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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
😆.
Did you pay extra for a PT cruiser? Or maybe a Nissan Juke?

Joking aside the Fiata wasn't ugly but it definitely didn't look better than the car it copied.
Ha ha, you might not be surprised that there's also a 2004 PT Cruiser in our household fleet! Contrary to popular opinion, it is actually one of the best cars we've ever owned! 180,000 miles and still going strong on original engine and transmission. It's got a cavernous cargo capacity, especially with the rear seats removed. It started life as the spouse's kid hauler, then transitioned to daughter's high school / college / first job car, then came back to me as our fourth loaner / beater / errand car, and now it's with our son as his urban combat vehicle while he gets his PhD! Parts are unbelievably cheap, as an example I bought new CV joints / half shafts for both sides for $75 free shipping! It rides great, is quiet, has the best heater in the business. It's completely anonymous and disposable; you can park it anywhere with no concerns. Downsides are noisy, anemic engine and giant turning radius.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I love drive stories like yours. And I always liked the look of the Spider over the Miata, front end, tail, and the fact that they look more unique in a good way. It seems like the Miata always has a design that makes it look smaller than it should be. Looks is 70% of what I go for. I don’t think corvettes would sell well if they didn’t always have a beefy presence in person. Which is why the new 86/BRZ looks better than a Miata.
I feel exactly the same way! My problem with the Miata is that the hood sharply slopes downward. I like proud fenders that can be seen from the driving position. I like large headlights. And, I have a rule: no ugly cars or motorcycles. When I walk away, I want to look back and think, "Look at that beauty. Too awesome."

I love small, the smaller the better. I often dream about Bugeye Sprites, MG Midgets, and Morgan 3-wheelers. But, I want to see the front of the car while I'm driving it vs. feeling like I'm driving a BMW Isetta.

Back to your story…. That’s what sport driving is all about vs
chewing up components on a track. But to each…..
Absolutely! For me the car is the means to the end, which is getting out there and driving on great roads, seeing interesting sights, finding good things to eat & drink, and meeting fascinating people.
 
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Last summer I test drove a black 124 Spider Abarth. Apparently the previous owner was an older gentleman who had checked the box for every available option and added a few more for good measure. The shoulder part of the seatbelt said Fiat in big white letters and had an Italian Flag. In the passenger footwell there was some weird black diamond-patterned quilted fabric with red stitching around the diamonds. Totally random. And the racing stripe on the hood. Plus he had the Record Monza exhaust which was just obnoxiously loud. It would have terrorized my dog. The whole thing screamed “LOOK AT ME!!” Umm, no thanks🤣
 

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Last summer I test drove a black 124 Spider Abarth. Apparently the previous owner was an older gentleman who had checked the box for every available option and added a few more for good measure. The shoulder part of the seatbelt said Fiat in big white letters and had an Italian Flag. In the passenger footwell there was some weird black diamond-patterned quilted fabric with red stitching around the diamonds. Totally random. And the racing stripe on the hood. Plus he had the Record Monza exhaust which was just obnoxiously loud. It would have terrorized my dog. The whole thing screamed “LOOK AT ME!!” Umm, no thanks🤣
The interior bits are a tad weird, but, as far as exhaust sounds, Fiat did (does still) have a sweet throaty growl. Most 4 cyl engines can’t even be made to sound what I call good. Even most 6 cyls. If you’re going to bother enduring a drop top on winding roads in the heat of Summer with its humidity and bugs and exhaust smell from the passing trucks which have populated like an unchecked disease in our modern world , then, I say let the sweet burble and brapp fly from the fantasy car. I hear a lot of the phrase “look at me” used to describe some of the glaring features of car enthusiasts, but I would warn that it can be a slippery slope of criticism toward anyone who chooses a loud paint choice or other visual and sonic choice. Eventually, it would turn everyone into owners of darker paint choices and other conservative things. Like, say, a bright yellow car, black stripes, and aggressive sound. I would want it for my own pleasure on an open road with zero bystanders ….. just so there are servers at the odd restaurant , lol. But on todays news, I saw that robots will be replacing food prep and wait staff , so……. Not a bad thing for a Twilight Zone fan like me. o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Last summer I test drove a black 124 Spider Abarth. Apparently the previous owner was an older gentleman who had checked the box for every available option and added a few more for good measure. The shoulder part of the seatbelt said Fiat in big white letters and had an Italian Flag. In the passenger footwell there was some weird black diamond-patterned quilted fabric with red stitching around the diamonds. Totally random. And the racing stripe on the hood. Plus he had the Record Monza exhaust which was just obnoxiously loud. It would have terrorized my dog. The whole thing screamed “LOOK AT ME!!” Umm, no thanks🤣
Cringe! There's a subculture of enthusiasts for every make and model that aren't content unless they add every available aftermarket accessory without regard to whether or not it's in good taste or actually improves the car functionally or visually. To me it seems like the point and purpose of the car itself is lost on them.

My Spider has precious few modifications strictly for improving functionality and drivability. I generally prefer a clean OEM look for my cars.
 
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The interior bits are a tad weird, but, as far as exhaust sounds, Fiat did (does still) have a sweet throaty growl. Most 4 cyl engines can’t even be made to sound what I call good. Even most 6 cyls. If you’re going to bother enduring a drop top on winding roads in the heat of Summer with its humidity and bugs and exhaust smell from the passing trucks which have populated like an unchecked disease in our modern world , then, I say let the sweet burble and brapp fly from the fantasy car. I hear a lot of the phrase “look at me” used to describe some of the glaring features of car enthusiasts, but I would warn that it can be a slippery slope of criticism toward anyone who chooses a loud paint choice or other visual and sonic choice. Eventually, it would turn everyone into owners of darker paint choices and other conservative things. Like, say, a bright yellow car, black stripes, and aggressive sound. I would want it for my own pleasure on an open road with zero bystanders ….. just so there are servers at the odd restaurant , lol. But on todays news, I saw that robots will be replacing food prep and wait staff , so……. Not a bad thing for a Twilight Zone fan like me. o_O
Maybe I’m just old. I had an MR2 Spider so I’m familiar with the pleasure of a drop top. I guess I should have said “to each their own.”
 

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The interior bits are a tad weird, but, as far as exhaust sounds, Fiat did (does still) have a sweet throaty growl. Most 4 cyl engines can’t even be made to sound what I call good. Even most 6 cyls. If you’re going to bother enduring a drop top on winding roads in the heat of Summer with its humidity and bugs and exhaust smell from the passing trucks which have populated like an unchecked disease in our modern world , then, I say let the sweet burble and brapp fly from the fantasy car. I hear a lot of the phrase “look at me” used to describe some of the glaring features of car enthusiasts, but I would warn that it can be a slippery slope of criticism toward anyone who chooses a loud paint choice or other visual and sonic choice. Eventually, it would turn everyone into owners of darker paint choices and other conservative things. Like, say, a bright yellow car, black stripes, and aggressive sound. I would want it for my own pleasure on an open road with zero bystanders ….. just so there are servers at the odd restaurant , lol. But on todays news, I saw that robots will be replacing food prep and wait staff , so……. Not a bad thing for a Twilight Zone fan like me. o_O
Let me just say this. When Fiat decided to sell the Fiat 500 Abarth in the US, Chrysler engineers actually spent a lot of time on the exhaust. It is my understanding that actually went through 16 different versions before settling on the one that sounded the most right. In my opinion, having heard 4 cylinder engines from the GTI, Focus ST, Mustang Ecoboost, Veloster N etc., the Fiat 4 cylinder Multiair turbo engine and exhaust combo in the 500 Abarth was the best sounding 4 cylinder engine combo on the market. With all the improved engineering Subaru and Toyota did in improving the GR86 and BRZ, I wish they could have spent a little more time on the aural sound of engine and exhaust. The sound enhancer intake they have does not bother me as it bothers some on this site. However, the stock exhaust sounds like they were complying Swiss regulations. Way too quiet!
 

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Let me just say this. When Fiat decided to sell the Fiat 500 Abarth in the US, Chrysler engineers actually spent a lot of time on the exhaust. It is my understanding that actually went through 16 different versions before settling on the one that sounded the most right. In my opinion, having heard 4 cylinder engines from the GTI, Focus ST, Mustang Ecoboost, Veloster N etc., the Fiat 4 cylinder Multiair turbo engine and exhaust combo in the 500 Abarth was the best sounding 4 cylinder engine combo on the market. With all the improved engineering Subaru and Toyota did in improving the GR86 and BRZ, I wish they could have spent a little more time on the aural sound of engine and exhaust. The sound enhancer intake they have does not bother me as it bothers some on this site. However, the stock exhaust sounds like they were complying Swiss regulations. Way too quiet!
I leased a new to market Dodge Dart with the introductory 1.4 turbo engine back in 2013. The power was disappointing from the way it was tuned (even though it required 91 minimum octane). But, even with that weaker tune than the Abarth 500 had, (and the piggy weight) , the exhaust note was a real surprise during the test drive. I never heard a small 4 sound that good without aftermarket mods. But it wasn’t that sort of kid racer sound…. Just a rumble, throaty ,burbling growl. The playing with a manual clutch was way more fun too because of it. Of course, the Abarth added a certain terror to it ! I can only assume that they went out of their way to create that sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Well, dang it! Struck a deer this evening at twilight, a mile from home. It bolted across the road left to right and I clipped its hindquarters. If I'd swerved left I'd have avoided the strike, but the deer itself blocked my view of the other lane. Nailed the brakes and hit it about 30 mph. It got launched off to the right, shook it, off, and ran away.

Looks like I'll need a grille, front fascia, and hood. Doesn't seem to be any structural damage, and thankfully the servo LED headlights are OK.


 

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Well, dang it! Struck a deer this evening at twilight, a mile from home. It bolted across the road left to right and I clipped its hindquarters. If I'd swerved left I'd have avoided the strike, but the deer itself blocked my view of the other lane. Nailed the brakes and hit it about 30 mph. It got launched off to the right, shook it, off, and ran away.

Looks like I'll need a grille, front fascia, and hood. Doesn't seem to be any structural damage, and thankfully the servo LED headlights are OK.


I feel your pain sir…. I haven’t had any kind of road mishap in many many years…. Like more than 30 yrs plus…. But Monday I was driving my wife’s SUV (gray color similar to your Spider here), and I made contact with a rear quarter of a pickup truck. He was in my blind spot and never saw him on my right…. Almost same location of my car as yours shown above ! But… whether it’s a unseen truck or a Deer popping up , which we have many in my area, it’s just minor In our case. And that’s not always the result !! I’ve seen deer damage that caused totaled out damage. Zero mechanical damage is always a good thing, not to mention no one getting injured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Grrrr....

The deer quite literally ambushed me from behind that green bush on the left, in the darkness of late twilight.

Hopefully these guys can set 'er right again!


 
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Grrrr....

The deer quite literally ambushed me from behind that green bush on the left, in the darkness of late twilight.

Hopefully these guys can set 'er right again!


Your Spider has seen the ravages of Nature , during early Spring Ops! First wounds of battle.
But remember, chipped china never breaks….. (encouraging, anyway, lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thank you for the encouragement, @Funcarday! So true. I'm trying to take it all in stride and perspective. I do believe cars are made to be driven, and when you're out driving them, bad things can happen. I want to take care of it and have a nice car, but not be so precious with it that I don't drive it.
 
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Thank you for the encouragement, @Funcarday! So true. I'm trying to take it all in stride and perspective. I do believe cars are made to be driven, and when you're out driving them, bad things can happen. I want to take care of it and have a nice car, but not be so precious with it that I don't drive it.
Yes! Example…. GM is selling a ton of Corvettes right now. And I suspect that heated garages are equally all the rage as well, because it’s a rare sight to actually see one actually being driven ! Applying Zaino before each Cars & Coffee event is not why they are built.
 

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Thank you for the encouragement, @Funcarday! So true. I'm trying to take it all in stride and perspective. I do believe cars are made to be driven, and when you're out driving them, bad things can happen. I want to take care of it and have a nice car, but not be so precious with it that I don't drive it.
Just wondering how you made out with the repair? I was reminded of it today when I finally got The call to take my wife’s Mitsubishi in for the fender bender. I was set up to have a loaner provided during the repair. Enterprise brought a Chevy Traverse suv. I asked for a small suv like what we are used to.
they brought the Traverse instead. Took it home ….. was in culture shock for the ride back…. Aside from being frickin enormous , it had every new tech known to man along with the disturbing stop and start at stop signs. Took it back to Enterprise and said no thanks. Like some miserable bad dream from a dystopian nightmare. Plus, they upcharged for extra insurance, blah, blah… Ugh.
I seriously don’t like all the crap they’ve added to new vehicles.
Any word on your new unit coming in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Just wondering how you made out with the repair? Any word on your new unit coming in?
Insurance approved the quote, cut a check, but waiting on parts. The BRZ is scheduled to arrive May 6th!
 
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
How’s that May delivery looking? Also,how is the Spider?
Picked up the car on Friday! Still waiting on the call from the body shop that parts are in for the Spider bumper / hood repair. I've been driving it in the meantime and to be honest I don't even look at the dent any more. I'm subconsciously blanking it out! :D
 
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