Pippin Pininfarina: 1978 Fiat 124 Spider – Sold?

Jan 2021 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

February 5, 2021 Update – Apparently, in an effort to save five dollars, the seller of this Fiat 124 replaced this car with another Fiat 124 they seem to be selling.  We don’t get a vibe this is a spam Craigslist ad, however out of an abundance of caution we won’t feature the other 124 they now have in this car’s place. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Unlike the brand-engineered Miata pawned at Fiat dealerships these days, Italy’s largest carmaker produced its Pininfarina-penned 124 Spider in various forms from its launch in 1966 through 1985.  We love these sports cars not only for their sheer simplicity but also for how much these classics remain a bargain as long you can find a well-maintained one.  Nearly all of the 124 Spiders we come across are low mileage toys that are likely finicky to own as they don’t get used enough.  This 1978 Pippin Red over tan leather example originally listed in January 2021 on Craigslist in Basking Ridge, New Jersey with 95,000 miles is an indication this car has been used every chance the weather turned nice over the past 42 years.   Featuring a new top and an asking price of only $5,975, a quick check of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the asking price falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $4,700 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $10,400.  Using the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a slightly different assessment where the asking price in this instance falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $5,000 and it’s #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $8,325.

Not only do we like the color combination, but the excellent pictures give off a vibe that either this has been an extremely well-maintained driver quality car, or perhaps this 124 received a mild restoration at some point.  The only deviation we note from stock other than a modern stereo is what appears to be a Weber carburetor that is likely a more powerful upgrade from the original Bosch fuel injection unit. While the body looks straight and rust-free, you’ll need to confirm that during your in-person inspection.  Fiat 124s rely on a monocoque body, so much like a plane the car’s body panels act as structural skin.  Consequently, body panel replacement is not as simple an affair as on most other cars.  Hopefully, the current caretaker can provide a detailed history along with maintenance history to build your confidence to buy this Italian classic.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1978 Fiat 124 Spider
Pippin Red Color Code 163
New Top
95000 miles”

Show or go: what would you do with this Fiat in the spring?  Comment below and let us know!

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