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TR7 vs Fiat 124

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79bluespit Avatar
79bluespit Rick Lazio
Burlington, ON, Canada   CAN
This is a silly question to ask on a "TR7" forum. You might want to try the fiat spider forum to get equally biased opinions. Look st the alfa spider and mgb too.

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robtr8 Rob Stephenson
Lake St Louis, Missouri, USA   USA
Had an '80 2000 Spider. I'd take it over a TR7 any day. But there's a reason why I'm on my 3rd TR8.



1980 TR8
2006 XC90 V8
2008 328xi
2011 XC60 T6 RD

Fictioneer Avatar
Fictioneer Doug Hirt
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
I'm leaning towars theTR8 myself now, after studying up some on these cars.

Rick -- i tried to get on a Fiat 124 site, but no one ever acknowledge my attemp to join, and I remained locked out of posting on their "exclusive" forum.

Got to sell a couple Spitfires before I can do anything.

Doug



"Mr. Filby, do you think he'll ever return?"
"One cannot choose but wonder. You see . . . he has all the time in the world!"

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mgbgt111 Avatar
mgbgt111 c erskine c
pelham, shelby county, USA   USA
You might also want to consider the interior and top operation. The Fiat top is a quick flip up and down. Two clips at the windscreen and no outside snaps to fiddle with. (Much like the Alfa Spider)

Attached is a pic of my 79 interior. No wear and the vinyl is in great shape. Some interior parts of the TR are impossible to find, as they deteriorated on the lot when new. (Area near the back window on coupes)

When new, the TR7 and Fiat 2000 were both comparable cars, and much better than the contemporary MGB. When customers were looking at MGBs and discovered we had the new 2000, we often referred to the Fiat as a "real car".
Not that I don't like the MGBs, just that when buying a new car, spending more on the TR or Fiat 2000 gave the customer a product that was powerful and had a better ride.


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mgbgt111 Avatar
mgbgt111 c erskine c
pelham, shelby county, USA   USA
Doug,
Forums for Fiats are nothing compared to LBCs. I can post a question on the MG website and get 10 good replies in one day. The Fiat websites may never show a reply, or maybe one questionable reply.
There is a better follow for LBCs.
Parts avabilty for the TR is similar to the Fiat 2000.

In reply to # 1482929 by Fictioneer I'm leaning towars theTR8 myself now, after studying up some on these cars.

Rick -- i tried to get on a Fiat 124 site, but no one ever acknowledge my attemp to join, and I remained locked out of posting on their "exclusive" forum.

Got to sell a couple Spitfires before I can do anything.

Doug

nick Avatar
nick nick m
Bend, OR, USA   USA
1



nick



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-05 09:41 AM by nick.

TeeR8 Avatar
TeeR8 Gold Member Henri Lefebvre
Calgary, Alberta, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 1482931 by mgbgt111
When new, the TR7 and Fiat 2000 were both comparable cars, and much better than the contemporary MGB. When customers were looking at MGBs and discovered we had the new 2000, we often referred to the Fiat as a "real car".
Not that I don't like the MGBs, just that when buying a new car, spending more on the TR or Fiat 2000 gave the customer a product that was powerful and had a better ride.

It is true that, when new, the Fiat 124 and TR7 were superior to the ageing MGB in most respects, especially after the '75 and newer MGB was equipped with rubber bumpers, elevated suspension and single carb.
On the other hand, today we see very few TR7's or Fiat 124 on the road or at car shows but MGB's are everywhere and many fully restored and in pristine condition. Currently there is a 1981 MGB with 113 kilometres, yes 113 only, for sale.
Despite its short comings compared to the competition the MGB has survived far better as a popular classic sports car. I really enjoy my MGB GT but when I bought it I never considered the Fiat 124 Coupe or the TR7 Coupe. OTOH I would have considered an Alfa Romeo GTV if I had come across the right one.



Henri
1980 TR8, Platinum
1971 MGB GT, Midnight Blue

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mgbgt111 Avatar
mgbgt111 c erskine c
pelham, shelby county, USA   USA
Henry,
I agree with you when comparing the 124 and the early TR7 coupes to the MGB, but when Fiat introduced the 2000 and TR came out with the 5sp and convertible, it was a nice car too.
Fiats tend to rust easily, so maybe that's why there aren't as many on the road. In fact, some arrived at the dealership with rust.
We also sold Alfa Romeos. I had a Sprint Veloce for a few month as a demo. Very nice driver, but it rusted more than the Fiats.

RangerMK Avatar
RangerMK Mark Morgan
Ballwin, Missouri, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "HSD"
I autocrossed a friend's '70 124 while I lived in Tucson, 1971-1972; after doing most of my driving in my dad's Mercury wagon and '63 Beetle convertible (great car until I rolled it), the Fiat came across as something like a spiritual awakening. Yeah, the driving position was rather funky (I hadn't heard the term "Italian driving position" yet) but the handling, responsiveness and overall style stuck with me for a long time. However, when I finished college in '76 and got my commission in the USN, I went for an X1/9 as my EnsignMobile, partly because I wanted something different than a traditional front-engine/rear-drive sports car. The X1/9 wound up in my all-time top 5 of best cars I've owned, I only traded it in for a VW Scirocco in late '77 due to a need for something with more room for all my stuff (ah, for the days when one could move all their earthly possessions in one car).

May '81, transferred to PMTC Point Mugu, figured, "Well shoot, rich single Lieutenant, Southern California, I need a sports car." The Fiat dealer in Ventura was offering deals on 2000 Spiders soooo, I bought one...and acquired the worst car I've ever owned. Fuel injection never worked properly (six tows in three months), paint faded/splotched within a year, I couldn't believe it. When it ran, it was great and it benefited from the bigger engine and five-speed BUT, after the alternator froze on I-10 out by San Bernardino, I threw in the towel and traded it for an '81 Scirocco.

I've owned my '80 TR8 for three years now. I concur with the rust issues mentioned in other posts (particularly enjoyed the comment about Fiat delivering the cars with the rust already started). I prefer the TR8 to the 124/2000 Spider but will say that other than the arms out/legs in Italian driving requirement, they're equally comfortable inside with plenty of room; the 124/2000 offers the bonus of the easy-to-fold, one-hand top (also mentioned previously) and a storage area/occasional seat behind you. Performance? The TR8 wins, hands down, plus it makes that great noise when you step on the gas. Handling? I can't comment as it's been a long time since I drove a 124 (although I'll admit to keeping an eye out for a first or second-gen 124 Coupe).

From my point of view, it comes down to this: do you want traditional (Fiat) or non-traditional (TR7/TR8)? That includes the dash/instrument display, which is very traditional in the Fiat and the more traditional, flowing lines styling of the 124. If you get the Fiat, is there a local garage that can work on Italian twin-cams and Italian elex? (one of our Triumph club members has commented, "If you think Lucas is bad, wait until you have to deal with Magnetti-Marelli"winking smiley. How many parts sources are there? Is there a local club of some sort where you can get info/assistance/etc. All basic questions when buying a special interest vehicle...

Anyway, good luck with your decision. I will say that here in St Louis we have a good-sized, very active Triumph club and my 8 is one of five, plus we have four TR7s in the club, so seeing other Wedges isn't that big a deal. Fiat 124s/Spiders, on the other hand, are very rare hereabouts.

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mgbgt111 Avatar
mgbgt111 c erskine c
pelham, shelby county, USA   USA
Mark,
You sound like the voice of experience!
Unfortunately, the majority of the miles I put on the cars in question were on new cars, and not the 40 year old ones we deal with today. My Fiat 2000 is 38 years old, but was sold new where I worked 78-81.
I think it's cool that you liked the X1/9. I had a choice for a company car between anything we sold, except Jaguar and Roover sedans. I choose the X1/9 when possible. If you liked the 76, you would have loved the 79 forward cars with the bigger engine and 5 speed. Much better car.
A little known fact was that TR brought TR8s coupes in the US around 78 as factory demos for dealers. They were are carbureted with auto transmissions. These cars could barely get out of their own way. Real dogs, but they sounded good. They were finally sold to dealers as used cars. We had one and I think it was dark blue.
As a side note, a couple of weeks ago I drove 6 hours to Rugby, Tennessee and there were more TRs with V8s than I think we ever sold at the dealership.

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, Oregon, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1483156 by RangerMK
If you get the Fiat, is there a local garage that can work on Italian twin-cams and Italian elex? (one of our Triumph club members has commented, "If you think Lucas is bad, wait until you have to deal with Magnetti-Marelli"winking smiley.

To add insult to injury, many of the Fiat electrical parts are Lucas designs licensed by Magnetti-Marelli. The starter in my Mini was Magnetti-Marelli, I took it to the rebuild shop and asked if he could rebuild it. "No sweat" he replied, "It's a Lucas design made in Italy, and I have lots of Lucas spares"

That means when you own a Fiat (Or a mini, apparently), you get the best of both worlds. eye popping smiley

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

lgray001 Avatar
lgray001 Gold Member Larry Gray
Lexington, VA, USA   USA
1976 Triumph TR7 "POS-2"
1979 Triumph TR7 "The Money Pit"
As I mentioned before. on both my FIAT 850 Spyder and my daughter's 124 Sport, rotating the fuses and light bulbs every 6-month were required maintenance.


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RangerMK Avatar
RangerMK Mark Morgan
Ballwin, Missouri, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "HSD"
Holy cow, I never would've thought Magnetti-Marelli licensed Lucas designs. Fortunately, above and beyond the recalcitrant Bosch fuel injection on my 2000 Spider, electrics were never a problem...the frozen alternator, problem, but otherwise...

RangerMK Avatar
RangerMK Mark Morgan
Ballwin, Missouri, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "HSD"
Larry - My dad bought a '70.5 Camaro w/ 350 and 4sp, the Morgan brothers used it one day to set the family land speed record on one of the roads through the range at the north end of Holloman AFB, 125 mph. Only car my pa ever owned that I wanted; I actually told him, "Keep it for two years and I'll buy it when I graduate from college." So naturally, he called one night and said he'd traded it in. "On what?" "A sports car! A Fiat 850!"

Have to admit the 850 was entertaining in a buzzy sort of way, if woefully gutless. I drove it from Holloman to Tucson and back once for a visit with some high school friends, actually reasonably comfortable and managed freeway speeds on I-10 (eventually), but getting over the pass through the Organ Mountains on US 70 and down into Las Cruces seemed to take about a week...think I blew past the NIke Hercules at the top of the grade with my foot to the floor doing all of 25 mph.

I'm keeping an eye out for a 1.5L/5sp later model X1/9 and, as mentioned, a 124 Coupe One of the latter just showed up on Bring A Trailer but it was the third version with the really ugly front and back ends. Groan...

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, california, USA   USA
Doug,

If your looking for options, I've mentioned this before on a number of boards when the topic arises but it just falls on deaf ears----Jensen-Healey! It'll run circles around the Fiat (any Fiat) and the TR-7 and it's very comparable performance wise to the TR-8 for considerably less money. You get to stay in the British family of cars as well. I'm not really sure why people are reluctant to consider them, but I know from experience anyone who's driven one wants one. I guess for whatever reason the Jensen-Healey truly is the black sheep of the family.

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