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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title suggests, I am looking to pick up a 124, preferably an Abarth. I've been lurking this forum for a bit but am not sure I've found my answer yet. At this point, virtually every 124 out there is used. I keep seeing cars for sale with roughly 20,000 miles. What type of issues should I keep an eye out for? I've noticed a common theme with thermostats it seems? Any specific problems at specific mileages or time intervals? An example I can provide is from the late 90s early 2000s BMW world, cooling systems need overhauls every few years. The previous owner of my 5 series redid the cooling system about four years ago and the owner before that about four years prior and I am now about to do it again.

I am 6'2, roughly 245 lbs and occasionally get sciatic nerve pain when in cars for 2+ hours. I've sat in a comparable Miata so I know I fit with the seat one notch from the back and slightly reclined. How might I faire otherwise?

Any insight really would be appreciated!
 

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As the title suggests, I am looking to pick up a 124, preferably an Abarth. I've been lurking this forum for a bit but am not sure I've found my answer yet. At this point, virtually every 124 out there is used. I keep seeing cars for sale with roughly 20,000 miles. What type of issues should I keep an eye out for? I've noticed a common theme with thermostats it seems? Any specific problems at specific mileages or time intervals? An example I can provide is from the late 90s early 2000s BMW world, cooling systems need overhauls every few years. The previous owner of my 5 series redid the cooling system about four years ago and the owner before that about four years prior and I am now about to do it again.

I am 6'2, roughly 245 lbs and occasionally get sciatic nerve pain when in cars for 2+ hours. I've sat in a comparable Miata so I know I fit with the seat one notch from the back and slightly reclined. How might I faire otherwise?

Any insight really would be appreciated!
Hi future 124 owner,

I asked the very same question when looking for my car, I was given a lot of info that did make me nervous about purchasing the car I was due to test drive, I am no car mechanic and just felt overwhelmed with the reply’s ( with the best intentions).

I did go on to buy a fab car called Bella.

Sorry can’t give you any more advice am sure others will do that.

But I have to say that I have never smiled as much as I do driving my car.
 

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I feel that at 6'2" you would not be comfortable in the fiat to be honest. My friend who is 5 foot 11 says he is unable to get comfortable though he has long legs.

My coworker who is 6 foot something and on the larger side also cant comfortably fit in my car but he doea autocross and also long road trips in a bmw z4 and is very happy.

I am 5 foot 7 and drive with my seat one click from all the way back (or maybe two but I think one) and reclined to the stop. I cant imagine being 7 inches taller and being able to enjoy the car to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Despite being 6'2 I have relatively "short" legs. I have a 31" inseam, I purposely went and sat in a Miata to get a feel for the cabin and because it was closer than the nearest 124. My biggest concern was having to slouch in the seat but I was able to sit upright in the soft top.
 

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Despite being 6'2 I have relatively "short" legs. I have a 31" inseam, I purposely went and sat in a Miata to get a feel for the cabin and because it was closer than the nearest 124. My biggest concern was having to slouch in the seat but I was able to sit upright in the soft top.
Well that will work then, I think. My inseam is 32" funny enough. (I'm missing two lumbar vertebrae and one set of ribs)
 

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2018 Abarth 124 Spider, Mare Blue / Nero Abarth Leather, Brembo's, Record Monza, Automatic
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I am 6'1" (used to be 6'2", but gravity has had its way with me I think), and 240 lbs., legs are junk. It's a BITCH getting in and out (thus my hesitancy to get a set of Eibach Pro-Kit springs) but once in all is good! No, all is FANTASTIC!!! Best, s.
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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I am 6'1" (used to be 6'2", but gravity has had its way with me I think), and 240 lbs., legs are junk. It's a BITCH getting in and out (thus my hesitancy to get a set of Eibach Pro-Kit springs) but once in all is good! No, all is FANTASTIC!!! Best, s.
I feel you and I’m a lot shorter than you! Won’t stop me from lowering the car though, what’s a hard entry / exit in comparison to the endless joy you feel driving the car!
 

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Besides the issue of whether someone fits, what are the common mechanical failure points that are popping up? The cars may not be old enough to reveal all the issues that may present themselves in the years ahead as the platform continues to age.
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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Well on my vehicle I have a faulty thermostat at 4k miles. Others have reported water pump failure, oil consumption, failed turbos, tops rubbing, seatbelt retractor failure, and freeze plugs popping out. All that said my 2017 had absolutely zero issues but I only had it six months and drove it 10k miles.
 

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As the title suggests, I am looking to pick up a 124, preferably an Abarth. I've been lurking this forum for a bit but am not sure I've found my answer yet. At this point, virtually every 124 out there is used. I keep seeing cars for sale with roughly 20,000 miles. What type of issues should I keep an eye out for? I've noticed a common theme with thermostats it seems? Any specific problems at specific mileages or time intervals? An example I can provide is from the late 90s early 2000s BMW world, cooling systems need overhauls every few years. The previous owner of my 5 series redid the cooling system about four years ago and the owner before that about four years prior and I am now about to do it again.

I am 6'2, roughly 245 lbs and occasionally get sciatic nerve pain when in cars for 2+ hours. I've sat in a comparable Miata so I know I fit with the seat one notch from the back and slightly reclined. How might I faire otherwise?

Any insight really would be appreciated!
FIAT 124 spider: Pros: beautiful; specific chassis for convertibles; reliable turbocharged engine; trunk wider than the Miata; excellent road holding; specific accessories. Downsides: cramped cockpit; low seat; lack of easy-to-use storage while driving; not all original accessories are available in the USA (hard top; Historical wheels; external luggage rack; etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Besides the issue of whether someone fits, what are the common mechanical failure points that are popping up? The cars may not be old enough to reveal all the issues that may present themselves in the years ahead as the platform continues to age.
This is what I'm looking to get at. I've seen examples reaching upwards of 100,000 miles already so I'm hoping to hear from someone like that. If say at 80,000 there is a catastrophic failure that's unavoidable I may reconsider BUT my daily commute is fairly short and I tend to really only drive 10,000~ a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
FIAT 124 spider: Pros: beautiful; specific chassis for convertibles; reliable turbocharged engine; trunk wider than the Miata; excellent road holding; specific accessories. Downsides: cramped cockpit; low seat; lack of easy-to-use storage while driving; not all original accessories are available in the USA (hard top; Historical wheels; external luggage rack; etc.)
I'm 22 and single so I don't need much storage room lol
 

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I've got a 2017 Abarth 124, and it has been an absolute joy. I've personally only had two issues with the car:

  • Last year, the car flooded because the roof drains had never been cleared. Give them a flushing-through once a year (more in really dire conditions) and you're golden.
  • A week or so ago, the coil pack started to play up. Symptoms were engine misfires, a lack of power, and difficulty starting the car. I ordered a set of the Alfa 4C ignition coils and fit them (super easy to do) and it's as good as new again.
Apparently the ignition coils are a fairly common fault, but the 4C coils from Bosch are only about ~£200 for the set (less if you could find a discount code like I did).
 

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2018 Abarth 124 Spider, Mare Blue / Nero Abarth Leather, Brembo's, Record Monza, Automatic
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2018, water pump leak at 3800 miles. Most fun I've had behind the wheel since my modded X1/9 days s.
 

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It would be interesting to know whether the cars were modded or stock when mentioning the issues
 

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2018 Abarth 124 Spider, Mare Blue / Nero Abarth Leather, Brembo's, Record Monza, Automatic
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The only "mod" I've done to my '18 Abarth is to put a RM on it. I really don't consider that a "mod", as it is was an option. Certainly wouldn't contribute to the water pump sealant failure. Best, s.
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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My 2020 is totally stock with the thermostat issue.
 
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