When a classic car catches your eye, it’s easy to overlook some of the minor mechanical problems and focus on the beauty of the car. That is common for anyone considering a Fiat 124 Spider restoration. However, before you commit to a project car of any level, you are wise to check on the available parts for the specific model year. Once you know you can get it running smoothly, you can focus on the final phase of a restoration: making it even prettier.
Classic Fiat Exterior Flourishes
Anyone buying a Fiat Spider is in love with the classic Italian beauty of the car, and exterior flourishes enhance that look. A well-stocked parts store can get you chrome trim sets, door handles, wheel spoke decals and grilles that make the car a true original. As you might imagine, sometime this window dressing is more expensive than the parts that make a Spider go.
In most cases, the cost is well worth it. Take the OEM door handle sets (with lock and keys) available for the Spider 2000 and Pininfarina models from 1979 through 1985. There is simply no substitute for these details, and the right supplier can deliver them for you at reasonable prices several decades later.
Style vs. Substance
In any Fiat 124 Spider restoration, there is a constant tug-of-war between function and form, style and substance. As you weigh the cost of a chrome replacement mirror and an original for a late 1970s model, you have to rely on your own vision for the car and how much you want to be faithful to the original. Those who love classic chrome details are difficult to sway.
Then there are the emblems and clips that are the Fiat stamp on its famous sports car. Original hood and trunk emblems are still available, as are the “124 SPORT,” “1600” and “1800” rear emblems that make this model so iconic. Abarth and Pininfarina variants are covered in the best Fiat parts stores as well.