That's OK though. In fancier Lusso trim as driven the tan leather seats contrast nicely with the understated bronze paintwork, the interior feels well screwed together and all-in-all it seems well worth the £22,295 Fiat is asking for it. Good bits carried over from the Mazda include the simple manual roof, handily spring-loaded to make both stowing and raising a one-hand operation that can be done in seconds. No excuse not to drop it at every opportunity in other words - anyone driving a Spider with the roof up in anything other than a torrential downpour needs a stern talking to.
As you'd expect, the 124 is fun to drive too. Softer than its MX-5 counterpart, for sure, but comfortable, composed and with just enough classic rear-driven balance to feel agile and fun on twisty Italian back roads. And that's exactly where this car will score - it's both significantly cheaper and a lot more charismatic than the basic Mercedes SLC, BMW Z4 or Audi TT Roadster you might consider alternatives. In the classic roadster fashion this is a car for weekends away or longer continental tours. It's a mature car, harking back to a more innocent age and no worse for it.
But let's not forget, the 124 Spider was also transformed into a highly successful rally car by Abarth. And if you want one with a little more pep and are willing to pay a bit of a premium there's a modern-day evocation of that too. That's for another time though.
For maintaining the original's classic simplicity, and successfully offering something of sufficiently different character to the MX-5, Fiat deserves praise. Rear-wheel drive roadsters are few and far between in the modern motoring landscape; to welcome another one to the market is a genuine pleasure.
Priced from £19,545-£23,295