Fiat 128 - I have fallen in love...again. | FerrariChat

Fiat 128 - I have fallen in love...again.

Discussion in 'Other Italian' started by johnireland, Feb 14, 2024.

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  1. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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    In early 1972 I traded in my 1968 Fiat 600D for a new 128. I knew little about Italian cars, nor any other, but I loved driving them fast. The little 600 and fast was an oxymoron unless you had three miles of straight down hill plus a tail wind.

    But the 128 was a whole different car...a three box two berlina that was light and agile and would dance with me through the canyons that crisscrossed the Hollywood Hills. This all comes back because one popped up on BaT. I almost bought it, but mechanic who had first hand experience with the specific car warned me away from it. Now I can't get them out of my mind...a wonderful yet simple little car would be a great (and stealth) weekend toy. I've even bought a Haynes Workshop manual.

    I was all set to commit to a Maserati Biturbo...but the 128 has stolen the show. Anybody else familiar with these cars? Anyone know of one for sale?
     
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  2. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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    #2 TheMayor, Feb 14, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2024
    I had a Fiat 128 3P that I drove cross country from LA to NYC. It actually made it all the way but sadly, left this planet somewhere in New Jersey not making the return trip. I think I just dropped it off at the repair shop and let them part it out in the end. I don't remember selling it.

    If you look closely, there's a bit of the Fiat Dino Coupe in the design language. Hatchbacks were all the rage then.

    It had some really interesting problems. The fuel cap would collect water which would get into the tank making it run rough. The exhaust was too short and exhaust fumes could get into the car. In this photo someone extended the pipe to get rid of the problem. And for some reason, it liked to rust. Not sure why.... (that's a JOKE!)

    Aside from that it was a pretty good car. Very similar to my X1/9 mechanically with the engine and gearbox up front instead of behind the seats. Its FWD while the X1/9 is rear. But the engine and gearbox are practically identical and turning the same direction.


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  3. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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  4. FiatRN

    FiatRN Formula Junior

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    Head over to either Mirafiori.com or Xwebforums.com. They are both enthusiast run, non profit sites filled with crazy Fiat enthusiasts. 128s dont come up too often, but it happens, and the members there will help you find what you're looking for! Kinda like the comraderie here, just with smaller engines!
     
  5. GIOTTO

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  6. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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  7. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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    Thanks for the tips...I'm on my way.
     
  8. Hocakes

    Hocakes Formula Junior

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    Weren't these about 60% rust when new? :D:DAnd like to eat head gaskets??


     
  9. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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    They do rust which is why there aren't many still out there. I don't see many 128's even in Europe anymore.
     
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  10. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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    I'm sure they rusted in certain climates. Never heard of them having issues with head gaskets. Finding a good one in the US is proving hard. But in Europe they can be found for between $6000 and up to $24000...the Rallye model being the most desireable. The magic (as I remember it) was in the driving.
     
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  11. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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    #11 TheMayor, Feb 16, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2024
    Yah hard to find a good one. I had the same problem with Fiat Dino Spider. Either very expensive or in very bad shape. Nothing in the middle.

    The problem is for years no one cared so they fell into poor repair. X 1/9 not as much but there are a good amount of basket cases out there. You need to find an owner who really liked one for a long time and had mechanics who were willing to work on it.

    You might want to consider a Fiat 124 Coupe.

    About a year ago I saw a guy with a perfect Ford Maverick. I'm like -- someone actually kept this POS up for 30+ years? People do weird things.
     
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  12. dave80gtsi

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    I'd suggest that you contact Midwest Bayless in Ohio and have them put out a feeler for you.

    These guys are all about those SOHC Fiat models, and all flavors of these cars pass thru their garage.
     
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  13. Bill in Atlanta

    Bill in Atlanta Formula Junior

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    New 128 sedan on BAT.....
     
  14. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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  15. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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    Thanks, I just bookmarked them.
     
  16. audi_328

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  17. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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    It sold for $12500. I was tempted but there was also the shipping costs from Italy to Los Angles. I'm driving up to Santa Barbara to see one on Sunday. They have it insanely overpriced at $19900. And it has some tin worm or corrosion issues that I have to see in person. If the best example in the world just sold for $12500, and the car I'm looking at has $5000 in metal issues that would necessitate a whole new paint job, I'd say the car up north is worth $7000. I think the seller will have a heart attack when I break the news to him. I'd go $7750 tops and then I'd walk.
     
  18. merstheman

    merstheman F1 Rookie

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    Consider a 130 - those were really nice.
     
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  19. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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  21. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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  22. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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    Wow that's a beauty!
     
  23. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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    The sale fell apart. The seller suddenly didn't want to work with the complany he listed the car through. It also provides escrow service so funds don't get paid until the buyer acknowledges delivery. I honestly think he had a change of heart about selling and either consciously or subconsciously looked for a way out. I am now reopenning contact with another seller who has my other favorite. The next few days will tell. I have shipping all arranged.
     
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  24. TheMayor

    TheMayor Nine Time F1 World Champ
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    Sometimes things just work out for the better.
     
  25. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Veteran
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    Well I guess Europe can't be a market place to buy one of these if I want to register it in California. A stupid litte CA law that only involves importing foreign cars made between 1968 and 2004. My search for a period car in on pause...unless I find one originaly sold in the US.
     

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