The FIAT 124 Spider has a lineage that dates back to 1966 — the first was a very attractive two-seat sports car built by the design house Pininfarina in cooperation with Italian auto giant Fiat. While the lineage of the current Fiat 124 is so convoluted and complicated that it resembles a season of “Game of Thrones,” the remarkable thing is the current car captures much of the spirit and good looks of the original. Since the original model had a run of almost 20 years without substantive changes, we have to regard that as a good thing.
Like the first Fiat 124 Spider, the current model has a peppy four-cylinder engine, the availability of a manual transmission, and a stylish open cabin fitted with just two seats. In the spirit that intones “slow cars are fun to drive fast,” the engines in both the original and current 124 Spiders deliver the right amount of horsepower versus the excess of horsepower that some enthusiasts always seem to crave. What you get in a 2020 Fiat 124 is both a time machine with the dial set to 1967 and a perfect way to lose yourself in a morning of foothills driving.