Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/26/09 8:21 a.m.

Hey all I am considering adding another car. I still amazingly have the Alfa GTV 6 and find that I am craving an open top car, which is weird since living in the Chicago area makes it unusable until spring. I am torn between one of two cars I have already owned. First is a Fiat 124 Spider an second is an MGB.

Opinions? I know the strengths and weaknesses with both but am just looking for some additional feedback.

Sarah Beltrami
Sarah Beltrami Events Coordinator
10/26/09 8:59 a.m.

In reply to Andy Reid:

Andy, I thought we discussed just the other day the wonders of a Corvair. You honestly cannot find a better handling car for winter driving. Open or not, you can't go wrong

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/26/09 2:11 p.m.

I know, I know, unfrotunately I like smaller euro cars a bit more. :(

Leo  Basile
Leo Basile New Reader
10/27/09 1:53 a.m.

Andy,

Id say go with an MGB.

Incredible aftermarket support. More comfortable driving position. Much more colorful history. No big deal if oil leaks all over the place. Wire wheels are much cooler than steel disks. Wire wheels add to the challenge of driving in a strait line. Knock off hubs confuse rednecks!(thats always big fun). MGB is a British sports car that sounds like a British Sports car. The car should have 3 pieces of vinyl vs. the Fiats 2 pieces of vinyl.

Lastly, I dig MGBs cause it was the first sports car I bought.

aeronca65t
aeronca65t HalfDork
10/27/09 5:39 a.m.

Yeah, ditto on the MGB for all of the reasons stated.

I drive ~Mine~ through the Princeton campus around once a week and it's one of the few cars that the locals seem to actually notice.

~My '69 Again~

There are still plenty of newer MGBs (with the ugly rubber bumpers) around...they are pretty simple to convert to chrome bumpers.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
10/27/09 6:49 a.m.

Well, somebody has to defend the Fiat...

If you like the feeling of old world antiquity, then the MGB is the better choice. If you like a classic style roadster that is modern like your Alfa, then the Fiat would be a better choice. It's got more room, a top that doesn't need an engineering degree to raise or lower, an engine that produces actual horsepower, and a very useful 5th gear for those highway jaunts. No finicky SU's or weeping lever shocks, either. You'll still get to enjoy fluid leaks of all kinds, intermittent electrical glitches and a constant battle with rust just like the British version. Wire wheels? Who wants to clean those things?

WilD
WilD Reader
10/27/09 1:37 p.m.

Aren't you already looking for an XJS? How many garage spaces do you have?!

rconlon
rconlon Reader
10/27/09 4:45 p.m.

Andy: You know what I chose but suggest you get both. Two good ones will cost you under $10k with money left over. Did I just open a file on a great comparison story? I would like to see a compare and contrast of the purchase, parts availability, repair shops, operational costs, driving experience, club experience, public appeal, eventual sale and anything else that seems fun. Cheers Ron

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/27/09 8:44 p.m.

Both might be the solution. Also I am looking for an XJS V12 as well. I do have a fair amount of space in the SF area. I am leaning Fiat because I know them inside and out but but I also agree with the above mentioned MGB benefits. Just as a wildcard, anyone know if a Jensen Healey has as much headroom as a Fiat 124 which has an amazing 30" of headroom with the top raised?

aeronca65t
aeronca65t HalfDork
10/27/09 9:00 p.m.

Yeah, I got "both" too.

But I have a feeling my "both" is different from your both (see below). Anyway, my little pair are great together and really compliment each other well.

But I will say, that the 124 Spider is one of the prettiest sports cars I can think of. My brother had one before it was replaced by an MG (I had a 124 sedan years ago).

One serious point: Personally, I like cars with rack and pinion steering and the old-style steering box in my brother's 124 never felt as nice as the r&p steering in my Spridget or B. It was more like my old TR-3.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/28/09 10:46 a.m.

Thanks for all the input. I am looking at a 1971 Fiat now and a few MGB's. It is much easier to find a nice MGB than a nice early chrome bumper 124 Fiat. If anyone has leads on a rust free presentable driver condition chrome bumper Fiat please let me know.

rconlon
rconlon Reader
10/28/09 12:42 p.m.

Andy: That is first major difference. The MGB will be more common to find for sale. Small bumpered and small block Fiats are even less common. This trickles down to finding local mechanics and choice of parts vendors. I expect you will find a good Fiat in SF since that was big market out of the rust zone. The 2000 models are every bit as fun as the early ones and a bit more gunt is nice. I usually suggest that seekers just find the best and not be limited.

Cheers Ron

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette HalfDork
10/28/09 12:53 p.m.

www.alfabb.com just got my 76 Alfa carbs rebuilt and put back on thanks alfa rex www.alfarex.com

JeffT
JeffT New Reader
11/19/09 4:15 p.m.

Pssst- Lotus Elan.

Travis_K
Travis_K Dork
11/20/09 12:29 a.m.

http://bringatrailer.com/2008/07/27/bargain-blue-plate-1972-fiat-124-spider/

I have seen this car, and it may possibly be for sale again. The same person has (or at least had a couple months ago) a green 75 124 spider than had sat in a garage for years and needed to be revived, it was nice except one of the fenders is dented. If you are interested, i can see if the person still has it and how much they want for it. They live in san jose, ca.

DavidLMM
DavidLMM New Reader
11/20/09 5:01 p.m.

In reply to Andy Reid: Andy,

Maybe you can interpolate the headroom of the JH from this drawing. (I love this website!)http://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints/cars/jensen/3467/view/jensen_healey/

David in Nashville

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