Considering a 1969 Spider "project"

X1/9 , 124 Coupe or Spider, 128, 131, or whatever your Fiat passion is. Talk about it here.
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KWLittle
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:56 pm

Considering a 1969 Spider "project"

Post by KWLittle » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:58 pm

Hi Everyone

I'm a semi-retired engineer (environmental, not mechanical! And enjoy projects) and have had my eye on a 69 Fiat 124 Spider in a neighbor's carport for, literally, years. Finally talked to him today and he'd like to get rid of it for $1,000. The body, although covered in dust, etc., actually looks very sound. I couldn't see any dents, and saw only a few small rust spots. Nothing serious. He has two engines, one of which was rebuild but never installed and has been sitting in his garage for probably 10 years. He has transmission, some "special tools", many more parts, etc. Looking below the dust, this actually looks like a good chassis. Here's the question: I'm not a mechanic but have done some work years go on a 1967 TR4 that I had as a college student. That was fun, and didn't seem all that difficult. Assuming I would basically have to reassemble this 124 (install engine, transmission, etc.) is this something that is in fact do-able by someone without any particular mechanical background, but who is nonetheless patient and willing to learn? (And spend some money.). Or, am I kidding myself? I have no idea whether $1,000 is a reasonable price, but the bottom line is it's really not much money.

Thanks for any thoughts from some of you who might have been here before.

Keith

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MRGreer
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:39 pm
Location: Bartlesville, OK

Re: Considering a 1969 Spider "project"

Post by MRGreer » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:27 pm

Hi Kieth, as semi-retired, do you still like crawling around under cars and do you have a good place to work on the car? Those are two critical questions you have to ask yourself. The 124 Spider is a realatively straight forward car to work on, but going over an old car isn't nearly as attractive to me now as it was 14 years ago when I worked on mine. There are people here that can answer technical questions and guide you along the way, so can you do it, sure, do you want to, only you can answer that. Although after 14 years, mine needs restored again, it's not something that takes a tremendous amount of mechanical background, although that would help, but I didn't have any, so it isn't a requirement. If you have the time, the place and the desire, you can do it.

Good luck!

Mike
Mike Greer
Roamin' Chariots, FLU of KA, OK, AR, MO
Sputtering in a Spider for 33 years

KWLittle
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:56 pm

Re: Considering a 1969 Spider "project"

Post by KWLittle » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:34 pm

Mike

Many thanks for those thoughts. Yes, I do have a (mostly) dry, warm garage, and am still fit and active. So that's not an issue. Your comments about it being straightforward mirror those of my neighbor's, who seems pretty knowledgable about these cars and willing to be a 'consultant'.

My wife isn't rolling her eyes too much, so this is looking like a project that I might take on. Another question: Now that Fiat is back in this country, do those dealers have parts or work on the old classics or are we on our own?

Keith

rpconlon
Posts: 828
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:35 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Considering a 1969 Spider "project"

Post by rpconlon » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:24 pm

Keith:
There are parts dealers who focus on the Spider and likely one close to you. Almost every part is available new. What is difficult to find is a mechanic willing to work with you. Look at the floor under the carpets for rusting if the car has gotten wet inside. Alloy wheels or a good interior are a plus and very easy to sell if they are on the car and you want out of the project. The help of the neighbor will be a big plus and gives his claims about condition credibility.
Cheers
Ron
Ron Conlon
2016 Fiat 500 Sport
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

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