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Roadster wars: the Fiat 124 Spider returns

19 November, 2015

Almost 50 years since the original was introduced, an Italian-classic favourite makes a welcome return — albeit in thoroughly modern form. Yes, the Fiat 124 Spider is back! 
Designed at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy, the new 124 Spider takes its inspiration from the 1966 original — including the distinctive twin bonnet ‘power-domes’ from the second-generation Spider – but, under the skin, you’ll find Fiat’s 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo engine. With 104kW being fed to the rear wheels via a quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, the new car should be able to match the sheer on-road brio of the classic 124 Spider.

Inside, the new 124 Spider’s cockpit is a pleasing mix of classic ingredients and modern materials and ergonomics — not to mention the fact that it’s packed with bags of Italian style!
It has a lightweight body structure, which is achieved through the use of aluminium and high-tensile steel, and a strong backbone frame comprised of robust, straight beams, underpins the overall structure, while a front subframe and rear cross members connect the backbone to the front and rear sections to provide a structure that is light, safe, and extremely rigid. Allied to that, the new Spider’s suspension — a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear arrangement — has us expecting that the new Fiat will provide excellent handling.

Fiat New Zealand are hoping that the all-new Fiat 124 Spider will make its local debut in late 2016 — and we can’t wait to get our hands on one for a test drive.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?