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Hi all!

Many of you have seen me posting around here for some time now, but I've never actually introduced myself or said anything about my plans for the car.

First, a bit about me. I work in Export Parts Quality Assurance at Nissan (Smyrna, TN manufacturing plant). My job, therefore, is to help our global Nissan plants build our vehicles with minimal headaches. I act as a liaison between the European manufacturing plants, and the North American Engineering team and supplier base. So, this has effectively ruined car shows/car tuning for me because I now catch the most minor of defects that 99% of people wouldn't notice. With that being said, it's one of the things that has helped me maintain interest in the Fiat 124 -- because if Nissan has taught me anything, it's that the Japanese absolutely have manufacturing figured out. So with the 124, we get Italian soul with Japanese quality. MUCH better than the inverse :D

Now that I have the boring stuff out of the way, here's why I love the little 124:


  • Pedigree -- I love cars that hearken back to a yesteryear of racing
  • Retro looks -- I admire how the original Pininfarina design language has been preserved
  • It's a Miata, but not -- the Miata is arguably one of the purest affordable sports cars in existence. This keeps the best of that, but gives us a different market and crowd of enthusiasts with which to interact
  • Aftermarket -- since it shares the Miata ND platform, all of the aftermarket naughty bits should bolt right up. And the Miata has PLENTY. The engine is borrowed from the Abarth 500, and as a result, has a ton of aftermarket tweaks available as well. Coming from a car with limited aftermarket, this is new territory for me.
  • Less is more -- most cars these days are getting horsepower out the wazoo, but they're getting FATTER as a result of all of the safety junk being tossed into them. The 124 carries Lotus' mantra of "simplify, then add lightness", without the Lotus pricetag. It's a "small dollop of wasabi" versus a "bucket of buffalo sauce".
  • Consumption -- being a 1.4 Turbo, it will be a relative gas-sipper even at full chat. Smaller cars mean smaller tires, which mean smaller brakes, which all comes together to equal cheaper track days from a consumables perspective. Cheaper track days = MORE track days. More track days per dollar = more smiles per gallon.
  • Rarity -- at an initial run of 2500 units, this isn't going to be a car you're going to see at every stoplight. It's the answer to the "why not buy a Mustang GT for the same money" question.
  • It's silly -- It makes whooshing turbo noises, has a raucous exhaust note, and the cargo capacity of a kangaroo. It's the perfect toy. Toys aren't supposed to make sense.
So, if they don't tack on a ridiculous dealer mark-up, and supply is sufficient, I should be looking to saddle up in one of these in early 2017. Right now I'm about one month into a house build, so that's taking priority at the moment.

Last but not least, I've attached some photos of my last toy (sold in 2014) -- 2005 Crossfire SRT-6. It would knock out a quarter-mile in around 12 seconds flat... 0-60 in the 3.9/4.1 range (depending on road surface). It was a ROCKET, but definitely antiquated when it came to chassis technology. Tackling the Tail of the Dragon in this thing was a fun (albeit vague) experience. It got me addicted to boost... some shoes I think the 124 Abarth will be able to fill nicely.

All the best,


John
 

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Good intro John,

Your Crossfire looks like it's supercharged! I like seeing that, I actually wrote a book on the subject. I like the Crossfire, it was a quality car, and it was unique.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good intro John,

Your Crossfire looks like it's supercharged! I like seeing that, I actually wrote a book on the subject. I like the Crossfire, it was a quality car, and it was unique.

Greg
Thanks Greg! Yes it was one of the rare factory supercharged models... the SRT-6 was basically a SLK32 AMG in disguise. Less than 3,000 were built (2,000 coupes, 928 Roadsters). Actually there are MANY similarities between the Crossfire and the Fiat 124... both have a cross-bred heritage, both are excellent handling cars, neither are considered pure "sports cars" but both managed to outperform their spec sheets. So far, it seems Fiat is doing everything in its power to goof up the press releases and marketing... something the Crossfire was also plagued with. The Crossfire was essentially a Mercedes, but couldn't be marketed as such. Chrysler technicians were clueless about servicing/maintaining it, but Mercedes dealerships wouldn't touch it because it had the wrong badge on it. American car clubs correctly considered the Crossfire to be "too European", but European car clubs scoffed at it, saying "it's a Mopar".

It belonged nowhere, yet everywhere. It was certainly rife with faults, but in spite of those faults, never failed to put a smile on my face. Repairing it was always expensive and complex... but smoking C5 Z06's never got old.

I wouldn't be sadistic enough to buy another one, but I might be crazy enough to repeat the mistake on an Italian beauty.
 

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Well there's an intro now lol, but welcome to the forums anyways !

The SRT6 Crossfire was gorgeous man. I'm actually looking into buying one for a daily right now. How did you enjoy it and how often did you drive it ?? I found one for $16k CAD but I'm unsure
 

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Well there's an intro now lol, but welcome to the forums anyways !

The SRT6 Crossfire was gorgeous man. I'm actually looking into buying one for a daily right now. How did you enjoy it and how often did you drive it ?? I found one for $16k CAD but I'm unsure
Haha thanks brother!

I honestly LOVED my SRT-6 (and still miss it). The only reason I sold it was to put my wife through her final year of clinicals (she couldn't work, so I chose to sell my baby and use that money to help her graduate).

She graduated in 2015, but we've since been working towards building a new house. So, once the house is complete I'll be looking for a new toy. I'll either end up with an Abarth or a used SLK55 AMG (if one falls in my lap for under $25K). But I'm leaning towards Abarth... just something new, and fresh.

But regarding the SRT-6, I can tell you that you won't lose much value on it. They have hit bottom when it comes to pricing, so you could probably sell in a few years for close to what you pay now. They are FAST cars -- mine was modded with just a pulley, tune, and CAI and it was a low-12 car. If I used drag-radials, I might've tickled the 11's. Reliability is good, but I must warn you that EVERYTHING is Mercedes-Benz under the hood. So... when it breaks... just be ready.

Frankly speaking, I wouldn't use it as a daily (for the reason listed above). It's a rare car, and diagnosing the problems that arise can take some time. Plus, there are more economical choices. Tires, oil changes, fuel... all expensive.

But as a second/third car? Abso-friggin-lutely. They still turn heads, and are a blast to drive.
 

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Ah now see, that's a good man right there. Respect to that !

The SLK55 has been on my mind as well ! Decisions, decisions...

Those numbers is exactly what I'm looking at. The performance blew my mind when I read into them and how easy it was to achieve that. But the Benz thing is what kind of scares me as well... I haven't seen too much aftermarket support on them though ?

But hmmm.. thanks for that ! Before I pulled the bullet and immediately regretted it when problems arose.. I'll have to put some more thoughts into this..
 

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Ah now see, that's a good man right there. Respect to that !

The SLK55 has been on my mind as well ! Decisions, decisions...

Those numbers is exactly what I'm looking at. The performance blew my mind when I read into them and how easy it was to achieve that. But the Benz thing is what kind of scares me as well... I haven't seen too much aftermarket support on them though ?

But hmmm.. thanks for that ! Before I pulled the bullet and immediately regretted it when problems arose.. I'll have to put some more thoughts into this..
Thanks man!

Aftermarket support is quite limited, but Needswings.com is an EXCELLENT central source. He has goodies for the SLK55 if you go that direction, too ;)
 

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Thanks man!

Aftermarket support is quite limited, but Needswings.com is an EXCELLENT central source. He has goodies for the SLK55 if you go that direction, too ;)
For sure the most useful sight I have come by in my, mind you limited time, searching but good to hear that is THE spot ! Ah man.. now I need to go sit down and have a strong conversation with myself in terms of what to do lol, then comes the issue of clearing it with the misses :|
 

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Discussion Starter #11
For sure the most useful sight I have come by in my, mind you limited time, searching but good to hear that is THE spot ! Ah man.. now I need to go sit down and have a strong conversation with myself in terms of what to do lol, then comes the issue of clearing it with the misses :|
Haha!! Glad I could help you out! Let me know if you need anything else.

Best regards,
 
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