Fiat 124 Sport Spider

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This article is about the Fiat 124 Spider. For the 124 Coupé, see Fiat 124 Coupé. For the 124 sedan, see Fiat 124.
Fiat 124 Sport Spider
Nationale oldtimerdag Zandvoort 2010, 1974 FIAT 124 SPORT SPIDER 1800, 72-YA-19.JPG
1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider
Overview
Manufacturer Fiat 1966–1982
Pininfarina 1983–1985
Also called Pininfarina Spider (1983–1985)
Production 1966–1985
Assembly Turin, Italy
San Giorgio Canavese, Italy (Pininfarina)
Designer Pininfarina: Tom Tjaarda (designer), Franco Martinengo (design director), Battista Pininfarina[1]
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door cabriolet
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Related Fiat 124
Powertrain
Engine
  • 1,438 cc (1.4 L) I4
  • 1,592 cc (1.6 L) I4
  • 1,608 cc (1.6 L) I4
  • 1,756 cc (1.8 L) I4
  • 1,995 cc (2.0 L) I4
  • 1,995 cc (2.0 L) turbo I4
  • 1,995 cc (2.0 L) sc I4
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase 89.75 in (2,280 mm)[2]
Length 156.25 in (3,969 mm)[2]
Width 63.5 in (1,613 mm)[2]
Height 49.25 in (1,251 mm)[2]
Chronology
Predecessor Fiat 1500 Cabriolet

The Fiat 124 Sport Spider is a 2+2 convertible sports car marketed by Fiat from 1966 to 1980 – having debuted at the November 1966 Turin Auto Show. Designed and manufactured by Italian carrozzeria Pininfarina, Fiat and Pininfarina continued to market the monocoque-bodied car as the 2000 Spider from 1979 to 1982. Pininfarina itself assumed the car's marketing from 1983 to the end of its production in 1985 – as the Pininfarina Spider Azzura.

The car was sold in Europe and the U.S. from its introduction until the 1975 model year when it was modified to comply with new U.S. regulations and no European version was produced. Sales in Europe resumed when Pininfarina took over production in 1983 under the name Pininfarina Europa Spider.[3]

Development[edit]

The body of the car was designed and marketed by Pininfarina. The convertible body was designed by Tom Tjaarda, who used his earlier designs of Chevrolet Corvette “Rondine” and Ferrari 275 GTS. Several years later, in 1981, on the 50th anniversary of Pininfarina, this fact was further emphasized by producing a Fiat Spider 2000 Pininfarina 50th (Golden) Anniversary Edition. In 1972, a sports version of the Spider was revealed. This was required for a type-approval of its rally version, which earned some remarkable success. The models sold in showrooms were marked as 124 CSA (C-Spider-Abarth). The vehicle had a capacity of 128 hp. In three years, Fiat manufactured less than 1,000 CSA models, which were intended for sale to individual clients. Apart from the Fiat Spider 2000 Pininfarina 50th (Golden) Anniversary Edition, this is one of the versions most eagerly sought by collectors.

The Sports Spider and the Fiat 124 Coupé shared the numeric portions of their name with the 124 sedan along with much of their running gear – and, in the case of the Coupé, a shared platform. The Sports Spider utilized a shorter platform along with a shorter wheelbase, and in contrast to the Pinifarina styled and manufactured Spider, Fiat designed and manufactured the Coupé in-house.

Specifications[edit]

Engines[edit]

The four-cylinder engine used in the Spider and Coupé was a double overhead cam, aluminum crossflow head version of the sedan's pushrod unit. It started in 1966 with a capacity of 1438 cc progressively increasing to 1608 cc in 1970 (although this reduced to 1,592 cc in 1973), 1,756 cc in 1974 and finally 1,995 cc in 1979. The Fiat Twin Cam engine was designed by Aurelio Lampredi.[4] Bosch fuel injection replaced the previously used Weber carburetors midway through 1980. In 1981 and 1982, Fiat USA, Inc. partnered with Legend Industries to create approximately 700 turbo models for US markets. There was also a supercharged model called Volumex offered toward the end of production, which was sold only in Europe, where it cost 35% more than a regular, fuel-injected Spidereuropa.[a] This family of engines was designed by ex-Ferrari chief engineer Aurelio Lampredi and in one form or another remained in production into the 1990s giving it one of the longest production runs in history. The double overhead cam (DOHC) version was the first mass manufactured DOHC to utilize reinforced rubber timing belts, an innovation that would come into nearly universal use in the decades after its introduction. Its family powered race cars such as: FIAT 131 Mirafiori, 124 Special T, Lancia Beta Montecarlo, Delta Integrale and many others.

Years Model Engine Capacity Bore x stroke
mm
Compr.
ratio
Power at engine speed
1967–73 124 AC 040 1,438 cc 80 x 71.5 mm 8.9:1 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 6,000 rpm
1973–77 132 AC 000 1,592 cc 80 x 79.2 mm 9.8:1 108 PS (79 kW; 107 hp) at 6,000 rpm
1973–75 Abarth Rally 132 AC 4.000 1,756 cc 84 x 79.2 mm 9.8:1 128 PS (94 kW; 126 hp) at 6,200 rpm
1970–73 125 BC 000 1,608 cc 80 x 80 mm 9.8:1 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) at 6,400 rpm
1973–77 132 AC1 000 1,756 cc 84 x 79.2 mm 9.8:1 118 PS (87 kW; 116 hp) at 6,000 rpm
1974–78 132 A1 040 1,756 cc 84 x 79.2 mm 8.9:1 118 PS (87 kW; 116 hp) at 5,800 rpm
1974–78 131 A1 040 1,756 cc 84 x 79.2 mm 8.1:1 87 PS (64 kW; 86 hp) at 6,200 rpm
1979–81 132 C2 040 1,995 cc 84 x 90 mm 8.1:1 83 PS (61 kW; 82 hp) at 5,800 rpm
1979–85 132 C3 031 1,995 cc 84 x 90 mm 8.2:1 102 PS (75 kW; 101 hp) at 5,500 rpm
1979–85 Spidereuropa 132 C3 031 1995 cc 84 x 90 mm 8.2:1 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 5,500 rpm
1984–85 Volumex 132 V3 031 1,995 cc 84 x 90 mm 7.5:1 135 PS (99 kW; 133 hp) at 6,000 rpm

Suspension[edit]

Suspension was conventional by unequal length wishbones and coil over damper at the front and by coil sprung live rear axle at the rear which was located by a transverse link (Panhard rod) and two pairs of forward extending radius rods to react braking and acceleration and to control axle wind-up.

Models[edit]

Fiat Abarth 124 Rally[edit]

The Fiat Abarth 124 Rally was a sport version of the 124 Spider, introduced in November 1972.[6][7] Its main purpose was to receive FIA homologation in the special grand touring cars (Group 4) racing class, and replace the 1.6-litre Fiat Sport Spider rally car which were presently being campaigned. At the time 124 had already won the 1972 European Rally Championship at the hands of Raffaele Pinto and Gino Macaluso.[6] The 124 Rally was added to the Sport Spider range, which included the 1600 and 1800 models; the first 500 examples produced were earmarked for the domestic Italian market.[7]

Amongst the most notable modifications over the standard spider there were independent rear suspension, engine upgrades, lightweight body panels, and a fixed hard top. In place of the usual rear solid axle, there was s Chapman-type McPherson strut independent suspension, supplemented by a longitudinal torque arm. At the front a radius rod was added on each side. The engine was brought from the standard 118 PS (87 kW; 116 hp) to 128 PS (94 kW; 126 hp)[8] by replacing the standard twin-choke carburettor with dual vertical twin-choke Weber 44 IDF ones, and by fitting an Abarth exhaust with a dual exit muffler.[6][7] The 9.8:1 compression ratio was left unchanged.[7] The transmission was the all-synchronised 5-speed optional on the other models, and brakes were discs on all four corners. Despite the 20 kg (44 lb) 4-point roll bar fitted, kerb weight was 938 kg (2,068 lb), roughly 25 kg (55 lb) less than the regular 1.8-litre Sport Spider.[6]

Engine bonnet, boot lid and the fixed hard top were fibreglass, painted matt black, the rear window was perspex and the doors aluminium. Front and rear bumpers were deleted and replaced by simple rubber bumperettes. A single matte black wing mirror was fitted. Matte black wheel arch extensions nestled 185/70 VR13 Pirelli tyres on 5.5Jx13-inch 4-spoke alloy wheels.[6] Inside centre console, rear occasional seats, and glovebox lid were eliminated; while new features were anodised aluminium dashboard trim, a small three-spoke leather-covered Abarth steering wheel, and Recaro corduroy-and-leather bucket seats as an extra-cost option.[6] The car carried Fiat badging front and rear, Abarth badges and "Fiat Abarth" scripts on the front wings, and Abarth wheel centre caps. Only three paint colour were available: Corsa red, white, and light blue.[6]

Fiat Abarth 124 Rally
Fiat Abarth 124 Rally, specifications and comparison[6][8]
Fiat Abarth 124 Rally Fiat 124 Sport Spider 1800
Engine 1,756 cc DOHC inline-four
Carburettor(s) 2x twin-choke Weber 44 IDF 1x twin-choke Weber 34 DMS
Power 128 PS (94 kW; 126 hp) at 6,200 rpm 118 PS (87 kW; 116 hp) at 6,000 rpm
Torque 16.2 kg·m (159 N·m; 117 lb·ft) at 5,200 rpm 15.6 kg·m (153 N·m; 113 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
Wheelbase 2,280 mm (89.8 in) 2,280 mm (89.8 in)
Length 3,914 mm (154.1 in) 3,971 mm (156.3 in)
Width 1,630 mm (64.2 in) 1,613 mm (63.5 in)
Track
front–rear
1,413–1,400 mm (55.6–55.1 in) 1,346–1,316 mm (53.0–51.8 in)
Kerb weight 938 kg (2,068 lb) 960 kg (2,116 lb)
Top speed over 190 km/h (118 mph) 185 km/h (115 mph)

North American model[edit]

The Coupé and Spider were first sold in the US market in 1968. In 1969, the Spider featured four-wheel disc-brakes, double overhead cams, hesitation wipers, steering-column mounted lighting-controls, radial ply tires and a five-speed manual transmission. An optional three-speed automatic transmission from General Motors was available from 1979 through 1985 for North America as well as Japan. Its convertible top was known for its simplicity of use and could be raised and locked in under a minute.[9] When the engine was upgraded to two litres, the model was renamed as the Fiat 2000 Spider. For the 1980 model year a version with a catalytic converter and Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection was introduced for California, being optional in the other 49 states. For 1981 this engine, with 102 hp (76 kW), became standard fitment in North America.[9]

Fiat subsequently stopped marketing the Spider and the X1/9 — to have their marketing assumed by their respective carozzeria.[3] In Europe, the Ritmo Cabrio was also marketed by Bertone rather than Fiat themselves.[10] In the USA, Fiat turned over marketing and support of the Spider and the X1/9 to International Automobile Importers, Inc., headed by Malcolm Bricklin.

Rallying[edit]

Fiat Abarth 124 Rallyes in Abarth factory in Turin.
Fiat 124 Abarth at Sliverstone circuit 2003

In 1971 the 124 Spider was prepared for the World Rally Championship when Abarth became involved with its production and development. Abarth designer Ing. Colucci was responsible for getting the 124 Spider into Group 4 rally trim. Over this period the Abarth Spider had relative success with wins at the 1972 Hessen Rally, Acropolis Rally, 1973 Polish Rally, 19th on the 1973 RAC rally and 7th to mostly the Alpine Renaults on the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally. The Spider continued to perform with 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 1974 8th Portuguese TAP Rally, 6th in the 1974 1000 Lakes, 4th in the 1975 Monte Carlo Rally and also with Markku Alén driving the Spider to 3rd place. By 1976 the days of 124 rallying were numbered due to the appearance of the Fiat-Abarth 131.[11]

Production[edit]

The model line ceased in 1985 after almost 200,000 Spiders alone had been built, of which 75% were for the US market. There were nine models of the Spider, the AS, BS, BS1, CS, CSA (Abarth), CS1, CS2, CS0, and DS.

Year Model Starting chassis no. Displacement Engine type Fuel delivery Aspiration
1966 AS 000001 1438 124 AC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1967 AS 1438 124 AC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1968 AS 0005619 1438 124 AC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1969 AS 0010554 1438 124 AC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1970 BS 0021861 1438 124 AC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1971 BS 22589 1438 124 AC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1971 BS1 33950 1608 125BC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1972 BS1 47032 1608 125BC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1973 CS 59592 1608 125BC.040 Carbureted Naturally
1973 CS1 63308 1592 132 AC.040.3 Carbureted Naturally
1974 CS1 71650 1756 132 A1.040.4 Carbureted Naturally
1975 CS 88792 1756 132 A1.040.5 Carbureted Naturally
1975 CS 88792 1756 132 A1.031.5 US market Carbureted Naturally
1976 CS1 99909 1756 132 A1.040.5 Carbureted Naturally
1976 CS1 99909 1756 132 A1.031.5 US market Carbureted Naturally
1977 CS 113343 1756 132 A1.040.5 Carbureted Naturally
1977 CS 113343 1756 132 A1.031.5 US market Carbureted Naturally
1978 CS 126001 1756 132 A1.040.5 Carbureted Naturally
1978 CS 126001 1756 132 A1.031.5 US market Carbureted Naturally
1979 CS2 142514 1995 132 CS2.040 Carbureted Naturally
1979 CS2 142514 1995 132 CS2.031 US market Carbureted Naturally
1980 CS0 00171001 1995 132 C3.031 Fuel Injected Naturally
1980 CS0 1938507 1995 132 C3.031 Carbureted Naturally
1980 CS2 0157654 1995 132 C3.040 Carbureted Naturally
1981 CS0 171001 1995 132 C3.031 Fuel injected Naturally
1981 CS2 164089 1995 132 C3.040 Fuel injected Turbocharged option
1982 CS2 1938507 1995 132 C3.040 Fuel injected Turbocharged option
6/1982 DS0 1967897 1995 132 C3.040 Fuel injected Naturally
1983 DS0 5500001 1995 132 C3.040 Fuel injected Naturally
1984 DS0 5503666 1995 132 C3.040 Fuel injected Naturally
1985 DS0 5506060 1995 132 C3.040 Carbureted Supercharged (Volumex)
Production by year, 1970–1995[12]
Year 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1970–85
Units made 14,288 13,412 12,362 12,738 15,754 14,143 11,862 14,012 16,105 18,943 14,435 4,747 3,456 2,480 2,577 1,504 172,818

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tom, Tjaarda. "Fiat 124 Spyder Design Story". spidersweb.nl. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bensted-Smith, Richard (5 November 1966). "Sport-out of Fiat 124: The 124 spider; larger engine: twin overhead camshafts; Pininfarina 2+2 body". The Motor: 25–27. 
  3. ^ a b The Concise 1966-78 FIAT 124 Spider, 1979-82 FIAT 2000 Spider & 1983-85 Pininfarina Spider History
  4. ^ Fiat Twin Cam engine
  5. ^ World Cars 1984. Pelham, NY: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books. 1984. p. 222. ISBN 0-910714-16-9. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Fiat Abarth 124 Rally—La 124 R con la sospensione alla Chapman" [The 124 R with the Chapman-style suspension]. Autosprint (in Italian) XII (47): 36–37. 20 November 1972. 
  7. ^ a b c d "La "124 Rally", nuova sportiva". La Stampa (in Italian). 19 November 1972. p. 11. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Fiat Abarth 124 Rally—Uso e caratteristiche (owner's manual) (in Italian). Fiat. 
  9. ^ a b Hogg, Tony (ed.). "1981 Buyer's Guide". Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1981 (January-February 1981): 96. 
  10. ^ World Cars 1984, p. 199
  11. ^ Giacosa, John Tipler ; foreword by Dante (1993). Fiat & Abarth 124 Spider & coupé. Godmanstone, England: Veloce Pub. Plc. ISBN 1-874105-09-X. 
  12. ^ "Produzione complessiva" (PDF). pininfarina.it ((Pininfarina production records)). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  1. ^ 22,000,000 versus 16,300,000 liras in 1984[5]

External links[edit]