header image
Parts
Homepage. This page: An affordable (then) Italian two-seater sports car, the Fiat Spider of 1959 onwards.

Fiat 1200 Tipo 118 Cabriolet.

Whereas the Multipla was built with growing families in mind, and the 500/600 models were aimed at cost-conscious motorists, the 1200 Cabriolet (or Spider) - penned by Pininfarina - was aimed at dashing young types who yearned for wind-in-the-hair motoring, at a keen price. For those in less sunny climes, an optional hardtop was also offered. Contemporary advertising of the day made great play of the 1200's handsome styling yet relative affordability:
"One of the low-priced joys that Fiat brings you is the famed Fiat Spider, a roadster that acts and looks like something only a millionaire could buy! Lines that make you look for its wings, elegant interior, integral construction, 90 mph, disc wheels, white walls (US market) $2595* - a figure that won't age you a bit."
(* The Autocar magazine listed the 1200 Cabriolet at UKP 1032, or UKP 1460 including Purchase Tax, for UK buyers in Jan 1960, although elsewhere I've read that the cabriolet was never an official import into the UK).
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Fiat 1200 Cabriolet
The 1221cc version of the car (model name 118G) was joined by a 1500cc version (the 118H) late in 1959, powered by an O.S.C.A. twin-cam unit that displaced 1491cc. Each car was built away from the main assembly lines, in the "Vetture Speciali", or "special vehicles" unit. The video below shows a preserved example, also in white, that looks all-but identical to the car in the photograph above.
Some years back, an owner of a 1963 example in red sent over a photograph of his car, which can be found on this page.
Return to Page 17 in the vintage gallery.

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers