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Fiat

Fiat

As a result of a meeting in 1899 between four young Italian men (Giovanni Agnelli, Cesare Goria-Gatti, Count Roberto Biscaretti di Ruffia and Emanuale Cacherano di Bricherasio), the ‘Fabbrica Italiana Automobil Torino’ (F.I.A.T. for short) firm was established.

The first motorcar to be produced by the new company was the ‘Tipo A’, in 1899. This was developed from a 679cc twincylinder…

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Fiat 124

Fiat 124

RATING:

6 / 10

PRICE: Spider: Rough, £1000+. Good, £4000+. A1, £7000+

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1966-76
  • Bodywork:
    Four-door saloon, fivedoor estate, two-door coupé, two door Spider convertible
  • Engine:
    Saloons: Overhead valve, in-line four-cylinder. 1197cc, 60bhp (1600 Special versions, 1969-75, twin overhead camshaft 1608ccengine, 110bhp) (124 Special T versions, 1971-73, twin overhead camshaft 1438cc engine, 80bhp; from 1973, 1592cc engine, 95bhp).
  • 0-60 mph:
    1197cc: 16 sec
    1756cc twin-ohc coupé: 10.5 sec
  • Top Speed:
    1197cc: 85 mph
    1756cc twin-ohc coupé: 110 mph
  • MPG:
    1197cc: 30-40 mpg
    1755cc twin ohc coupé: 17-25 mpg

With four doors, four/five seat accommodation and reasonable performance, the overhead valve, 1.2-litre 124 saloon was an effective family car which arrived in Britain in late 1966. Estate car versions were added to the range in 1967. Of particular interest to enthusiasts are the fast, twin-cam versions of the saloons, the 1.4-litre 124 Special of 1969, and the very high specification 1.6 litre Special T of 1971. In 1973 this model was fitted with the 1592cc motor as also used in the 132. The Special saloons were discontinued in 1975.

The 124 Sport Coupés are also revered among classic car devotees. Sold in Britain between 1967 and 1976, they featured 1.4, 1.6 or 1.8-litre engines, all of which produced impressive performance for the time. Slick five-speed gearboxes (another advanced feature) were standard equipment. From 1973 the sweet coupés were fitted with the 1.6 and 1.8-litre engines as used in the 132s. Attractive and now highly desirable 124 Spider convertibles were produced in left hand drive form. Surviving examples of the rapid versions of the 124 are fairly sought-after today.

Spiders can be costly to run and renovate.

Fiat 125

RATING:

6 / 10

PRICE: Saloon: Rough, £200. Good, £800+. A1, £2000
Special Saloon: Rough, £250. Good, £1000+. A1, £2500

View full review

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1967-72
  • Bodywork:
    Four-door saloon
  • Engine:
    Twin-overhead camshaft, in-line four-cylinder. 1608cc, 90bhp (Special saloon, 100bhp)
  • 0-60 mph:
    Saloon: 13+ sec
    Special Saloon: 12 sec
  • Top Speed:
    Saloon: 100 mph
    Special Saloon: 105 mph
  • MPG:
    17-25 mpg

Making its U.K. debut in the summer of 1967, the Fiat 125 was a spacious five-seater saloon, powered by a twin overhead camshaft 1600 engine. The car had rapid acceleration compared with most family cars of the mid-1960s, and was capable of cruising at high speeds. Included in the mechanical specification were disc brakes on all four wheels – again, unusual for the time.

The Special Saloon was introduced in the spring of 1969, with an uprated version of the 1608cc engine which endowed even more spirited performance. Standard features included a five-speed gearbox, radial tyres and reclining front seats.

Now rarely encountered in Britain, the 125s offer a happy blend of excellent performance and everyday practicality.