Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I had no idea these were still being made, until I saw one yesterday. VIN pegged it as a 2009, but google finds 2018 models available now!   Darn cute car, but JD Powers rates them as awful, rated 2 out of 5.  The Foreign car shop I worked at in my teens had a sign in the lobby, "We Don't Work On Fiats"!!

Fix I again, Tony!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

I had no idea these were still being made, until I saw one yesterday. VIN pegged it as a 2009, but google finds 2018 models available now!   Darn cute car, but JD Powers rates them as awful, rated 2 out of 5.  The Foreign car shop I worked at in my teens had a sign in the lobby, "We Don't Work On Fiats"!!

Fix I again, Tony!!

We have a good friend here with an Abarth Spider 124. They love it. Looks just like the Fiat 124 ragtop I had in the 1970s but sounds a lot more muscular. Back in the day, the only way to have a car like that was to either be a rich guy your own specialist mechanic on retainer, or be the kind of gearhead that did your own work. After a string of British cars, i found the Fiat Spider to be a joy.

- DSK

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

We have a good friend here with an Abarth Spider 124. They love it. Looks just like the Fiat 124 ragtop I had in the 1970s but sounds a lot more muscular. Back in the day, the only way to have a car like that was to either be a rich guy your own specialist mechanic on retainer, or be the kind of gearhead that did your own work. After a string of British cars, i found the Fiat Spider to be a joy.

- DSK

 

Thanks for that!  I bet the old British cars would be way easier to DIY, than this newer version of the 124.  Still keen on a 1980 resto mod Mini Cooper in St. Catherines, Ontario.  It's only 25 miles from Buffalo, so I will fly up there this spring and check it out, then figure out how to import it to the states.  I imported a half dozen or so minis in the 80's but the sellers handled the paperwork, customs, duties, etc.   I can hire a pro trucker, but that adds 2 grand to the tally, so will try to do it myself...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The new one is a twin to the Mazda Miata, but not as stiff, with FIAT motor, tranny etc. which seems really stupid.  If they had used Mazda mechanicals  and contented themselves with body styling :wub: and interior :wub:, it would be great.  It’s a bit heavier than the Miata.  Beautiful car, esp the high end one. The old ones could be had with a stock Ferrari 4 banger, if you looked around,  Tiny parts…

They stopped building the new one, no one wants a Abarth engine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the day, while stationed in Germany we bought a new 850 sport coupe.  Never drove under 100mph on the autobahn.  Shipped it back to the US where after the first winter it rusted apart.  Loved that car.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Amati said:

The new one is a twin to the Mazda Miata, but not as stiff, with FIAT motor, tranny etc. which seems really stupid.  If they had used Mazda mechanicals  and contented themselves with body styling :wub: and interior :wub:, it would be great.  It’s a bit heavier than the Miata.  Beautiful car, esp the high end one. The old ones could be had with a stock Ferrari 4 banger, if you looked around,  Tiny parts…

It uses a Mazda transmission - but it is the transmission out of the previous generation Miata (NC).   The interior is pretty much stock Miata.    The car is built in Japan with the Fiat engines shipped to Japan.

 

  • Like 2
  • Downvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, slap said:

It uses a Mazda transmission - but it is the transmission out of the previous generation Miata (NC).   The interior is pretty much stock Miata.    The car is built in Japan with the Fiat engines shipped to Japan.

 

Yup, but sadly, no more.  
 

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/fiat-124-spider-500l-dead/

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, sailm8 said:

Back in the day, while stationed in Germany we bought a new 850 sport coupe.  Never drove under 100mph on the autobahn.  Shipped it back to the US where after the first winter it rusted apart.  Loved that car.

I had one in the early/mid 1970's.  It was a hand me down from my sister, who got it from my father.  She overheated the heck out of it and warped the head beyond milling.  A new head cost more than the car was worth so I just got really good at changing head gaskets.  Besides the head gaskets, which were not really the car's fault.  It was pretty neat, and very small!

100mph?  Man, I never would have thought that little 900cc engine could get it there.  I never tried.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, slap said:

It uses a Mazda transmission - but it is the transmission out of the previous generation Miata (NC).   The interior is pretty much stock Miata.    The car is built in Japan with the Fiat engines shipped to Japan.

 

Mazda does not actually make transmissions, they source those.  The transmission in our MPV was a JATCO and was the same one on Hyndis and Jaguar.  They are also used in Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Isuzu, Suzuki, BMW, Volkswagen, MG Rover Group and Land Rover

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, bridhb said:

I had one in the early/mid 1970's.  It was a hand me down from my sister, who got it from my father.  She overheated the heck out of it and warped the head beyond milling.  A new head cost more than the car was worth so I just got really good at changing head gaskets.  Besides the head gaskets, which were not really the car's fault.  It was pretty neat, and very small!

100mph?  Man, I never would have thought that little 900cc engine could get it there.  I never tried.

It may have been 100 km/h which is 60 mph.  But, I will say, I had my doors blown off by a little Škoda with a 1.4 in it..  I was doing about 120 km/h (75 mph) and it passed me like I was standing still.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Ventucky Red said:

Mazda does not actually make transmissions, they source those.  The transmission in our MPV was a JATCO and was the same one on Hyndis and Jaguar.  They are also used in Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Isuzu, Suzuki, BMW, Volkswagen, MG Rover Group and Land Rover

 

The 6 speed MX5 manual is made by Aisin. The 5 speed by Mazda 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, billy backstay said:

 

Thanks for that!  I bet the old British cars would be way easier to DIY, than this newer version of the 124.  Still keen on a 1980 resto mod Mini Cooper in St. Catherines, Ontario.  It's only 25 miles from Buffalo, so I will fly up there this spring and check it out, then figure out how to import it to the states.  I imported a half dozen or so minis in the 80's but the sellers handled the paperwork, customs, duties, etc.   I can hire a pro trucker, but that adds 2 grand to the tally, so will try to do it myself...

Use a customs broker.

Trust me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Use a customs broker.

Trust me.

+1   Customs paperwork and hoops are like the IRS and DMV had a love child.

Didn't Clean try to import a car from Canada about 10 years ago?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Windward said:

+1   Customs paperwork and hoops are like the IRS and DMV had a love child.

Didn't Clean try to import a car from Canada about 10 years ago?

 

Yes, I have used Customs Brokers in the past, but it was 30 years ago, or more, and the brain cells that did that way back then have been replaced with new ones, just like our skin replaces its cells, and dead skin is the primary component of house dust, in case you didn't know it! :D

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Windward said:

+1   Customs paperwork and hoops are like the IRS and DMV had a love child.

Didn't Clean try to import a car from Canada about 10 years ago?

A lot of VW guys were bringing the 5-speed diesel Eurovan (true) Westphalia campers in from Canada and the EU said the process was simple if you followed ALL the steps...  But there was one gent that tried to get his registered in CA.  In the end, he set up an address in NV to circumvent CA laws.  CA DMV, CARB, and EPA can be real cunts sometimes.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Ventucky Red said:

A lot of VW guys were bringing the 5-speed diesel Eurovan (true) Westphalia campers in from Canada and the EU said the process was simple if you followed ALL the steps...  But there was one gent that tried to get his registered in CA.  In the end, he set up an address in NV to circumvent CA laws.  CA DMV, CARB, and EPA can be real cunts sometimes.

 

California CARB rules are a bitch!  A lot of the minis in this country are revins, where they put an older VIN tag from an MOT failed car, onto a newer Mini to bypass the Fed rule against bringing in cars less than 25 years old.  25 years and older are exempt from full Fed inspection. Some grey market cars came the same way too, I reckon. Same with VW bugs from Mexico, after they stopped making them here, lots of that in Cally, but I think that was before the CARB air pollution rules?

Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

California CARB rules are a bitch!  A lot of the minis in this country are revins, where they put an older VIN tag from an MOT failed car, onto a newer Mini to bypass the Fed rule against bringing in cars less than 25 years old.  25 years and older are exempt from full Fed inspection. Some grey market cars came the same way too, I reckon. Same with VW bugs from Mexico, after they stopped making them here, lots of that in Cally, but I think that was before the CARB air pollution rules?

You sure don’t want get caught doing that, a couple of close friends from a while back found out the hard way that the feds don’t mess around with illegally imported cars and those who import/re-tag them. Eight years each in the pen (out in 5-ish on parole) and massive fines; if I’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time when the feds picked them up a few hours after I’d left their shop I’d have had some ‘splaining to do while being held. I was very aware of what was up but not involved, I think they were up to other car mischief after they got out but I lost touch after I moved across the state and kept my distance.

At one point during that time I was contemplating doing the same to a Lancia Gamma Berlina that had been illegally brought in and was squirreled away somewhere in Massachusetts at the time but wisely thought better of it and satisfied myself with my Zagatos, Alfa 164, and 124 Spider.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, WhoaTed said:

You sure don’t want get caught doing that, a couple of close friends from a while back found out the hard way that the feds don’t mess around with illegally imported cars and those who import/re-tag them. Eight years each in the pen (out in 5-ish on parole) and massive fines; if I’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time a few hours after I’d left their shop I’d have had some ‘splaining to do while they held me. I was very aware of what was up but not involved, I think they were up to other car mischief after they got out but I lost touch after I moved across the state and kept my distance.

At one point during that time I was contemplating doing the same to a Lancia Gamma Berlina that had been illegally brought in and was squirreled away somewhere in Massachusetts at the time but wisely thought better of it.

 

Interesting?  We never had any problems in CT, but again this was 20 or so years ago.  I had a 1999 Mini 40 Anniversary car, with a modern fuel injection that was clearly a revin, if you knew anything about Minis, but it was not a problem back then.  I did not import it but bought it from another enthusiast on Long Island. It had a New York title, so no problem with DMV.  Times have probably changed....

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Interesting?  We never had any problems in CT, but again this was 20 or so years ago.  I had a 1999 Mini 40 Anniversary car, with a modern fuel injection that was clearly a revin, if you knew anything about Minis, but it was not a problem back then.  I did not import it but bought it from another enthusiast on Long Island. It had a New York title, so no problem with DMV.  Times have probably changed....

I’m talking about pulling the VIN plate from a US-legal car that was junked and putting it on a illegally imported car (non-DOT/EPA). This was 20-30 years ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, WhoaTed said:

I’m talking about pulling the VIN plate from a US-legal car that was junked and putting it on a illegally imported car (non-DOT/EPA). This was 20-30 years ago.

No, this was pulling the VIN from an older Mini in the UK, to make it appear over 25 years old. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, billy backstay said:

 

California CARB rules are a bitch!  A lot of the minis in this country are revins, where they put an older VIN tag from an MOT failed car, onto a newer Mini to bypass the Fed rule against bringing in cars less than 25 years old.  25 years and older are exempt from full Fed inspection. Some grey market cars came the same way too, I reckon. Same with VW bugs from Mexico, after they stopped making them here, lots of that in Cally, but I think that was before the CARB air pollution rules?

How do you account for the VINs that are stamped into the Firewall, driver side door, on the frame under the car or whatever specific locations the manufacturer uses?  When you bring a car in they're going to look for more than one VIN...  Even with the DMV office, they're going to check for one or VIN (usually the window and driver side door) - how would you go about getting the driver door sticker of one car and on to another without it looking like it was molested.

The last VW Bugs in CA were sold in 1979.  There was a dealer in Reseda that hoarded a bunch of the convertibles and started selling them in the mid 90's for about 10 times what he paid for them..  Because they were new and being sold as new and didn't meet the new CARB standards of the time, he could not sell them in California.  Again, a way to circumvent the law was found and all the VW hippies were dancing again.  A good friend of mine bought one, registered it in Arizona, and then to CA after a couple of years. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Ventucky Red said:

How do you account for the VINs that are stamped into the Firewall, driver side door, on the frame under the car or whatever specific locations the manufacturer uses?  When you bring a car in they're going to look for more than one VIN...  Even with the DMV office, they're going to check for one or VIN (usually the window and driver side door) - how would you go about getting the driver door sticker of one car and on to another without it looking like it was molested.

The last VW Bugs in CA were sold in 1979.  There was a dealer in Reseda that hoarded a bunch of the convertibles and started selling them in the mid 90's for about 10 times what he paid for them..  Because they were new and being sold as new and didn't meet the new CARB standards of the time, he could not sell them in California.  Again, a way to circumvent the law was found and all the VW hippies were dancing again.  A good friend of mine bought one, registered it in Arizona, and then to CA after a couple of years. 

 

Mini's VIN tags were plates held on by rivets, so easy to swap out.  Yes, there are other number stampings that can be found to confirm originality, but don't think that was ever checked with the Minis I was involved in back then....

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, billy backstay said:

No, this was pulling the VIN from an older Mini in the UK, to make it appear over 25 years old. 

It’s illegal in the US Billy, a felony then and now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

Mini's VIN tags were plates held on by rivets, so easy to swap out.  Yes, there are other number stampings that can be found to confirm originality, but don't think that was ever checked with the Minis I was involved in back then....

Again, how did they get the car through customs?  I don't think this would have flown very well, they look at more than one data plate.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Ventucky Red said:

Again, how did they get the car through customs?  I don't think this would have flown very well, they look at more than one data plate.

 

Dunno?  I got one imported from OZ that was legit, and 3 from the UK that were legit. All were original VIN's, older than 25 years, so totally on the up and up...

The Revin's I bought had already been registered elsewhere and purchased with a legit title from somewhere other than the UK or OZ, and gladly approved by my state's DMV!!

It's not like I was a person stealing from the government or paying no taxes, through rich people's tax dodges?  

Enthusiasts trading fun cars, that were not any more dangerous to the environment than any other old cars.

So, WTF is the big deal here??  For fucks sake, don't you have something more important to criticize other than some middle-aged guys trading in interesting enthusiasts' cars, 20 or more years ago??

Get a fucking life, please??  Bitch about something meaningful instead, maybe like the possible Civil War 2.0, coming from the Trumper's soon??

Coming on your newsfeed sometime in the near future possibly???

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, WhoaTed said:

It’s illegal in the US Billy, a felony then and now.

I did nothing illegal.  I imported cars that were over 25 years old.

Later I purchased cars with legitimate titles from other places that were totally acceptable by state DMV.

Get a fucking life and bitch about something meaningful......

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Not for nothing said:

Fix It Again Tony

 

I could maybe fix the old one, like the old LBC's.  New ones are all electronic chips, not condusive to DIY, for old guys!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Use a customs broker.

Trust me.

It's easier importing vehicles to the US than it is to Canuckistan these days, you just need all your paperwork in order and don't even think about dicking around.  I've moved bikes, trailers, boats & cars across the border both ways.  On a genuine 25yr old Fiat, it is tedious but straightforward.  The problems start when say you start bringing in Japanese market Skylines, get them titled in Canada then sneak them across the border and try to sell them in California.  Don't do that.

 

Now, back to the OP...I've been daily driving a 500 Turbo for 5yrs and looking to roll over 100k in the next few months.  Has been nothing but a fun cheap to run appliance that sounds great.  The interior is on the cheaper side compared to a Mini, but it also doesn't have BMW repair costs like a Mini and it has been dead nuts reliable were it counts.  Fiat has been making these engines for ages, these aren't the rust bucket garage queens of the 70's.

The only downside, is just about every week filling up, there's always that one guy at a gas station.  "Don'tcha know what FIAT stands for, huh huh huh huh"

Yeah, you're the FIRST one to come up with that, wow I've never heard that before.  Golf clap.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Dunno?  I got one imported from OZ that was legit, and 3 from the UK that were legit. All were original VIN's, older than 25 years, so totally on the up and up...

The Revin's I bought had already been registered elsewhere and purchased with a legit title from somewhere other than the UK or OZ, and gladly approved by my state's DMV!!

It's not like I was a person stealing from the government or paying no taxes, through rich people's tax dodges?  

Enthusiasts trading fun cars, that were not any more dangerous to the environment than any other old cars.

So, WTF is the big deal here??  For fucks sake, don't you have something more important to criticize other than some middle-aged guys trading in interesting enthusiasts' cars, 20 or more years ago??

Get a fucking life, please??  Bitch about something meaningful instead, maybe like the possible Civil War 2.0, coming from the Trumper's soon??

Coming on your newsfeed sometime in the near future possibly???

I didn't know it was possible to type sentences that end with an upper inflection. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I didn't know it was possible to type sentences that end with an upper inflection. 

 

I guess you know now!  Sorry if my diction or anything else was not Kosher, per the "word police", on SA!!!

 

EDIT...   I am not sorry, they can go away or put me on ignore, if they don't like, or approve of my posts...

No harm, no foul...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Amanda Dell on Twitter: "Massive squashed huntsman at the bottom of a box.  Wrong place, wrong time. http://t.co/uqZn1JIaW8" / Twitter

OOPS! Sorry! I thought you said "FLAT SPIDER!!"....

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, billy backstay said:

I had no idea these were still being made, until I saw one yesterday. VIN pegged it as a 2009, but google finds 2018 models available now!   Darn cute car, but JD Powers rates them as awful, rated 2 out of 5.  The Foreign car shop I worked at in my teens had a sign in the lobby, "We Don't Work On Fiats"!!

Fix I again, Tony!!

I have a 2018 and I enjoy reading all of the bad ratings. 

Which is funny since 80% of the car is a Mazda Miata and Fiats were build in Japan in the Mazda factory.  Hence the nickname Fiata.  The only difference was the body panels and the engine, which was used in many, many cars by both Fiat and Chrysler) the rest is Miata.  So they give the Mazda Miata that came off of the same assembly line a better rating because it is fun to bash Fiats and they are lazy.

BTW:  I wanted to buy a new 124 back in 1972, but couldn't quite afford it, so I bought a Fiat 850 spider.  And yes my mechanic was indeed named Tony, (this was in New Jersey); yes I visited him frequently, and yes if it was really quiet I could hear the car rust.

The new 124 spider isn't anything like the old cars, except maybe for the joy you get while driving it. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, captnjoe said:

I have a 2018 and I enjoy reading all of the bad ratings. 

Which is funny since 80% of the car is a Mazda Miata and Fiats were build in Japan in the Mazda factory.  Hence the nickname Fiata.  The only difference was the body panels and the engine, which was used in many, many cars by both Fiat and Chrysler) the rest is Miata.  So they give the Mazda Miata that came off of the same assembly line a better rating because it is fun to bash Fiats and they are lazy.

BTW:  I wanted to buy a new 124 back in 1972, but couldn't quite afford it, so I bought a Fiat 850 spider.  And yes my mechanic was indeed named Tony, (this was in New Jersey); yes I visited him frequently, and yes if it was really quiet I could hear the car rust.

The new 124 spider isn't anything like the old cars, except maybe for the joy you get while driving it. 

 

Thanks for your post!!  I suspected that their poor ratings were a throwback to the old days!!  Miata's get great ratings, so how could a car based upon their undercarriages, etc. be so bad?  So the body is different and the engine is larger, so why the hate??  They must not have sold a lot because I was totally oblivious to the new Fiatas!  And I am definitely a small car guy!!  The one I saw outside the Bike shop the other day was gorgeous!  Way prettier than a MIata.  I am just gobsmacked that I had no idea these cars even existed, except for the old ones...  

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I didn't know it was possible to type sentences that end with an upper inflection. 

Sorry, I quit college after half a year and went to work.  My career path has been way more successful than 2 of my brothers that have college degrees from an accredited state college.......  Not even sure what an "upper inflection" means, and I can't be arsed to google it....

So, I don't write correctly, sue me!  :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

We have a good friend here with an Abarth Spider 124. They love it. Looks just like the Fiat 124 ragtop I had in the 1970s but sounds a lot more muscular. Back in the day, the only way to have a car like that was to either be a rich guy your own specialist mechanic on retainer, or be the kind of gearhead that did your own work. After a string of British cars, i found the Fiat Spider to be a joy.

- DSK

The 124 spider from 70s/80s was/are  really simple to work on. The transmissions were shared with the fiat trucks. My senior year of high school my best friend and I worked at a VW/Fiat dealership in Clearwater Florida.  We worked the lot and prepped new cars for customers as they signed papers. My job often included knocking down rust bubbles already forming and hitting it with a rattle can at the wells. The new  2000 were pretty fast for the day - I remember taking ones right off the delivery truck and race them against Chuck exceeding 100 miles an hour when they had less than 2 miles on them. (I regret that I may have caused a few of you headaches later due to my/our reckless behavior). I have owned 3 since then but not currently.  the real problem is when they got in mildly strong impact collisions like a classic fender bender, the frames twisted, the transmission and engine don’t quite line up correctly and would result in overheating - then the Fix it again Tony stuff makes the car less fun. The secret to keep them going was to change the belts without fail every 30k with a full radiator flush.  Carried a spare fuel pump and water pump too along with a metric socket set. The NAPA dealer always had those parts in stock which was quite convenient. the older Fiat 124 spider does give you a real taste of a true classic Italian sport car of another era. I like that 4 adults could almost sit in one. When tuned on a sunny day, they make one of the greatest going to the beach rides ever. The girls I went out with always got the convertible haircut so we could drive with the top down.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Black Jack said:

The 124 spider from 70s/80s was/are  really simple to work on. The transmissions were shared with the fiat trucks. My senior year of high school My best friend and I worked at a VW/Fiat dealership in Clearwater Florida.  We worked the lot and prepped new cars for customers as they signed papers. My job often included knocking down rust bubbles already forming and hitting it with a rattle can at the wells. The new  2000 were pretty fast - I remember taking ones right off the delivery truck and race them against Chuck exceeding 100 miles an hour when they had less than 2 miles on them. I have owned 3 - the real problem is when they got in mildly strong impact collisions like a classic fender bender, the frames twist, the transmission and engine don’t line up correctly and overheat - then the Fix it again Tony stuff makes the car less fun. The secret was to change the belts without fail every 30k with a full radiator flush.  Carry a fuel pump and water pump too along with a socket set. The NAPA dealer always had those parts in stock. the older Fiat 124 spider does give you a real taste of a true classic Italian sport car of another era. I like that 4 adults could almost sit in one. When tuned on a sunny day, they make one of the greatest going to the beach rides ever.

IIRC mine was a '72. The biggest problems I recall was with the brakes, but I'd already been fairly well versed on the ignition and carbs because my father had one that I helped him work on. Later, friends with 124s had a lot of trouble with idle and low-RPM revs which is a combination of carb adj and if it's not right it fouls the plugs in about 2 minutes. And it was fussy about fuel, liked fully leaded hi-test, which get really hard to find.

Later, I got to drive cars with a much higher level of raw performance; so the Fiat seemed at the time like a hot ride but really, it's just a responsive fun car that has the sweet "Italian sports car" sound. Sunny day go-to-the-beach car, ZACKLY

- DSK

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, billy backstay said:

So, WTF is the big deal here??  For fucks sake, don't you have something more important to criticize other than some middle-aged guys trading in interesting enthusiasts' cars, 20 or more years ago??

Get a fucking life, please??  Bitch about something meaningful instead, maybe like the possible Civil War 2.0, coming from the Trumper's soon??

Coming on your newsfeed sometime in the near future possibly???

No big deal here other than the fact you're full of shit. And not that you're caught in your bullshit you need to lash out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

I could maybe fix the old one, like the old LBC's.  New ones are all electronic chips, not condusive to DIY, for old guys!! 

got a point, can't remember the last time I worked on a car, on wait I replaced an alternator on a scion, thanks to Utube

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Not for nothing said:

got a point, can't remember the last time I worked on a car, on wait I replaced an alternator on a scion, thanks to Utube

 

Sad to say I have become a checkbook Mechanic!  Maybe that should be glad to say?? :blink: I could drop a VW bug motor in less than 10 minutes when I was 16 YO...

Fortunately, a newfound friend who is a laid-off auto mechanic, will come to our house and fix car stuff for 50 bucks an hour!  He does other stuff like lowering shrub height to expand our waterfront view....

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Black Jack said:

The 124 spider from 70s/80s was/are  really simple to work on. The transmissions were shared with the fiat trucks. My senior year of high school my best friend and I worked at a VW/Fiat dealership in Clearwater Florida.  We worked the lot and prepped new cars for customers as they signed papers. My job often included knocking down rust bubbles already forming and hitting it with a rattle can at the wells. The new  2000 were pretty fast for the day - I remember taking ones right off the delivery truck and race them against Chuck exceeding 100 miles an hour when they had less than 2 miles on them. (I regret that I may have caused a few of you headaches later due to my/our reckless behavior). I have owned 3 since then but not currently.  the real problem is when they got in mildly strong impact collisions like a classic fender bender, the frames twisted, the transmission and engine don’t quite line up correctly and would result in overheating - then the Fix it again Tony stuff makes the car less fun. The secret to keep them going was to change the belts without fail every 30k with a full radiator flush.  Carried a spare fuel pump and water pump too along with a metric socket set. The NAPA dealer always had those parts in stock which was quite convenient. the older Fiat 124 spider does give you a real taste of a true classic Italian sport car of another era. I like that 4 adults could almost sit in one. When tuned on a sunny day, they make one of the greatest going to the beach rides ever. The girls I went out with always got the convertible haircut so we could drive with the top down.

I worked my way through college in the mid- to late-1980's working on Fiat Spiders, which were the car of choice for the local weed dealers so there were plenty of examples running around with well-financed owners. I got to the point of being able to pull the head in about 30 minutes. Eventually, I started buying them on spec and fixing them up for resale and owned 6 of them at one point. They were the perfect car for a college student who could turn a wrench: cheap, fun, stylish, unique, not dangerously powerful, and an absolute pussy magnet. When I moved away to grad school, a friend of mine begged me to sell my daily driver to him. He wasn't mechanically inclined so I told him he had to get the brakes done every other year, no matter what. Of course, he swore up and down that he would. Two years later, he told me he'd totalled the car after the brakes failed and mourned the fact that he was suddenly no longer as attractive to the opposite sex. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, IStream said:

 and mourned the fact that he was suddenly no longer as attractive to the opposite sex. 

This would describe my less than stellar high school dating program.

"good enough for the girls we date" category of vehicular distress sale choices made.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ropetrick said:

Driving a Corvair in high school got me some weird hippie chicks.

Go figure.

 

I bet it was a convertible??  Years ago, I drove to VA to look at a "Topless Redhead"!   BMW Convertible in "arrest me red"!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/15/2022 at 8:19 AM, SloopJonB said:

Use a customs broker.

Trust me.

Even then it’s a blizzard of paperwork.  When the K1 came in on RORO, the port of Tacoma (and shipping agents) provided an Import Agent (I guess you’d call him) to guide us through the steps.  And there were a lot of older cars coming off the boat from abroad for individuals.  Really cool stuff.  Minis galore!  XKEs!  Jensens!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/15/2022 at 7:17 AM, sailm8 said:

Back in the day, while stationed in Germany we bought a new 850 sport coupe.  Never drove under 100mph on the autobahn.  Shipped it back to the US where after the first winter it rusted apart.  Loved that car.

Had an 850 cabriolet- best steering I’ve experienced.  The engine?  Bleah…. The guy who bought it put a VW engine in it with a formula 2 engine air scoop behind the driver with a fan etc. for cooling.  Dark blue.  Great car, but he couldn’t drive in the rain, so kind of limited for Seattle weather.  He put a roadster windshield on it.  Gorgeous.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have owned 2 Fiat Spyders (1977 & 1981), 2 Datsun 240Zs (1973 & 1972), 2 TR-6s (1972 & 1973) ,a TR7 Convertible (bought new in 1980) and currently have a 1971 MGB Roadster and a 2002 Jag XK8.

Those Spyders were some of the most well designed (top up and down in seconds), beautiful (Pininfarina design) fun and reliable cars I have ever owned.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, IStream said:

They were the perfect car for a college student who could turn a wrench: cheap, fun, stylish, unique, not dangerously powerful, and an absolute pussy magnet. 

You american's got ripped off with the spyder between your smog laws and stupid 5mph bumper laws.

Pull the bumpers off, return the suspension to european height, up the compression to either 9.8 or 10.5 depending on how good your fuel is. Then put some decent cams in (the stock cams from the 1608 engine produced good power in the 1756 engine) and bolt a set of DCOE webbers on like god intended. Then you have a light and sweet handling car with 140 to 160 hp that will keep up with most things on a twisty drive.

Of course, the chassis will start to flex apart after a while, so seam welding the chassis and adding a roll bar becomes necesssary. And now you've got the best part of $20k in an old fiat. Worth every cent and a glorious drive on a cold morning with the webbers popping and banging on the overrun.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sail69 said:

I have owned 2 Fiat Spyders (1977 & 1981), 2 Datsun 240Zs (1973 & 1972), 2 TR-6s (1972 & 1973) ,a TR7 Convertible (bought new in 1980) and currently have a 1971 MGB Roadster and a 2002 Jag XK8.

Those Spyders were some of the most well designed (top up and down in seconds), beautiful (Pininfarina design) fun and reliable cars I have ever owned.  

Seriously?  You must lead a charmed life!  Most FIAT owners, are either DIY highly skilled or checkbook mechanics, with many checks cut every year.....

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Se7en said:

You american's got ripped off with the spyder between your smog laws and stupid 5mph bumper laws.

Pull the bumpers off, return the suspension to european height, up the compression to either 9.8 or 10.5 depending on how good your fuel is. Then put some decent cams in (the stock cams from the 1608 engine produced good power in the 1756 engine) and bolt a set of DCOE webbers on like god intended. Then you have a light and sweet handling car with 140 to 160 hp that will keep up with most things on a twisty drive.

Of course, the chassis will start to flex apart after a while, so seam welding the chassis and adding a roll bar becomes necesssary. And now you've got the best part of $20k in an old fiat. Worth every cent and a glorious drive on a cold morning with the webbers popping and banging on the overrun.

 

A roll bar alone did a great job of stiffening up the chassis. Our smog laws really gutted the engine but it wasn't too bad until 1974, when they put that godforsaken air pump on the poor things. Fortunately, it's easy enough to strip off and carbs are easy to swap out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/15/2022 at 8:34 PM, billy backstay said:

I did nothing illegal.  I imported cars that were over 25 years old.

Later I purchased cars with legitimate titles from other places that were totally acceptable by state DMV.

Get a fucking life and bitch about something meaningful......

I didn’t say that YOU did anything illegal, I simply pointed out that it’s a federal offense in the US to remove a vin plate from one vehicle and put it in another. Just because a DMV might not catch it doesn’t make it legal (again, not saying that any of YOURS were illegal). The DMVs in Michigan and many other states rarely compare the dash VIN plate with the VIN stamped elsewhere on the car, which is how many cars have been able to slip thru.

It’s not “bitching” Billy, just stating a fact. And I have a fine life; your lashing out sounds like maybe you were having a bad day. It happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Se7en said:

You american's got ripped off with the spyder between your smog laws and stupid 5mph bumper laws.

Pull the bumpers off, return the suspension to european height, up the compression to either 9.8 or 10.5 depending on how good your fuel is. Then put some decent cams in (the stock cams from the 1608 engine produced good power in the 1756 engine) and bolt a set of DCOE webbers on like god intended. Then you have a light and sweet handling car with 140 to 160 hp that will keep up with most things on a twisty drive.

Of course, the chassis will start to flex apart after a while, so seam welding the chassis and adding a roll bar becomes necesssary. And now you've got the best part of $20k in an old fiat. Worth every cent and a glorious drive on a cold morning with the webbers popping and banging on the overrun.

 

All of this exactly ^^^^

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, WhoaTed said:

I didn’t say that YOU did anything illegal, I simply pointed out that it’s a federal offense in the US to remove a vin plate from one vehicle and put it in another. Just because a DMV might not catch it doesn’t make it legal (again, not saying that any of YOURS were illegal). The DMVs in Michigan and many other states rarely compare the dash VIN plate with the VIN stamped elsewhere on the car, which is how many cars have been able to slip thru.

It’s not “bitching” Billy, just stating a fact. And I have a fine life; your lashing out sounds like maybe you were having a bad day. It happens.

 

Perhaps a car that I once owned had a vin tag change in the UK, but at that time I was naive, and unaware of the practice, until later on.

I don't have any bad days, I am retired! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fiat now Stellantis will do anything to boost the sales of its acquisitions.   The point about using the Mazda engine and parts with a crisp Italian designed body was spot on.  There are numerous examples of superb uses of the Miata.  The Fiat 124 is definitely not an example to be proud of.  When Fiat wanted to put a diesel into the Ram 1500 Cummins was already working on an engine.  Instead of using a Cummins powertrain a VM Motori diesel was used.   This was an Italian company that Fiat had acquired.  Just google "Dodge Ram 1500 Eco Diesel" and see the extent that Fiat will go to make a euro.   

The problems of Stellantis products are well chronicled.  If you want to buy or lease a Stellantis product remember you are also getting the issues that come with it.   My last check showed that only the Fiat 500 SUV version was available in the United States during 2021.   Perhaps this is a sign?

Put down the expresso and look to Japan for automobiles based on the Miata. 

Mitsuoka Motors

 

Don't you wanna be a Rockstar?

 

 

       

rockstar.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a late '60s Spyder around 1972. I think with a 1438 cc engine. It loved to be driven and I spent too much time around 5000 rpm. I did not know enough to fix it and couldn't really afford a Tony so gave it up. Needed its second valve job and first ring job at 70k miles. A joy to drive but pretty impractical. Picked up a 2002 Miata a couple of years ago with about 80k km on it. Also a joy to drive but super-reliable. Only 'repairs' so far a new battery and new gas cap that eliminated an error code that was recurring.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't recall the manufacture who came up with a modern version of a very popular older model, and it's based on BMW Z3 chassis.  Might be Toyota?  There is a lot of "interbreeding" between various manufacturers....

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

I don't recall the manufacture who came up with a modern version of a very popular older model, and it's based on BMW Z3 chassis.  Might be Toyota?  There is a lot of "interbreeding" between various manufacturers....

The current BMW Z4 has a "twin" - the current Toyota Supra.   Both are built in a BMW factory with BMW engines.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, slap said:

The current BMW Z4 has a "twin" - the current Toyota Supra.   Both are built in a BMW factory with BMW engines.

Yup!  That's the one I was thinking!  Watched a good video comparison on the net.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a rag top guy.  I had a 70 Triumph GT6+ which I thought was a hot looking little car.  The best looking of the three versions.  It was fairly dependable until something broke like the steering box, differential, or rear leaf spring.  One funny maintenance thing was if the car started to run rough you had to squirt some ATF into the top of the two stromberg carburetors.  Damped the piston, and the engine ran right again.  Traded it in for a 74 Alfa GTV 200.  Just loved that car, and the shape and style grew on me.  I still want another to this day.  If I win a lottery I will go for an Aflaholics modified one.  Use to drive the length of CT rte 156 late at night, and let it out whenever possible.  Billy, you might know that road.  Real nice sweeping turns, and nice smooth surface.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BOKSAROX said:

I am not a rag top guy.  I had a 70 Triumph GT6+ which I thought was a hot looking little car.  The best looking of the three versions.  It was fairly dependable until something broke like the steering box, differential, or rear leaf spring.  One funny maintenance thing was if the car started to run rough you had to squirt some ATF into the top of the two stromberg carburetors.  Damped the piston, and the engine ran right again.  Traded it in for a 74 Alfa GTV 200.  Just loved that car, and the shape and style grew on me.  I still want another to this day.  If I win a lottery I will go for an Aflaholics modified one.  Use to drive the length of CT rte 156 late at night, and let it out whenever possible.  Billy, you might know that road.  Real nice sweeping turns, and nice smooth surface.

 

Boksaorox, Yes I know knew 156 quite well!!  I was a Real Estate Broker for 28 years covering all the towns around the mouth of the CT River.  At the time I knew almost every road in the area!  I got out of it 10 years ago and some of the brain cells that remembered them have matriculated!  Funny you liked the GT?  No offense, but I always thought that was homely compared to some of the other Triumphs?  Brit cars are fun!  Used to listen through a piece of tubing to sync dual carbs, and sometimes the points containing fuel pump would quit, and I hit it with a rock to free it up, then later removed and decarbonized the points.  Only once did I do Solo One laps on a racetrack, and it was in my high-performance resto-mod Mini Cooper; got third fastest in my class!  This was at a festive Mini Meet, and we were drinking beers.  I went fastest after the last beer! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/15/2022 at 7:21 PM, billy backstay said:

Fix It Again Tony!!!  :D

Unless you have owned and wrenched a Fiat, your experience may not necessarily reflect reality.

My 1975 Fiat 124 Spider has been the single most reliable car that I have ever owned. It still runs beautifully and that twin cam engine is a work of art. I take care of her, and she returns the favor ... people who don't maintain their own vehicles tend to have mixed results because there are some mechanics out there who fuck up classic Italian cars. I still fix damage to my car from a couple well-meaning mechanics who broke shit on it back in the 1980s. Now I do all my own work.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 1/16/2022 at 5:29 PM, ropetrick said:

Driving a Corvair in high school got me some weird hippie chicks.

Go figure.

Probably the air-cooling ... hippie chicks often abstain on the under-cotton and opt for that approach, gawd bless 'em.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, IStream said:

A roll bar alone did a great job of stiffening up the chassis. Our smog laws really gutted the engine but it wasn't too bad until 1974, when they put that godforsaken air pump on the poor things. Fortunately, it's easy enough to strip off and carbs are easy to swap out.

It wasn't just Fiat, that ridiculous air pump plagued every vehicle, I had one in my 1974 Camaro that had been disconnected before I got it, the Colorado emissions testing guy pointed it out, told me he was supposed to fail it, but let it through anyway.

The air pump actually increased air pollution by adding resistance to the drivetrain and forcing lower efficiency and high fuel demands. But it exploited a bug in the EPA testing method by measuring parts per unit, rather than total volume. Even as recently as 2006, I spoke with an engineer who was completely convinced of the utility of the fucking air pump because it "lowers parts per unit." Well, duh, it dilutes it with air, but the total particulate and NOx load increases!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2022 at 8:52 PM, billy backstay said:

Seriously?  You must lead a charmed life!  Most FIAT owners, are either DIY highly skilled or checkbook mechanics, with many checks cut every year.....

They are very easy to fix and I have had the same experience that Sail69 had. 

And as he points out ... Pininfarina! There are owners of Ferraris, Lambos, Maseratis and Lancias that would love to have a horse with the Pininfarina badge in their stable. That 124 design won a national legacy contest in Italy for enduring design, and it turns out it was in fact an American farm boy from Indiana who designed that for Pininfarina.

It was one of those rare confluences in economy car design where a great engine (the Lampredi twin-cam) and a great design (Pininfaria) landed in the same vehicle. Mazda did do the 124 proud when they built their tribute to it in the Miata. I have long hoped to eventually have the space for a Miata, but right now that space in my garage is taken up by a Mazda 2. It has the Mazda Z engine, which Mazda managed to keep away from Ford, and thus they couldn't fuck it up. Ford did fuck up other parts of the car (diagonally cross-linked calipers with FoMoCo drums, fercrissakes) but not the Z engine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mikewof said:

They are very easy to fix and I have had the same experience that Sail69 had. 

And as he points out ... Pininfarina! There are owners of Ferraris, Lambos, Maseratis and Lancias that would love to have a horse with the Pininfarina badge in their stable.

Many owners of Ferraris, Maseratis, and Lancias (including my Zagato) as well as Rolls Royce, Mercedes, BMW, and Alfa (including my 164LS) do have Pininfarina’s badge in their stables: Pinifarina designed cars for all of them. Not to mention the Cadillac Allante, the bodies of which Pininfarina built in Italy and shipped to the US via specially modified airliner to be mated to the Cadillac-built mechanicals in Hamtramk. They’ve also built cars for many manufacturers in the not too distant past, including Ford. And then there’s the design work they’ve done on yachts; not to everyone’s taste but I think the design of the deck & cabin of the Bene First 45f5 in particular was beautiful (beyond the companionway being the only way out of the cabin).

Their designs catch my eye.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to get this one titled and tagged in SC. Ex works 1969 M C factory entry. Had to put a muffler on it and switch out the not legal for street use slicks.A1101300SR.thumb.jpg.c88dfb1484e9204645983869f53541a4.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, WhoaTed said:

Many owners of Ferraris, Maseratis, and Lancias (including my Zagato) as well as Rolls Royce, Mercedes, BMW, and Alfa (including my 164LS) do have Pininfarina’s badge in their stables: Pinifarina designed cars for all of them. Not to mention the Cadillac Allante, the bodies of which Pininfarina built in Italy and shipped to the US via specially modified airliner to be mated to the Cadillac-built mechanicals in Hamtramk. They’ve also built cars for many manufacturers in the not too distant past, including Ford. And then there’s the design work they’ve done on yachts; not to everyone’s taste but I think the design of the deck & cabin of the Bene First 45f5 in particular was beautiful (beyond the companionway being the only way out of the cabin).

Their designs catch my eye.

Definitely, lots of Pininfarina badges on those, but not on all. I think that the success of the 124 was that it was a successful design that was affordable. Pininfarina's designs tend to often not be affordable. The Allante design was kind of meh for me, it seemed fairly clear that the folks at G.M. somewhat neutered the design. Maserati seemed not guilty of that, they were willing to let function follow the form.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...