Dan P

My first car 30 years later

I bought this car when I was 16 back in 1984. Over the past 30 years it has seen me through college and an initial work commute before becoming a garage queen and now a periodic rally and show car. When I bought the car, my mom insisted that I put in a roll bar for safety. Of course, back then, it had lap belts, which I must admit did not always get worn in my teenage years. Now, I have two children, and I finally understand my mom's concern, prompting me to install 3 point seat belts, anchoring them on that same roll bar she insisted I install, so that I can take my kids in the car safely. This car began my love affair with European cars, which is even stronger today. I loved the 1971/1972 BS1 model for the 124 Spider due to the increased power coming from the larger 1608 cc engine that was introduced for that model, chrome bumpers and smooth hood, which was what prompted me to look for that specific model and 30 years later, I couldn't be happier with that decision.

Over the years, I've found and restored an original Pininfarina hardtop to go with the car, and tried to keep the car as original as is practical, while still ensuring that the car is fun and safe to drive. That required an upgrade to the seats, as the original seats provided zero support and forced you to hold on to the arm rest with one hand just to remain in your seat. These days, I don't get the car out very often, but when I do, I'm always amazed at how quickly it fires up and how well it runs and performs. These Fiats seem to be gaining a new found appreciation, which I think is very well deserved. To consider that a model introduced in the late 1960's and came standard with dual overhead cams, 5 speed transmission, 4 wheel disk brakes, intermittent wipers, independent front suspension, and truly the best designed convertible top around with glass quarter windows that went up and down within seconds with minimal effort, it truly was ahead of its time. Now it sits in my garage next to its younger brother, my daily driver, a 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    VickiZ Washington April 15, 2015 at 17:36
    Amazing, thought this was a picture of my '71 Spider. They are fun!!

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