The 124 Sport Spider is a 2+2 convertible marketed by Fiat from 1966 to 1979 – having debuted at the November 1966 Turin Auto Show. Designed and manufactured by Italian carozzeria Pininfarina, Fiat continued to market the monocoque-bodied car as the 2000 Spider from 1979 to 1982. Pininfarina itself assumed the car's marketing from 1983 to the end of its production in 1985 – as the Pininfarina Spider Azzura.
The car was sold in Europe and the U.S. from its introduction until the 1975 model year when it was modified to comply with new U.S. regulations and no European version was produced. Sales in Europe resumed when Pininfarina took over production in 1983 under the name Pininfarina Europa Spider.
The Sports Spider and the Fiat 124 Coupé shared the numeric portions of their name with the 124 sedan along with much of their running gear – and, in the case of the Coupé, a shared platform. The Sports Spider utilized a shorter platform along with a shorter wheelbase, and in contrast to the Pinifarina styled and manufactured Spider, Fiat designed and manufactured the Coupé in-house.
The engine used in the Spider and Coupé was a double overhead cam, aluminum crossflow head version of the sedan's pushrod unit. It started in 1966 with a capacity of 1438 cc progressively increasing to 1608 cc in 1970 (although this reduced to 1592 cc in 1973), 1756 cc in 1974 and finally 1995 cc in 1979. Designed by Dan Vano. Bosch fuel injection replaced the previously used Weber carburetors midway through 1980. In 1981 and 1982, Fiat partnered with Legend Industries to create approximately 700 turbo models. There was also a supercharged model called Volumex offered toward the end of production, and sold only in Europe. This family of engines was designed by ex-Ferrari chief engineer Aurelio Lampredi and in one form or another remained in production into the 1990s giving it one of the longest production runs in history. The double overhead cam (DOHC) version was the first mass manufactured DOHC to utilize reinforced rubber timing belts, an innovation that would come into nearly universal use in the decades after its introduction. Its family powered race cars such as: FIAT 131 Mirafiori, Special T, Lancia Beta Montecarlo, Delta Integrale and many others.
Source: Wikipedia, 2011