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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This morning I retrieved a memory of spending the summer with my older brother on his girlfriend's rural farm in the midwest. I was 17. She had an aging 1960's Datsun 1600 roadster which she let me drive all the time. No car I've driven since, including my 350Z and a Corvette, really captured the fun of that car. As I Googled the image, I realize the Datsun has a resemblance to the new Fiat Spider. What was your first roadster experience?
 

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My first 2-seater experience was driving a friend's X1/9, circa 1978-79. Had the handling (and the power) of a go-cart, but an absolute blast to drive fast on roads where one ought to be going slow! A few years later, my buddy upgraded to a Lotus Europa, but I only drove it once. I only remember the odd ergonomics of the interior, as the top of the console (iirc) was around chin level or so.
 

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These experiences swayed me to consider the purchase of a '74 124 Spider. I was quickly seduced by the glossy burgundy paint, the gauges in Italian (looky here, it sez O-L-I-O!), and so chose to overlook the sticky front calipers and some dreadful rust repair techniques (upper Midwest, so more to come). All for only $1500 (in 1982 dollars)! I eagerly anticipated buying foreign-branded down at the parts house instead of the mundane Delco, Fram, Champion stuff that I fed to my Pontiac. Alas, it was not to be as Dad, with a wisdom that I could not begin to fathom, declined to fund it or co-sign with me. He's 87 this year, and he turned out to be a pretty smart guy. Although he also said "no" to the '72 2002, and it was in a LOT better shape!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My first car was a Smart roadster in 2005..
I'm not sure if I've ever seen a Smart roadster before. Looks outrageous and fun. Thanks for the photos.
 

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Does a go-kart count? While rides in an MG TD in the early 1970s certainly got my attention, it wasn't until 2004 that I had my own roadster (a Miata). Looking forward to enjoying the experience again.

I saw a X1/9 a few weeks ago. I wonder how many survive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Two of you got me curious in terms of what an X1/9 looks like, as I'm not familiar. Hot!
 

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I'm not sure if I've ever seen a Smart roadster before. Looks outrageous and fun. Thanks for the photos.
I don't think it was available in the States, and even in Europe you don't see a lot. It was only available during 3 or 4 years....
Motor was 3 cyl, 0.660 cc, 80 hp.....fun for sure, outrageous:confused:
 

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My first roadster experience was a 2017 FIAT 124 Spider.;) Yes, I'm a newbie to the roadster experience. I do have a funny little story about the evening I picked up the car though. I left the dealership for a brief stint on a major highway only to get to a more enjoyable ride along the Niagara Escarpment. The sun was shinning but ahead were ominous storm clouds. Directly behind and heading toward the same exit was a yellow Mustang convertible, top down also. Just as we were approaching the off ramp the sky's opened up. I slowed slightly and closed my top in 2 seconds flat (I know, according to the manual you should pull over, turn off the car, blah, blah, blah). Meanwhile, my friend in the yellow Mustang had to pull to the shoulder and commence with the slow motion top up routine required in an electronic roof. Sun came out again not long after but I couldn't help but have a little chuckle for my soggy friend in the Mustang.
 

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1970 Datsun 2000 (series 3)

"Pocket Rocket" was my CB radio "handle". It had a few minor mods gleaned from the racing parts catalog and was reliable, fast, and fairly uncomfortable for any period over three hours. Sold it in 1986.
I missed it until I got my Miata in 2002.

Pete
 

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My first roadster experience was a 2017 FIAT 124 Spider.;) Yes, I'm a newbie to the roadster experience. I do have a funny little story about the evening I picked up the car though. I left the dealership for a brief stint on a major highway only to get to a more enjoyable ride along the Niagara Escarpment. The sun was shinning but ahead were ominous storm clouds. Directly behind and heading toward the same exit was a yellow Mustang convertible, top down also. Just as we were approaching the off ramp the sky's opened up. I slowed slightly and closed my top in 2 seconds flat (I know, according to the manual you should pull over, turn off the car, blah, blah, blah). Meanwhile, my friend in the yellow Mustang had to pull to the shoulder and commence with the slow motion top up routine required in an electronic roof. Sun came out again not long after but I couldn't help but have a little chuckle for my soggy friend in the Mustang.
I just drove through Hamilton Saturday and again on Monday. Sadly, though, not in a Spider.

I had a similar experience years ago in my Miata. I was at a red light next to a Mustang when the heavens opened. I reached back and snapped my top shut, while he, as with your friend, got drenched waiting for his car's motors to do their thing.
 

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My first sports car was a brand new 1974 Triumph Spitfire. I loved that car. I drove it all over the country. My next sports car was a brand new 1978 Fiat X 1/9. It was black with gold side stripes. Great car, although it would stall when it got hot. I then got married and my sports car buying had to wait awhile. My most recent sports car was a 2007 Chrysler Crossfire. Loved that car too - my wife and I took that baby all over the country too.
 

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My first 2-seater Roadster experience was in a 1996 BMW Z3, which my husband and I purchased last spring to fix up. Its color is Hellrot (bright red) with a black interior and black top. It had been completely neglected, but the engine and body were sound. I had admired and wanted one since they came out, but they were out of my budget at the time. We picked this one up for a very reasonable price, considering it needed paint, seats (it had badly worn racing seats with incorrectly installed harnesses), a new top, and new intake hoses. I got to drive it home from Naples, FL (about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive). Even with crappy paint and intake leaks making it run like crud, it was a blast to drive and it got a lot of attention. With the intake leaks fixed, the car now runs like a champ. We are going through it and fixing anything and everything we find that needs attention. I am keeping a spreadsheet of total costs (in case we decide to sell it). If my husband fits in the car with factory seats, we may buy a sporty body kit (because he likes that) and keep it.


I tried to convince myself I would be content with the BMW and not want the 124 Spider when it was released--YEAH, RIGHT! As soon as I laid eyes on the FIAT 124 Spider, I knew I was done for--had to have one!
 
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