Italian Cars/Italian Cars Digest Archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Martin Buckley's book

This book is generating a lot of discussion, and I'm about halfway 
through it, so thought I'd comment again.

I think it's probably poor editing or proof-reading, but there are a LOT 
of errors in the historical information presented in the book. Most 
blatant one I found last night was the new Alfa type door handles were 
first used in 1981 (way wrong; some 1978 model cars had them). Some of 
the British perceptions about Fiats in the USA are a bit misguided, 
though the demise of Fiat and sports cars in general in this country is 
accurately depicted. There are some new facts in this book I haven't read 
before, and if correct are very interesting. Such as:
A) The torque tube rear was discontinued because it caused the rear axle 
housing to break.
B) The spider was designed by American Tom Tjaarda who was employed by 
C) Out of about 198,000 built, around 170,000 were shipped to North 

At one point in the book he talks about the spider transmission being 
changed to a unit with a remote shifter...not on any car in the USA that 
I've ever seen. 

In reading the book, I've started to wonder if the author is a Fiat guy, 
or a writer who decided to make a book on the Fiat 124. The Phil Ward 
book was written by an enthusiast, while Fiat Sports Cars by Graham 
Robson was written by a motor journalist. Both are very good. Martin 
Buckley's writing style is very readable, though he does endlessly whine 
about the 5mph bumpers fitted to the post 74 spiders. Any of our UK list 
members know this guy?

I'll be digesting the chapters on the Coupe and Abarth shortly. It's not 
my goal to trash this book by any means, but I am a bit disappointed in 
some of the information presented being incorrect and potentially 
misleading less knowledgable enthusiasts as they attempt to learn about 
their cars.

I hope to compare the production figures with those in Robson's book to 
see if they are similiar. Robson at least elected to state the figures 
were to be treated with skepticism, while Buckley makes virtually no note 
of the fact the Italians weren't ones for keeping close track of such 

More in a bit....

Dwight Varnes
1970 124 Spider (restored & exhaustively researched)
1967 Fiat Dino Coupe (unrestored & likely to stay that way while I have 

Home | Archive | Main Index | Thread Index