Arachnophilia: The Fiat Spider, Then & Now

June 03, 2016

Arachnophilia: The Fiat Spider, Then & Now

 

Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

 

In 2017 Fiat plans to bring the Spider back to the U.S. after several decades absence in the form of the spiffy new 124.

It’s a well thought-out throwback to the original 124 Sport Spider, an iconic 2+2 convertible designed by the legendary house of Pininfarina and manufactured from 1966 –1980, which debuted at the November 1966 Turin Auto Show. Even more alluring for some: the 1971 version of the 124 Spider that was prepared for the World Rally Championship when Abarth became involved with its production and development. Considering it was up against the likes of the Renault Alpine and Lancia Stratos the little roadster did remarkably well.

Now the new 124 is not everyone’s cup of tea. Unlike the original it isn’t a purebred Italian, being heavily based on the fourth generation Mazda MX-5 roadster, and manufactured alongside it at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in Japan – though it does feature a Fiat-designed and built turbocharged engine. But of course Mazda has its own legion of fans who are probably reversed-pissed, if you take our meaning. Happily Fiat is also bringing back the rally version, dubbed the Abarth 124 Spider Rally. And that’s the one you’ll likely see us burning rubber in come next year…




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