This next car comes as a tip from Erik202 who writes: I previously owned a series 3 version spider and I think outside of Duettos these S4 cars are the best looking generation. I don’t know if these cars are ever going to be worth anything but in the meantime they must be in the running for best value going, at least when it comes to fun for the money. Find this 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider S4 offered for $4888…now $4600 in Marin, CA via alfabb.com forums and craigslist.
Fiat first used the name 124 Spider on a little convertible sports car that was built from 1966 through 1985. Styling was by Dutch descended, but Detroit born Tom Tjaarda who spent most of his career with Ghia and Pininfarina. However, in 2015 the world was re-introduced to a newborn Fiat 124 with design by Virgilio Fernandez that pays homage to the original 124, but uses Mazda MX-5 ND underpinnings. Italian styling, Japanese reliability — what could go wrong? Unfortunately for Fiat, the Mazda version (MX-5 ND) is prettier, faster, sportier, and more fun to drive (that last bit is according to one famous beefsteak wielding automotive journalist.) The only thing the Fiat 124 has as an advantage is that it depreciates faster. Find this 2017 Fiat 124 Spider offered for $16,990 in Aliso Viejo, CA via craigslist.
Happy Columbus Day to all Italian-Americans out on the web, a day where we celebrate that crazy Genoese sailor who tried to find his way to the East (he probably wanted some JDM parts before you could overnight them from Japan…) by sailing West. It is also Canadian Thanksgiving (say what!?) but we’ll save our Turkey & Poutine Cacciatore jokes for the next feature. Sorey a boot that. Anyway, this Italian machine will need to get a ride on the next Niña, Pinta, or Santa Maria to head West across the Atlantic because it is located in The Netherlands, but Find this 1995 Alfa Romeo 164 Diesel offered for $3,499 buy-it-now or make-offer located in Ried, Netherlands via eBay.
To the average guy walking down the street, the Lancia you see here is just another cool older car. He probably won’t know it is Lancia, but might guess it is European and assume it is an Alfa Romeo or some kind of Fiat. However, the Lancia 2000 was the direct descendant of the Flavia and was the last car designed by the in-house team at Lancia before they were acquired by Fiat in 1969. To say it excludes cool is like saying that a foot needs a shoe. It is as cool as you can get in a 4-door car and it features a flat-4 mated to the front wheels. If Niki Lauda approves, you should too. Find this 1971 Lancia 2000 offered for $9,100 in Santa Barbara, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The Cadillac Allanté was the end result of some serious white powder surfing from the guys at GM in the 80s. It started with a Pininfarina designed body assembled by Italians in Cambiano, Italy and then shipped airfreight to Detroit where the a domestic V8 was shoved up front. I can’t imagine what it cost to airfreight 21,000 Allante bodies from Italy to the Mantramck Assembly plant in Detroit (1986-1993), but they can’t have had much profit left to spend on rehab. Today’s example needs some TLC, but what Italian car from the 90s doesn’t? Find this 1991 Cadillac Allanté offered for $1,500 in Fort Myers, FL via craigslist. Tip from Dascpcu.
There is a chance that any car featured on this website will end up as a wallet draining pile of junk…that is indeed the risk we take as buyers/sellers/drivers of used and depreciated classics. But there is no car as CERTAIN to raid your wallet as this next car, because there is no way you could even get this thing home to your garage before something goes wrong. But that is okay…because it’d be worth it. Because even somebody daily driving a 70s Saab is lightweight compared to someone who has the willingness and the audacity/cojones/guts to drive something like an 80 Maser. Find this 1980 Maserati Quattroporte offered for $9,800 in Philadelphia, PA via eBay. Tip from Rock On!
Another day, another Fiero based kit car on the cover of Daily Turismo magazine. Whoa…we’ve got a magazine? No, shut up, I’m just trying to make it seem more impressive…lemme get back to this car. Anyway, this next Fiero is no ordinary Fiero — it has a 4.9 liter V8 from a Cadillac breathing through a Jaguar (?!) exhaust and is covered in a kit body that looks 2 parts Ferrari 308 and 1 part Acura NSX. It is simultaneously like peculiar and snazzy. Find this 1987 Pontiac Fiero Fierriadillac offered for $7,900 buy-it-now in Pueblo, CO via eBay.
The Fiat 850 was available as a boxy van, an oddly bulbous sedan, and a cute little spider ragtop, but that best looking version had a fastback roofline and was called the 850 Coupe. They were manufactured in huge quantities (2.3 million 850s were sold worldwide from 1963-1973) but isn’t a car you’ll see very often — probably because of the sheet metal disintegrated in moisture like single layer cardboard and the engines needed to run at 100% duty cycle to keep the driver from being rear-ended by children on skateboards. Despite that, I think I’d enjoy the experience of owning a classic like an 850 Coupe. Find this 1966 Fiat 850 Coupe offered for $9,000 in Scotch Plains, NJ via craigslist.
If you thought Chris Bangle’s deconstructivist flame surfacing styling was tacky on early millennial BMWs, just remember that he was destroying the design language of Fiat in the early 1990s. Actually, the Fiat Coupe (or Coupé, if you prefer) had styling that was a welcome departure from the boxy and boring Fiats of the 1980s and it is quite striking in person or in print, particularly compared to some of the monstrosities that roam the streets today. The Coupe was never imported into the USA as a new car, so you’ll have to find a grey market import like this next one. Find this 1994 Fiat Coupé offered for $14000 in Dallas, TX via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Turbochargers seem to be installed on half the cars in the showrooms these days, but there was a time when a turbo was a rare thing to find in a car. In fact, in 1981 there were only a few cars with the snail shaped glowing/spinning things under the hood and they were mostly American cars like the Monte Carlo, Trans Am, and Buick Grand National…but if you did some research you could find a little company on the East Coast called Legend Industries that would turbocharge your Fiat Spider for a few bones. Years later those kits are hard to maintain and parts are scarce, so many have been de-turbo’d but could be restored to their original boosted glory. Find this 1982 Fiat 124 Spider Turbo Not Turbo’d offered for $7500 in Medway, MA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.