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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am head over heals and completely smitten with the Fiat 124 Spider. And I don't even own it yet. I'm guessing at this time it may be on the high seas somewhere, standing at the rail at the bow of the mighter freighter that steams toward me, hoping with great anticipation that its journey to me will be swift and safe and that soon it will be home, here with me at last... At least that's how the little movie in my heads plays out.

Anyway, for some of us this is our first convertible, our first sports car, our first roadster. For others it is but another stepping stone on life's ragtop journey. Maybe your first convertible wasn't a little sports car, maybe it was an old Jeep CJ, or an early Ford Bronco. Maybe a late 1960s Dee-Troit 4-seater ragtop variant. A VW Thing, maybe?

For me, the 124 Spider will be my first. But it wasn't the car that sparked the love. That happened in the early 1980s, my earlier teen years, when I found that a school pal's dad had an unknown (to me) vintage Triumph TR6 locked away in the garage. Oh, baby, it got me, hook, line, and sinker. Many an afternoon was spent in their garage dreaming about someday having my own, when I could tootle through the countryside, top down, wind in my (now greatly thinned) hair, feeling the warmth of the sun and smelling the scents of nature surrounding me, drinking in the wide open scenery. What a dream.

This morning I found myself thinking about that car so I did a little poking around. I'm certain this is the version (link below), the 1976 Triumph TR6. Its look sure is in sync with what my memory recalls. Same color, same style, same personality. Can you blame a fella for holding onto that dream for over 30 years?

I found this beautiful example for sale in Michigan. $20k and its mine. Or yours. https://myclassicgarage.com/marketplace/cars/all/Triumph-TR6/161229/media/2478400 But alas, I have neither the skill nor the temperment to own a 40-year old British roadster. Instead, I will enjoy that dream as it has been all these years, a dream, and in its place in reality I will bring home my Spider.

So, let's hear the story of what it was that started it for you. A dream from yesteryear, a long progression of ragtop vehicles (what were they?), a new love whom you've just met... What was it for you?

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I love that thin red sidewall stripe on the tires of that Triumph, too. Friend's dad's car had that same tire. I wish that could be had for the modern radial tires for the Spider. Yeah, I could apply stickers that look the same, but they aren't the same.

Steve.
 

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I love that thin red sidewall stripe on the tires of that Triumph, too. Friend's dad's car had that same tire. I wish that could be had for the modern radial tires for the Spider. Yeah, I could apply stickers that look the same, but they aren't the same.

Steve.
Check out Rimblade USA, Rimsavers! Interesting detail! ;)
 

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I did admire the old British Iron and own a BSA 650 Lightening. You do need a different mindset when you work on the old British vehicles. It is hard to explain, but they expected the technician to have a lot more skills, including knowing about materials, machining and why things are done "the way they are."
I have days worth of stories about my Triumph Herald Vitesse that was my first car purchase. ($99) It looked like a 1/2 scale 57 Chevy. Most Heralds came with four cylinders, but the Vitesse had a straight 6 with dual down draft carburetors. It made the car quite the sleeper and many of the racer boys of the day in their heavy muscle cars got quite the surprise when the light turned green. There were only 679 of these imported into the U.S.
 

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My first convertible was a 1979 CJ-7. Had a blast 4 wheeling with that thing in the early 90s. After the first time I saw the 124 I knew I had to get one. Against my wife's wishes and a year or 2 earlier than expected out went the 2008 Saab 9-3 convertible and in came my 124. Every time I start it up a big smile spreads across my face.
 

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My first sportscar experience was when my dad bought his brand new 1960 Austin Healey Sprite. In America it was known as the Bugeye. He used to drive around with the tonneau covering the passenger seat that was carrying 4 year old me :) I loved the Lotus 7 of The Prisoner and the Elan that Mrs. Peel drove in The Avengers. Maxwell Smart's Sunbeam Tiger was the coolest car he drove. After a few American and Japanese cars, my after school gas station job rewarded me with a 1962 Austin Healey 3000. I loved driving that car! My best friend drove a '65 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce. We had a blast tearing up the back roads of Northern California. I went through a collection of British and Italian sportscars. My last convertible was a first gen Miata. It was the best of all the old cars with none of the problems. None of them compare to the Fiat. The best car I have ever owned!
 

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What got me in love with it? Well, it all started with the go cart we had as kids and then progressed to when I was 14 (I'm 53 now) and got to drive one of these home from Dallas (about 130 miles on the road)

This was a "gimme" car from my sister and brother-in-law. The picture above is not of the actual car, but it looked the same (color and everything) other than mine having some new body work (also known as dents) on the sheet metal when we got it.
Pretty sure it was an early 70's model, but at that time I wasn't that concerned with the year - just that it was a car, a convertible and it was mine!
It did live up to it's FIAT namesake of the time (fix it again tony) as we were always working on it.... but it was a FUN learning experience.
 

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In 1979 my fiat 128 3P had the timing belt screwed up my valves, I need a valve job, so went to the dealer and they had the 1979 Brava auto. not standard and I could had got the 124 spider manual cheaper, but I was young and only could afford one car so I went with the Brava. But my heart was with the 124 spider.

Well today after aging a couple of years, >:)>:)and can afford 2 cars the spider caught not only my eye but also my heart.

So I only drove the Abarth a couple days before wintering. Now can wait for the cold and snow to go away. But here the potholes are very common so I say after mid April I should have it on the road and feel younger again:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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1982 Fiat Spider. Sold it to buy this Spider.
 

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What an awesome thread. I love reading these stories.

I've always been a sucker for Italian cars. Growing up, we were poor though, so my first car in 2002 was a 95 Buick Regal. I slowly turned that car from a land yacht into a decent performer. By the time I got rid of it, i had put close to 200k miles on it, and swapped in an SC 3800, custom coilovers front and rear, polyurethane bushings all around (all custom), rear sway bar never intended for that car, chassis bars that had adapters with a plasma torch. I always wanted a Corvette, so I figured I'd try to make one instead. Didn't work.

Ended up with a 2005 Bonneville GXP that was far too unreliable to keep, then my current 2012 Chevy Cruze. I started going down the same road as the Regal, with a tune, chassis bracing, Bilstein shocks, short shifter, and anything else I could get my hands on to make it more sporty. I came to the realization that I wanted real sports car and nothing I could do to a Cruze will make up for the solid axle rear, 800 pound curb weight penalty, and poor center of gravity.

Last year, I saw some pictures of this car and thought, man, that car is amazing. Then my friend Tom, who I know from Facebook since I was selling oil in GT86 groups sold his GT86 and bought one. I fell in love with that car.

What did me in though was the first time being up close to one. I get media day passes to the Chicago Auto Show as a GM media special guest every year, and this year, the one car I couldn't wait to sit inside was the Fiat 124 Spider. It's the only car I asked someone take a picture of me in, and I messaged it to my wife saying "we're getting one within a year."
 

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I've owned nearly 3 dozen vehicles in my life. My favorite with 4 wheels was my first saab 9-5. I had a custom stage 4 tune, put about 300hp on pump gas, and close to 350 on race/ethanol gas. That was a beast to drive...

but I drove motorcycles as my only mode of transportation for many years, but stopped when baby #2 was on the way and my wife asked me to. I was driving 70 miles one way to work on a highway with truck drivers that didn't care about the lives of others.

I don't have a spider yet, but Its the closest to riding a motorcycle (small, light, nimble, with a lot of open air) I can get without actually getting another motorcycle. I love driving my dad's and very much look forward to driving my own, when I get to actually own one.
 

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I will probably take a lot of crap for this but the truth is the truth. I loved this car. And I drove it till it died. The Pontiac Fiero. Almost exactly like the one below.

View attachment 13921
Cmon its was a citrus lemon. >:)>:) It was made of left over GM parts>

I think the body was fiberglass if not mistaken.
 

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Cmon its was a citrus lemon. >:)>:) It was made of left over GM parts>

I think the body was fiberglass if not mistaken.
It was fiberglass, got 29 miles to the gallon, went fast, had flip up headlights, more interior storage than my current spider, tons of personality and to me still looks really good. The engine in mine was the "iron duke", a 2.5liter 4cyl that liked to run hot. You can feel how you want about it, i love that car and am not ashamed to say it.
 

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I rented a Mustang convertible a few times on vacation in the early 90's (before kids) and eventually we purchased a 95 from a family member. I loved, loved having a convertible. There's just something about them that is exceptional. One day when I was driving it, by now with kids in the back seat, a woman said to me, "your life looks fun." That was perhaps the strangest complement I've ever received. It was a fun car, but not free of problems. The last decade has been spent in the family mobile that I still drive when I need to transport adult sized teenagers (Ford Flex) and in a very old Swedish car that I bought when I was still single and that we recently donated to charity. The Spider...I almost feel sorry for people driving past me that they aren't having as much fun as I am. I'm sure that my college age student is wondering what in the h*ll is going on with her parents, but wow did she have a HUGE smile on her face when I picked her up at the airport yesterday for spring break.
 

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I can remember this plain as day. When I was little I rode around with my dad in his new 1970 124 Spider. He also had a 67' 850 Spider, which was fun.

Greg
 

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1983 Mazda RX-7 GSL with 101hp of carbureted rotary fury. That's the one that set the tone for me. Paid $2k for it in high school. My mom dropped me off and then I stalled a dozen times trying to drive home as I actually did not know how to drive a manual yet. I was only 17. That was my crash course. In the same way I learned to rebuild a carb when it broke because I had no other options. What an awesome car though.

Since then I've had 4 rotaries (2 RX-7, 2 RX-8), Eclipse Turbo, Lotus Elise, VW GTI, and now my Abarth 124 along with a Volvo C-30 KPAX and Mini Cooper S convertible. Always two cars at a time although right now three. There's a trend here with small lightweight cars. The Volvo at 3200lbs is the heaviest and most practical I've owned. One day I aspire to own a real 4 door. RX-8 was close but not really. And an automatic. Every single car I've had has been a two door manual.
 
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