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Automobile

review

Roadster Salon Fiat 124 Text by

Don Weberg with Ray Marchica Images provided by

Roadster Salon

I

n issue #23, I recommended that a friend purchase a Fiat 124 Spider to fill his desire for a fun, reliable car that would potentially appreciate in the coming years. Through some discovery, he elected to go with a 124 restored by Roadster Salon in Chicago, Illinois. Roadster Salon is unlike any other restoration shop in the country, as they only restore Fiat Spiders. They carefully screen each vehicle before making it eligible for restoration, rejecting cars with rust problems or significant previous damage, and use them for parts. Because of this dedication to quality and the specific vehicle, their model expertise is astounding, and their 124s are second to none. All of their mechanics are Ferrari factory trained and certified; their paint and bodywork is exemplary; their interior work rivals any other; all things told Roadster Salon likely ranks among the finest

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restorers in the industry. Perhaps most unique though is that Roadster Salon brings fixed-priced packages to the table. The idea is to cater to different expectations and budgets, and I’m not sure of any restoration company that does that. At the time of our initial visit, Roadster Salon had a number of project cars for buyers to choose from, and my friend chose a 1985.5 Pininfarina. A special car indeed, the ’85.5 is among the last 180 or so cars produced, with roughly 50 remaining today. This added tremendous potential for future appreciation, which spoke highly to him. With the car selected, he worked with Ray Marchica, the owner of Roadster Salon, to select a fixed-price package, ultimately choosing their midline Avanzato (advanced) version over the multitude of other packages available, such as Lusso, Ultimo, or Corsa. It was a great choice – cost effective, but restored to

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