Hey friends! I’ve been busy with a ton of new projects. I have some very exciting things in the works for my fellow enthusiasts, and this kind of progress has got me thinking. I thought I would share some brief thoughts that might help owners understand where we are coming from with some of our new offerings…
The Fiat Group Legacy
Fiat has always been a forward thinking company. They continually push existing technological boundaries to increase performance and reliability by utilizing brand new designs and pioneering advances, even despite the costs incurred to themselves. For this reason, they enlisted the help of other forward thinkers, like Karl Abarth, the Pininfarina design house, and engine designer Aurelio Lampredi.
Fiat revolutionized the automotive industry with the utilization of Aurelio Lampredi’s belt-driven timing, dual overhead cam four cylinder in the Fiat 124. Rather than continue with the familiar, proven, and inexpensive pushrod motors used in economy cars of the time, they chose to press forward with a much better design. The Lampredi DOHC was produced, in various forms, all the way through 1999, and became the inspiration for numerous Japanese motors, which are generally renowned for reliability and power-per-displacement.
During development of the 124 Sport Spider, Fiat chose the bold design put forward by American-born, then-Pininfarina-designer Tom Tjaarda. The body style was years ahead of its time, and particularly unusual in a ’60s European budget-priced automobile, where the right-angle was the favored styling cue, and the Euro-box the almost universal result.
When Fiat wanted a competitive rally car, they called upon long-time partner and forward-thinker Karl Abarth. Abarth and his team went to work retrofitting the 124 Spider with modern features such as independent rear suspension, a custom cast 16 valve cylinder head, and redesigned front suspension. He didn’t keep it stock, he took it forward. And he made it competitive.
Keeping in Step
I am very proud to be a part of the Vick Autosports family, where we have followed in Fiat group’s innovative footsteps, especially since it is their exceptional cars which we offer support for. This same creativity, forward thinking, and engineering prowess has brought you advances like VAS Programmable Fuel Injection kits, VAS Improvement Brakes for Fiat 124, and Prima 3 Tubular Control Arms for Fiat 124. I’m confident that, if they’d had technology like this available to them when they designed great cars like the Fiat and Alfa Spiders, the Fiat X1/9, the Lancia Beta/Scorpion, etc., they would have used it! Why am I so confident? Because they use these technologies today!