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Old 17-09-2018   #1
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Possible 124 Sport Project

Hello all

Need some advice please. Found a complete 1968, 124 sport that needs a total from the ground up restoration. Owner said:

A. Its a 1968 Fiat 124 Sport.
B. Its complete and no parts are missing.
C. It ran before it was parked 15 yrs ago.
D. He has the title.

I want to buy it to restore it as a gift for my wife who absolutely loves 124s.
I have no mechanical skills what so ever but, I do have the space to break it down so that it can be piece milled to the appropriate people. The owner said he could possibly sell it for a few hunderd dollars.

Is this a possible project considering, parts availability, cost of labor and time involved? I am asking b/c one really big red flag on this project is that the owner is quite young and owns a garage that actually restores vintage cars.

Tnx again in advance
Vito
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Old 21-09-2018   #2
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Re: Possible 124 Sport Project

Quote Originally Posted by mwf124fss View Post
Hello all

Need some advice please. Found a complete 1968, 124 sport that needs a total from the ground up restoration. Owner said:

A. Its a 1968 Fiat 124 Sport.
B. Its complete and no parts are missing.
C. It ran before it was parked 15 yrs ago.
D. He has the title.

I want to buy it to restore it as a gift for my wife who absolutely loves 124s.
I have no mechanical skills what so ever but, I do have the space to break it down so that it can be piece milled to the appropriate people. The owner said he could possibly sell it for a few hunderd dollars.

Is this a possible project considering, parts availability, cost of labor and time involved? I am asking b/c one really big red flag on this project is that the owner is quite young and owns a garage that actually restores vintage cars.

Tnx again in advance
Vito
Hi Vito,
welcome to FF

( you are in the section for the modern Mazda version of 124..)

like so many restorations - it will make ZERO financial sense -
costing a LOT more than the vehicles end value..

BUT you will be essentially "saving" the car.. and of course making a fine gesture to the "Other Half".

the financial situation may well be why it is NOT being professionally restored..
but you have to ask = IF it doesn't make sense at his professional rates.. how on earth are you going to achieve it using other methods of "paid for" work.

Charlie
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Old 22-09-2018   #3
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Re: Possible 124 Sport Project

Having worked on the 124 Sport Coupes back in the '70's/'80's and restored a few, I'd agree with what Charlie says.

If it's rusty, best walk away - it'll break your wallet and the heart of whoever is doing the bodywork! So it probably depends on where the car has spent it's life - you didn't indicate your location.

You could try asking the seller what he would charge for a full restoration to get some idea of how good/bad the car is, but if he's not restoring it himself in his own resto 'shop, it's probably not economically feasible.

There's practically no repair panels available for the Coupe - unlike the Spider version, which is very well catered for in all regards - body/ interior/ trim/mechanical/electrical.
(The Coupe is almost the same as the Spider as regards mechanical/electrical so I wouldn't regard this as a deal-breaker).
Remember the Coupe is worth less than the Spider.

So, unless it's practically rustfree, I'd recommend passing on it and buy something easier, cheaper to restore and with better parts availability. Always compare the total restoration cost with the market value of a restored/excellent car, BEFORE buying a car to have restored. It might be cheaper to buy a car restored by someone else (providing the work done can be photographically verified!) and let them take the financial hit.

Sorry to be a downer - I've been caught out too many times and have lost money everytime.....

AL.
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Old 22-09-2018   #4
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Re: Possible 124 Sport Project

Thanks for the insight on parts differences

Perfect info for Vito..or anybody else looking at a similar project 124.
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Old 23-09-2018   #5
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Ireland 
Re: Possible 124 Sport Project

It's possible the OP could get lucky and find a rust-free 124. They do turn up occasionally but a lot depends on where the car has lived. Afaik, west-coast cars survive better but often the paint is sun-bleached so will need a respray plus possibly some interior trim work. This is way better and cheaper than repairing rust damage.

James May's 'Cars of the People' (?) tv program was repeated recently - you guys probably watched the program on the original (and best ) Fiat 500.
I watched the program on the Fiat 124. Interesting that the 124 in all it's guises (Fiat, Lada, Turkish, Egyptian and other versions) were produced in huge numbers iirc something like 20 million?. It was a great design (imho).
Because of the versions produced in large numbers in Turkey/Egypt over many years, there's lots of parts still available from these countries for the 124 Saloon but not the Coupe/Spider other than what is common to all models.

The 124 Coupe used the same floorpan and essentially the same suspension/ brakes as the 124 Saloon. The Spider (convertible) used a shortened floorpan, so things like the propeller (drive) shaft, exhaust, handbrake cable? are shorter. The Spider was never officially imported into the U.K. by Fiat so all such cars are personal imports or imported by some classic car dealers (DTR Sportscars were one of the most prominent).


Searching on Youtube throws up lots of restorations on 124 Coupes (but idk where they get the body panels ) and 124 Spiders, plus cars being driven, how they sound etc. various gatherings/rallies etc.

The 124 Spider (i.e. convertible) is extremely well catered for. Was, and still is, a very popular model in the U.S. Lots of companies supplying body repair panels, replacement trim, virtually all mechanical and electrical parts. Some can even supply rebuilt engines/gearboxes for many Fiat models, not just the 124.

www.fiatplus.com (parts for all Fiat models)

www.mrfiat.com (parts for all Fiat models incl. rebuilt engines/gearboxes)

www.spiderroadster.com (124 Spider parts)

The above are in the U.S. Carriage costs can be a deciding factor depending on where you're located, so probably of more use to our U.S/Canadian friends.

Several spares suppliers in the U.K. and Italy also, of course, for us over here, over-taxed, poor schlobs

The 124 Spider was also popular in some European countries especially Germany and the Netherlands - there are spares specialists in these countries also. There's a couple of websites catering for the 124 Spider:-

www.fiatspider.com
www.fiat124.com

Amazing what one can find on the internet

AL.
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