Fiat 124 Special, a world car

Fiat 124 Special
ER Classics Desktop

The Fiat 124 was a small family car made between 1966 and 1974. The sedan replaced the Fiat 1300 and was the basis for several variants, including a station wagon, a four-seater coupé (Fiat 124 Sport Coupé), a two-seater convertible (Fiat 124 Sport Spider) and an extended and more luxurious version, the 125, which was introduced at the beginning of 1967. In the fall of 1968, Fiat presented the 124 Special.

Those Spiders and Sport Coupés have since become sought-after, quite expensive classics. But the sedans? They are often used up, rusted and died. Finding a nice Fiat 124 is therefore at least challenging. Consider truths in political promises. But it is not being searched hard yet. The discovery of a perfect Fiat 124 sedan is therefore something that simply happens to you.

The Fiat 124 was completely new

The car was drawn by Oscar Montabone from a blank paper, had a fully synchronized four-speed gearbox, the rear was sprung with coil springs, it had disc brakes all around, was spacious and weighed little. Nice is not it? The presentation of the new Fiat was a spectacle.

The Fiat was filmed while being dropped from an airplane. With a parachute. That again. In 1967, the brave jumper in Europe was named Car of the Year. History has shown that the winners of that prize often end up gloriously.

In the fall of 1968, Fiat presented the 124 Special

The Fiat the 124 Special was equipped with a 1.437 cc OHV and had a clever linkage that had to teach the rigid rear axle the lesson. The Special was inhaled through a double Weber or Solex 32 mm downdraft carburettor. With a compression of 9: 1, the four-cylinder delivered 72 DIN hp according to specifications, where we wonder carefully how tightly the Italians interpreted the Deutsche Industrie Norm.

Fiat gave the special in any case for a top of 150 km / h. But again: Italian numbers and numbers often come from a parallel universe. Anyway: the Fiat 124 Special was certainly not slow in its time.

The Fiat 124 Special was also equipped with an alternator, a heavier clutch, power brakes and it was standard on radial tires. The rims had - as with the sporty family members - round vents, the door handles were in the panels and the Special had different rear lights. The interior was also spruced up. This Fiat was recognizable to the public by its square grille with double, round lamps.

The second generation

At the end of 1970, the Fiat 124 received an update. The braking system was separated, the ventilation was improved. The new Fiat 124 Special was given a nose job. Including rubber strips over the bumpers. At the other end of the car came other rear lights and a chrome strip.

The new dashboard and interior was made more luxurious with imitation wood. The rubber floor covering was replaced by carpet. And there was an 124 Special 'T' with a head with double overhead camshafts. That engine was a somewhat retuned copy from the sporty 124s and delivered 80 hp. The Fiat should be 160 km / h quickly with that. And un-Italian understated, the top version was only recognizable by an extra badge on the butt.


The Lada 1988 and 1200 built in Russia until 1300 were based on the Fiat 124. About 15.000.000 have been sold. But Fiat also sold licenses for the 124 to other countries in its later days. They were made in India at the Premier Automobiles Limited. In Spain the Fiat 124 were called Seat 124. That was from 1968-1976. In Bulgaria, where, according to inexplicable Renault Alpines were also made, the Fiats delivered there in parts hit the local bad roads as Pirin Fiat. In Turkey they were made at Tofaş where they were sold as Murat 124. The Turkish production ran until 1994. More foreigners came from Korea and Egypt.

The Fiat 124 was thus a long-term worldwide success. But because they were utility cars rather than dream cars, they disappeared in time. You don't even see Lada's here anymore. And that 'scarce' is the same as 'wanted?' Not really.

The beautiful Fiat in the photos has been on sale for a while at Van der Hoff Classic Cars in Tilburg. But in the meantime, he has been lovingly adopted by a German collector who found 7950 euros not expensive for a ZGAN car and promised to come back for more beautiful things.

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  1. I enjoyed driving my FIAT 1975S from 1978-124. Year of construction 1970. Lots of space, also nice and fast at that time. Delicious long poker. Complete equipment. In fact, only a revolution counter was missing. In 1978 he was used up. Rusted out and coupling worn out. Hart gr Cor van Loenen.

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