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Production Figures for Spiders

    I just got a copy of the "Essential Fiat 124 Spider & Coupe by
Martin Buckley"   While flipping through it I found the production
figures for the various revisions to the spider.  According to the
figures the BSI (mine) was manufactured from July 1970 to September
1972.    I compared this to my spider and my parts car.  Both of
which were manufactured in October 1972.  Both are clearly stamped as
BS1 models and have the 1608cc engines(125BC040 engine).  The VIN
numbers are only 1509 apart on my parts car and on the good one.  I
believe both cars were essentially stock ( no engine swaps) since all
of the plates are still intact and I have been able to track the cars
history fairly well.
My question is this:  
   1) how reliable are the fiat production figures?  
   2) Are the VIN #  assigned sequentially or did they skip numbers ?

   3) The 1608cc engine is listed as a 125BC000 yet both of mine
        read 125BC040 what is the significance of the 000 vs. 040 ?
   4)  What is the spares number used for?
   5) can anyone translate the color codes?

I can  probable ask more questions but I think this is enough for
now.   I would appreciate any  help since according to Martin Buckley
I am driving around in a car that can not possibly exist.  I would 
hate to think that the cars exist simply in my brain and that I will
one day wake up from this my fun filled sanity and they will
disappear.  Thanks.

Vince Gulley
1973 green spider (10/72) 
1973 Mostly Rusty White  Spider (10/72) 
Sparky  a 1981 X1/9 RIP

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