Storage Sacrifice: 1974 Fiat 124 Spider – SOLD!

by | Oct 2021 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

October 22, 2021 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

As the leaves start to turn, many collector car owners’ attention turns to getting their ride(s) ready for winter storage. Unfortunately for some, life gets in the way and they no longer have a place to keep their car over the winter months.  Unfortunately, the seller of this restored 1974 Fiat 124 Spider originally listed in October 2021 on Craigslist in Chelmsford, Massachusetts (Boston) hints that as his reason for selling.

Benefitting from a complete restoration eight years ago, the seller currently has their 1974 Fiat 124 Spider listed for $8,500.  Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Spider priced between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $5,000 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $11,900.  More optimistically, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $8,150 and its #1 Excellent” appraisal of $12,800.

While Fiat originally launched its Pininfarina-designed, front-engine, rear-drive, 124 Spider in 1966, The U.S. market had to wait until 1968 for the car to arrive.  Compared to entry-level British sports cars of the period, the Spider offered advanced four-wheel disc-brakes, a double overhead cam inline-four, intermittent wipers, radial-ply tires, and a five-speed manual transmission.  Similar to its upmarket Alfa Romeo cousin, the Spider’s manual convertible top is very simple to use and can be raised and lowered from the driver’s seat. For 1974, Fiat bumped the engine’s displacement up to 1,756 cc.

We came across this mid-2000’s account of the Fiat 124 Spider’s history on YouTube:

We love the color combination and the fact this 124 Spider appears to be completed sorted.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“I have storage issues this winter and am regretfully parting with my 1974 Fiat Spider. I’ve owned her for 10 years and the guy before me owned her for 14, so she’s had long and caring ownership. She has less than 55,000 miles on the odometer and I believe that is close to the correct mileage. If you are seriously interested in the car I will walk you through the odometer history.

She underwent a restoration when I first bought her, that finished about 8 years ago. She’s been driven less than 400 miles a year since then. She only goes out on sunny days and has been garaged the whole time I’ve owned her. All known rust issues were fixed in the restoration, and there is no rust that I’m aware of and no blistering of paint. Since I’ve owned her the following is a partial list of what’s been done:

> The engine was removed from the car and rebuilt, including new higher performance head
> Fully electronic ignition replaced the distributor and points (I still have those if you want to go back to original)
> Transmission removed from the car, rebuilt and new clutch
> Repainted
> Seats reupholstered and new carpet installed
> Trunk reupholstered and battery disconnect and charger installed
> New brake system including booster, master cylinder, calipers, rotors and soft brake lines
> New front end including tie rods, A-arms, bushings

In all I’ve invested almost $30,000 in restoring her. She drives great and is a fantastic and fun country road cruiser. I never take her on the highway because she is dwarfed by the SUVs and pickup trucks flying by at 80 miles an hour.

The car is in overall good condition. The paint has some minor defects. There’s a chip from dropping the top on it during install. There’s a chip by the driver’s side door, and there is a chip where the hood contacts the fender. As you can see from the pictures it presents well despite that. It won best Fiat at Larz Anderson Tutto Italiano a few years ago.

That said – it’s a 50 year old car so it is not perfect and it requires care and feeding. There are minor oil leaks. I leave a piece of cardboard under it and I change the oil once a year. The leaks are small enough that I’ve never had to add oil between the once a year oil changes.

Available to be negotiated as part of the sale are 4 or 5 bins of spare parts, many brand new. I have the Fiat service manuals and pretty good documentation on what’s been done to the car and how to repair her. I’m not too interested in getting chiseled down in price, and a pain free transaction would probably mean I’d throw the parts in as part of the deal.

Fiats are well supported with a couple of very helpful forums and several vendors who sell all the parts necessary to restore and keep the car on the road. I will provide all that information to anyone who buys her.

This is not a modern car and it is not a car for someone who wants to walk out into the garage and have a no maintenance daily driver. She’s a fantastic introduction to the old car hobby. She gets comments every time I take her out. She is easy to work on, and there is a lot of support available. If you don’t want to work on cars there are several automotive shops in New England who can do the work.

I’m happy to discuss her history and give you all the information you’d like about her. I’m interested in her going to a good home where the buyer has open eyes and knows what is involved with treating her correctly.

Show or go: what would you do with this restored 1974 Fiat 124 Spider?  Comment below and let us know!

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