, so most everybody is drinking champagne in parks with silly white student hats. It’s also traditional to get your brightly-coloured pride and joy out in the public, and that’s what the owner of this historic-registered 1972 Fiat 124 Sport Spider has done.

The top’s not yet down, but it must only be a short while before it is.

Just look at that delicious mesh grille and dainty little chrome bumpers. They make a perfect match with the white-on-black plates. The orange is an original colour, even if the car has probably been restored inside out.

The 1972 124 is driven by a 1600cc 110-horse twin cam engine. There are also discs all round and a five-speed gearbox, which help get the most out of the light little roadster. I don’t think the driver of the Fiat gives it too much stick these days, since 40-year-old Italian technology – however well maintained – must be fragile at best. But still, it must be an entertaining drive at suburban speeds, too.

Wooden steering wheel, four-spoked alloys, Pininfarina badge. Stuff of legends. Also note the lightest side swage kink above the door handle.

I’m confident the citrus orange is one of the best colours for the 124 spider, even more suitable than the inevitable red. Yellow would be fine, too. In the other end of the appearance spectrum are beige ones with duckface US bumpers.

The Fiat could be factory fresh, really. The top looks almost spot on and even the rear window hasn’t turned opaque yet.

As perfect-condition classic roadsters go, you could do worse than pick a 124 Sport Spider this good. It’s even prettier than an Alfa Romeo Duetto, I think. Which one would you pick, or would you prefer the Spitfire instead?

 

[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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