Watching Peter’s car dart about the city illustrated perfectly the agility and taught energy that proved successful on those rally stages. What we have here is nothing imposing or grand, just a striking black and white Italian sports car that’s decided to ditch its manners and start swinging punches.
What inspired you to own a 124?
“I always liked the look of 124s, that Pininfarina design. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I’d say I like ‘classic’ cars in the pure sense of the word. I always wanted something that wasn’t a boulevard sports car - a rally car really suits my tastes. You’re much more connected to the road in a rally car.”
How do you use your car?
“I’ve not ever been rallying with it, I doubt if I ever will to be honest. I like to care for my vehicles but I do like to feel the road, especially on a motorcycle. I like the classic feeling the wind blowing in your hair. I’ve got a 1960 BSA Super Rocket and a 1980 Laverda Jota, I do care for them. Some purists would probably have their head in their hands but… oh well.”
As with all homologations specials, not many were built and sold to the public. "This car is, in fact, one of the last ones out of the factory in 1974, being imported to the UK in 1979. Being an 8-valve 4-cylinder with two Weber 44s and double overhead cams, it’s a fairly nippy little thing."
The Pininfarina design cues that have sparked a new generation of the 124 can be seen a mile off. You can forget the modern stick-on trim bits though, it’s about the de-chromed look with the fat arches, chunky mag-wheels and maybe some front spotlights.
What is it about the 124 that attracts you to it?
“It’s a really simply designed car, it’s not ostentatious, it’s just visually attractive. I love the humps in the bonnet for the engine. Particularly I like the black and white colour scheme - the fibreglass boot and bonnet to keep the weight down. It’s all really stripped down. It’s quite utilitarian."
“It’s quite a simple engine. One of the things that attracted me to it was that I could look after it myself. I do so much travelling for my work, so the people who rebuilt it for me, DTR down in Coulsdon, they service it once a year.”
“I think it’s a pretty car, bit feline, plus I’m half Italian so there may be a bit of bias there. I’m just really in love with the look of the vehicle.”