Yes, it’s Almost Here. The 2024, Intercooled FI 2.0 Turbo

  • Posted: October 19, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

This is not photoshop. Here’s the latest information on the production version of our modern, fuel injected, intercooled turbo. It’s custom dyno-tuned and fresh from our engineering department. Nearly three years in the making. It will be offered in two configurations—a low pressure touring version with an estimated 150 HP, and a 200+ HP high pressure version with internal engine modifications. Cut and paste our YouTube video link of the running system below. Trust us…it’s very cool. When we first set out to develop a modern replacement for the original Legend Industries turbo build from 81-82, we thought it would be easy to improve upon a forty-year-old design. But we discovered early on that the existing fuel injection would never work properly with a forced induction engine. The old system featured a “closed” computer that could not be tuned for compatibility with a modern turbo. Aside from the obvious Read the full article

A family Affair

  • Posted: September 28, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

It is truly gratifying when family members share our passion for these lovely cars. This 1980 Fiat Spider had only 12,800 original miles when discovered abandoned in a barn on a cold rainy night 20 years ago. Rescued by Director Rob Baird then sold to his father, the car required only minor repairs and a new set of keys to get back on the road. When first discovered, the Spider literally appeared to be black or dark gray. But once the years of dirt and grime were removed, the Spider revealed pristine original Rosso Cherry paint underneath–with zero signs of rust. Baird Senior reminisced about his purchase. “I remember when my son first told me about the car. I’d passed on others previously, but with just one look I knew this one was something special. As a young man I’d fancied some British convertibles, like Triumphs and Jaguars. But the Read the full article

New FI System to Benefit Non-Turbo Customers

  • Posted: September 2, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

Those watching our blog know that the stock Bosch fuel injection system is incompatible with our advanced turbo design. This required a complete re-think of how fuel management in general can work in a Spider. Once the turbo system plumbing was finalized, our interests turned to developing a workable injection design that could not only solve the turbo challenges but potentially be used with non-turbocharged cars as well. According to Director of Operations Rob Baird, the solution is near. “We realized early on that the turbo design would be highly complex and require advanced engineering and tuning. During the process we discovered an additional benefit for those who did not wish to add forced induction to their Spiders. The new fuel injection system has the potential to improve performance and reliability all on its own merits”. Baird added further that early returns on the design have been very positive, as Read the full article

Still Waiting—Production Wrecked by No Racks

  • Posted: July 19, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

A sad scene at Roadster Salon this summer with many phases of production at a standstill. While still able to build drive lines, suspension and interiors—final assembly which includes the installation of engines and interiors has ground to a halt. The initial shipment of steering racks received in April could not be installed due to a manufacturing error from our new supplier in Europe. Additional refinements in the design were required prior to installation. The racks were shipped back to Germany for additional modifications that could not be handled state-side. There is light at the end of the tunnel however, as the newly fabricated components are due back here in the US toward the end of July—which means arrival in Chicago mid-August after clearing customs. We apologize to our many customers who expected to see their projects completed earlier this Spring and Summer. According to production assistant Robert Rak “We Read the full article

Turbo Team Makes Major Progress

  • Posted: June 1, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

Pictured above is Roadster Salon’s turbo test mule. It may not look like much progress, but the turbo plumbing, intercooler and exhaust design has been installed. We are happy to report everything fits and we can now move on to the next steps which will include development and installation of our new proprietary fuel injection system. The design will incorporate a programmable fuel management computer and modern high-flow injectors. We aren’t prepared to quote horsepower goals or pricing. But since the system can by dyno tuned and has the potential for high boost pressures—a theoretical 200HP is a realistic goal. If those numbers are achieved, more chassis development will need to accompany the dramatic increase in power. Keep your eyes on this space for more details. Porsche Boxster owners beware. You are in for some serious “indigestione”

The Best Laid Plans…

  • Posted: May 18, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

There is no easy way to say this, but our best laid plans to increase production to meet demand this summer driving season are off to a rocky start. This Spring, several of our best suppliers have reported stocking issues with numerous categories of components. These parts include alloy wheels, leather material, steering racks, and certain drive line items. Obviously, all are critical to our build process. While nothing new in post COVID times, we were caught unprepared and forced to locate other supply lines to fill in the gaps. We have only been partially successful finding alternatives to many items. According to Director of Operations Rob Baird, “in spite of our efforts to plan ahead, these shortages have put our summer ramp-up process in serious jeopardy. The past few years have been challenging—as we’ve watched friends in our industry continue to struggle in this unpredictable business climate. It is Read the full article

Steering Rack Disaster

  • Posted: March 11, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

It may not look like much, but the photo above shows a portion of our proprietary custom rack and pinion steering upgrade. Back in December, we ordered our usual allocation of steering racks from our supplier—only to find that the unit had been discontinued without any warning or notice. Their excuse was lack of demand after COVID. When you consider that our entire steering system design has revolved around this product since 2017, it was quite a blow. To the uninformed, it’s hard to appreciate the scope of this problem. Put simply, you can’t drive a car you can’t steer. Since the rack is connected to the cross member, you cannot install your engine without it. Further, interior installations must also be put on hold, as you are unable to weld beneath the car with anything combustible above it. This means production has ground to a halt. Luckily, we found Read the full article

Roadster Announces First Proprietary Turbo System

  • Posted: February 3, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

Your eyes do not deceive you. After several years of conversation and pre-development, Roadster Salon’s engineers and subs have committed to building a contemporary turbo system for the 2.0 fuel injected spider. The modern turbo idea was first entertained in the early 2000’s by Roadster’s sales team led by Ray’s father prior to his passing. The original Legend industries turbo was a bolt on disaster, designed to take advantage of the “turbo craze” in the early 1980’s. Only 700 were built. They offered cool body graphics, a neat boost gauge in dash, and enough performance to notice a gentle push forward in second and third gear. If all elements aligned, you enjoyed a modest 20% increase in power until the system went south. Unfortunately, this usually happened after a scant 30K miles—less if you drove aggressively. Our concept won’t come cheaply, as the design isn’t compatible with the stock fuel Read the full article

Roadster Salon Increases Production Capabilities for 2023

  • Posted: January 18, 2023
  • by Ray Marchica

Roadster Salon’s pandemic rebound continues into 2023. After two years of snail-paced productivity hampered by parts shortages, vendor closures and staffing challenges, Roadster is poised for a significant rebound this year. Roadster Salon is implementing number of major changes including staff additions, sub-contracted engineering, and more. “Prior to the pandemic, Roadster Salon’s business model allowed for steady progress on multiple projects simultaneously. But it has been more than two years since we’ve seen that level of productivity,” said Rob Baird Director of Operations. “The number of projects under Roadster Salon management has literally tripled since 2019, and we have been unable to keep up with demand.” According to Baird, to enhance overall efficiency without compromising quality, major changes were necessary. “We are now directly importing a number of parts rather then relying solely on Domestic suppliers. Roadster is securing our own body shop facility to do our projects exclusively. Body/Paint Read the full article

Spider Engineering Leaps into the Digital Age

  • Posted: December 11, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

As our loyal followers are aware, aftermarket development of the Fiat Spider has been moribund since the 1990’s. Roadster Salon has been the leading creative source for engineering improvements of the original spider design. We’ve stood alone, championing upgrades intended to enhance the Spider’s driving experience and overall safety. For years, our engineers took an old school approach to design and development. This involved literally “drawing up changes on a napkin” and countless hours of trial and error during fabrication. It would take months or even years to bring concepts to a prototype stage. It was a well-meaning effort, but a costly way to make even minor improvements in performance, road manners and reliability. Roadster Salon has now fully advanced into the digital age. Director Rob Baird said, “While we still originate our own design concepts in house, we are contracting with an outside engineering firm to computerize them so Read the full article

Has Roadster Salon become the Duetto King?

  • Posted: November 24, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

Roadster Salon has built a worldwide reputation as being the premier restoration and modernization facility for Fiat Spiders. But a lesser-known fondness and expertise for the Alfa Romeo Duetto has recently come to light. The lovely “boat tail” Pininfarina masterpiece know as the Duetto gained exposure and popularity when prominently featured in the 1967 Dustin Hoffman classic film, The Graduate. The Duetto was officially imported to the US from 1967-1969 before adopting the less popular “cam-tail” design change in 1970. Collectors and Aficionados are very specific about which model year of the Duetto they prefer. Director Rob Baird has become quite knowledgeable in this regard. “Many of the original Duettos have been lost to deterioration and rust. Of those remaining, the 67-68 version with the carbureted 1600cc engine is much more desirable than the later version.” According to NADA Classic Car Guide, the best examples of the earlier Duetto can Read the full article

Spider Icona Sets the Standard for Original Resto Value

  • Posted: October 15, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

The word “Iconic” is defined as something widely known as exceptional, and having distinctive excellence. The timeless beauty of the Fiat Spider by Pininfarina is truly “iconic” in every sense. From the curvaceous body lines, advanced engineering to its brilliant technical design—the Spider looks equally at home in the company of the most revered classic sports cars ever built, regardless of price. For the last twenty years, Roadster Salon has been dedicated to the preservation and restoration of these vintage cars. As the number of survivors dwindle, it’s become clear the remaining examples deserve a higher level of attention to detail not possible with entry-level builds. The cost of parts, materials and labor necessary to return these lovely cars to their original splendor has become significantly more expensive today than in the past. Further, the value of the finest spiders has increased to a point where more lavish treatment is Read the full article

New Diamond Estrema Interior Adds Flair to Any Build

  • Posted: September 25, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

Inspired by current Maserati and Ferrari models, our Diamond interior is a standard feature on our new Spider Estrema, but can be added to any current build as an option. Made with the finest leather, Diamond stitching Is an elegant detail that complements other high-end interior elements already featured in Roadster Salon models. Choice contrasting or blended thread colors for a personal statement of excellence. It’s a tasteful addition that’s in perfect harmony with your car’s exterior.

First Spider Rinata Rolls Off Production Line, Lusso “Reborn”

  • Posted: September 3, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

The original Roadster Salon Lusso was the most popular single model in our history, with nearly 100 built since its inception. Harkening the look of vintage Spiders from the 1960’s, we lightly sprinkled in some Ferrari inspired DNA and created–magic. The result improved the spider’s driving experience without betraying the original car’s charm and personality. Translated from Italian, Rinata means “Reborn.” While many will consider Roadster Salon’s Rinata to be the Lusso’s spiritual successor, it is much more. We think of its proprietary modifications as the “rebirth” of the Spider. The Rinata features key technical innovations and refinement not found in previous versions of the Lusso series. While many of the Lusso’s exclusive cosmetic elements continue, we’ve upgraded the car’s performance and added more standard equipment. The Rinata is ideally suited to pragmatic buyers who remember the original, but crave more refinement. In short, a car that can be driven Read the full article

First Spider Icona Finds New Home in Telluride Colorado

  • Posted: August 29, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

This incredible photo was taken shortly after delivery by a very happy customer in Telluride Colorado. Believe it or not, this stunning picture was not digitally enhanced! It’s our first delivery of a Spider Icona, based on a 1984 Pininfarina Spider Azzurra. The Icona model is a comprehensive restoration that revitalizes the entire Spider with meticulous mechanical detail and vastly improved cosmetic materials. Unlike our Rinata and Estrema models, the Icona maintains the original Spider’s character without contemporary upgrades. At the customer’s request, we improved braking for mountain roads, which also required the addition of 15” wheels to clear the four piston calipers. Otherwise, it remains faithful to the original design. This Azzurra has been entered in a national show coming up in a few weeks. We plan to do a feature story, co-written by the new owner about his experience with our team and his impressions of the car!

Honey We’re Home! Roadster Salon Now Open

  • Posted: July 15, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

The long wait is over and we are now open at our new location in Wheeling, Illinois. Ideally situated near both Chicago O’hare International and Executive Airport, the near 18,000 square foot facility offers Roadster Salon tremendous flexibility for future expansion. While still in the planning stages, the building is large enough to allow us to broaden the range of services we provide. The facility will eventually house a separate service area for local customers, a showroom for finished examples, an upscale customer lounge, conference room, and our corporate offices. Roadster Salon is also considering expanding our services to include maintenance work on late model Fiat, Alfa and Maserati. Currently there is a dearth of support for owners of recent FCA products. This is true nationwide, and particularly in the Chicago area market. “There are some good dealers, but in general Italian brands are not well supported, said Rob Baird. Read the full article

Roadster Salon Announces Entre Upgrade Program

  • Posted: June 4, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

Your eyes do not deceive you. Yes, that is a Porsche Boxster. As announced on line several months ago–due to the rising costs associated with comprehensive restorations, Roadster Salon will no longer be offering our “Originale” and “Avanzato” Spider models. However, the entry level market is still important to us, and we wanted to find a way to stay connected with this important segment. Starting this month, Roadster Salon has initiated an ENTRE program. Conceptually, it is similar to our highly successful upgrade plan for customers interested in our Spider EV models. Rob Baird, Operations Manager said “The ENTRE concept is simple. Roadster Salon is now offering entry level convertibles—some priced for as little as $10,000— which can be trade credited toward the cost of our newly minted restorations.” The full value credit applies to any “Icona” level Spiders and above. These offerings are fully sorted neo-classic convertibles like the Read the full article

Roadster Salon Announces Purchase of New Facility

  • Posted: May 3, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

Yes, the sign is on the door, but we’re not moved in yet. With a lot of help from our bank and our new friends at the SBA, Roadster Salon is proud to announce the purchase of our own facility. After many years of renting and dealing with the trials and tribulations of uncooperative neighbors and demanding landlords, we finally have our own building! Our beautiful new facility is a stand-alone property located in Wheeling Illinois. It sits strategically right in the middle of our most active local markets, and is easily assessable for our out-of-town visitors. The new building is less than three minutes from Palwaukee Executive Airport, and about 25 minutes from O’hare International. The building is a flexible space that will incorporate our offices, showroom and storage. With nearly 18,000 square feet at our disposal and plenty of parking, this building will serve as our retail hub Read the full article

Young 128 project enters the “Piranha Phase”

  • Posted: April 18, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

The first stage of a quality restoration begins with what we at Roadster Salon jokingly refer to as the “piranha phase”. Arguably, it’s one of the most fun parts of the project. Just like the ravenous flesh-eating fish, (albeit much more carefully) we strip the existing chassis down to the bones. During this segment, we completely disassemble the car and catalogue all the parts that are being kept for the future. Even in an original style restoration, only a portion of them can be refurbished and reused. In modified builds, even fewer make their way back into the car. This part of the restoration process is critical, because our technicians must be able to see all parts of the body shell, from the inside out. This way any problem areas with the body structure can be revealed and then properly repaired. Once the interior components and insulation are removed, the Read the full article

And Now for Something Completely Different…Young 128 project

  • Posted: March 22, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

Fiat 128 models are like the old girlfriend from college you just can’t forget. A few months ago, we got a phone call from an enthusiastic customer, hoping that we had a 128 Rally available for sale. He had one in his early twenties that he wrecked while racing a Datsun 240Z on a twisty, tree lined road. Unscathed, he was determined to own another someday. When we told him that we focus on Italian convertibles, there was a noted sigh of disappointment and plea for assistance in finding one to restore. Mr. Young had a very specific vision of what he wanted his passion project to look like—and how he wanted it to drive. I explained that rust free 128 models of any version had become almost impossible to find. Undeterred and unwilling to compromise, we were given our marching orders and set out on our mission to find Read the full article

Spider Rinata and Estrema to Debut in 2022

  • Posted: January 17, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

Spider Rinata The original Roadster Salon Spider Lusso was the most popular single model in our history, with nearly 100 built since its inception. Harkening the look of vintage Spiders from the 1960’s, we lightly sprinkled in some Ferrari inspired DNA and created–magic. The result improved the spider’s driving experience without betraying the original car’s charm and personality. Translated from Italian, Rinata means “Reborn.” While many will consider Roadster Salon’s Rinata to be the Lusso’s spiritual successor, it is much more. We think of its proprietary modifications as the “rebirth” of the Spider. The Rinata features key technical innovations and refinement not found in previous versions. While many of the exclusive cosmetic elements were retained, we’ve upgraded the car’s performance and added more standard equipment. The hand built and signed “D’Avola” engine is the centerpiece of the Rinata, with nearly 100 man-hours of artisan craftsmanship. Options include Ferrari inspired Diamond Read the full article

Spider Icona, our New Original Standard

  • Posted: January 7, 2022
  • by Ray Marchica

As teased in our Mid-December posting, three new models have been finalized for our fresh line-up of 2022 spider re-creations. For customers who long for the nostalgia of the original spider, and prefer the car restored to an original standard—we announce the Spider Icona. It’s the first release from our new line-up. The word “Iconic” is defined as something widely viewed as exceptional, with distinctive excellence. The timeless beauty of the Fiat Spider by Pininfarina is truly “Iconic” in every sense. From the curvaceous body lines, advanced engineering to its brilliant technical design—the Spider looks at home in the company of the most revered classic sports cars ever built, regardless of price. The Spider Icona is intended to appeal to the Purist customer, and replaces the Spider “Avanzato”. Roadster Salon retains the original character of the spider through the use of factory approved replacement parts. Where possible, we’ve improved the Read the full article

Roadster Salon to debut 3 new models in 2022

  • Posted: December 17, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

One might assume when dealing with the constraints of a single chassis platform, the potential for innovation and refinement would be limited. Since 2016, Roadster’s line-up has been essentially unchanged. The “Orignale”, “Avanzato”, “Lusso S2, and Tributo series have been the staple of our line-up. It’s been six years without any increase in pricing, or significant revisions. The pandemic has created many challenges for Roadster Salon. In the past two years we have struggled to maintain quality in the face of dramatically rising costs for parts, labor, paint, body, and fabrication. The cost of rebuildable spider chassis’ have also spiked. “The days of finding restorable rust free, fuel injected Spiders under $10,000 are all but over. If we base a project upon a $10-15K starting point it, becomes virtually impossible to do a proper job addressing cosmetic and mechanical details at an entry level price”, said Rob Baird Director of Read the full article

Roadster Salon to Discontinue “Originale” for 2022

  • Posted: November 1, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

Roadster Salon has announced that their entry level “Originale” model is being discontinued in its present form and price structure for 2022, according to Director of Operations Rob Baird. “The Originale restoration was intended to be a way for entry level customers to become part of the Roadster Salon family. We created a category for these customers to select a chassis or provide their own—where we could restore the cars by priorities set in advance. Unfortunately, we found this to be impractical in the real-world applications. Cars provided by customers often needed far too much work to fit into this budget sub-$20K category. Further, tight supplies have forced Roadster to exclude our own vetted chassis from being eligible for these entry level projects.” The far bigger concern has been meeting typical customer expectations. Many see the quality of our more comprehensive work on-line, and make assumptions. They expect similar levels Read the full article

Danny from Fiat Fun “Guest Stars” at Roadster Salon

  • Posted: October 19, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

For nearly twenty years Roadster Salon has purchased parts from Fiat Fun in Connecticut. As our East Coast warranty station, Danny O’Donnell has become an integral part of Roadster Salon’s network of suppliers and support staff. During the pandemic, Danny has flown to Chicago on multiple occasions at his expense to provide additional help on our shop floor. A veteran Fiat mechanic with over 30 years of experience, Danny has been a valuable resource during these challenging times. His personal favorites are 124 sport spider models from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. “I love the look of the original spider. Versions imported after 1974 have ugly, heavy bumpers and just seem out of sorts. Roadster Salon’s Lusso updates really bring the car back to its roots with much better reliability” Danny said. This week marked the 10th Anniversary of Danny’s first “guest appearance” at Roadster Salon, filling in ably Read the full article

Roadster Salon Resumes Tributo Deliveries Post Pandemic

  • Posted: October 7, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

It’s been a roller coaster, but we are happy to report the delivery of our first Tributo since the returning from our COVID-19 hiatus. With some necessary changes in details, and supply related modifications– this lovely project finally came to fruition this week. Finished in Maserati Sebring blue and built on a 1985 Pininfarina platform, we overcame many obstacles to get her back on the road, and prepared for delivery to her new home in the Chicago suburbs. Our customer plans to eventually send his resto-mod sweetheart to his second residence near Los Angeles. Consequently, our proprietary air conditioning system and automatic transmission were non-negotiable “must-haves” that couldn’t be left off their option list. Accessing these parts along with shortages of other critical items made this build one of the most challenging Roadster Salon has ever produced. We are happy to report that in spite of some bumps along the Read the full article

New “Linex” Process Preserves Chassis for the Future

  • Posted: September 22, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

Roadster Salon is proud to announce a new teammate in our effort to constantly improve the quality and workmanship of our Spiders. “In years past, we spent nearly a week preparing every tub by hand. The products available on the open market were simply not as well suited as the material provided by Linex,” according to Production Assistant Connor Harrington. “We tested their special undercoating and tub treatment on several vehicles this Summer, and found it to be much more durable and harder to penetrate than anything we could buy from our suppliers. It’s tough stuff!” The tub treatment is rock hard and insulates the Spider from vibration and dampens sound. “It’s very similar to bed liner used in commercial pick-up trucks,” Harrington said. “Linex undercoating dries more quickly, protects the car from rust, and gives our spiders a more finished appearance. Our cars always looked gorgeous on top—but now Read the full article

500 EV business booms, Spider America delayed

  • Posted: August 22, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

Roadster Salon’s commitment to developing the EV side of our business has continued unabated during the pandemic. A pleasant surprise has been our growing relationship with Fiat-Chrysler leasing in California. As some may know, the all-electric version of the Fiat 500e was only sold through select Fiat dealers in California and Oregon from 2012-2019. The majority were delivered through their exclusive leasing program. Roadster Salon has an account to purchase these certified examples directly through Fiat leasing and ships them to their office in Chicago where they are serviced and prepared for customers nationwide. All are accident-free and have extremely low miles. The 500e originally sold for almost $35K before tax credits. It offers outstanding performance, it has excellent range for its class and bullet-proof reliability. Current prices for 2017-2018 lease returns are rising but still offer great value at less than 50% of their retail price when new. Roadster Read the full article

Red Hot Summer Demand; Ice Cold Availability

  • Posted: July 9, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

While no one could have predicted the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive industry and society in general, we can’t help but wish we were all in a better position to deal with the aftermath. Production ground to a near standstill in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, yet demand for Roadster Salon spiders climbed to an all-time high. This has created a backlog of projects never seen before in our history. Frankly, we are overwhelmed. The backlog has occurred for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there are only a handful of domestic suppliers for Fiat parts, and arguably Roadster Salon is their biggest single customer. The pandemic forced suppliers to re-evaluate their inventories for 2021 and take a more conservative approach to stocking their shelves. Demand has emptied their supply of popular items and caused unanticipated delays. Critical items like bumpers, seat belts, air conditioning, ventilation systems, and Read the full article

Staff returns, “new normal” begins

  • Posted: April 28, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

After nearly a year of intermittent closures, reduced staffing, and remote customer service, Roadster Salon is slowly returning to the “new normal”. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, we are close to having our full staff back together. Masked and vaccinated, we are looking forward to getting back to the many projects that have been in limbo for months. It is clear that we have been fortunate with a huge outpouring of support from our loyal customers. Unfortunately, other companies in our industry have not been nearly so lucky. Most of our suppliers and sub-contractors are dramatically down on inventory and staff. While Roadster Salon may be dialed in and ready to roll, we seem to be in the minority. The coming months will most certainly be presenting challenges regarding the availability of parts and support services. This will be an interesting Spring and Summer season, Read the full article

Roadster Alive and Well at our New Larger Facility

  • Posted: January 20, 2021
  • by Ray Marchica

COVID-19 has created challenges for all small businesses around the country, and Roadster Salon has not been immune to multiple outbreaks of the virus and mandated closures. Since the virus first appeared in February 2020, it quickly became apparent that our previous facility in Barrington Illinois was not properly set up to keep our technicians safe. It was simply too small to properly social distance, and in spite of our best efforts and an abundance of caution, we concluded the arrangement was unworkable. Last Fall we began our search for a new home that could better accommodate our growing business and protect our staff. We concluded that it would be best to separate our shop from our offices, showroom, and storage. This search ended in November 2020, when we began our move. We now have three buildings rather than one, which will hopefully provide us the flexibility needed for future Read the full article

Lovely 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto

  • Posted: October 11, 2020
  • by Staff

While Roadster Salon is renown for our restored and modified Fiat Spider product line, we still have a warm place in our hearts for the late 1960’s Alfa Romeo Duetto. Collectors are most interested in the 1967-68 version pictured, which feature dual Webber carburetors and sensational 1600cc engine. It is the definitive version of the car, and most highly regarded. Currently Roadster Salon has two additional vintage Duetto projects from 1967 in our inventory—both featured in Pininfarina red. One is actually available for a future customer project. The featured car has only 70K original miles, and was partially refurbished at our shop. It arrived in excellent condition, requiring only minor chassis work and interior cosmetics. The lucky local owner plans to take the car to a concours level in the coming year while working from home during the pandemic. Due to the size of our building and inability to safely Read the full article

Illinois Shelter in Place Restrictions Likely to Continue into Early Summer

  • Posted: April 22, 2020
  • by Ray Marchica

At this point, I am sure most of you have been touched personally by the COVID-19 outbreak. Unless you live in one of the few states with minimal exposure, you are probably sheltering in place like we are here in Chicago. We hope you are all taking advantage of this time home alone with your families, looking forward to when we can return to life as we remember. While I wish the restoration business was considered to be essential, unfortunately Roadster Salon has been shuttered just like most small businesses. Obviously, the timing of this closure could not be worse, considering how heavily Roadster Salon depends upon our Spring and Summer market. Consequently, our delivery commitments have all been pushed back indefinitely. Regardless of when the all clear to return is finally given, it will be many months before our high-risk staffers feel comfortable enough to resume their full time schedules, and Read the full article

Dionisio Project Postscript Review

  • Posted: April 15, 2020
  • by Ray Marchica

Finally! Our 124 Spider 2000 (1983 Pininfarina) has arrived. The word FINALLY is not meant to convey negative connotations, but is an expression of elation for a much-awaited car. The final delivery of our 124 was delayed by a very harsh and long winter in the Chicago area in 2019, and the impossibility for Roadster Salon to get miles and iron out bugs on a nearly finished car. We have taken the last year to develop our impressions, and share them with your other customers. We soon began to appreciate that Roadster Salon does not just rebuild cars but they make dreams happen and nothing leaves their facility unless it is perfect. The attention to the smallest detail is second to none. In fact, one may say that Ray Marchica and his team develop a sort of personal attachment to every project, as if this was their own piece of Read the full article

Big News Coming Soon!

  • Posted: July 17, 2019
  • by Ray Marchica

Roadster Salon will be making a major announcement through all media outlets at the end of the Summer. This dramatic news involves production plans for the first Spider built by Roadster Salon from the ground up with its own proprietary driveline and special features. There have been many rumors about these plans and this new direction. All we can say at this time is that it will be a radical departure from anything we have produced in the past, and will break new ground in terms of performance and overall driving experience. Stay tuned.  

Yellow Screamer Leaves the Nest—Dionisio Special on its way to Switzerland with a stop in California

  • Posted: May 12, 2019
  • by Staff

Unbelievably two April record snow storms in Chicago delayed our shipment on several occasions to one of the most patient and appreciative customers we have ever worked with. We will update you in his own words when the car arrives in Manhattan Beach. An incredible car for an even more incredible customer!  

The Difference is our Philosophy

  • Posted: April 18, 2019
  • by Ray Marchica

Every business has ways to cut corners. Car restorers are no different. Using cheap labor and materials are just one way to save money. Skip a step. Don’t check your work multiple times. Maybe don’t check it at all. Sacrifice long term durability for quick fixes. And if it takes too long, add it to the bill. The best shops accept the fact that you can’t in good conscience charge a customer for your problems when things go wrong. In this business, slow and steady wins the race. You can either build your brand slowly with tight margins and be fair to everyone–or go in for the kill and be gone in a few years. The choice is clear. This philosophy applies in every aspect of what we do. From mechanical work, crafting interiors, to pain refinishing. This means hundreds of man hours, and many months of sweating the most Read the full article

Dioniso Passes the test

  • Posted: April 1, 2019
  • by Staff

No this is not an April fool’s joke. Over the past week, our team finally got enough of a break in the weather to get some miles logged on our most anticipated creation in recent years. It has been frustrating for everyone here at the Salon to look at this sweetheart and not be able to drive it on the road. You can only have so much fun revving the engine in our garage. The Dioniso project was created digitally as a fully realized concept prior to production. Although some subtle changes were made along the way (no hood scoop or side vents) the car is faithful to its rendering in every other detail. Weather permitting, we will be shipping this amazing spider very soon. Stay tuned.

Even the Experts can be Fooled sometimes—Our 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV Coupe

  • Posted: March 11, 2019
  • by Ray Marchica

When you get a call on an extremely rare, rust free California Alfa GTV you listen. You also have no one to blame but yourself if you don’t look the car over thoroughly before buying it. Just like a novice private party, we bought this lovely GTV on the advice of another dealer and some well-staged photos. Based on our purchase price, we expected the car to be showroom ready. When it arrived at Roadster Salon, our hearts sank. While the car did run well as described, the photos we examined told a different story from what we saw in person. Why on earth would a customer—or dealer for that matter paint a $60,000 car with the skill set of a fifth grader. Runs, drips, fish-eyes and orange peel were in almost unlimited supply. Waves and misaligned body panels took center stage. And it wasn’t just the paint. We were Read the full article

Duetto Time—and Dustin Hoffman is Jealous!

  • Posted: February 25, 2019
  • by Staff

In spite of the weather, we have actually accomplished quite a bit with the garage doors closed. Winter’s grip has us in a strangle hold, but we’re hanging in there. Lot’s to get accomplished before next summer. We currently have three Alfa Romeo 1967-68 Duetto projects in process. The first of these will be ready to leave as soon as the weather breaks and we can get a transport truck in the driveway. Another year-long project, this traditional restoration was done to the highest standard for a customer in Ohio. Every detail down to the signed engine plate and personalized Roadster Salon build tag makes this car a show stopper. Material quality, panel fit, wiring and undercarriage detailing are all far superior to the original car. This near six-figure project is one of our nicest restorations to date. An amazing achievement to be enjoyed reliably for many years to come. Read the full article

Winter Arrives in Chicago Much Too Soon

  • Posted: November 26, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

Anyone want to test drive a spider in this weather? It’s been barely a month since our last entry, and we are already looking at almost a foot of snow outside the showroom. A real gut punch for those of us hoping for decent driving conditions for a few more weeks. Obviously the Dioniso project will need to stay in the garage until Spring. Luckily our customer also lives in a seasonal environment overseas, so the urgency to ship has passed. Most of the issues that required sorting in October have been resolved. Now it’s only a matter of waiting for clear roads and sunshine so we can put enough test miles on the car to be comfortable shipping it out.

Dionisio not quite Finito

  • Posted: October 19, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

While it may take nine months to have a baby, it takes longer to give birth to a custom Pininfarina spider. We thought we were close about a month ago, but the special instrument panel is fighting us. Other elements are dragging on a bit too. We have taken our first ride in the car, but it still feels like it needs additional sorting. Our main concern at this point is the impending winter in Chicago, which will make further testing difficult if not impossible. It all comes down to customer direction, and if Mr. Dioniso will allow the car to be driven with snow/salt on the roads. My guess is that we will take it as far as we can this Fall, and wait for significant road time in March or April when the chill of the air is gone and the salt trucks are parked until next season. Read the full article

Dionisio Project in Home Stretch

  • Posted: August 28, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

The Dionisio project, which began some eight months ago is now in its final stages. Only fine details and build tweaks remain. A productive visit from the Dionisio family at our Barrington facility last week was all that was necessary to finalize some key elements of the build. Wood for the custom dash along with special order gauges will make a definitive statement in the interior. Real Borrani wheels and a custom exterior graphic will complete the overall look. We have created something very unique for Mr. Dioniso and his son that we are extremely proud of—meeting the family in person was a great moment. It was a chance for us to all share in the efforts made to build this stunning automobile. It makes a huge difference when we get to meet the end user. Knowing the work is appreciated really makes it all worthwhile.         Read the full article

When is a fourth-place finish as good as a first? Roadster Salon takes award as lone Italian at Muscle Car show

  • Posted: August 24, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

In an unexpected development, a Series One Roadster Salon Lusso built originally in 2010, took fourth place at the International Falls Annual Car Show against a field of muscle car entries. “We entered the show on a lark. Our Lusso was one of only three foreign cars at the show, so we were really surprised at the attention it received, considering the audience. The top three cars were a 1972 Mustang, a 1969 Chevy Z28 Camaro and a 1917 Dodge Touring, so we were in nice company.” Most people had no idea what the car really was, and assumed it was a 1960’s Ferrari. This particular Lusso was production number 02/50. Over the years, the owner has upgraded the car each winter, as Roadster has developed new technology. Currently the car has received most S2 upgrades including our second-generation rack/pinion steering system. Unlike some Lusso models that are show ponies, Read the full article

Roadster Salon Spider Tributo’s Has Arrived

  • Posted: July 13, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

My Dad loved metaphors, slogans and “isms”. One of his favorites was “In life, things never stay the same. You are either getting better or getting worse.” This slogan became his business mantra, as he constantly urged us to improve. Dad wanted every car we build to be better than the one that came before it. To him, anything less meant staying the same—and that was synonymous with failure. Crema Interior Saddle Interior Ferrari Red Interior The new Tributo is based on the immensely popular Lusso S2 Roadster Salon is always moving forward, refining our vision. While the original Lusso was mostly a cosmetic exercise, the Series Two was a sincere effort to update the Spider and make it more in tune with today’s drivers and roads. Several years after my Dad passed away, I remember sitting down with our engineers in the conference room, and listing a stock spider’s Read the full article

Roadster Salon Expands Service Department

  • Posted: June 20, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

After years of only servicing our own restoration customers, Roadster Salon has expanded our service capabilities to help customers who are currently being turned away from their local Fiat-Alfa-Maserati franchised dealer service departments. “Unfortunately, in nearly all cases these dealers are only trained on the new models by the factory. They have zero interest or expertise in working on the vintage models. That leaves owners of older Fiats and Alfa Romeos out in the cold.” As an FYI, we can also service newer Fiat models including the Abarth and 124. Roadster Salon now offers labor discounts to Italian car club members. Call about our appointment schedule, as we anticipate longer lead times until staff is ramped up to accommodate demand.

15 minutes of Spring and its almost Summer—Dionisio Project heads into June

  • Posted: May 28, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

Managing multiple projects at the same time requires a great deal of coordination and a little luck. This year, the testing of late stage projects has taken on quite a bit of headwind. From relentless rain to the seemingly unending grip of Winter, Mother Nature has not done Roadster Salon any favors this year. Virtually every project has fallen behind. With the weather not breaking until early May, frustration with our lack of ability to road test has put the entire staff on edge. D’Avola built engine, a work of art Engine build in process Timing concerns with the ability to take delivery overseas over the Summer has provided some flexibility on the Dioniso build. While originally planned for an unveiling during July, the delivery date has been pushed back to September to coincide with the Dioniso family’s travel plans. Engine and Mechanical phases continue with the body work completed Read the full article

End of April, and snow still on the ground. Take me to Miami.

  • Posted: April 26, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

While Winter’s grip has lasted much longer than anyone cares for, Roadster trudges on. Very frustrating to be looking into May still wearing your parka from Eddie Baur. Pleased to report a stunning result from the body shop, with the Dioniso spider receiving some of the best paint work we have ever done. As shown in the photos, the meticulous attention to detail given to our mechanical and interior work is also reflected in our exterior treatment. Body components hung in primer Same components painted vertically Operations Manager Rob Baird explains: “You can paint a car for $2500 or $25,000. While the quality and quantity of materials used is certainly important, the key to a stunning paint job is all in the details. Preparation, execution and finish work are all critical. It all comes down to how much time you want to spend. How many hours were allocated to carefully Read the full article

A month later and no sign of Spring, Dioniso March Update

  • Posted: March 16, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

In the last six weeks the groundhog saw his shadow, and the nasty Winter continues. Inside work is all that is possible at this time of the year, and Roadster uses this opportunity to focus on the mechanical, body and interior stages of our projects. Once the Dionisio car was fully stripped, the chassis was media blasted. Higher end builds include the paint stripping of the undercarriage as well as the exterior and tub. Exposing areas of concern is always our first priority. Since we don’t have X-ray vison, we simply can’t trust what we see on the surface. We simply won’t know what may be lurking underneath the paint unless it is removed. Clean body requiring only minimal body smoothing Body in stage 1 primer Special second stage primer for Ferrari yellow paint Luckily, this chassis was from a Southern climate. Previously undercoated cars can be a mixed blessing. Read the full article

It is February, and it’s freezing in Chicago. Dionisio Update

  • Posted: February 15, 2018
  • by Ray Marchica

After careful consideration, a particular vintage shade of Ferrari Fly yellow was finalized for the exterior color. Leather samples are still being discussed. So far, the creative dynamic established between Roadster, Mr. Dionisio in Europe and his son in California has been a bit of a model of cooperation. Like all projects, the devil is in the details. Some of the fine points of the build are still being debated—but we are making progress. Fortunately, the initial build sheet provides a solid platform to work from. It isn’t necessary to make final decisions about trim or interior finishes during the first stages of the build. All mid-level and higher restorations require the complete disassembly of the chassis. This includes having all mechanical components and trim removed and the car stripped down to the bone. This is an arduous task. According to Senior Technician Ken Zeuchel, the process of removing all Read the full article

The Dionisio Project—A Roadster Salon build in real time

  • Posted: December 13, 2017
  • by Ray Marchica

We have been asked repeatedly about chronologically following a full restoration in real time on our blog. Several weeks ago, we were contacted by a customer in Switzerland and his son in California about helping them realize their vision of a custom spider, based on our Spider Tributo model. This design would incorporate cosmetic elements of our Spider America (CE), such as the revised proprietary body panels, but would retain the stock Fiat drive line. A computer rendering of their vision was provided, and shown below. We spoke for several weeks about chassis selection, custom features, build process, scheduling, and time line. In early December, we settled on a 1983 Pininfarina from our inventory with 50K original miles as the basis for their project. We selected this chassis for its rarity, rust free tub, original paint, documented low miles, and overall value. Custom builds like the Dionisio Project typically undergo Read the full article

Upgrades Improve Safety Too

  • Posted:
  • by Ray Marchica

Recently an article published in AARP Magazine raised the notion that classic cars designed in the 1960’s and 1970’s are unsafe by today’s standards. There were six areas pointed out by veteran collector Gordon McCall as suspect in classics built prior to the wave of safety requirements mandated in the early 90’s. Inadequate seat belts, poor braking systems, out dated tire design, worm/roller steering systems, sub-standard head lights and the lack of back-up cameras were all sited by McCall as potential safety hazards. While certainly concerning, it should be noted that Fiat/Pininfarina Spiders were ahead of their time compared to other classic sports cars from the same era. Interestingly, proprietary safety and performance upgrades have been the focus of Roadster Salon’s engineering and development team for nearly a decade. While my Dad was fiercely loyal to keeping his restorations as original as possible, he grudgingly admitted that the Spider had Read the full article


  • Posted: August 1, 2017
  • by Ray Marchica

For the second consecutive year, and fourth in the last five, Roadster Salon spiders dominated the Annual National Fiat “Freak-out” car show. The event featured Italian car entries from Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Two Roadster Salon creations were entered in the competition, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. Both cars garnered tremendous attention from judges, entrants and fans. The First Place finisher was a 2016 Roadster Salon Spider Lusso S2—our original second generation prototype. Based on a 1983 Pininfarina Spider, the stunning Azzurra Blue exterior was beautifully complimented by a contrasting light tan interior and custom makore wood dash. Commissioned by Vince Bonanno in New Jersey, this stunning example was previously featured in several national photo spreads. It is currently being upgraded at our facility in Barrington. The Salon’s second entry was a 2016 Lusso S2 Speciale, owned by perennial show winner Nate Westgor. You may recall his Salon built 1985.5 Read the full article

Sad, familiar tale with happy ending

  • Posted: July 12, 2017
  • by Ray Marchica

A few months ago we received a call from an enthusiastic owner of a 1976 Fiat Spider that had been in his family for many years. Stored much of that time, it was sorely in need of restoration. Per usual, we had the car shipped to our facility to be evaluated. About 20% of Roadster Salon’s annual output is restoring customer supplied spiders, rather than examples selected from our inventory. Some customer owned spiders sent to us are certainly worthy of restoration. However, more frequently, the spiders we inspect have fallen victim to an Italian car’s worst enemy—hidden rust. Structural corrosion, specifically in the shock towers makes a spider difficult if not impossible to safely repair. Frankly it makes little sense to restore a spider, (regardless of sentiment) if the car is not structurally sound. Would you spend thousands of dollars remodeling a home built on a crumbling foundation? Not Read the full article

Featured Restoration: 1975 Fiat Spider

  • Posted: June 13, 2017
  • by Ray Marchica

The following comments were submitted by a customer who sent us his 1975 Fiat Spider keepsake, with tremendous sentimental value. The car arrived a bit tired, and crumbling under the weight of years of amateur tinkering. After some discussion, his goal was to make the car more reliable for stress free drives along the California coast. He also wanted to upgrade the car’s sloppy handling and attend to some sorely needed cosmetic issues. As part of the restoration plan, our technicians upgraded his 1800cc engine to a hand built fuel injected 2.0 jewel. It was custom installed by the Roadster crew to be compatible with the lower original hood line. A complete electrical system overall was combined with a stunning interior refresh. Underneath, our proprietary rack and pinion steering system was adapted, along with suspension, braking and structural enhancements. The project was a fourteen month labor of love. Hello Roadster Read the full article

Roadster Salon Finalizes Production Plans for 2017 and beyond

  • Posted: March 1, 2017
  • by Ray Marchica

The tremendous success of the Lusso S2 has encouraged our engineers to take our modified designs to the next level.  Sales, Marketing and Engineering are all in lock step, agreeing that the Lusso S2 takes the existing Spider platform about as far as we realistically can without making major changes to the suspension and drive line. After spending over two years experimenting with Fiat based alternatives to the original 2.0 Lampredi engine, we decided to go in a completely different direction. Our new models will have clear differences in performance and personality. The “Tributo” will start out as a special edition version of the Lusso S2, but will eventually become its own model. Scheduled for spring 2017, the “Tributo” will feature a restyled interior, up-market materials and an entirely new gauge/dashboard arrangement. Based on the incredible early feedback we have received, the new interior design may eventually find its way Read the full article

Roadster Salon Now Selling the Dream to the DIY Crowd

  • Posted: February 15, 2017
  • by Ray Marchica

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to restore a vintage convertible yourself? Maybe you are considering a fun project to bond with a friend or family member? Looking to save money? For the first time in our history, Roadster Salon is now offering select chassis for sale directly to our customers. These unrestored convertibles are being sold in their original condition, just as they came in. Previously, Roadster Salon Spiders were only sold as fully restored turn-key projects. Basically, we were hoarding everything for ourselves. But now for a limited time, we are making them available to prospective buyers who wish to do all or part of the work themselves. Each of these chassis have been screened and rated. You can find them in the new DIY section of our website. There are definitely some excellent buys here, and more than a few diamonds in the rough. Read the full article

Roadster Salon to offer power steering option for 2017

  • Posted: January 15, 2017
  • by Ray Marchica

The popularity of Spiders with women and older drivers is on the rise. Unfortunately, the Spider’s highly resistive worm and roller steering requires much more effort to turn than a contemporary car, and hence is the source of many complaints from drivers in that segment. While Roadster Salon’s extremely popular rack and pinion option dramatically improves road feel and precision, steering effort still remains higher than on cars with boosted power steering. The weight and inefficiency of traditional fluid based power steering units were not a solution. However, new technology incorporating variable electronic assist has made power augmentation possible. Our design is ideal because it boosts steering for parking and low speed maneuvers, but decreases boost when traveling at road speeds. This option is only available in conjunction with our proprietary rack and pinion upgrade. Please speak with you Roadster Salon project consultant for pricing.

Roadster Salon Now Selling and Rebuilding Fiat 500 Abarth Models

  • Posted: November 15, 2016
  • by Ray Marchica

Aside from offering upgrades for the Fiat 500 Abarth, Roadster Salon now has select used Abarth coupes for sale. In our experience, the Abarth combines practicality with high performance and solid reliability. We currently have about a dozen, very low mile 2012-2016 Abarth models in our inventory, including both coupes and convertibles. While our focus is on finding the finest quality, unmolested examples available, we also have several purchased from insurance companies. These cars previously had light damage, but have been fully repaired and certified by Roadster Salon at significant savings. Although the insurance cars have rebuilt titles, they make great transportation at a reduced price, or even potential track cars. All come with special warranty coverage. The only one who will know about the repaired damage is you. Call and ask about our current inventory and prices.

Customer Review of New Spider Lusso S2, #001

  • Posted: October 16, 2016
  • by Ray Marchica

First, to all at Roadster Salon, THANK YOU for affording me the opportunity to upgrade my previous Avanzato restoration to a full Lusso S2. The care and love you put into the project was inspiring. Roadster Salon’s dedication to excellence shows in the workmanship and attention to detail so apparent in the car. Knowing that I received the first S2 off your production line makes it feel all the more special. The first thing I noticed when I got behind the wheel was the Lusso’s interior finish upgrades. Every surface was covered in fresh, high-end leather. The ventilation system is much improved, with new controls and relocated vents. The new system not only functions much more efficiently, but looks far better. Heat and defrost now actually work like a modern car. The entire interior fits precisely and seems more dialed in than the original spider. Seats are more padded, and Read the full article

Mazda Based 2017 Fiat 124 Helps Original Find New Fans

  • Posted: September 23, 2016
  • by Ray Marchica

With tepid response to the new Fiat 124 from the motoring press and enthusiast community, the door has opened wider than ever for resurgent interest in Roadster Salon’s developmental work with the original Fiat Spider platform. The Spider Lusso S2 has been our most successful model, and currently has over 15 month backlog of orders. The Lusso was our first step toward building a spider of our own design. It was Roadster Salon’s direct response to customers interested in buying a vintage car with classic lines, but wanting a more contemporary driving experience and improved reliability.” Most of our customers find the new Fiat version to be generic and uninspired when compared directly to the original. While the older version has obvious shortcomings in stock form, after driving the 2017 Fiat 124, we were more convinced than ever about the original Spider’s potential. Ultimately, for those who prefer the classic Read the full article

Roadster Salon Wins Best Spider at Annual Fiat Show

  • Posted: July 31, 2016
  • by Ray Marchica

The Annual Fiat Freak Out show this July was co-sponsored this year by Fiat North America, and set at the lovely St. John’s Seminary Resort near Detroit. In conjunction with the Chrysler Museum, Fiat featured the debut of their highly anticipated 2017 Fiat 124. Reaction to the new 124 was mixed, as the car is based on the Mazda Miata and built in Asia using a Fiat sourced engine. Still, strong planned promotion for the new model will undoubtedly increase Fiat’s brand recognition and interest for Italian convertibles in general here in the US. Rain did not dampen the spirits of the hundreds of Fiat enthusiasts who collectively traveled thousands of miles with their beautiful examples of traditional Spiders and other Fiat and Lancia models. Once again, Roadster Salon dominated the Pininfarina Spider category, winning best in show for the second straight year we have attended. Roadster Salon plans a Read the full article

Spider Ultimo S1 First Drive

  • Posted: December 30, 2014
  • by Ray Marchica

While Roadster Salon will always be known for their faithful re-creations of original Spiders, a growing number of customers want something more. The charm and personality of the original Fiat and Pininfarina spiders are well known. The Spider’s timeless Italian design and advanced engineering has captivated the hearts of enthusiasts for a generation. But even the most ardent admirers of the Spider will grudgingly admit that the original car had some shortcomings. Although viewed as minor quibbles 30 years ago, in the context of today’s technology these quibbles have become glaring weaknesses. For traditionalists who desire a classic driving experience, updating the spider to a more contemporary standard is sacrilege. But for those who are not classic car enthusiasts in the strictest sense, but simply want a stunningly beautiful vintage convertible that drives like a newer car—a modified spider is an absolute necessity. The challenge for Roadster Salon’s engineering team Read the full article

The romance really begins once the car arrives…

  • Posted: September 24, 2014
  • by Ray Marchica

All Roadster Salon Spiders, from the affordable Basso to the show stopping Ultimo, undergo hundreds of hours of tedious development and preparation. Once ready for their return to the road, I personally evaluate each car before signing off and shipping to its new owner. My Dad always felt that this final shake down period was essential if customers were going to be satisfied with their cars over the long haul. As our process improves, we find fewer and fewer issues to be resolved during this critical phase. We aim high, so in most respects, the finished Spider Restoration product is better than what the Spider was originally. A few words of wisdom–when the car arrives don’t just turn the key and go. It is a classic car with modern updates, but it’s not a Toyota. Soak up the Italian ambiance. Smell the leather. Enjoy the wood. Adjust the chrome mirrors. Read the full article

Spider Gaining Ground on Show Car Circuit

  • Posted: August 25, 2014
  • by Ray Marchica

Sunday’s Italian car Concours event in Geneva Illinois was surreal. Sitting in the same row as a stunning Maserati Bora and Ferrari 458 convertible was our entry, a 1985.5 Pininfarina Spider. Fresh off a “best in class” win at the National Fiat Event last month—and finished in the same paint and leather as the Ferrari, the Spider looked right at home. The fact our car was even granted admission to this prestigious event was a big win for Roadster Salon and Fiat. But the response we received from the crowd was even more gratifying. This kind of affirmation by show circuit cronies and the general public was unexpected, and only a dream several years ago. A short distance away from our sweetheart, were high dollar classics like the 1954 Maserati A6G roadster, and a well sorted 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB.  For the vintage car enthusiast, this was sensory overload. Yet Read the full article

Spider values shooting up, but quality restorations cost money…

  • Posted: August 21, 2014
  • by Ray Marchica

Trend setters are always going to be subjects of criticism. Every time a Roadster Salon Spider forges into uncharted territory, we get a few snarky emails from people who can’t seem to wrap their heads around our business concept. Well meaning folks we assume, questioning the wisdom of putting more dollars into a restoration or upgrades than a Spider may ultimately return. The comments are usually punctuated with sarcasm concerning our supposed drug use–as in “what are we smoking?” In truth, anyone who restores a collector car with the intention of selling it for a profit is on shaky ground.  While it is certainly possible, most who claim to make money doing so are the beneficiaries of creative accounting.  A profit–or more likely the recovery of investment, happens when you find the right buyer after the market luckily moves in your favor. Roadster Salon restores cars for end users, not Read the full article


2016 Fiat Freakout - 1st place

Roadster Salon was the proud recipient of the 2016 Fiat Detroit FreakOut

2014 Fiat Freakout - 1st place

Roadster Salon was the proud recipient of the 2014 Fiat FreakOut Award, sponsored by Fiat of Chicago!


Garage Style Magazine Issue 23

Roadster Salon, Rich and Rob were all featured in the Winter 2013 issue of Garage Style Magazine. Read Full Article

Garage Style Magazine Issue 25

We’re humbled by this really wonderful write-up on an experience purchasing a Fiat 124 from Roadster Salon, featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Garage Style Magazine. Read Full Article

Auto Italia Issue 221

Auto Italia is brought to you by a group of journalists and photographers united by a passion for Italian cars.

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