1981 Fiat 2000 Spider Turbo

When talking about classic Italian cars associated with the words Pininfarina and Turbo, Ferrari comes immediately to mind with the legendary 288 GTO and F40; but there was an earlier mating of those two words with a third outlier; Fiat, in this case. Originally badged the 124 Spider, Fiat and Pininfarina renamed the spider the "2000" in 1979, and in 1981 Fiat and Legend Industries made around 700 turbocharged models for the U.S. market. A well proportioned car with classic roadster styling and impressive heritage, the 2000 Spider none-the-less remains one of the cheapest ways to get into a neat and classic Italian ride:

Year: 1981
Model: 2000 Spider Turbo
Engine: 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 26,400 mi
Price: $14,499

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1981 FIAT SPIDER 2000 Turbo

If you would love to have a great little roadster for some top down, sun in your face, wind in your hair motoring then the Fiat Spider is an excellent choice! Produced almost exclusively for the North American market, although sold occasionally in some European Countries, the Fiat 124/Spider is becoming a very sought after roadster among car enthusiasts looking for an affordable collectible sports car that can be driven and enjoyed as well as make a great investment. Designed by Italian stylist and coachbuilder Pininfarina the Fiat 124/Spider rivaled the MGB and Alfa Spider as the world’s longest running sports car. Many collectors will tell you that the most desirable models are the fuel-injected models, which began in 1980.

'81 Fiat Spider 2000 Turbo — Overview: These little cars were never very powerful, but with the exception of the truly exotic cars, handling capabilities were far superior to most other sports cars of their time.. Fiat began to consider pulling out of the US. In an attempt to try to save the Fiat brand in the US, the importer, Fiat USA, Inc., worked with Legend Industries to install turbo chargers on several late '81 and early '82 cars, after they reached the United States. Boost was limited to only 6 psi to avoid damaging the engine, which was not designed to be used with a turbo. Even at a modest 6 psi, the turbo really awakened the little two liter four cylinder engine. Rarity: Only approximately 700 Spider 2000 Turbo models were made. These turbo models proved to be somewhat unreliable, and many of these cars were “de-trubo-ed”, leaving them as normal “Fuel Injected” cars. With the turbo failures, and the normal number of mechanical failures and accidents associated with a car nearly three decades old, there are very few of these still running and in their original mechanical condition. Handling: Truly amazing.. Acceleration: Pretty good... by 1981 standards. It's not a Ferrari, but with the turbo it easily outruns “stock” spiders.

Not only does this fuel injected ‘81 Spider look great but also it drives and handles as good as it looks!!! Everything works. The gauges all operate. The 5 speed manual transmission shifts nicely through the gears. The clutch was changed when the motor was rebuilt. The engine was rebuilt about 3000 miles ago. The entire car was restored over the last few years. Everything has been disassembled and any worn parts have been replaced. Brakes are new. Brake lines have been replaced. Suspension was rebuilt and modified for better handling. Upper and lower control arms have been replaced with new.

The interior of the car is original. There are some very small cracks in the seats. (See pictures)The original turbo was replaced with a new unit as the turbos on these cars were susceptible to premature ware. To combat this, a post oiler was added to keep the bearings on the turbo cool when spinning down. Every effort was made to make this a drivable car you could take around town or a nice trip. The engine runs nice and smooth while the operating temperature stays nice and cool. It’s got plenty of pep. The brakes feel good and the steering is accurate and fun.

This car has power windows and a/c. both work well. The A/C was retrofitted to 134a Freon.

Tires: 195/65/14 tire have less than 2000 miles

All turbo hoses were replaced with new silicone hose.

Brakes are new and have an adjustable brake bias valve installed.

Pioneer sound system, am/fm/cassette/cd 6disk changer

Oil pan guard was installed. (See picture)

Few things needing attention…

A couple of small dings and paint blemishes could be easily repaired (see pictures)

The vinyl top has a slight cut in the welting and is barely noticeable. The rear window is clear.

The Pininfarina Hardtop comes with the car. These tops are VERY RARE!!!!!!

The top alone would go for about $3,000.00. These were used on the 124 rally cars and were designed by Pininfarina. This is not a knock off!

Pedigree: This car has won at concourse at the Fiat Lancia Unlimited national Fiat club meeting twice in class. It has trophied 3 times at Lime Rock Park concours d’Elegance. And has been invited 3 times and participated at the Greenwich CT. Concours D’elegance. It is a very presentable car.

Also included in the sale are extra motors and transmissions and all original parts and extra turbos/manifolds. Many of these parts can no longer be obtained.

Feel free to contact me to schedule a time to see it for yourself.

Worldwide Shipping at Buyers Expense Please, No con artists. I have seen this in the past and will not be negotiating with people I cannot speak to directly. Money talks…….

As a car with potential to show, this is a neat example of a car that you can afford to buy, work on yourself and enjoy some classic Italian lines and soundtrack. Condition is far above average with some room for improvement and pricing is compelling at under $15,000. I personally love the color combination, and the addition of the factory hard top is quite cool. It will never be the car that draws a large crowd or snaps your neck with acceleration, but this is a solid package with some great roots in classic Italian motoring!

-Carter