In 1966 Fiat introduced the 124 to great acclaim, winning the coveted European Car of the Year for 1967. A replacement for the mid-sized Fiat 1500, the 124 was a thoroughly modern sedan that was essentially a clean sheet design, only carrying over the gearbox from the outgoing model. Chief engineer Oscar Montabone designed a unitary chassis made of lightweight steel, which featured four wheel independent suspension with coil springs, four wheel disc brakes, and a either an overhead valve four-cylinder (in 1200cc and 1400cc guise) or a sporty twin cam four-cylinder engine designed by the legendary engineer, Aurelio Lampredi, a man responsible for some of Ferrari’s greatest V12 engines. The 124 was offered as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, wagon or a Pininfarina-designed and constructed 2-seat Spider.
The Fiat/Pininfarina Spider was a sophisticated but affordable sports car that brought a welcome dose of Italian passion to a market that was otherwise saturated by rough-and-ready British roadsters. 124 production lasted until 1974 when the sedan, wagon and coupe were replaced by the 131, but the popular Sport Spider remained in production, outliving the pedestrian versions of the 124 by a full eight years. Even after Fiat stopped building the Sport Spider 1982, Pininfarina took over operations and continued producing the popular roadster through 1985, renaming it the Pininfarina 2000 Spider. By that time, there was little competition in the roadster market as all of the British roadsters had died off at the start of the 80s. Only Alfa Romeo competed with Pininfarina, but at a higher price point.
This 1983 Pininfarina Spider 2000 is simply exquisite from top to bottom and by far the most magnificently restored example of its type we have ever seen. It presents in better than new condition thanks to an over-the-top restoration by its previous owner, a highly enthusiastic and fastidious restorer. His passion for having every last detail correct is evident everywhere you look. The light silver-blue paintwork is beautifully laid down on a laser-straight body with faultless panel fit and detailing. It contrasts with a lovely tan convertible top and tan leather interior, again detailed to a standard that is far better than it would have left Pininfarina’s workshops 32 years ago. The car rides on a set of correct alloy wheels made especially for Pininfarina by Speedline, the famous Italian racing wheel manufacturer. Inside the sporty cockpit, the seats and door panels are trimmed in tan upholstery with matching carpets in the correct style material. Wood trim on the dash and fascia is flawless and looks box-fresh. Factory air conditioning, a period correct radio, Abarth shift knob and leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel round out the purposeful cabin and everything works as it should have from day one. Included with the car is the original window sticker, owner’s manual, and some restoration receipts.
The restorer of this car reveled in getting all the details correct and he imparted the same attention to the trunk as the rest of the car. Beneath the correct style trunk lining can be found a restored original jack, restored tool kit in the correct pouch, and spare wheel with an original Pirelli Cinturato tire. More of the same exquisite detailing is found in the engine bay. The revvy, 2-liter twin-cam fuel injected four-cylinder is a true gem of an engine; and has just been completely rebuilt, with just test miles only. It is mated to the correct original 5-speed manual gearbox. Fuel and breather hoses are the correct canvas-covered rubber type with proper clamps used throughout. Hard lines and fittings are plated in gold-cadmium and every decal, clip and wire is in its proper place. While the detailing is certainly fastidious, the prior owner used restraint to avoid excessive polishing or chrome plating. Everything under the hood presents as it would have the day it left Pininfarina.
The Fiat 2000 was always an under-the-radar alternative to the classic British sports cars of the same period. While the Brits utilized rugged, sometimes agricultural powerplants, Fiat went with a sophisticated little engine developed by one of the greatest engineers of all time. And while the Spider was often a less-obvious choice for many buyers, it managed to outlive MG and Triumph by many years, selling well into the 1980s. The Pininfarina editions of the Spider benefit from nearly 20 years of development making them easy and enjoyable to run. This outstanding example takes that one step further, offering a showroom-fresh restoration on this classically Italian take on the sporty roadster.