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    The Lady And The Lada VAZ 2103

    A Model In Stasi car The Lada-lady from East Berlin. Katja works in Berlin as a photographer and model. When it comes to cars, it is on wrinkled types. Your Lada 1500 they would give anything in the world. This is her story.

    TECHNICAL DATA Zhiguli #VAZ-2103 / #Lada-1500 / #Lada / #VAZ / #Fiat-124 / #1976
    Engine four-cylinder
    Bore x stroke 76 x 80 mm
    Displacement 1451 cm3
    Power 55 kW (75 hp) at 5600rpm
    max Torque 106 Nm at 3500rpm
    Max-speed 150 kmh
    0-62MPH 15.0 seconds
    Drive Rear-wheel drive / four-speed transmission
    Fuel tank capacity 39 litres
    L / W / H 4115/1640/1430 mm
    Trunk 385 litres
    Curb weight 1030 kg
    Fuel Consumption (work) 8.5-9.5 l / 100 km
    Factory price (1976) 9500 Mark

    Green is not. But the Blue no longer wants. Katja pulls her eyebrows together, frowns and knautscht her lips. She takes her delicate fingers from the steering wheel rim, bends over and fingers after the lever that releases the bonnet to allow the engine to cool down a bit: ". My Kleenen has overheated" No wonder Berlin groans that day under the sweltering heat.

    It's a different climate than in Siberia. Back when her parents dream of exactly that car, with which the 30 year old photographer today curving through Berlin. At that time it was cold. Goddamn cold. The white Katja yet.

    Otherwise, their memories of that January 22, 1991 is blurred. She was four years old, in the winter before the Moscow August coup. Overnight the Soviet empire confiscated the savings of its citizens - supposedly in the fight against counterfeits. In fact, because it otherwise could think of nothing better to counteract the shortage of goods. It was the last monetary reform of the Soviet Union, driven by the then Finance Minister Valentin Pavlov.


    "What exactly was going on, I did not understand, I was too young," says Katja. "I only know that Papa has bought at once instead of a car this weird cassette recorder. And for mum a fur coat. "

    Actually Katjas parents had then 10,000 rubles for a Zhiguli VAZ- saved 2103rd The dream car of all Russians. But suddenly the future was uncertain, and the money seemed to coat and recorder better invested.

    Nobody knew what the money was worth tomorrow when the East Bloc disintegrate into its component parts. About 25 years later, Berlin: short organ concert, the engine wakes up again. Katja smiles. As the petite woman behind the wheel of the Russian Old-timers perched that fits like a matryoshka doll in the other. She surveys the many faux wood veneer of the dashboard and the Cyrillic lettered Watches collection. Emphatically she pushes the lever by the scenery and overcomes switching paths, which appear to be longer than the oil routes of Siberia. When the car is presented in 1966 in Italy, it is called Fiat 124. Italy is then quasi socialist, and so it happens that the Turin of the Soviet Union to help build their state automobile factory AvtoVAZ. On April 22, 1970, Lenin's 100th birthday, rolled the first Zhiguli 2101 Fiat license in Tolyatti from tape. The Russians not only obstruct another engine, but also thicker sheets.

    In addition, the Zhiguli get more ground clearance and rear drum instead of disc brakes. Russians love the rugged types.


    That it exactly today drives that car that could never buy her parents, Katja does not particularly sentimental. She drives the Lada eventually mainly because she likes. "The car is a statement," she says. "I've always in the plate accustomed only in Russia, then here." Here, this is Hellersdorf, the Berlin, which have not yet discovered the hipsters. Plate for Katja home, as well as the yellow light of the street lamps at night.

    The Lada is the automobile fitting it. No Russian car was built more - 4.4 million times. Katja has no scruples when it comes hochzurumpeln a curb for a good photo. "My baby makes dit" says the woman with the broad Berlin accent, which also works as a nude model. Rums! The Lada rumbles onto the sidewalk, up to Thälmann Memorial, a monumental DDR remnants, on top of which stand still hammer and sickle in the Berlin sky. Katja knocks on Lada dashboard: "Haste jut jemacht!"

    When she sits down in his head to buy a classic car, she thinks briefly about a US model for - "but the ick am not". Instead, it should be a VAZ-2103, which is as an export model Lada 1500th With more displacement, power and chromium and, most important, dual headlights.

    In Dresden Katja will find it. They transferred the Dark Blue (a favorite with the Stasi color) on the road to Berlin: "I had been an eternity, a car with manual transmission driven more, but I thought to myself. As you have by now, you're a big girl," Well Katja moves the evening sun. She smiles and tears purely the junctions, with a certainty that can believe that if decay systems in future, Katja and simply continue their Lada.

    The posturing has professional model Katja in blood. But they can also be quite natural - even in absolute Halteverbot.

    "When I showed up with the Lada at Papa, he was completely stunned. We are first time aimlessly down to second through the area. He sat proudly beside me in the passenger seat. "
    Katja, 30, a photographer and model from Berlin.

    Katya Lada is from Czech Republic, Lada 1500 was the VAZ-2103 only in export markets. Interior lighting on the B-pillars cast dim light in the small sedan.

    Katja before GDR movie Soyuz (russ. "Union"). Although the shows long any more films, but Kati is every ride Lada a road movie.

    Lots of wood veneer on the inside: this thin lever and the ignition lock to the left of the steering wheel as thin.

    Instead rubber mats: Katja rather puts her flea market loot from a Runs not with vodka: four-cylinder with 75 PS. More needs no Lady.

    Just Katja wanted him - with dual headlights.
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    Lada inheritance / #Fiat-124 / #Fiat / #VAZ / #Lada / #VAZ-2106 / #Lada-2106 / #1979

    It’s great when classic cars are passed in family from father to son. This #Lada-1600 was bought brand-new by our today hero’s grandfather back in 1979. It was an export version made for Hungary but due to a couple of exterior details missing and after some negotiations have been done, the customs officers took the car off the train.

    Artyom’s grandpa, having sold his black Volga for 45,000 rubles, bought this Lada, as it was called in the USSR, for 25,000 rubles. You could pay five to six grand in a shop for such car but for that you would have to wait several years – the deficit of goods in Soviet Union was an awful thing. Later Artyom’s father would own this car before passing it to his son in 2008.

    The car needed a complete rebuild at that time. And, as it usually happens, Artyom accidentally saw some pictures of low Ladas that inspired him for the future development of his own project.

    These cars have many weak spots, which need reinforcement when you modify the car. Those were A- and B-pillars and front side members and arches. Front quarter panels needed replacement, so Artyom sourced out the panels, which were produced in the USSR and were of better quality. Also, he decided that the car needed a brighter colour and, coincidentally, a fresh paintjob. Chrome parts were also refurbished and polished. Artyom found a rare beige interior that replaced the old one. The steering wheel was bought accidentally and came of a Fiat 124 Spider, while the wooden panels for the dashboard were custom-made from a piece of oak. ‏ — at Odessa, Odessa Oblast, Ukraine
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    Phil Ward
    Fiat’s revival of the Fiat-124-Spider title will, no doubt, regenerate interest in the original car to carry the name, which debuted at the Turin Show 50 years ago. Almost 200,000 Spiders were built and many of them went to the USA. Over its 29-year production span the 124 Spider had five different engine capacities offering varying degrees of performance. Its purity took a dip in #1975 when the USA imposed serious emission restrictions and inflicted the cars with heavy, impact resistant bumpers. A compromise was achieved in the 1980s with the introduction of the Spider 2000 (later Azzura) for the USA market. The similar Spidereuropa, as the title implies, was for the European market. These cars were a complete revamp of the original 124 having the benefit of efficient fuel injection and were generally better appointed. / #Fiat-124 / #Fiat / #Fiat-124-Spider / #Fiat-124-Sport-Spider / #Pininfarina

    Meanwhile, the UK market considered that the technically advanced, stylish, twin-cam 124 Spider would not be competitive with its national treasure the MGB (basically a two-door Austin Cambridge), so right-hand drive 124s were never officially imported into the UK. The cars that do exist are all conversions, save for one Spidereuropa that was presented by Pininfarina at Earls Court in 1982 to tempt Fiat dealers to place orders. Sadly it didn’t happen.

    The first Spiders that did actually make it over to the UK were personal imports, like my own red Spider imported in 1977 after serving with the RAF in Germany. I repeated the exercise in 1983 after another RAF Germany tour with my second car, a 1980 Spider 2000. After seeking out like-minded enthusiasts I became a founder member of the Fiat Twin Cam Register, which sparked off my interest in writing. So the 124 Spider has a lot to answer for...

    The classic car boom in the 1990s saw many USA 124 Spiders come back to Europe to feed the demand in the new market. Although these cars were bodily sound, the asthmatic USA spec engines were a disappointment and provided lack lustre performance. Some enthusiasts that were handy with spanners uprated their cars by fitting tuned European engines and replaced the soft suspension, which I did with my final Spider, a blue car that is still operational with its current owner. Some cars were better prepared than others leading to many half converted abandoned projects appearing on eBay.

    The best prospects today are cars in original specification or properly restored condition. These cars are now quite rare, but they are out there as a trip to the wonderful Padova Show will prove. Occasionally a Spider will come up for auction and one such car is in the catalogue for the RMSothebys Monaco sale on May 14th. It’s a Spider 2000, almost identical to the one I brought back from Germany in 1983. With just 25k recorded miles it has to be the best example currently available. Accepting that the glamorous sale location will probably enhance the sale price, the figure achieved will set the bar for future prospects. Very tempting.
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    ULTRA LOW-TECH LADA ESTATE / LADA-2102 / #Lada-1200-Estate / #Lada-1200 /

    It’s not all about big bhp bruisers, this tidy #Lada estate is a great example of how simple mods can make a car!


    Stuart Cross took on the challenge of restoring a 1976 Lada-2102 that has since carried him to car shows all over Britain... Words: Dan Furr. Images: Ade Brannan.

    When introduced to UK car buyers during the early part of the mid 1970s, the #Fiat-124 -based Ladas shipped to Blighty from Russia (without love) were notable for their massively outdated technology, ridiculous fuel economy, questionable mechanical reliability and handling qualities that required owners to enlist a personal trainer who could encourage the upper body strength needed to turn a Lada’s steering wheel at low speed. And in the case of road-going Soviet nuts and bolts, low speed is top speed.

    To quote sucker-for-self-inflicted punishment, Stuart Cross, “they are outrageously slow”. So why buy one? “I’ve always been fascinated by the politics of the Eastern Bloc. I’m also a big fan of terribly manufactured cars that pack a lot of character. Ladas reflect both of these interests, and it was with that in mind that I bought a ’76-plate 2102 three years ago,” he explains.

    The car in question is a left-hooker that had been driven to the UK from Latvia following the opening of the country’s borders when it joined the European Union a little over a decade ago. Full of holes, lacking a functioning engine and sporting what Stuart describes as “horrendous” mustard-coloured Lada Riva front seats, the weird wagon had been put to use as a delivery vehicle by a takeaway restaurant in Edinburgh until mechanical complications put paid to any further fast-food fun.

    “The car was left in its owner’s shed where it sat until I came along,” continues Stuart. “It was clear that this particular 2102 had led a hard life, but it was structurally sound despite its poor cosmetic condition. I decided that it was worth saving, and I asked my mate Ade (Brannan, automotive photographer extraordinaire) to put the car on his trailer so that I could get it home,” he recalls.

    The less-than-refined weight distribution of a 2102 (and its saloon sibling, the 2101) is largely responsible for the model’s heavy front end. This factory flaw caused an immediate problem when the air suspension compressor on Ade’s Range Rover threw in the towel while trying to cart the Lada to Stuart’s East Kilbride residence! Nevertheless, the car eventually landed at its new home whereupon its poorly powerplant was removed in advance of a complete rebuild at the workshop of West Calder diagnostic, service and repair shop, AMK Auto Centre.

    “The engine was stripped bare. Crank out, the works,” Stuart tells us. “A mate of mine managed to source many of the parts required for reassembly direct from a source he has in Russia, while the remaining bits and bobs were acquired on eBay where new and used Lada components are available to buy at very low prices,” he adds.

    Notwithstanding the appointment of a new Weber carburettor, the 1.2-litre lump has been rebuilt to standard specification resulting in almost (but not quite) 60bhp. In fairness, if you’re looking for a quick car, you probably aren’t going to be buying a four-decade-old Lada estate. Indeed, pace certainly wasn’t Stuart’s uppermost consideration when taking on the challenge of restoring his Russian ride!

    “It oozes character,” he beams. He’s not wrong – a quick look around the exterior of his wonder wagon reveals sharp lines, chunky brightwork and the kind of front end that your mate’s kids might come up with if you ask them to grab their favourite Crayolas and draw ‘a motor car’. Sophisticated it ain’t, but this Eastern Bloc block packs plenty of charm. That is, of course, if you like pukecoloured cars. “I have no idea what the name of the factory shade is,” admits Stuart. “Not being able to speak or read Russian has proved to be a stumbling block at various points throughout the project, not least of all when trying to decipher paint codes!

    Fortunately, my brother-in-law runs a body shop in Leeds, and he was able to use the inside of the car’s fuel filler flap as a point of reference that helped him to mix a colour that is virtually indistinguishable from the OEM tint,” he says.

    Fresh paint could only be applied after the state of the car’s body panels had been addressed. Stuart considered importing brand new doors, wings, rear quarters and sills from his 2102’s native Russia (where almost every part for the car appears to be readily available as a new item), but worry over what damage the panels might sustain en route to Britain sewed the seed of doubt in his mind. Instead, and after much in the way of deliberation, he asked his brother-in-law to rid the Lada of rot by repairing the affected bodywork with new metal and an attention to detail that has resulted in a flawless finish.

    In addition to the car’s new coat of colour, Stuart has lifted the appearance of his 2102 by sitting it atop refurbished Maserati Biturbo sixteen-inchers. Costing him the princely sum of £25 a corner, the polished rims suit the car down to the ground (literally), and look even more aggressive than they otherwise would do thanks to the use of chopped coil springs that lower the Lada’s ride height. Ordinarily, you might argue that such measures may compromise the handling abilities of a car, but when the host vehicle is already a pig to drive, any resulting negative impact caused by suspension and chassis modifications is barely noticeable! “The car really is awful around town.

    That’s why I like taking it on long motorway cruises from Scotland all the way down to motor shows in England. Additionally, I’m a familiar face at the Ace Cafe where I meet up with likeminded folk who have an appreciation for Eastern Bloc machinery,” confirms Stuart. Owners of Ladas, classic Skodas, Trabants, FSOs and Soviet military vehicles can be found in attendance with their rides during regular meets at the famous London venue. Arguably more impressive than his willingness to pilot such a slow motor daahn saahf, however, is the fact that Stuart has given his wagon an opportunity to show what it isn’t capable of by subjecting it to the legendary Shelsley Walsh Hill climb!

    He can’t tell us how long it took his pride and joy to reach the end of what is recognised as the oldest operational motorsport course in the world, suffice to say that he’s confident that he might be in the running for being recognised as the most tortoise-like participant of recent times. Nice.

    Stuart’s 2102 left Lada’s Tolyatti factory in 1976 without any form of in-car entertainment system. Fortunately, he enjoys “the racket” produced by his load-lugger’s rebuilt engine, and he likes nothing more than singing his favourite songs out loud during those long journeys to London. His enthusiasm for the output of a vehicle manufacturer that has been on the receiving end of countless jokes is commendable, and it goes some way towards demonstrating that no matter how poorly made, badly designed or rotten a car from the former Soviet superpower might be, it might just be full of eastern promise!

    Lovely Maserati wheels cost just £100.

    Who doesn’t love a ribbon speedo! So much character it hurts!

    SPECIFICATION #VAZ-2102 / #Lada-2102 / #Lada / #VAZ / #1976

    ENGINE: Fully rebuilt factory 1.2-litre engine, #Weber carburettor, new coil, new ignition leads, new steering box, all new gaskets and seals
    TRANSMISSION: Factory four-speed manual gearbox
    SUSPENSION: Standard dampers, chopped coil springs, standard bushes
    BRAKES: Factory non-servo brakes, standard discs and pads
    WHEELS: 6x14in polished #Maserati-Biturbo-alloy-wheels , budget Chinese rubber
    EXTERIOR: Fully restored and resprayed factory body panels, restored brightwork, period-style pressed metal registration plates
    INTERIOR: Lada Riva ‘mustard’ front seats, factory vinyl door cards and rear bench, no in-car entertainment system or speakers
    THANKS: Dave and Jordan at Spraybay Leeds for the paint and metalwork, Marty at AMK Garage for bringing the car back to life, Ali at McMillan Jaguar for reattaching the car’s chassis to its body.

    Front seats in “horrendous” mustard came from a Lada Riva.
    Much maligned in the past, there’s an undeniable charm about the estate’s boxy lines.
    Rebuilt 1.2 provides adequate forward propulsion… Just!
    “I’m a big fan of terribly-manufactured cars that pack a lot of character, Ladas reflect both of these interests”
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    Take a sharp turn with a train back behind the front axle of the steering wheel, it takes some getting used to. #Fiat-238-Van / #Fiat-238 / #Fiat-Van / #Fiat / #Fiat-124 / #1967 /

    UTILITIES Fiat 238 Van

    With 1000 kg payload, this small van has made a lot of services to artisans who acclaimed this completely panelled finish. Despite the absence of AR glass. Or rather because of that, because it allowed to hide the container to potential scroungers...

    The first Fiat vehicle front-wheel drive, it's her, invaded the largely Italian roads during the reasons for its success? A volume load therefore delicate. Even in regions as troubled Fiat 238. A family of utilities. Not very powerful, but declinable desire, she 70 and 80, before giving way to the Ducato, clone D5 and C25 French. The reasons ease of maintenance and reliability which enabled him to face the most situations Liguria, where we performed this test. Testimony.

    Sweep input against a truth-no, all vans are not derived from a car. I almost tend to argue that many of them have provided their expertise to help develop cars. Take Traction Avant. At Renault, she appeared on the Estafette, two years before settling on the R4. Same at Alfa Romeo who tested this technical solution not on the Alfasud, but 18 years earlier on the Romeo van. And Fiat?

    He would have expected the 128 to adopt after having tried the Autobianchi Primula? Once again, you have it all wrong. It is officially born in March 1967, with the 238 ... A utility that shares certain points with 241, but only on style, performance, technical (that's a propulsion) and dimensions are different, the latter capable of carrying up to 1.4 t payload thanks to its diesel engine, borrowed from the Campagnola.

    The 238 is first of all a mini-revolution for Fiat, with a 4-cylinder transversely implanted AV to ensure the transmission to the front wheels. A 1221cc engine designed in the 50s for the Simca 8 and taken particularly by Fiat 1100 D and Primula. Here it is deflated to 44bhp to limit the maximum speed to 105 km / h and the crankshaft is always mounted on three levels. The front-wheel drive has freed the load floor and thus increase the useful volume of 5.3 m3 which passes on the van it replaces T in 1100 to 6.5 m3, the threshold is no longer finding that 41 cm from the ground. Another major advance: all four wheels are independent with a front axle inspired by Primula has its upper transverse leaf spring and its lower link arms and a rear train abandons the rigid axle of the benefit associated with trailing arms two transverse torsion bars and anti-roll bar. Last but not least important on a utility, all the elements are now lubricated for life, which greatly restricts maintenance. And thus their cost. Aesthetically, it is noted that if the descent from the old range is guaranteed by the front facade, the van part has totally been redesigned to offer, including a double side door without central post to open a mouth 1.4 m wide, but only 1,295 m.

    A first evolution occurs in 1968. Just like Primula, the 238 gives up the old engine 103 to adopt a derivative thereof which was developed for the Fiat 124 in two displacements, both with five levels: 1.197 cm3, 44 hp and 1438 cm3, 46 hp, the latter enjoying a torque increased from 8.8 to 9.8 mkg obtained at a lower speed (2300 r / min instead of 2,500). At the same time, the range widens to consist of a plateaucabine to tôlé vans, glass or high roof van, double cab, "promiscuo" (nine seats, 400 kg of cargo), 11 seats minibuses, buses school 16 or 21 seats and ambulance. For 1975, 1197 cm3 and 1438 cm3 disappears available in two formulas. Economic and settling for regular gasoline: 47 hp, 9.6 kgm torque Max 2600rpm, 105 kmh. Or nervous and filled up with super fuel: 52bhp and 10.8 kgm 110 km / h. By the way, he trades the distribution chain for a belt, quieter course, but asked to be replaced more often. It is the last major modification of a model who retired in 1977, replaced by an aesthetic evolution, 238E, introducing plastic as well as for the interior grille. It will be divided into less rustic versions and more leisure oriented with even the very end of career, a camper Andal. Far, far away from the laborious vocation of the first copies.

    The one I unearthed you had a nerdy pure, and it is in a region where his size did not benefit. Liguria! It is beautiful to die. But also a narrow trail ibex in the Alps. One kilometer wide between mountains and sea side of Sestri Levante, charming village about fifty kilometers from Genoa. On this thin strip of land crammed beaches, umbrellas, houses, shops and, throughout, a host of incredible density. You can not make a meter in the streets or in the mountains without being surrounded by a multitude of scooters buzzing like a swarm in search of nectar. All in a maze of narrow streets, sharp turns and slopes that even Chris Froome could swallow forcing his strange pedal stroke. To make matters worse, this van measuring 4.59 m long and it has no rear windows! If I back over to its owner, Fabrizio Colella, it will take a miracle ... Meanwhile, I burn some candles in petty hoping not to go up in smoke because figurezvous the engine is located under the rear passenger august ( the box is in mine), the huge air filter positioned in recovering from my back cool air through gills practiced right. In winter, it is nicely warm the atmosphere, but the summer I assure you it is not ideal. In addition, it gives you the impression to talk to the roaring forties when the climb is seeking the depths of mechanics (which unfortunately happens every 200 m on this hilly course!), Vibration and doors few bonus. .. I knew more comfortable test, but war is war, and I knew what to expect.

    The advantage of this mechanical layout is elsewhere: in instead released into the cabin on this type of cab for mounting a bench inviting two people without resistance, in addition to the driver's seat. Far from the two seats separated by a Estafette or Citroën HY. But the absence of engine compartment has other effects. The bag containing the washer liquid is thus located on the passage of wheel driver, double hydraulic fluid reservoir above ... his feet. Let's hope it does not leak, I put some new shoes! More original again, the radiator expansion tank. It is concealed by a flap on the dashboard, passenger side. And the radiator is at the centre, which is also a significant obstacle forcing the third adult to raise the knees to stand on tiptoe or amputate squarely half of shins... Do not try nit.

    This van is intended utility and staffing well be minimalist, it would be churlish to complain because it was still entitled to the door panels, a floor mat, two sun visors, two vents (for fresh air, it's not luxury, because for hot you already have everything you need between the engine and the radiator!) and a tachometer with the bare necessities: a fuel gauge and LEDs in addition to the meter graduated to an optimistic 130 kmh. It does remind you of anything? It should, it is exactly that of the contemporary Fiat 500 L... who robbed him (when I tell you that these are the cars that copy utilities, not vice versa!).

    As I expected, the driving position is anything but comfortable, with a seat without any maintenance, stiff as justice and too late to preserve my back. I hold the steering wheel as if I was in a truck and I see gout. On the front, it can still go, but on the back, I have to rely on only two exterior mirrors because, I remind you, there is no glazing AR (neither side for that matter) and therefore no retro interior. For cons, the handling of the gear lever, located directly on the bell, is rather pleasant, even if the details are not always strangely rendezvous. But that was the time when Fiat stammered his boxes...

    I must also contend with wheels located well back from the steering wheel. It does not cover the cord of a turn in the same way, and manoeuvres take another flavour. My arms still remember, they had to fight a good time for a successful niche beast, with a very firm direction at low speed and visibility near zero. Everything finally across 30 cm from the sidewalk, under the jeers of the bystanders who were laughing to no end to see me suffer.

    So much more than one of them, hefty beyond the reasonable (his muscles bulged from everywhere, handing his shirt as a string!) Beckoned me to leave him instead. "I drove a 30-year, it pulls in a handkerchief. Move over I will show you. "

    Just if it does not whistled by placing it in its 238 well-defined rectangle, at once and without sweat! "It's like riding a bike, it is not forgotten. Still, mine was not as good on the end of his life. He was Bigné everywhere, but it was the others who were returning us there. They were often too optimistic in the turns, and did you see the streets here? "

    Well, OK, I'll come back for slots. But I am not, however, very proud to have brought the van to Fabrizio intact after an epic journey through the mountains to worry about the brakes downhill. The owner had scared me and told me they were not very durable, no load arranging anything, he said. I must say I was quite reassured.

    No fading and slowdowns perfectly controlled with the help of the audience, something rare in a utility of that time, like the dual circuit. Even the stiff suspension did not surprise me.

    She was sold with the package and only gets better once the back loaded. It is, after all, the first of this van vocation transport equipment or human beings in number. And there he made strong the guy with a working length of 2,795 m, 1.68 m wide (1.18 between the wheel arches) and 1.51 m in height. 6.5 m3 volume! What calmly consider a move.

    But not to settle in Liguria. It's beautiful, all right, but it goes up and running too. I prefer the discreet billowing from the Emilia-Romagna where, I have no doubt, a 238 would be much more at ease.

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    Right, these vents allow to draw fresh air to the carburettor.

    Two side doors and windows not least on the sides or behind. This is a hard-utility. Note the positioning of the front axle, behind the wheel.

    The dual hydraulic fluid tank (for brakes and clutch) is located above the pedals.

    And hop ! Here's how you can access the 4-cylinder!

    The air filter is installed in the cockpit, which requires a long tube that leads to the gills passenger side.

    As can be seen here, a sleeve makes it possible to draw hot air to the carburettor. In winter, that was helpful.

    Transversely implanted, the engine finally offers surprising accessibility.


    ENGINE Type Fiat 124 BL.016. 4 cylinders in line, arranged transversely to the front and inclined 18 °. Iron block, alloy cylinder head. Five crankshaft bearings. Distribution a side camshaft chain drive, lifters and rocker arms, OHV.

    ■ Displacement: 1197cc
    ■ Bore x stroke: 73 x 71.5 mm
    ■ Max Power: 44 hp DIN in 4600 rpm
    ■ Maximum torque: 8.5 mkg DIN 2,500 rpm
    ■ Compression ratio: 8.8: 1
    ■ Power supply: a horizontal carburettor Weber (or Holley Europea) 32-OF
    ■ Ignition: Battery 12 V 48 Ah, coil and distributor. Candles Marelli CW 240 LP, N9Y Champion, Bosch W 200 T 30
    ■ Cooling: water with pump

    ■ front-wheel drive Clutch: dry, hydraulic control
    ■ Gearbox: manual 4-speed synchronized gears + MAR, lever floor box
    ■ Reporting: 1st: 3,910 - 2nd: 2,120 - 3rd: 1,410 - 4th: 0.960 - MAR: 3,570
    ■ Axle Ratio: 5.700 (torque 10 x 57).
    Van six doors, three. Monocoque body self-supporting sheet steel, forged
    ■ AV chassis Front suspension: independent wheels, lower wishbone, upper transverse leaf spring, dampers
    ■ Telescopic Rear suspension: wheel independent, longitudinal control arms, transverse torsion bars, shock absorbers telescopic, anti-roll bar
    ■ Brakes: drums Front / rear, hydraulic, double circuit, AR dispatcher, vacuum power assisted booster
    ■ Parking brake: mechanical, acting on the rear wheels
    ■ Front wheel direction: screw and roller
    ■ Diameter turning circle 11.6 m between walls
    ■ Rims: Steel 5K x 14 "
    ■ Tyres: 6.50-14
    ■ Dimensions (L x W x H): 4,590 x 1,800 x 1,980 m
    ■ Wheelbase: 2,400 m
    ■ Ways Front / Rear: 1,484 / 1,489 m
    ■ Ground clearance: 0,150 m
    ■ Payload: 1000 kg
    ■ Effective volume: 6.5 m3
    ■ Curb Weight: 1220 kg
    ■ GVW: 2290 kg.
    ■ MAXIMUM SPEED: 105 km / h
    ■ FUEL CONSUMPTION: 8.9 litres /100km.
    ■ PRODUCTION: 1967-1982: 300,000 produced (estimated), with 230,000 of the 1st series (1967 to 1977)
    ■ 1967 PRICE: 1,150,000 lire (Italy).

    The utilities do not really have the odds Italy, 238 less than the others. A van in beautiful condition (which is really not easy to find) is trading around 500 euros. Hard to imagine that things are progressing a lot in the coming years.

    Fabrizio Colella and his Van Fiat 238 1971

    "In memory of my father" Life Fabrizio Colella, 55 and occupational physician, rocked there about ten years, for no apparent reason. One day, his path crossed that of a Fiat 1100E 1952. "She was sold a good price, I said yes without thinking ..." He had no idea he had just put your finger in a terrible gear that would push him to buy a 1976 Alfa Romeo Super Nuova, a Fiat 500 L 1972 and a beautiful Lancia Flaminia 1965 The "worst" was yet to come, because a spark is then lit in his mind: he made up his mind to find the truck that his father used to deliver television sets and other household appliances he sold and repaired. And this is how the van arrived 238, a 615N truck 1956, 1100 T a van in 1962, a bus 625n 19 seats in 1970 and 1976. He 850T truck also took the presidency in 2001, the Circolo Italiano Truck Storici club with about 250 members and more than 1,000 commercial vehicles and trucks. It is in 2011 that he recovered in a break of Piacenza, 238 this van registered for the first time in Como March 29, 1971, it posted more than 100,000 km on the clock.

    LPG and it worked, though it was full, it was blocked by two decades of capital. Rust had started eating and the roof had been crushed because, for a while, he had to contend with vehicles stored on it! "It took me three years to refurbish it, making no follies. Taking my time and doing, for my self, all I could. "Admit that it was worth it...

    Surprise! Passenger side door reveals an expansion tank with the filler cap to the coolant! The bladder laveglace is attached to the passage of the driver's side wheel.

    The counter block is the same that will equip the 500 L.

    Right side, access is via two opposing doors, releasing an impressive load input.

    Two benches, one of which can accommodate two passengers, the central one being still quite uncomfortable. Note the vents Two pavilion side, two on the dashboard.

    When the flap PNR, it has a tray on which you can drop objects or table that can be used to make a quotation...

    The steering column is almost vertical, the stalks are grouped on the left.

    No complaints about the forward visibility. It's just perfect. We will not say much for the rear. Notice that Fiat has also not seen fit to install a retro interior. It would have been useless for lack of AR glass!

    The spare wheel takes place in a small stamped practiced in the transition from left wheel. Right side, housing was also carried out, this time for the battery.

    By opening up to 90 °, the rear doors provide excellent accessibility to the load space, which has, furthermore, a completely flat floor.

    With more than 4.50 m in length and a wheelbase of 2.40 m, the box body 238 has a load volume of about 6.5 m3! Impressive, despite his height contained (less than 2 m).

    Utility yes, but with quality finishes. The proof the presence of door fittings.
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    The #1968 #Fiat-124-Spider / #Fiat-124 / #Fiat / BUYING GUIDE / WORDS Nick Larkin / PHOTOGRAPHY Stuart Collins

    Lovely styling, a delicious twin-cam and a surprisingly sturdy build, the 124 Spider ticks all of the classic sports car boxes.

    The 124 Spider is surely the answer to many a classic motoring prayer. A delightful combination of Italian looks, a lusty twin-cam engine, (mostly) reliable components and, because the cars were mysteriously never officially imported into Britain, imbued with a certain exclusivity. Somewhat surprisingly, the car is reasonably well built, although a dire lack of rustproofing means any potential purchase needs meticulous inspection for rot.

    The Fiat 124 Spider was designed and built by Pininfarina, which eventually branded the car under its own name from 1983-1985. Of the 198,000 124 Spiders produced from 1966-1985, around 170,000 were sold in the USA, many in so called ‘dry states’. Several thousand have now migrated to Britain, where there is good specialist and club support.


    Just look at the pictures! A good 124 Spider is a joy to drive and own, and close exposure to one will soon have you lapsing into Italian sports car clichés.

    Based on an adapted 124 saloon floorpan (yes, the same one that became a Lada) the cars are generally solid and lack a nasty Mediterranean temper. Though never built in right-hand drive form, conversion by a specialist is possible for about £3000. If the car you’re viewing is already a RHD model, find out who did the work.

    Fiat 124 Spiders sound wonderful, their performance is more than adequate, and they’re equipped with a five-speed gearbox and disc brakes? You can even put the hood up without leaving the driver’s seat. Surely those factors alone should put these cars on your shopping list.


    These cars had various incarnations during long their production run, but here are the main ones. Many enthusiasts favour the 1438cc, 90bhp AS model (1966-1970) for its purity of line. The BSI of 1970-1972 had 1608cc and 110bhp and is often recommended as the best overall choice. The CS (1972-1973) boasted the Fiat 132’s 1592cc unit and the 1800 CSi (1973-1978) offered 1756cc and, later, impact bumpers. Later cars were 1995cc and were at times available in fuel injected form, turbocharged and VX DS with 135bhp and a #Volumex supercharger. Just 500 Volumex models were built, and like the turbo cars, some experts reckon they are best avoided.

    Pininfarina took over total production of the car in 1981. Cars developed various bonnet and wheelarch bulges, as well as larger bumpers. There was also an Abarth version, which falls outside of our remit here.


    Fiat’s Lampredi-designed twin-cam engine is legendary. It lasts well and is easy to work on, but in the Spider, you should watch out for rear end rattle and damaged sumps. Fiat 132 engines – where you can find them – can be substituted without too much modification. Carburettors can suffer from wear, particularly the spindles on Solex units, so check it runs properly. Later cars are fuel injected by Bosch, and tend to be more reliable, with good parts and specialist backup.


    As with many Italian cars, the electrical system decays, causing issues. A rewire is straightforward, but time consuming.


    Front wishbone bushes and balljoints are prone to wear. Track rod ends can be worn or seized, as can drag links. If you are buying a car converted to righthand drive car, you need to find out who carried out the work. The worm and roller steering set-up is reasonably easy to work on, which is good, as it can suffer from wear and even seizure. Check for excessive play.


    Early cars were built from good quality steel, with the rot only setting in from the late 1970s. Look at the door bottoms, particularly at the corners. Outer sill covers are not structural, the important stuff being behind them, while inner sills last well but are costly to put right. The crossmember supporting the engine and front suspension can crack and/or be the victim of accident damage. Also watch for floor rot due to damp carpets, rusty wheelarches (they are double skinned) in the area where the front wing meets the sills, the inner wings the boot lid and inside the boot.


    Dashboard tops can split, but new ones are available. You can also get new hoods. Driver’s seat backs can break due to people leaning back to grab the hood!


    ENGINE 1438cc/4-cyl/DOHC
    POWER 96bhp@6500rpm
    TORQUE 83lb ft@4000rpm
    MAXIMUM SPEED 106mph
    0-60MPH 11.9sec
    TRANSMISSION RWD, five-spd manual


    Concours £35,000+
    Excellent £15,000-20,000
    Usable £8000-10,000
    Project £3000-5000


    1972 FIAT SPIDER VALUE £8000, 45-yearold male living in Cambs, club member, car garaged and used as second vehicle, 3000 miles pa: £82.31 or £99.54 incl Agreed Value

    Hood £594
    Engine rebuild £6000
    Gearbox £1200
    Door £360-£420
    Bonnet £220
    Outer sill £210
    Prices from DTR (

    Fiat Motor Club GB
    Sporting Fiats Club
    DTR European Sports Cars Croydon.
    0208 645 5050,
    Middle Barton Garage Oxfordshire.
    01869 345766,

    This car has been expertly converted to right-hand drive. Engines were 4-cyl 1438cc, 1608cc, 1756cc and 1995cc.
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    It seems that the #VAZ-21011 #1982 model year that I was able to take a picture today in Russia is in original condition. The paint factory, and its appearance is very attractive. Interior totally worn, the owner declares that the machine does not run for more than 12 000 km / 8,000 miles. Engine 1.2-liter, naturally carburettor – 60bhp (DIN). It is interesting that the car leather interior, with plenty of interior decoration in the presence of metals in the body colour! Transmission 4-stage manual (in the #USSR in the runabout was not automatic transmissions). Also on the car are the original tyres and hubcaps that in Russia very rare for classic cars. #Lada / #VAZ / #Lada-1200

    It should be noted that this model is nothing more than a clone of the #Fiat-124 , like its earlier counterpart of the classic lineup #VAZ-2101 .
    ‏ — at Gorkovskaya ulitsa (Klyazma), 2, Pushkino, Moskovskaya oblast', Russia, 141201
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    Rediscovery #Fiat-124 sport coupe 1600 and 1800 / #Fiat-124-Sport-Coupe-1600 / #Fiat-124-Sport-Coupe-1800 / #Fiat-124-Sport-Coupe

    Same year, same colour but different displacements for both #Fiat 124 Sport Coupe: a left 1600, right 1800. Both received a new face appeared AV late August #1972 with separate grille-mounted optical double platinum. Seem fog of 1600 are a period option.

    If today many manufacturers fail to decline over twenty models on the same basis, in simply making the "badging" and minimal cosmetic changes, it was not the case when back 50 years back. Best, downright could start from zero and disseminate almost in an identical range of cars that borrowed anything to each other. This is the case of the 124 Sport Coupe that has not only his own body, but has retained the sedan as its suspension and wheelbase. Everything else is new, starting with the engine! Other times, other customs ...

    It could not be different from the sedan that cut and spiders that were declined. At Fiat, we did not go with the back of a spoon, which not surprisingly, a trend that already happened with the #Fiat-850-Spider and assembled by #Bertone . The only difference is that this time, it is not an external coachbuilder in Turin manufacturer offering a new version, but the Internal Style Centre, headed by Gianpaolo Boano. Entered the market in March #1966 the Fiat 124 has, at first glance, nothing glamorous. It is a pure technical product, remarkably well thought out and, in a modest appearance, marks a clear break with the past. For the first time, this is not, in fact, the office studies who designed the concept, but that of the production that has imposed his views. Result? An extremely simple car, easy to manufacture, maintain and repair, lightweight (855 kg load) and reliable. A future global success since it will be assembled by several brands ( #Seat , #Tofas and #Lada #VAZ Russian) until ... 2011.

    Is the rivalry between the two teams of engineers that grows to fully review the copy for derivatives? Without a doubt. How else to explain that apart from the suspension, the Sport Spider sublime built by #Pininfarina borrows nothing from the sedan? Not even its wheelbase! But above all, what other explanation could advance the studies who developed the Sports Coupé and have chosen, once again, that the running gear elements while maintaining this time wheelbase sedan? Take the engine. The wise 4-cylinder 1197 cm3 five bearings and is replaced by a much more noble mechanics. A double overhead camshaft studied by Aurelio Lampredi. 1438 cm3 for power increased to 90 hp DIN and a nice bonus torque of 11 kgm available from 4,000rpm. Small wonder that, by the way, is only the first in a long line that will last until the 90s, Lancia K Turbo 1994 being the last to use it. It is associated with a box 5 of the convertible (fifth overdrive), a box 4 of the coupe.

    The brakes, always drives on four wheels, are now recipients. The dashboard and interior have nothing in common with the sedan and we also note an important difference compared with this time at spider: the cut, the windshield is glued, chrome entourage participating more tightness becomes a pure aesthetic element.

    This is a first for Fiat. As for drawing Boano, he moves away from both the sedan might have trouble finding and cabriolet with whom he shares, however, a small family resemblance.

    Sold much cheaper than its competitors (ITL 1,490,000 against 1,695,000 in the Giulia GT Junior in particular), the Sport Coupe is so successful that it will quickly evolve into a second series presented in November 1969 at the Turin Motor Show. By visual uniformity of concern with Dino, the whole AV facade is revisited, integrating four projectors iodine and rectangular flashing in the bumper. The AR and AR optical trunk lid are also redesigned, as the dashboard that receives a clock, a matte colour instead of the fake wood to house the instruments, cloth seats instead of leatherette (the - C remains present on the sides of the backrest and seat), etc. Little quirk that it is difficult to understand: the AV deflector has been reduced in size and, hence, there is no interchangeability of AV ice between the first two series.

    It was at this same time that his shoulder Sport Coupé Fiat 1400 version 1600 which drift mechanics that of 125: 110 hp, two dual carburettors body to manoeuvre and a higher compression ratio for a top speed which rose from 170 to 180 km/h. The suspension is relaxed at the expense of handling but for the benefit of comfort, especially as the AR anti roll bar disappears the landscape, accentuating his temperament understeer. The third and final series starts on 27 August 1972. Aesthetically, the changes are debatable but in the times, it seems. The rectangular grille slightly rounded edges is framed by dual lens mounted on separate panels. The bumpers are in three parts, bananas equipped with a rubber protection. The face AR receives trapezoidal headlamps, more imposing bumper with a horizontal range and the rear trunk door is extended to the floor, which facilitates access to the boot. Inside, the bottom of the dashboard is of metal cladding and the shape of the seats provides better lumbar support.

    Technically, the trend is even clearer. If, for the record, we note the return of the anti-roll bar at the rear (Fiat acknowledged its mistake), mechanical supply is completely redesigned. The 1400 first passes the trap. In five years of existence, he had convinced 30% of buyers cut. The 1,608 cm3 is replaced by the 1,592 cm3 derived from 132. With an important result, because it is much less athletic, especially associated with a unique dual carburettor body, solely to reducing consumption. The power is thus lowered to 104 hp DIN and although the top speed is unchanged, reversals and sensations are more bourgeois.

    At his side landed a new version equipped with a 1756 cm3 developing 114hp, also fed by only one lung and produced until March 1976. The last cut Fiat before long (see box). Find one now almost a miracle, most of whom perished on the ground. Then two! In the same year (1973), in the same colour (red Sierra), with the option box 5 and belonging to two brothers, it was simply unimaginable.

    When I was twenty, explains Roberto Mensio, I rode every day with a coupe 124 green. One of the last copies of the second series, the best of the three in my opinion. But at the time, I wanted one of the ultimate models. I thought a modern twist could not hurt. Having seen a dozen, I found this in 1600 I used until 1989 after some minor work. "This is that chance puts him in the presence of another coupe, a 1800 one, stopped on the roadside, open cover. "I offer my help, thinking it was a problem with the fuel pump, a classic on the third series. And there, the guy told me that it should rather be the turbo! I think of a joke, I lean and I actually discovered a Garrett turbine!

    Fascinated, Roberto made an offer to the owner. Who four months later, agreed to cede its Sports Coupe which was only 41,000 km on the odometer. "I wanted to sell the 1600, but I finally gave my brother Massimo. I took advantage of turbo of 1800 until 1992 but in town it was heating a lot, so I put everything back home. "So, as I am taking the view stealing two cars, performance is pretty equal between the two models, the pair slightly higher Milleotto being barely perceptible. Tasty its double overhead cam head, without being as addictive as Alfa Romeo, is promising, but use both engines admit some discretion on this generation. The fault lies in part only dual carburettor body, but also a wiser distribution diagram. So, the nervousness of the second series has somewhat evaporated in favour of a outros increased suppleness and use more consistent with what is expected of a pure passenger car. With five box and the bridge of the previous version, we could have hoped for. It's just not worse.

    We consoled by saying that, suddenly, the car is much better adapted to current circulation rules, limitations and other constraints that inter say to drive fast. And if one wants to keep still a vague feeling of sportiness, there is always the solution to push the first three reports, taking full advantage of this torque between 4,200 and 6,000rpm. The handling of the case and locks incite farms.

    For cons, the return to the Panhard rod to the RA undoubtedly is good for the coupe gaining neutrality, despite its rigid axle and coil springs that are a bit too soft, triggering times of roll damping effects that are struggling to fight. I assure you, this is really sensitive that when a string of abrupt changes of support and not at all in high-speed corners, which was the case on the second series. Regarding cars Mensio brothers, I encounter another phenomenon: If 1600 has retained the original air rises, the 1800 is equipped with 185 (two sizes above) and a limited slip differential. So, if it is less fun to "steer" it becomes downright polite in his reactions. Wrapping a Senator serenity. For me, the major difference in character is only there. Not in the engine but in this tire choice.

    You will understand, the coupe has the name of Sport. It behaves honestly, but do not try to chase the stopwatch. He knows how to stay in his place, offering a snowman illusion and without surprises complicity. It is pretty well established in wraparound seats participating in good general comfort and welcoming four people because the rear seat is actually usable by adults, which is rare enough in this category to be reported. The cabin is fairly typical Fiat however enjoying a beautifully arranged battery of instruments on a board ribbed aluminium look great. You get total: tachometer graduated up to a generous 220 km/h, with tachometer red zone starting at 6,400rpm, fuel gauge, oil pressure, water temperature and watch. The centre console includes two adjustable vents in addition to two others on each side of the dashboard. Is that we are dealing here with a heating system that is both powerful and effective way that betrays a little more bourgeois vocation of this cut. Just as the presence of the radio or the optional wide trunk. Or habitability. If I dared, I would say that this car is actually a cleverly disguised sedan coupe. I dare.

    The distribution is hidden by this very elegant painted housing. The manufacturer recommended replacement belt every 40,000 km... A word... By recovering a Panhard bar at rear, the coupe found the stability he had lost with the radio option, you could to install a power antenna which reads the engine. It is under the trunk carpet that hides the spare wheel.

    Gianpaolo Boano drew a coda tronca back, taking it relates both stylistic and aerodynamic very popular in the late 60s.

    The 4-cylinder designed by Aurelio Lampredi is a double overhead camshaft head with toothed belt drive.

    Read also
    • Fiat 124: Frog or princess
    • Fiat 124 Sport Spider and Coupe: Buying Guide
    • Fiat 124: The Universal Car
    • Fiat 124: Conquering the world
    • Fiat 124 Sport Spider 1600: mid-Mi-bourgeois sport
    • Fiat 124 Sport Spider: The Good Deal?

    The major difference with the two previous series, these are the lights and trapezoidal significantly larger bumpers, with banana with rubber protection.

    The coupe has always been entitled to a generator, which was not the case of the Spider.

    Technical passport Fiat 124 Sport Coupe 1600 3rd series Incidentally, the data from the 1800s.

    Type AC.000 Fiat 132 (132 AC1.000). 4 cylinders in line, ready longitudinally AV. Cast iron block, alloy cylinder head. Five crankshaft bearings. Valves V controlled by two overhead camshafts driven by toothed belt

    Displacement: 1.592 (1.756) cm3
    Bore x stroke: 80 (84) x 79.2 mm
    Compression ratio: 9.8: 1 (8.9: 1)
    Max power: 104 (114) DIN hp at 6,000rpm or 108 (118) DIN hp with the optional five-speed box
    Max torque: 14 (15.6) DIN m/kg at 4200rpm
    Power: double barrel carburettor #Weber or #Solex C34 DMS 34 ESIA 5
    Ignition: 12 V 45 Ah battery, coil and distributor
    Cooling: liquid radiator and pump.

    Wheels rear drive, limited slip differential optional
    Clutch: dry
    Transmission: 4-speed synchronized + March (5 optional box) shifter on floor

    Gear ratios 4: 1st: 3,797 - 2nd: 2,175 - 3rd: 1,410 - 4: 1 - MAR: 3,652
    5 gear ratios: 1st: 3,667 - 2nd: 2,100 - 3rd: 1,361 - 4: 1 - 5th: 0.881 - MAR: 3,526
    Axle Ratio: 3.900 (hypoid bevel) with BV4, with 4,300 BV5.
    2-door coupe, 4 places. Self-supporting monocoque body made of sheet steel

    Front suspension: independent with wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, hydraulic shock absorbers
    Rear suspension: rigid axle, four longitudinal push rods, Panhard bar, hydraulic shock absorbers
    Brakes: Front disc / rear, brake booster assistance through
    Handbrake: mechanical, acting on rear wheels
    Direction: screw and roller
    Turning circle: 11.7 m between walls
    Rims: steel (alloy Cromodora option) 5Jx13 inch

    Wheel and tyres: 165 HR 13, HR 13 185 optional
    Dimensions (L x W x H): 4,170 x 1,670 x 1,340 m
    Wheelbase: 2,420 m
    Routes front / rear: 1,340 / 1,310 m
    Ground clearance: 0.125 m
    Trunk volume: 0.221 m3
    Empty weight: 995 kg.

    Top speed: 180 (185) km/h
    Consumption: 8.7 (8.4) litres/100km.
    March 1966 - March 1976: 299,686 copies.

    The last set is the least publicly. For 4,000 euros you can find a copy in fairly good condition. But be careful to corrosion, the number one enemy of this model which is struggling to take off because of this recurring phenomenon (Source: Ruoteclassiche).

    This 1800 Cromodora equipped with wheels and a tire goes up twice in the beginning, better holding the pad. But what is gained safe, fun is lost.

    Data for four seats, the 124 Sport Coupe has a seat that can actually accommodate two people in relative comfort. Place reserved for legs is limited, especially if the driver or his neighbour recede headquartered maximum.

    Welcome aboard a car inclination to sports if we rely decorum, but rather gentrified as evidenced perfectly padded seats and very generous in size. We were optimistic at Fiat by providing a graded meter to 220 km / h!

    The wide door provides easy access to rear seats. Its finish is simple but decorated with touches of chrome that enhance black leatherette. Above the center console, most of the control dials associated with a watch. A classic: The quarter windows that can open wide to better ventilate the cabin.

    Roberto and Massimo Mensio and Fiat 124 Sport Coupe 1600 and 1800 1973 "family of fans"

    On the occasion of the press kit for the launch in 1993 of the Fiat Coupe, the manufacturer turned to Chris Bangle and produced a family photo before the Stupinigi hunting lodge not far from Turin. It showed some of the cut created by the house, how to ensure witness the award between 1100 S, 8V, the Dino, 2300 or S 124 Sport Coupe. The latter, as you see it today is that of Massimo Mensio.

    "Fiat does not have in his collection and I was asked if I would lend it. What I did willingly, you can imagine. "It was also he who had presented his 1100 D. Roberto, he too is not unknown to you. He is regularly invited in our columns, the commercial agent of 51 years with a remarkable collection of models in the mid-60s and 70s, only badged Fiat: 125, 124 and 124 Sport Spider 1600.
    This is called a fan family!

    The new ventilation grille with its hubcap. If the spider is entitled to door handles with visible button, the coupe has always had this beautiful palette system.

    Face to face between two aesthetically identical models. The rims difference is the result of an option, nothing else. These trapezoidal lights appeared only on the third series.

    Do not be fooled by appearances, the 124 Sport Coupe is not a sport. She just gives the illusion. Nevertheless, we can have fun at the wheel.

    The rear trunk door was revised to finally allow access to the luggage compartment. Previously, the vertical part was fixed and we had to pass over.

    It was a first for Fiat: the windscreen is glued.
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    Driveable Dream. A #Fiat-124 Sport Coupe gets back on the road. Sport Survivor. Sparkling performance from a rarely seen Italian charmer, Fiat’s 1969 124 Sport Coupe. By Mark J. Mccourt photography by Jeff Koch.

    How is it that some cars have all but disappeared from our roads? We’re not necessarily talking about ultralow- production rarities, but mass-produced cars that sold in respectable numbers. What factors — mechanical failings, limited parts availability, a propensity to rust — could lead them to virtual extinction? We asked ourselves this question after stumbling upon John Barchus’s first-series 1969 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, a once-popular car that has all but vanished in America. We realized it was the first of its kind we’d seen in ages — perhaps, literally, in decades. That alone that makes it something to celebrate, but it brings so much more to the party.

    Phoenix, Arizona, resident John has a rich history with this Turinese marque, as his first car was a 1966 1100D, a tiny sedan with a four-speed manual shifter on the column. “I was a teenager, working part-time while I was in high school. It was available, it ran, and it cost me $50. That was a deal!” he remembers with a laugh. John has owned about 60 imported and domestic cars and trucks since then, but always maintained his soft spot for Fiats. Indeed, there were two X1/9s in his driveway when he encountered our feature Driveable Dream Sport Coupe in the fall of 2013.

    “Apparently, I have a reputation as the local Fiat guy,” John tells us. “My attorney, who’s a car guy himself, told me he was handling an estate sale that included two #Fiat 124s and a ton of Fiat parts. He said he’d be picking up one of the 124s at the Firebird International Raceway, where the guy’s son had stored it. I’ve owned a bunch of 124 Spiders, so I went with him. When I saw this car from a distance, I thought, ‘Man, that looks like a Coupe!’ I couldn’t believe it. I fell in love with it, and immediately, I wanted it. I didn’t know how the estate sale would handle it, so I made the family an offer before we even got the car running, and it was accepted.”

    This Sport Coupe dated from the second year Fiat imported this 124 variant to the United States, and represented the last year the model would sport designer Mario Boano’s attractive original single-headlamp/wide grille styling that visually linked it with the Spider. Like its soft-top sibling, this comfortable four-seater was an immediate favorite with the automotive enthusiast press, which lauded its mechanical sophistication. Few cars in its circa-$2,950 price range (the Spider cost roughly $200 more) could match this solid-roof Fiat’s combination of roomy accommodations and accessible performance. Indeed, even the equivalently priced BMW 2002 didn’t have the 124 Sport Coupe’s standard dual overhead cam engine design, five-speed manual gearbox or servoassisted four-wheel disc brakes with rear pressure proportioning to prevent lock-up.

    As it was purchased, this 124 was partially disassembled — its carburetor, a Spanish-built Weber clone, was in pieces and the accelerator pump leaked. The twin-cam four-cylinder under that forward-tilting hood was a circa-1972 1,608-cc replacement for the original 96-hp, 1,438-cc unit, and it was fitted with an aftermarket header, Formula 2000 racing-style flex pipe, large-diameter exhaust tubing and Magnaflow rear muffler.

    “In the spirit of speed, I ordered a really nice Weber progressive two-barrel from Vick Autosports,” he says. “The guy who owned it before me obviously massaged the engine; it doesn’t have a lope at idle, but you can definitely tell something is going on, and he definitely put higher-compression pistons in it.” The combination of higher compression and better breathing means John estimates its output at 110 hp.

    Because this car’s history was unknown and it had been dormant, he replaced all the rubber components and went through the brakes and front suspension, fitting braided stainless brake hoses, new tie rod ends, idler arms, A-arms, and springs, and incorporating upgrades like slotted and cross-drilled rotors and Ferodo pads, and larger-diameter anti-roll bars.

    It was obvious that the Sport Coupe’s previous owner had been a dedicated Fiat enthusiast, as the other 124 in his estate was a low-production 1982 124 Turbo — incidentally purchased from the estate by John’s neighbor — and there was that parts stash. “The family wanted everything out of his garage, so we sold what we could for them, and I bought the rest. He had an unbelievable amount of spare parts — many were still in their original shipping bags from Fiat, including wiring, and an original chin spoiler for this car that was never installed. There are enough window molding pieces for this and another car, and a removable hard top for a Spider that was in nearly perfect condition. He must have had it for a very long time, because I’m sure some of this stuff is made from unobtanium.”

    Those polished stainless window moldings, particularly the pieces surrounding the rear window, are linked to one of this wellpreserved car’s minor condition issues. “I’ve been all around under the car, and it’s never been crashed, and there’s no evidence of rust underneath. If it hasn’t been here [in the desert] its entire life, it’s been here most of its life,” he says. “I think it has its original paint, but someone sprayed clear on the top surfaces at some point, and that’s peeling, so I’ll have to pull everything off to have it repainted properly in the original color. Also, there’s some rust around the rear window that I’ll have to address — I’ve started pulling back the rubber around the headliner in preparation for removing the glass. My neighbor, who bought the 1982 Turbo, is an aircraft-certified welder, so if anyone can weld new pieces in there, he can do it.”

    In the process of sorting the 124, John completed one previously begun modification and followed up with another. “In this car, the battery can be mounted in the trunk or up in front, and here, it’s in the trunk. Whoever repositioned it didn’t use the right gauge of wire. I was having trouble with it reliably starting — it seemed not to be getting enough power. NAPA sells bulk battery cable for RVs that is #2 wire, legitimate battery cable with good copper. I ran that from the battery all the way up front, but that didn’t really solve the problem, so I got a high-torque starter from Vick, because I knew the compression was a bit higher. That starter weighs nine pounds, compared to the stock one that must weigh about 24 pounds. It was a pricey unit, but my gosh, that car starts every time, right now!

    I no longer have to worry if I’ll have to push it. It’s been fantastic. “And now, every time I take it out, it seems to run better,” John says with a grin. “I don’t know at what point the 1,608 appeared, but I’m not complaining. It idles like a normal Fiat, but it loves when you get into the RPM, and it pulls really well, and accelerates hard through the gears. I honestly think this would probably beat that 124 Turbo, straight ahead, since it’s a couple hundred pounds lighter. I’ve driven Formula Fords before, and it’s like driving that: you use the RPM, and the car is willing to do whatever you want it to.

    “Going down the road, it tracks really well, there’s no slop in the steering since I’ve replaced the tie rods. It loves double-clutch downshifting and going into turns, staying on the throttle and driving through,” he says. While the 124’s live axle, parallel trailing arms and Panhard rod may not be as sophisticated as the competitive 2002’s independent rear setup, the 185/60-13 radial-shod coupe holds its own. “It pitches a bit, going into turns, but this doesn’t upset the chassis, and it doesn’t try to plow or oversteer — you can just lay into the throttle, and it’s really neutral. The brakes are phenomenal, especially since I put the rotors, pads and braided hoses on it; they bite right at the top, and are really easy to modulate, so if you need to stop, you can do it in a hurry.”

    Considering how fun the Sport Coupe is to drive, it’s no surprise that John isn’t in a hurry to take it off the road to effect the body repairs, and the car’s clever, forward-thinking engineering means it’s a pleasure to keep in good shape. “You don’t have to open a bottle of whisky to get the courage to work on them,” he laughs. “Fiats have notoriously been a bit underpowered, but they’re so light, nimble and fun to drive. My attorney asked if he could take this once around the block. He came back 35 minutes later, with a big grin on his face. That says a lot!”

    Aside from some splits in the OEM vinyl upholstery and cracking in the dash’s wooden fascia, this Fiat’s interior is in remarkable condition. The Cavallino Rampante on the aftermarket steering wheel boss works the horns. The stock 1,438-cc DOHC four-cylinder was swapped for an upgraded 1,608 unit with a two-barrel Weber.

    ”When I saw this car from a distance, I thought, ‘Man, that looks like a Coupe!’ I couldn’t believe it. I fell in love with it, and immediately, I wanted it”

    CAR #1969 #Fiat-124-Sport-Coupe
    Engine DOHC I-4, cast-iron block and aluminum head
    Displacement 1,608 cc
    Horsepower 110 (est.) @ 6,400 RPM
    Torque, lb.ft. 100 (est.) @ 3,600 RPM
    Fuel system Weber 2-barrel carburetor
    Gearbox Five-speed manual
    Suspension Front, wishbones, coil springs, tube shocks, anti-roll bar; rear, live axle, trailing arms, Panhard rod, coil springs, struts, anti-roll bar.
    Steering Worm and roller
    Brakes Four-wheel discs
    Wheelbase 95.3 inches
    Length 162 inches
    Width 65.8 inches
    Height 52.8 inches
    Curb weight 2,110 pounds
    0-60 MPH 10.0 seconds (est.)
    Top speed 106 MPH (est.)
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    #VAZ #Lada 21011 (left) amd 2101 (right) pre-model more close to original #Fiat-124
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