Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Fiat-Pininfarina Papers

In 1999 Fiat marked a significant anniversary: it was their hundredth birthday.
Within the remarkable role played by Fiat in Italy's economic and social life, Pininfarina highlighted during that year its relationship with the Fiat Company,  a relationship of such significance and importance that has had a profound effect upon the way the Pininfarina Company was at that time.
Click on the images below to see and hear (through the orginal Fiat voice-over) about their unique collaboration over this period of a hundred years in sketches of time.
           Click this image to see and listen to the Fiat-Pininfarina Papers - part 1
  The same for part 2
  For part 3
  And for part 4

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fiat 124 Spider paint colors, numbers and years

On special request of several 124 Spider owners, I sorted out the numerous paint numbers and colors for the different production types over the many production years of our 124 Spider.  An orderly summary you find HERE.
The information was checked and double-checked through reliable, inside Pininfarina sources !

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


It is certainly giving satisfaction that a few major international websites like the English PININFARINA website on Wikiwand (the renewed Wikipedia), the English FIAT 124 SPIDER website on Wikiwand  and the official documentary website of late TOM TJAARDA are referring to a number of articles that I wrote and made for and my blog La Bella Macchina. I granted the requests for publication to these web sites.

The quoted references to my pages below were the first pages I immediately and completely restored and put online again after the hacking  of my site in 2014.  

These references can be found
- at the  PININFARINA  page  - 1 -  1a
- at the  FIAT 124 SPIDER  page  1 -  1a
- at the  TOM TJAARDA  website  1 -  1a  -  2  -  2a  -  3  -  3a  -  4  -  4a  -  5   -  5a

But  BEST OF ALL  are my regular loyal visitors from all over the world, every week again !
Last week these visitors came from 27 ( ! ) different countries, from:
Argentina - Australia - Belgium - Canada - Czech Republic - Denmark - France - French Guiana - Germany - Hungary - Iceland - India - Indonesia - Israel - Italy - Japan - Mexico - Moldova - Netherlands - New-Zealand - Poland - Russian Federation - Slovakia - Sweden - Switzerland - United Kingdom and United States of America.

Cool, right?

Friday, December 22, 2017

A colourful 2018 !

With - living legend - virtuoso guitarist Steve Morse's magnificent guitar solo,
I send you all my very best wishes for the New Year.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

My 124 Spider's history

The first owners of my elegant white 124 convertible were  GERTRUDE and MANFORD WETZEL  who lived in 1979 at the time of their 124 Spider purchase at  1760 Avenida del Mundo #803  in Coronado, a luxurious  suburb of San Diego  California.  
From  their wonderful apartment  right at the beach, they had a  spectacular view  over the  Pacific Ocean .   

According to the "Fiat Owners Service Book 1979",   an additional all inclusive note  and  the radio warranty,  the car was bought by the Wetzel couple on February 19, 1979 at  Harrison Motor Inc.  located at 141 Broadway in Chula Vista ( San Diego ).

Manford - graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at  West Point  -  had as a  U.S. Air Force Colonel  an impressive Air Force career.  As a bomber pilot in WWII  he got seriously injured and became in later years a 'Disabled American Veteran', witnessing  a decal  that is still on my Spider's side window. 
Due to cardiac problems he died on October 29, 1980, so he drove his beloved Spider only for one and a half year.  After his death,  Manford was reburied in the sacred military grounds of West Point as a token of recognition of his great Air Force career. 

For pure sentimental reasons,  Gertrude  kept "his" car in  her luxurious apartment house  with a climatological conditioned garage for about 16 years.  And ... she did not drive the car for 1 single mile in all those years !

When Gertrude died in 1992, her daughter Patricia sold ( most probably in 1995 ) the Spider from the Wetzel family to Jonathan Young Lee, living at that time at 11355, Affinity Court #184 in North-San Diego.  And he sold the car on February 9, 1996 ( through car dealer  Mossy Nissan Inc.  at Escondido, Cal. ) and  Neil Motors ( now Automaxx )  located at 905 Hoover Avenue in National City, San Diego to  Joseph Motor Imports (non existent anymore)  at 1531 National City Boulevard, also in National City, San Diego.  

Short after this last event, the Fiat Spider was discovered by mere accident by a  Dutch friend of mine  who was driving around and visiting a large number of car dealers in and around San Diego in search of some Ford Mustangs for export to Europe. 
His attention was drawn by a sharp flash of sunlight on a white convertible while he was driving along one of the uncountable number of car dealers in and around San Diego. 

After a curious, closer look and inspection he could not deny nor resist  the perfect state  of the convertible and decided to buy it  ( paid cash at the backseat of his rental car )  and have it shipped to Holland, because my friend knew that this convertible would be just the convertible I was looking for. 

However, before lading by the  shipping company AFL  a number of  registration-,  export declarations 1  and  and  formalities  needed to be complied with.  AFL made for insurance reasons an  exact report of the exterior of the Spider  before entering the ship in a large wooden crate. Here  in front of the shipping company waiting for embarkation to Rotterdam at  the Chula Vista harbor wharf.

As the last person in this line, I bought the car from my friend short after it arrived in the harbor of Rotterdam, Holland.

Because the first owner's name was Manford ( an Americanization of the name Manfred ) Wetzel, I went in search on the internet of the family name Wetzel in and around San Diego. To my great astonishment I found hundreds equal family names !
On the basis of zip codes of the many cities and suburbs around San Diego, and quarters swallowed down by the metropolis  (like the outskirts Coronado, Chula Vista and National City)  I filtered these addresses on their postal codes and left over about 24 Wetzel addresses that appeared to be presumable that there were living persons, who possibly could tell me something more about the subjects of my search: Manford and Gertrude Wetzel.

In a letter stating who I am and what the reason was of my letter and to whom I was in search of, I wrote to these 24 Wetzels in the San Diego area by post. Subsequently I received three replies ( all others were indifferent to my letter and did not react ): two did not know the existence of any Manford Wetzel and one was positive.

The positive reaction was from a man called Tony Wetzel , who wrote that Manford and Gertrude were his uncle and aunt, but regrettably both passed away some years ago.
Through a central registration office of the California Death Records I actually found online the death certificates with some additional personal data of the deceased  Manford  and Gertrude. 

Tony Wetzel informed me also, that Manford had a son Robert who was killed in an aircraft accident in 1959 and a daughter Pat ( or Patricia ), who lives in San Antonio, Texas, where her husband, Major David G. Wood, is stationed with the U.S. Air Force as well.

Together with Tony Wetzel's letter was a reprint of  Manford Wetzel's obituary  written by Manford's brother,  Lieutenant General Emery S. Wetzel,  United States Air Force, informing me about more details of the very first owner of my 124 Spider. 

My Spider is still   looking very good  with her ( ! ) original first white car lacquer !

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A lovely, sensual Italian lady

 The well-known US car magazine  CAR and DRIVER  published the very first Fiat 124 Spider road test, dated August 1968, opening the article with the very poetic text:
A lady.
A lovely, sensual, responsive Italian lady.
There is no other way of thinking about the Fiat 124 Spider, it's time you knew it. Like women to dream about, the really good Italian cars have always had a mysterious irresistibility and an eagerness to please. Somehow, they seem to exist solely for the pleasure of their drivers.

There are moments of passing poignancy, a gentle soft scent of perfume in the lush evening air of summer and those moments are the Ferraris and the Maseratis and the Lamborghinis.
 Be now informed that the delightful Italian automotive personality exists in a modestly priced Fiat.

Where there are moments of tight-jawed hardship with the British cars, all is sweet willingness with Italy's 124.

See the CAR and DRIVER road test pages   1     2     3     4     5     and smile....

Monday, December 11, 2017

124 Vraagbaak / 124 Reference Book

Piet Olyslager's Autovraagbaak is voor de technisch geïnteresseerde automobilist/sleutelaar een betrouwbare inlichtingenbron voor o.a. veilig onderhoud en hulp bij pech.

De Vraagbaak is een combinatie van een bedieningshandleiding en een beknopt werkplaatshandboek. Ze vermeldt alles over bediening en onderhoud en geeft richtlijnen voor het uit- en inbouwen van hoofdcomponenten en voor demontage, montage en afstellen ervan. De tekst wordt toegelicht met vele foto's en glasheldere tekeningen van constructiedetails.

Anthony's nawoord:
Deze zorgvuldig gemaakte bestanden zijn exclusief gemaakt en bedoeld voor de Fiat 124 Spider en Coupé bezitters en NIET ten behoeve van enig commercieel doel.
Directe navraag bij uitgeverij Kluwer over een eventuele herdruk van het Fiat 124 boek leerde mij, dat men bij Kluwer wel overweegt bepaalde zeer veel gevraagde boeken uit de serie te herdrukken, maar dat dit voor de Fiat 124 uitgave zeker niet het geval zal zijn vanwege de te kleine interesse- c.q. doelgroep.

Daarom hierbij als een verzameling  PDF bestanden - circa 125 Meg. (deze zijn het mooist, ook om af te drukken),  een serie  JPG-bestanden  als plaatjes - circa 80 Meg, of een  EXE-bestand  als een dia-serie - circa 110 Meg.  Alle bestanden zijn ge-zipt en moeten na het downloaden worden uitgepakt.
Piet Olyslager's Dutch 124 Spider reference book is a reliable source of information for the technically interested driver / tinkerer for, among other things, safe maintenance and breakdown assistance.

The reference book ( all in the Dutch language ) is a combination of an operating manual and a concise workshop manual. It mentions everything about operation and maintenance and provides guidelines for the removal and installation of main components and for disassembly, assembly and adjustment. The text is explained with many photographs and crystal-clear drawings of construction details.

Anthony's afterword:
These carefully drawn up files are exclusively made and intended for the Fiat 124 Spider and Coupe owners and NOT for any commercial purpose.
A direct inquiry at the publisher Kluwer about a possible reprint of the Fiat 124 book taught me, that Kluwer is considering to reprint certain much requested books from the series, but that for the Fiat 124 edition certainly will not be the case because of the too small interest or target group.

Therefore, here as a collection of  PDF files - approximately 125 Meg. (these are the best, also for printing), a series of  JPG files  as images - about 80 Meg, or an  EXE file  as a slide series - about 110 Meg. All files are zipped and must be unpacked after downloading.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

124 Spider Types & Specifications

For detailed specifications of all the Fiat 124 Spider types, construction years,  produced numbers for the European and the US market, engine specifications, chassis numbers and additional specifications of produced types, click the picture below.

To page Types & Specifications

Winter Tips

Because cars were made to be driven regularly, winter storage - or any prolonged period of storage - can really take its toll, unless people take a few precautions to protect their vehicle while it's in hibernation.
A little work now can protect your precious vehicle from rust, animals and other storage-related headaches. To help Spider owners keep their stored vehicles in good shape, here are a few tips.

Tip 1
Get it out of the elements! No amount of precautions will protect a car that is stored outside where the sun, rain, or snow will beat on it day in and day out. Put it under a canopy or keep it in the garage.

Tip 2

Keep the fuel fresh. When gasoline sits, it can break down and form gum and varnish, which will clog a fuel system. What's more, any moisture left in the system can cause rust. The solution: Add a container of fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, then fill the tank to the top right before putting the vehicle into storage. The short drive home from the gas station will circulate the stabilized fuel throughout the system, keeping the gas fresh and the system safe until the vehicle is ready to ride again.

Tip 3

Don't let the cooling system freeze during the winter. Drain the system (including the radiator) and refill it with a rust-inhibiting antifreeze.

Tip 4

Change the oil. It's important to remove any acid, moisture and other contaminants from an engine by changing the oil and filter before putting a vehicle to sleep for the winter. It's okay to use the same-viscosity oil as usual, as long as the oil contains corrosion protection.

Tip 5

Avoid flat-spotting the tires. A vehicle that sits for a long period of time can ruin a set of radial tires. The best way to save those expensive tires is to store the vehicle up on jack stands. Some people also may want to remove the vehicle's wheels and tires—or let some air out of the tires to reduce strain on the shocks and other suspension components.

Tip 6

Keep the battery alive. When a battery loses its charge over time, it can freeze and explode. To avoid a dangerous mess, hook up a battery charger/maintainer, which will keep the battery properly charged, no matter how long the vehicle sits.  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tjaarda Design - part 10 - Summary

This is the last edition of a series of  9 previous TJAARDA DESIGN- stories that Tom Tjaarda entrusted me and were published on my blog. This 10th edition with a detailed summary of all his automotive design projects was on my former website from mid-March 2004 till December 2014 and when my site was hacked all this detailed information was lost.

Because of the beasty job to find all this information back again, this last edition was not on my blog till now and I am proud to present it to you finally   HERE  .
It finalizes the complete TJAARDA DESIGN AUTOMOTIVE WORKS  that can be characterized in Tjaarda's own professional credo: perfect harmony of proportions, shapes and lines.

Though the designer's life was somewhat simpler during the Pantera's heyday, Tjaarda said that:  " Styling and quality have been elevated to such a high standard that a large portion of automotive design has reached a level of similarity the world over.
Now the challenge is improving the current, exceptional standards, while at the same time, making cars that are dissimilar - not between countries, but between manufacturers ".

A summary of all previous TJAARDA DESIGN editions on my blog you'll find below:

Tjaarda Design - part 1 - Foreword

Tjaarda Design - part 2 - Coming to Italy

Tjaarda Design - part 3 - Carrozzeria Ghia

Tjaarda Design - part 4 - Italia 61

Tjaarda Design - part 5 - Pininfarina

Tjaarda Design - part 6 - Ghia DeTomaso

Tjaarda Design - part 7 - Sinthesis

Tjaarda Design - part 8 - Fiat Auto

Tjaarda Design - part 9a - Rayton Fissore 1

Tjaarda Design - part 9b - Rayton Fissore 2

And for those who need more than words about the close contact I had with Tom Tjaarda, maybe  this image   or  this image   might help.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

La Macchina Eternamente

Spider fun for 124 Spider enthusiasts. 
Just for a smile....

  It already offered me a lot of fun in making it.
Enjoy, like I did !  Look at  YOUTUBE .

Friday, December 1, 2017

My former SPIDERSWEB - part 2

Found also back the very nice letters from Tom Tjaarda he wrote in the first months of 2004, just a few months after my very first steps on the world wide web with

He was flabbergasted to read and hear from me as the first individual 124 Spider owner / lover to contact him directly and personally in Torino. I replied that I hardly could believe him and said he was obviously making a joke with so many 124 Spider clubs and enthusiasts spread all over the world.
"No no no", he replied decisively, "you are absolutely the very first individual 124 Spider owner who directly contacted me, apart from appointments and encounters that I had with professional car magazine journalists".

"Reason why I will write exclusively for you and your magnificent website the complete 'making-of ' the 124 Spider story that I never told or wrote anyone before. One of the coming days, when I am in the right mood, I will write you this story, I promise".

And Tom kept his promise ! 
Read his story by clicking on the blue text 'Fiat 124 Spider' in the second  square box at the right side of this text block. 


And then he wrote on March 4, 2004:

Dear Mr. Westen,
We in our office saw your website today and all were very impressed by your expertise to create such an interesting and professional presentation.

I would like to thank you for expressing such vivid interest not only in the Fiat 124 Spyder, but also regarding design and other related cultural subjects. It was a pleasure to be able to participate in your magnificent website.

Tom Tjaarda - Torino, Italy


And on March 16, 2004 he wrote again:

Dear Mr. Westen,

I had a great Sunday in Modena at the Fiat 124 Society which hosted a really wonderful gathering of about a hundred members of that car club. I was picked up at the train station, naturally with a 124 Spyder, and suddenly I realized how small the car really is, but in any case, also how enthusiastic they all are about the car.

Am surprised that the Italian mail system is now functioning very well and you have already received the material which I sent. Actually I sent this to you thinking that it would be useful for your archives and to use it as you wish, when the need comes up, since you are interested in many forms of art, design and architecture.

Interesting that you are a jewelry designer. Where I live in the hills of Torino, my neighbor is married to the nephew of Pietro Frua, the famous Torinese auto designer. He is a well known jewelry designer himself and also owner of the entire Frua archives which is housed on the property where I live. I am sure that you learned patience from your profession.

Let me know if you need something more concerning my work or if I can be useful in some way.
I will have to create a new website soon, more complete and up to date and so I may call in on your expertise on this project if you can spare the time and naturally accept being paid for this service.

But for now I have enough to think about concerning the new PSV vehicle we are reading for production and also a new sports car which should be ready for next years Geneva show. All the best for now,
Tom Tjaarda


Anthony's afterword:
A few months after Tom Tjaarda's request to me, he met the German car historian Stefan Dierkes, who already had set up the history archive of the well-known Italian car designer Pietro Frua, which archive resided at Tom Tjaarda's property.
Mr. Dierkes then also made the archive for Tom Tjaarda and set it online in this website as a clear and simple list of facts and figures.

After publication of the site, I did not want to interfere or force myself forward in this matter out of respect, although I had a completely different website in mind for Tom Tjaarda.

My former SPIDERSWEB - part 1

As you might remember, my website was hacked twice in the last week of December 2013 and the first week of January 2014 and all my more than 500 ( bilingual ) web pages were infected by morbid malware intentionally, sent by outside sick morons so that I had no control over my heavily infected site anymore.

After more than 10 years ( from 2003 on ) designing, creating, writing, translating, illustrating and - last but not least - financing privately, I had to remove all the infected files, photos, images, videos and music, and to close my site instantaneously after consultation with my hosting company, when the site was infected for the second time on January 10. 2014.

The bad news: more than 5000 hours work gone down the drain.
The good news: not all was lost: I still had clean and uneffected copies of many thousands articles, pictures, letters, e-mails and interesting material still on an external hard disk as a dear treasure-chest !

A few days ago I bumped into the old intro pages of my former Spidersweb that I wanted to show you again for sentimental reasons. Just click  here  after turning your loud-speakers open.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Unique Fiat 124 Spider jigsaw puzzles

For about twenty years, I purchased in Russia from the Moscow student Lena Pankratova a magnificent jigsaw puzzle game that she had created to be able to pay and complete her studies.

I never ever play computer games, but thought this was so superbly created, that I could not resist its temptation. It really is by far the greatest and best created digital jigsaw puzzle game in the world !

 Because I wanted all her available jigsaws at that time ( only with a limited small amount of jigsaws the program is free )  I transferred the amount due to her bank account in Moscow and she forwarded me simultaneously the program by mail. Additionally with a small tool to transfer any photo or image in a new jigsaw puzzle.

This beautiful jigsaw puzzle game will bring you a lot of fun during many long winter evenings. Just with so many different features, that it takes too long to explain everything here. Find out for yourself !

* Download the Jigsaw Puzzle program here
* The 8 special Fiat 124 Spider jigsaws   here
* And a few nice ones for your kids         here

The Fiat 124 Spider- and Kids-jigsaws puzzles are zipped in two separate files that should be unzipped and moved or copied straight into the program directory, leaving the 8 Spider-jigsaw files in a new  ' Fiat124Spider ' directory and the Kids-jigsaws in a new directory ' Kids '.
To be able to open the Spider- and Kids jigsaw puzzles, enter the login name and password that you find in the text file which is also enclosed.

For your kids you will be able to make a jigsaw in 24 ( or less, depending on their age ) large pieces that can be handled easily. The amount of pieces can be increased to a maximum of more than 1100 pieces selecting from a number of different piece-shapes, well ordered or randomly mixed and ( to make it even much more complex ) the option of rotation of all the pieces. The choice is completely yours !  Image examples of these 8 Spider jigsaw puzzles can be viewed here .

The most attractive option is the possibility to save your jigsaw work after i.e. 5 minutes or half an hour fiddling and continue your partly made puzzle one hour, one day or a week later. It may be well understood, that you will have to save your jigsaw every time as soon as you close and leave the program.
In case you would like to have transformed pictures of your own 124 Spider  (or any other personal picture, photograph or image ) purchase the program at Lena Pankratova's website to register the BIGJIG Jigsaw Puzzle game on your own name and get an additional tool to change all your personal images into fascinating new jigsaw puzzles.

Sure, you are not the only  jigsaw puzzle addict....... enjoy this wonderful winter game !

Friday, November 24, 2017

French CAR-cartoons

CLAUDE SERRE (1938-1994) was a celebrated French cartoonist, draughtsman and illustrator. Famous for his bizarre sense of humor and beautiful detailed drawings.

After academic studies, he studied the craft of stained glass for eight years. He then started drawing cartoons and became an illustrator for many French journals, including Plexus, Planet, Hara-Kiri, Lui, Pariscope and La Vie Electrique. He also began illustrating books.

He incorporated his interest in the fantastic into many of his early lithographs, which were published, sometimes exclusively, in many countries including Japan and Germany. He also participated in both group and solo exhibitions.

Claude Serre died at the age of 60 in a car accident.
Many books were published about his work, from which one is titled L'AUTOMOBILE.

His web site with a number of his albums and cartoons you find HERE.
His unique cartoon album L'AUTOMOBILE  you can admire   HERE .

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lampredi: " Engines don't drink, they breathe "

Aurelio Lampredi ( 1917 - 1989 ) was very tall for an Italian.
He dressed with the expensive casualness of an English country gentleman.
When he talked to you, he drew with a wet felt-tip as if his mind could not work without the fluent movement of his fingers.
He was, by his own admission, one of the three men most responsible for the car you drove in the last decades (the others being Ferdinand Porsche and Colin Chapman).

His early years at Ferrari
When he went to work for Ferrari in 1946 all unblown racing engines gave about 50 bhp per litre. And in races of 500 kilometers most of them exploded. Yet within a couple of years he increased Ferrari's output to 100 bhp per litre. And they finished every race. First.

What working on aero engines taught him
He was applying the principles he'd learned earlier in his life when designing aero engines at Piaggio and Isotta Fraschini (trying to push as much oxygen in as possible and building them so they finish every flight or journey).
He concentrated on improving the airflow into the engine rather than streamlining the body shells as everyone was doing.
"When an athlete's short of breath, he's short of strength", he says. Thus he made the ducts inside the manifold and cylinder head more aerodynamic, so they breathed better.

What goes in must come out
He also redesigned the exhaust system.  
The faster the exhaust gasses can get out, the faster fresh oxygen can get in.
His idea was the double exhaust system, connected in pairs, and turned like a trumpet to match the inlet. A system still used on all racing cars, Ferraris, Fiats and Lancias at that time and during the following 30 years.

The production line
In 1955 he got the opportunity to see if his principles worked on the production line when he moved to Fiat. They worked beyond all their hopes, increasing the output of their engines by no less than 18 bhp. And because they were turning over more efficiently, they lasted longer: an average of 150,000 kms.
Among the many engines he designed from scratch the  Fiat 130, the Mirafiori Abarth two litre  (World Rally Champion three times) and the 127 Diesel. An early innovation of his was the 124 engine with double overhead camshafts and a timing belt instead of chains.
He subsequently increased this unique engine to 1600, 1800 and 2000 cc's, then used it as the model for the revolutionary 128 engine with a single overhead camshaft and a toothed timing belt.
To this day, many years later, no one has designed a better engine. Enlarged it also powered the Strada and the  Lancia Delta.

This kindly giant of a man who originally wanted to be a conductor and still loving the symphonies of the great romantics pondered on the future of the internal combustion engine. Meanwhile he has designed a remarkably quiet, small diesel engine for the Strada. He has blown a series of   Fiat 131  to give 130 bhp while respecting all pollution regulations and improving consumption and torque by 35%.

Aurelio Lampredi was the man largely responsible for the engine of most cars in the seventies, eighties and nineties of the former century.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lampredi's Dedicated Fan - part 2

So, as in many situations.... the lady (then Martijn's girlfriend) determined the final choice for a convertible and combined with his pronounced preference for a Lampredi engine, he decided for a Fiat 124 Spider.

After some research, a specific Spider was bought of which he had the idea that with some "tender loving care" it would be quite the car he was looking for.
And .... also could be their perfect wedding car a few months later !

Anyhow, after his purchase, he found out that the car had made far too many kilometers without any servicing, so in his opinion a direct revision of the engine would be most required. In that time an acquaintance brought to his attention Phil Ward's book "Fiat & Lancia Twin Cams". In this "Twin-cam bible" is described in all details how to tune and upgrade a twin-cam engine. So as you may guess, the revision of the engine of his Spider did not get a simple standard overhaul.

According to his character, doing half-hearted things is far from his nature. And taking the long road improving an engine (and car) to perfection there seems to be no end at all, together with all the information and advises during this almost endless journey: it took him 16 years and 4000 hours !
And yes, meanwhile Martijn & Mariëlle married in another car than their Spider....

Pictures mostly explain more than a thousand words.
So enjoy all visual details of the modifications of Martijn's unique 124 Spider down here and

Technical support, advice & survey: Spider specialist  Bas Gielen

Zoals zo vaak in zulke situaties.... bepaalde de vrouw (toen Martijn's vriendin) de uiteindelijke keuze voor een cabrio en in combinatie met Martijn's uitgesproken technische voorkeur voor een Lampredi krachtbron, besloot hij dat het dan een Fiat 124 Spider moest worden.

Na wat speurwerk werd een specifieke Spider gekocht waarvan hij het idee had, dat met wat "liefdevolle zorg" het helemaal de cabrio kon worden die hij zocht.
En .... toen ook zijn perfecte trouwauto kon zijn voor over 'n paar maanden !

Hoe dan ook, na zijn aankoop bleek dat de auto heel veel meer kilometers zonder enige service of onderhoud had gemaakt, dus zou een directe revisie van de motor volgens hem zeker dringend noodzakelijk zijn. In die tijd maakte een kennis hem ook attent op Phil Ward's boek "Fiat & Lancia Twin Cams". In deze "Twin-cam bijbel" wordt gedetailleerd beschreven, hoe een twin-cam motor opgevoerd en afgesteld moest worden.
Dus zoals je wel kunt raden, kreeg hierdoor de revisie van de Spider-motor niet een gewone "standaard" opknapbeurt.

Overeenkomstig zijn karakter, passen halfzachte oplossingen helemaal niet in zijn aard. En via de weg de motor (en de auto) tot enige perfectie te verbeteren ligt een lange open weg zonder eind, als je alle tussentijdse informatie en goede adviezen ook meetelt: het kostte hem 16 jaar en 4000 uur !
En ja, Martijn en Mariëlle trouwden in een andere auto dan in hun Spider....

Afbeeldingen en foto's vertellen vaak meer dan 1000 woorden.
Dus geniet hierbij van alle visuele details van de modifikaties en aanpassingen van Martijn's unieke 124 Spider hieronder en  OP  YOUTUBE .

Technische ondersteuning, advies & expertise: Spider specialist 
Bas Gielen


01  Balanced: crank, flywheel, rods and pistons - 25% lightened flywheel
02  Beta 1600 pistons boost compression up to 10.1 - 2000 Type water pump
03  130tc Fully ported head (specifications Guy Croft)
04  Equalized combustion chambers volume
05  Dimpled inlet to increase air flow, multiple angle valve seats
06  Custom valve guides (B1 copper/zinc/aluminum). These Lubricate under high °C
07  130tc-type head gasket and yield-type head bolts
08  Cam timing 26/66/66/26 lift 9.514. Adjustable cam pulley’s
09  Modified auxiliary shaft
10  Electric full race fuel pump (regulator required)
11  Fuel pressure regulator
12  Creating oil pressure before first run           
13  16-Row oil cooler
14  Thermostatically controlled
15  Completely overhauled Weber IDF 40 carburetors
16  CNC machined venturi using copper-calibrated tubes for the fuel intake
17  Installing the venturis
18  Left side upgrade - right side original setup
19  This setup provides torque at high rpm
20  By remaining the original 40 throttle valve there is no loss of bottom power
21  This would happen with a bigger setup (44 mm Weber’s)

22  Port matched intake manifold to prevent airflow obstructions
23  Custom made air horns. Full radius - completely CNC machined, creating more air intake
24  These trumpets are speeding up the airflow enhancing the response of the engine
25  K&N sport filter
26  Electronic ignition with high voltage coil (65000) improving the ignition of modern fuel
27  High performance ignition control module
28  Best standard manifold is the BS1 1600 because of tube-dimensions
29  Ceramic coated to prevent heath build-up (standard manifold used with standard cams)
30  Most effective standard exhaust system is the 1800
31  Tubes are 50 mm like an Abarth-system

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lampredi's Dedicated Fan - part 1

"Thank you Aurelio Lampredi for designing such a magnificent masterpiece", Martijn Voigt often said and thought many years ago about the "heart" of his very first car: the  Lancia Beta H.P. Executive.

The thrill of this early and exciting automotive experience never left his mind and made the decision for another car in later years, easy: it definitely should have a Lampredi twin-cam engine, Martijn knew for sure.
Martijn's wife Mariëlle - then his girlfriend - suggested with a romantic smile, that it possibly could be a convertible this time and the new car was born, the name: Fiat 124 Spider !

After 16 years and more than 4000 hours of complete restorating and rebuilding: enjoy here Martijn's and Mariëlle's magnificent  NEW DAZZLING CREATION .

"Bedankt Aurelio Lampredi voor dit prachtig stuk meesterwerk", zei en dacht Martijn Voigt vele jaren geleden vaak over het "hart" van zijn allereerste automobiel: de  Lancia Beta H.P. Executive.

De opwinding van die vroege, allesoverheersende auto-ervaring is nooit meer uit zijn hoofd weg geweest en maakte de beslissing voor een andere auto in latere jaren gemakkelijk: het moest hoe dan ook wéér met een Lampredi twin-cam motor zijn, wist Martijn heel zeker.
Martijn's vrouw Mariëlle - toen zijn vriendin - stelde met een romantische glimlach voor, dat het deze keer dan ook een cabrio zou kunnen zijn en de nieuwe auto was geboren, de naam: Fiat 124 Spider !

Na 16 jaar en meer dan 4000 uren van volledige restauratie en opnieuw opbouwen: geniet hier van Martijn's en Mariëlle's  NIEUWE OOGVERBLINDENDE CREATIE

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tom Tjaarda, a unique designer and an amiable man

The half-Dutchman designer that you should have known

Last week on June 1, died at the age of 82, the legendary car designer Tom Tjaarda. Legendary? Tjaarda? Not the only car designer from Dutch born origin: there are more famous Dutch car designers nowadays.

 In full his name was Steven Thompson Tjaarda van Starkenburg and although he was born in automobile-city Detroit, he was the son of the Dutch Jan Tjaarda van Starkenburg, who once emigrated to the US as John Tjaarda also became well-known as a car designer. About his design studies, known as the "Sterkenberg Series", it is said that these influenced Ferdinand Porsche's Hitler car design and the Volkswagen beetle design. Father John earned finally word-wide fame for the at that time very futuristic looking Lincoln Zephyr (1936).

Tom was a student in architecture at the Michigan University, scouted by the Ghia Design Studios where he was trained on the job in Italy as from 1958. After two years he moved to competitor Pininfarina. In his career he switched several times between these two design houses, via Fiat and Ford finally ending in his own design studio. His remarkable consistent career brought him the unofficial title "last of the gentlemen-designers", not only because he was extremely modest and friendly, a characteristic that all his students would confirm. All his designs were sophisticated and noble, because of their extreme understatement.

In his eighty-two years on earth, he created some of the most memorable designs, from basic transportation vehicles to dream machines. He took a C2 Corvette, made a new body from steel, gave it enough Italian flair to be something different, and called it the Corvette Rondine. He designed the original Ford Fiesta around the same time he was whipping up the DeTomaso Pantera, two cars that couldn’t possibly be more different if they tried.

There was the Fiat 124 Spider, the original one, and the Shelby Series 1, two roadsters with two very different personalities. There was the DeTomaso Longchamp, a three-box coupe that looked muscular and traditional, easy to pull off in 1972 but still looked good ten and fifteen years later. He worked with Ferrari and designed two Ferrari's of the non-noisy type, the 365 California (1966) and the super-sophisticated 330 GT 2+2 (1964), Innocenti, Chrysler, Ford, Ghia, Aston Martin, Spyker, LaForza, and others.

And he got worldwide fame by his two amazing elegant sports cars: the almost forgotten Innocenti 950 Spider (1960) and the Fiat 124 Spider (1966) - the latter being such a historic, successful design, that last year a retro-version was launched. Many styling cues recall the original 124 Spider like the muscular front and rear fender, the sharp horizontal rear lamps to the power domes on the hood. Characteristic design details deliberately derived from the original design from Tom Tjaarda.




Monday, January 4, 2016

The dream goes on

Apart from all technical blah-blah......



Sunday, November 29, 2015

One Hundred - I made it !

  / story / info / news / leader / column / comment / headline / text / blog / series /
background / tidings / message / report / notice and communication  about

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider 2016 Screensaver

Although screensavers are obsolete nowadays, I had a lot of fun making a screensaver of a bunch of new Fiat 124 Spider images. To share this fun with you, I made different zip-files to be able to download and install this screensaver. Make your choice out of either one of these 2 methods:

1. a so-called .scr file ( screensaver file ) that should be unzipped and copied directly in your Windows\Sysnative or Windows\System32 directory dependent on your Windows system and can be downloaded  HERE,

2. or a small and easy installation proggie, when unzipped can be installed directly on your system and should be downloaded  HERE.
And last but not least, you are able to  MUTE SOUND  in the screensaver  SETTINGS  and vice versa.
Enjoy  !  ( like I did  ) 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Where’s Charlie? Has Fiat Cut Sheen?



In light of Charlie Sheen’s announcement about being HIV positive, Fiat has decided to shelve plans of rolling out a Fiat 124 Spider ad featuring the  CONTROVERSIAL ACTOR

Fiat hired Charlie Sheen to promote the Abarth 500’s US launch several years ago through a commercial called “ HOUSE ARREST ” and recently he was asked to star in a 124 Spider ad. However, it’s highly unlikely the clip will be aired as The Detroit Bureau reports Fiat is not too happy with  CHARLIE SHEEN'S ANNOUNCEMENT  about being HIV positive. This makes sense since airing the ad would not have a positive impact on Fiat’s image and consequently on 124 Spider’s sales.

Interestingly, an incomplete video of the ad was played on November 3 to reporters gathered at a sneak preview event for the Fiat 124 Spider organized at  FCA’S HEADQUARTERS  in Michigan. The ad hasn’t aired at the LA Auto Show as marketing chief Olivier Francois has decided to put it in a “drawer of creative material”, according to spokeswoman Diane Martin. She did not exclude the possibility of launching the ad at some point in the future, but obviously this is unlikely to happen soon.

Based on the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Fiat 124 Spider is scheduled to go on sale in United States and Europe in 2016.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2016 FIAT 124 SPIDER !


  3.VIDEO PREVIEW        

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fiat 124 caught entirely undisguised

Source:  / Author: Brandon Turkus  / Image credit: Fiat

Dear automakers, please continue making these kind of mistakes. Thanks to what we're guessing is some lax security, the all-new, Mazda MX-5 Miata-based Fiat 124 was spotted taking part in a photo shoot near Santa Barbara, CA.

The images show what we'd consider a fairly simple rebadging job. The 124 gets new front and rear clips that not only harken back to the original 124 (not to mention other Fiat roadsters, like the Barchetta), but also serves to distance this droptop from the rest of the company's US range.

The similarities between the 124 and the car it's based on are even more obvious in the cabin. This is an MX-5 interior with Fiat's big, red badge on the tiller. That means the same quality materials and knob-dial infotainment system that have been so well received in the Miata.

It's under the hood, though, where the Fiat really differs from its Japanese cousin. According to our spy, the vehicle shown here features some kind of two-pedal setup – probably the six-speed Euro twin-clutch used in the 500L and Dodge Dart. Don't worry, though, a six-speed stick will also be on offer. Regardless of transmission, we can expect a 180-horsepower version of the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder offered in the 500 Abarth. And if that's not enough good news, a dedicated Abarth model will likely arrive after launch, which our spies claim will use the 1.75-liter turbo and DCT from the Alfa Romeo 4C.

While this represents a good look at the new 124, we'll probably be waiting until the LA Auto Show in November for the official look. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider spied with top down

Source: / Author: Chris Bruce / Image Credit: Chris Doane Automotive
With fall officially here, the days are rapidly running out for much of the country to put the top down and enjoy a convertible. Fiat apparently wants to take advantage of the good weather while it lasts, given these fresh spy shots of the 124 Spider testing with the roof down.

In terms of styling, these photos show the droptop with an extremely similar look to the ones from July. The roadster still appears to have rounded headlights and a wide grille up front, which the kidney-shaped cladding does nothing to hide. The hood bulge continues to be there, too, and so is the spiderweb-pattern camouflage. However, these new shots let us check out the roll hoops that are visible with the top out of the way, and we even get to see the manual roof in operation. Also, note there are now dual exhausts at the rear, rather than the quad tips from before.

Underneath all this camo and cladding, we know that the 124 Spider shares underpinnings with the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. The engine remains a mystery, but competing rumors suggest the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the current 500 Abarth or the 1.7-liter turbo four from the Alfa Romeo 4C. Thankfully, an answer might not be too far away because the roadster is mooted to debut this year, possibly at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. With the latest Miata receiving high praise from critics, the motoring world soon gets to find out whether Fiat can find any room for improvement.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


A few definitions of waiting:
1. to stay in place in expectation of.
2. to not do something until something else happens.
3. to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon.
4. for me it depends on what I'm  waiting for : in this case the sooner, the better !

Let's talk again about the new and highly anticipated Fiat Spider:
as the numerous spy photos in recent days, increased sightings of road tests sign that the premiere of the " FIAT 124 " or " FIAT 124 SPIDER " - provided that  ONE OF THESE  officially registered TRADEMARKS  will be the final name of the new two-seater sports car  - is fast approaching.

As confirmed in a recent interview by Roberto Giolito, Head of Fiat Design, "the car will look very masculine and to see it one will have to wait just a few months; Geneva Motor Show in 2016 or perhaps even earlier."

Yeah, but what engine will end under the hood of the new Fiat Spider? And what power will get its Abarth variant?
Some American newspapers have even suggested the presence in the range of 124 Spider a turbo version with 1750 Alfa Romeo 4C. Moreover, at first the car was to be born with the snake logo on the hood; that was before the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, SERGIO MARCHIONNE, would owe on the total "Italian and exclusivity mechanical" Alfa.

Exactly for this reason I believe that the engine of the 4C will remain there in its place ( and in the boot of the Giulietta QV ). Because the 4-cylinder turbocharged 1.4 T-Jet FCA, with capacities ranging between 120 and 190 hp, it seems more than appropriate to meet the needs of a very diverse clientele.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 3

Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website  SPIDERSWEB.NL


WHO WAS THERE?   WHAT DID THEY PLAY?  ( click for more details ).
Saturday was the day of the well-known names such as  THE GRATEFUL DEAD,  JANIS JOPLIN  and  THE WHO. The first played their worst concert ever. It was raining and the members of the band got electrical shocks continuously because of the enormous water trouble with all the electrical instruments on stage.

JANIS JOPLIN  had one of the highlights of her career that resulted in a definitive confirmation as a rock-icon. For The Who it meant the salvation of the band. Their recently released rock opera Tommy was after all a major financial disaster and only after the triumph at Woodstock their double album was sold like a hot dog.

JOE COCKER ( HERE or  HERE )  THE BAND,  CROSBY, STILLS, NASH  & YOUNG,  TEN YEARS AFTER  and others played on Sunday. As the smashing conclusion there was the breathtaking show of  JIMI HENDRIX. He started his repertoire at nine o'clock in the morning on Monday and made an unforgettable GRAND FINALE  in which Hendrix played and teared apart the American National Anthem by playing through it the sound of  exploding bombs, jet planes and machine gunfire as his flaming protest against the Vietnam war.
The massive exodus started after his last chords. It was only after days that the traffic in Bethel was back to normal again.

For the organizers the festival stood for a financial disaster of at least two and a half million dollars. This sum was forked out without blinking the eyes by the Roberts family, that earned back a multiplication of this amount for film rights and many released collection albums in the years after.

Woodstock also became a magical aura owing to the movie made by  MICHAEL WADLEIGH.
He rounded up a crew of about 100 from the New York Film scene, including the ( at that time ) unknown movie director  MARTIN SCORSESE. Wadleigh couldn't pay them until much later, but he could get them inside the event of the summer. The crew signed on a double-or-nothing basis. If the film made it, they'd get twice regular pay. If the film bombed, they'd lose.
Wadleigh's plot ran like this: Woodstock would be a modern-day  CANTERBURY TALE,  a pilgrimage back to the land. He wanted the film to be as much about the  HIPPIES  who trekked to Woodstock as about the  MUSIC ON STAGE.  He wanted the stories of the young people, their feelings about the Vietnam War, about the times. The stories of the townspeople and the chaos. These would make the film, not just the music.

The movie meant - together with the triple album - free publicity for the artists for many years. When seeing the movie pictures now one realises that the Summer of Love mainly was a spiritual event, because for the human body this Woodstock weekend was just in one word: exhausting.

Despite the rain and the excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs there was no violence at the festival whatsoever. The Woodstock festival was the subculture  HIGHLIGHT OF THE SIXTIES      and of the hippie era.