The launch of the Fiat 124 Spider for the 1966 model year coincided with the debut of the new Fiat 124 sedan. Just as the 124’s predecessors, the Fiat 1200 and 1500 Cabriolet, were based on the Fiat 1100 sedan platform, the new 124 Spider was also based on a slightly shortened, rear-wheel drive 124 sedan chassis. The 124 Spider’s styling was done by Tom Tjaarda, an American designer working at Pininfarina in Turin, Italy, and echoed both Tjaarda’s Chevrolet Corvette Rondine concept car and the production Ferrari 275 and 330 GTS sports cars.
While the 124 Sedan came standard with an inline four-cylinder rocker arm, Fiat called on former Ferrari four-cylinder engine designer Aurelio Lampredi to create a new double overhead camshaft cylinder head to be mounted on a slightly modified 124 block. The resulting Fiat double-cam belt-driven engine was very popular and became an essential part of the Fiat group, powering Fiat, Lancia and even some Alfa Romeo cars until the 1990s. This engine also became the most successful engine of all time in the World Rally Championship.
The mechanical architecture was conventional: front longitudinal engine, 5-speed gearbox, rear wheel drive, four disc brakes and monocoque, with a dry weight of less than 1,000 kg. The different series are equipped with different engines: the first one is born with a double camshaft engine of 1438 cc, joined in the second series by the 1608 cc engine with two double-body carburetors that produces 112 HP, while the third series introduces the new 1600 and 1800 with a single double-body carburetor, derived from the Fiat 132.
This example is the legendary 1608 cc BS1 (125 BC engine with 112 HP), probably the most spirited engine installed in the long life of the 124, thanks to its “square” architecture (bore = stroke). Of Italian origin, this beautiful 124 has been restored in the last 6 months: total rebuilding of the upper engine (cylinder head, valves, …), carburetors, belts and filters (original), brakes, running gear, new fabric top, new woodwork and interior panels. It is in impeccable condition and above all fully compliant with the original.