I suppose we first have to take into account that there are more Spiders than Coupes around. The Spider enjoyed considerable success, most notably in the USA, where it continued to be sold right up until 1985 - many years after the Coupe model had been discontinued. In time, a lot of these cars were imported to the UK, helping to fill a drop-top hole in our convertible mad island. No wonder, then, that there are plenty of 124 Spiders still going strong, being spoken and written of, restored, bought and sold, while finding a second-hand 124 Coupe for sale remains a comparatively rare treat.
Now, don't get me wrong, the 124 Spider was a very good car. It was great to look at (althoughthe later big-bumpered US cars were a little ungainly), good to drive and, undoubtedly, a nice car to own. Suitably tuned, and doing so was relatively easy, it was a hugely successful rally car too.
The Coupe and Spider also had the legendary Aurelio Lampredi, who some thought the greatest of all Ferrari engine designers, overseeing the 97hp 1.4-litre twin-cam unit that, not long after its launch, was joined up to a then-innovative five-speed gearbox. That lively engine could rev way beyond its 6600rpm limit, and enjoyed another first, a toothed belt drive to its camshafts, as well as a viscous fan clutch and a sealed cooling system. The 124 had front and rear anti-roll bars, too, and power went through a torque tube to the rear wheels, just like a 275GTB!
Now they're rarer than hen's teeth, and so to find one in the PH classifieds is enough to set an old man's heart a-flutter. What's on offer here is a third-gen version from 1973, an original UK car with the 1.6-litre engine, which is reportedly in good order throughout. Listed details are few, but the car in the pictures looks good and, as only old people and owners now know the 124 Coupe for the wundercar it is, prices are still relatively affordable. The owner is asking what seems like a reasonable £12,950 for this one. At the end of the day what you are looking at is still a 44-year old Fiat, so all the necessary precautions should be observed, but you might pay a lot more and get a lot less elsewhere. This should certainly be worth a look.
FIAT 124 COUPE
Engine: 1,608cc, four-cylinder
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 110@6400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 101@N/A rpm
First registered: 1973
Recorded mileage: 72,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £12,950
See the original advert here.
[Words: Mark Pearson]