When Fiat launched the new 124 in Los Angeles last fall, I was excited. In fact, I can say I was more excited for this launch than the new Miata. Though I own an old NA, when I was a little kid, one of my good friends growing up had a little silver roadster under a tarp at the end of his driveway. Under the tarp was his dad’s little Fiat Spider. I never saw the car run and I never really knew a lot about the car but I always felt a bit of a connection to it. To this day I have a soft spot for old Italian roadsters, and I think it started with Mr. Gunnell’s old Spider sitting behind his old van.
The new 124 is going to combine the best of both Mazda’s world and Fiat’s world. Thanks to Mazda’s chassis development and logical interior layout, I see this as a car that’s going to be easy to figure out and an absolute blast to drive, especially if the new ND Miata is anything to go by. Thanks to Fiat’s offering of a genuinely good looking body and the hot 1.4L turbocharged I4 out of the 500 Abarth, this car will be easy to tune and offer timeless styling. I fully expect that the 124 Spider, while not exactly a high-volume seller, will definitely drive a lot of showroom traffic, and brign some sparkle to America’s highways and byways. Make mine red with chrome wheels and I’ll never complain again, even if it turns into an old-school Italian roadster and succumbs to its own cooling system on the side of the road. Enjoy the photos of this Turin neo-classic, coming this summer.
-Albert S. Davis