Not a Fiat: 1983 Pininfarina Spider – $23,000

by | Aug 2022 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

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Here’s a curveball for you: most of us know about the Fiat 124 Spider by now, as it was in production for a very long time by sports car standards, and it was designed by none other than Pininfarina. But did you know that for a few short years after Fiat wound down production that Pininfarina kept selling the iconic two-seater under its own nameplate? I’m sure I knew this at one time but had clearly forgotten about the distinction. The seller’s Pininfarina Spider is listed here on Craigslist in Rhode Island with 92,500 original miles and a recent engine rebuild in its history file for $23,000. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows us that the seller is asking top-dollar for his Spider, with the average sale price clocking in at around $17,454.  While it is a premium price, there aren’t many of these left that have been looked after like the seller’s Spider:

If you are serious about buying this classic roadster, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller here.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Pininfarina Fiat featured here on GuysWithRides.com.

I will keep referring to this as a Fiat, as that’s what most of us know it as. We also likely know that most of the 124 Spiders running around are either rusty, neglected, or likely both. For some reason, despite its good looks and luxurious interior, the 124 Spider never became a treasured collectible. You can lay the blame in a few different places, from the generally spotty build quality to the lack of a sufficient dealership network that was able to support the ongoing maintenance of these finicky cars. The other real handicap the Fiat had was being updated for the United States marketplace, which included performance handicaps compared to its overseas siblings and the ugly safety bumpers – affectionately known as park benches – that marred the otherwise pretty exterior. If I were to own one of these Pininfarina roadsters, the first thing I would do is to source a set of the European bumpers that sit much closer to the body as the manufacturer intended. These days, however, as the collector car landscape evolves, I’m not sure spending over $20,000 on a 124 roadster is a sound idea, let alone retrofitting different bumpers.

The MotorWeek RetroReview YouTube Channel provides this vintage road test of a 1982 Spider:

To the seller’s credit, his Pininfarina Spider is likely one of the best ones left. Not only for the clean cosmetics but also for the rebuilt engine and a new transmission and clutch he installed 5,000 miles ago. It’s been looked after in all the critical areas, from the bodywork (which was fragile at best, especially in New England) to the mechanical bits, which was often the failure point for many of these cars when they trundled on down to the second or third owner. If you can already imagine having your love of a car tested by experiencing multiple break-downs, just imagine what it’s like to encounter that situation and then find there’s no dealership or speciality shop willing to work on it. Fortunately, the seller seems like the proactive type. In addition to the mechanical work, he’s also had the upholstery redone, installed a new top and boot, updated the stereo system, performed a complete brake rebuild and installed high-performance shocks, and also installed a new alternator, radiator, timing belt, and engine mounts as part of the rebuild work. It’s a lot of money for an unloved car, but if you’ve been looking for one, this is likely one of the best.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Classic Original Design by Pininfarina for Fiat
Modified, Manufactured and Marketed by Pininfarina Starting with this 1983 (through 1985) Model Year (All Pininfarina Emblems on Body)
Features:
§ 2L Engine with Double Overhead Cams, Bosch Fuel Injection and Electronic Ignition
§ 5-Speed Manual Transmission and 4 Wheel Disc Brakes
§ Performance Yokohama Tires on Original Rims
§ Beautiful Black with Tan/Blk Interior
§ New Higher Quality Cloth Convertible Top and Boot
§ New Seat Upholstery and Coco Floor Matts
§ Complete Car with Original Jack and Tool Kit
§ Great Sound System: CD/HD Bluetooth Alpine Radio, Power Antenna, 4 High Fidelity Infinity Speakers plus Subwoofer powered with a JL Audio Amplifier
§ New Transmission and Clutch (5000 Miles)
§ Complete Engine Rebuild (2000 miles)
§ New Alternator, Aluminum Radiator, Timing Belt, Motor Mounts and much more….
§ Complete Brake Rebuild and New Performance Shocks (2000 miles)
§ Recent New Battery
§ Well Cared for, Garage Kept Great Running and Driving Car (Show Winner)
§ Ready for Fun Top-Down Drives and More Car Show Wins
§ 92,500 Original Miles with Clean Title.”

The best of the best? It may not be super desirable, but is this Pininfarina roadster worth the price if it’s the best one left? 

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