1958 Fiat 1200TV Spider
Chassis no. 103G 115 002788
Engine no. 103G 004 470848
1,221cc inline four-cylinder engine
Single Weber carburetor
55bhp at 5,300rpm
Four-speed manual transmission
Independent coil-spring front suspension and live rear axle
Four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes
-Two owners from new
-Original, unrestored condition
-Unique swivel seats
-Gorgeous Italian styling
-A perfect summer driver
For nearly 20 years, Fiat's mid-range 508 and 1100 models had been the mainstay of middle class Italians. In the mid-1950s, a Turismo Veloce (fast touring) version with higher compression and a two-barrel carburetor became available, then a two-seat cabriolet was introduced to compliment the sedan.
Called by Fiat "Trasformabile" (Italian for convertible), the cabriolet is generally considered the work of Fiat's design director Fabio Luigi Rapi. Teasingly voluptuous, it had a forward-leaning stance. Divided mesh grilles at the front were complimented by a wrap-around windshield. The haunches were understated, but set off with a broad, slightly-diagonal molding. Trasformabiles were soon given the TV engine. There was an adjustable steering wheel and roll-up windows provided comfort in all weather. The term "spider" for a two-seat, open car has become so eponymous that it is commonly applied to these progenitors of the later Fiat 124 Spider.
For 1958, the TV option was effectively replaced by a larger engine. The "TV" suffix, however, had become so associated with the Spider that it was retained and added to the new "1200" designation. The Spider's seats now swiveled for easier entry and egress.
The 1958 model Spider is unique, in the sense that it marries the 1200 engine to the "old" Rapi-designed body. For 1959 new lines would grace the Spider, which, while cleaner and simpler, drained away some of its charm.
The Motorcar Offered
This original 1200TV was had only two vendors since new. With a Royal Automobile Club badge on the grill and old UK registration plates formerly gracing its haunches, it spent the earlier part of its life in the care of one Jackie Smith in northern Scotland before coming to the US. Purchased by the vendor about a year ago from its original owner, the little Fiat was found to be in very good shape. Besides replacing the brakes at all four corner, no other restoration work was needed to produce the fine specimen seen here.
Rarely seen in the U.S., the 1200TV is a stylish and enjoyable little Italian roadster whose only wish is that it may help you enjoy a bit of la dolce vita that much more easily!
- The engine number listed in the catalog for this car is incorrect. The correct engine number is 103G 004 435825. It is the correct motor for the model but not the original engine according to the data plate.