Fiat 124 sport coupé

Fiat 124 sport coupé

In the mid-1960s, people in Turin looked enviously to Milan: Alfa Romeo had launched the Giulia Sprint GT, the dream car of an entire generation. This Romeo simply had everything that the Turiners could not offer: Temperament, passion and innovative technology. But after Giovanni Agnelli – a passionate driver of fast sports cars – took over the helm at Fiat in 1966, this was to change abruptly: in 1967 there was a sensational double premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. Next to the gorgeous (and equally unaffordable) Fiat Dino was the brand new Fiat 124 Coupe.

Unlike the Spider presented a year earlier, which was designed by Pininfarina, the Coupe was designed by the company's own Centro Stile. That was no disadvantage: The Fiat designers had created a shapely, elegant Coupé. The basis was the floor assembly of the Fiat 124 sedan, which was extended by 8.5 centimeters for the coupe. Unlike some competitors it offered also four persons place, so that one could speak with the 124 Coupé of a genuine Gran Turismo. In terms of features, the coupe clearly stood out from the less luxurious 124 sedan: All models had front and rear disc brakes, the windshield wiper interval was infinitely variable, and additional instruments provided information on oil pressure and water temperature. A radio, color glazing and a heatable rear window were available as options, later even air conditioning. Under the hood sat the 90 hp 1438 cc engine with two overhead camshafts and timing belt drive already known from the Spider. Its power was transmitted to the rear wheels via a four-speed transmission (from the end of 1967 optionally five gears).

In the summer of 1967 the 124 Coupé was also in the showrooms of Fiat dealers in Germany. The car initially cost 9980 marks. That was just under 400 Marks more than the BMW 1600-2 , but a good 2000 Marks less than the Alfa Romeo GT. The Lancia Fulvia Coupé still cost 10.600 Mark. So in the sports coupe class, the new coupe was an outstanding offering. Auto motor und sport even referred to it as a "four-seater price breaker. The Fiat 124 Coupé was also well received in other countries: In the USA. In Great Britain as a right-hand drive it sold splendidly.

After only two years the Turiner launched however already 1970 a new edition of the Fiat 124 Coupés. The internally named BC series came with visually far-reaching modifications that gave the coupe a more beefy look, but without diluting its sporty, elegant lines. The designers replaced the single headlights at the front with twin headlights, and the aluminum radiator grille was replaced by a black plastic grille with a honeycomb pattern. To meet new safety regulations, larger taillights were now used at the rear. By the way, they were later also installed on the Lamborghini Uraco. For the first time Fiat offered the Coupé now alternatively with a 110 HP strong 1, 6 liter engine, which lent outstanding road performances to the lightweight (unloaded weight: 955 kg). This was a real battle cry at a time when sporty coupes like the Karmann-Ghia had to make do with an asthmatic 50 hp. At the latest now the Coupé played in a league with the Alfa Romeo Bertone Coupé, the Audi 100 Coupé or the Ford Capri I 2300 GT. In a test in December 1969, the magazine hobby wrote rapturously about the new engine: "This is an engine that delights the connoisseur: two overhead camshafts and a refined 'Gasanstalt', kept by the padded hood like a jewel in a casket."Nevertheless many customers selected forced the smaller engine – admittedly unintentionally. Because in the Fiat factories there were strikes again and again in that time. Legend has it that the workers boycotted the production of the big bourgeois engines in a proletarian spirit. Thus customers had to wait either for a long time – or fall back to the weaker engine Coupe. Of the Coupé of the second series, whose Design is considered as most balanced, were developed until at the end of 1971 well 70.000 units. In addition, 9704 units were produced under license by Seat. Then was also here end – the third and last series, internally called CC, entered the stage. Opinions differed on this: the front, with its recessed twin headlights and lower grille, did not look very harmonious. While hardly anything had changed in the side line, the lights at the rear were now mounted vertically, the trunk lid opened up to the upper edge of the bumper, which brought a lower loading edge with it. Under the hood the 1608 cc engine from the Fiat 132 with just 104 hp did its job, from 1972 onwards a 1756 cc engine with 118 hp was available.

At the end of 1975 Fiat stopped the production of the Fiat 124 Coupé. By then 279.672 copies were created, if you take all three series together. The Spider was produced ten years longer, but came "only" to 198.000 units.

To this day, very few examples of the "little man's dinosaur", as the media liked to call the Fiat 124 Sport Coupé, have survived. Even though the car sold well at the time, it only came from Turin – and not from Milan.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: