At $6,500, Is This 1974 Fiat 124 Spider Ready for Summer Fun?

It’s been a long, cold, wet winter, making the prospect of enjoying a sunny-day drive in a roadster like today’s Nice Price or No Dice Fiat all the more appealing. Let’s see if this Fiat is priced to break out the sunscreen.

A good bit of debate exists between constitutional scholars over the conflicting concepts of originalism versus living constitutionalism. That’s way above my pay grade, but I can see a similar argument amongst Porschephiles over what constitutes a true Porsche and what is a radical departure from the brand’s core ethos.

The 2013 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid we looked at yesterday could be construed as exhibit A in that argument, considering that it could be seen as either the “Porsche of SUVs” or a “Porsche SUV.” At $12,900, that was a debate that a majority of you considered worth having, at least as evidenced by the Cayenne Hybrid’s narrow 53 percent Nice Price win.

Another inconsequential debate that may be worth having is the question of which European nation has the richer automotive history — Germany or Italy. The Germans have a longer history but the Italians have more V12 engines. In my mind that makes it pretty much a draw.

Image for article titled At $6,500, Is This 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Ready for Summer Fun?

The engine in today’s 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider is only a four-cylinder, but its DOHC was designed by the Italian engineer, Aurelio Lampredi. Previously, Lampredi engineered V12s for Ferrari in the 1940s so the little four-pot has that history on its side.

The 124 Spider followed Fiat’s tradition of spinning a sports car off of the platform of a more staid saloon. Another tradition at Fiat — and at Alfa Romeo at the time — was to assign saloon body design to in-house teams while the sports cars’ looks were laid down by more costly external design houses. The 124 Sport Spider was no different, debuting in 1966 — a year after the 124 saloon — and wearing designer clothes from Tom Tjaarda who at the time was working at Carrozzeria Pininfarina.

The Lampredi engine and Tjaarda styling proved so successful a mix that the 124 Sport Spider would enjoy a production run of almost 20 years. It was so successful, in fact that it even outlived Fiat here in the States, being sold for its final four years on the market as the Pininfarina Azzurra.

Image for article titled At $6,500, Is This 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Ready for Summer Fun?

This 1974 124 Sport Spider falls somewhere in the middle of that long run and is all the better for it. This was the last year of the blade bumpers on the Spider which makes for a better-looking and lighter car. This year also sported the mid-range 1756cc version of the Lampredi-headed four, which in U.S. guise made 91 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque. That’s matched with a standard five-speed manual sending power back to a coil-sprung live axle located by both trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Disc brakes can be found at all four corners.

Image for article titled At $6,500, Is This 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Ready for Summer Fun?

Per the ad, this yellow-over-beige Spider sports a modest 42,600 miles on the clock and a working top that was new 18 years ago. It comes with steel wheels wearing chromed center covers and beauty rings and a luggage rack on the boot. Both features are like a chef’s kiss on a car of this era.

Image for article titled At $6,500, Is This 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Ready for Summer Fun?

Oddly for a Fiat, there’s no noticeable rust nor pools of fluids leaking out from underneath. Both bodywork and interior look to be in Thunderbirds are Go! condition. The only thing that appears to demand attention is a missing vacuum line on the air injector.

Other pluses include a clean title, a nicely packaged boot, and the promise from the seller of maintenance records on the car.

Image for article titled At $6,500, Is This 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Ready for Summer Fun?

With summer fast approaching — i.e. sports car weather — this does seem like an opportune moment to pick up a fun-in-the-sun classic. And, from the ad, this 124 Spider feels like a prime candidate. The question, of course, is whether it’s worth the $6,500 asked for it to pull that pin.

Image for article titled At $6,500, Is This 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Ready for Summer Fun?

What’s your take on this seemingly well-sorted 124 Sport and that $6,500 price? Does that seem like a deal to drop some modest cash on a drop-top car? Or, does that price have you easily avoiding this Spider’s web?

You decide!

Facebook Marketplace out of Rochester Minnesota, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Glemon for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at [email protected] and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.