It was only by chance I was passing, having spent the morning with an Italian car bearing the prancing horse, I found myself driving down some country lanes in Cheshire, thinking how some of these lanes would make driving the said car uncomfortable due to its width, should there be something oncoming. So as I passed a Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealership in Knutsford, instinctively I swung in, now you’d imagine my first draw might be the Alfa Romeo 4C or maybe the new Giulia, indeed both are like magnets to an Italian car fan, but as I parked up and decided to have a look around, it was a different kind of Italian that caught my eye.
Launched last year the Fiat 124 Spider brings back ragtop motoring to the brand, not since the Barchetta have Fiat had a roadster in their line up. Now I’m not going to go into full road test review mode, you’ve probably read the likes of those on various car websites over the last 6 months. Instead I’m just going to say, ‘go and try it yourself’, really it’s that simple. You see bringing back a roadster is a good move, especially as we enter into Spring and everybody longs for sunny days, can you get a better feeling than cruising with the roof down?
It will be all about cruising as well, with 138bhp and a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds, it’s not exactly a licence loser – if you want more performance you need the Abarth version, which we road tested a few months ago – the Fiat 124 is all about enjoying the ride, not trying to reach Mach 1, being light and a good size, enjoying country lanes are what this car is all about, without worrying what size the vehicle is on the other side of the road! It’s very agile, softly sprung but not too soft, giving that comfortable ride coupled to quick and accurate steering.
Classic looks are a nod back to it’s predecessors from the 60’s, where as some modern cars, their looks will soon date the Fiat 124 Spider won’t, it will go from modern to classic, always looking good. In fact it’s fair to say, if this car is parked on the driveway when you get home you’ll always turn round and take a second admiring glance at it just before going inside.
We love the droptop look of it too, no tintop here, Fiat are keeping it traditional, a few people have asked why this is, besides staying true to the original it’s possibly because a Coupe version of the 124 is in the pipeline.
To sum up, it was worth my stop off at Mangoletsi, a chance to see and remind myself that you don’t to be a Lottery winner to enjoy a 2 seater Italian soft top, the Fiat 124 Spider is a brilliant car, so go on, call in ‘catch a Spider’.