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Fiat 125. The Italian volume sports sedan.

Fiat 125
ER Classics Desktop 2022

In the second half of the sixties, the sedan range from Fiat undergoes a thorough renovation. In the middle segment the Italians launch the Fiat 1966 in 124, a year later the higher positioned and larger Fiat 125 follows. And it combines modernity with conventional technology. Nevertheless, it is increasingly regarded as revolutionary during its lifetime.

The Fiat 125 sees the light of day in the spring of 1967. The middle class car designed by Dante Giacosa appears to have some special applications. One of the features that puts the Fiat 125 on the map is the beautiful, 90 HP, 1608 cc engine with two overhead camshafts. The engine, developed under the direction of Aurelio Lampredi, is a jewel of a power source and a novelty in the volume medium class segment. The camshafts are driven by a plastic toothed belt, an application that was increasingly used by manufacturers in the XNUMXs. When it comes to safety, Fiat uses the increasingly popular crumple zones at the front and rear. The braking system (power-assisted, brake discs all around) also contributes to the safety experience.


Modern lines, conventional chassis

The body design is in keeping with the zeitgeist. The coach stands out because powerful lines, subtle curves and excellent proportions have been forged into a tasteful whole in an Italian artistic way. The twin headlights and subtle finishing details betray character and subtly get under the skin. The undercarriage, on the other hand, is based on the old model. Predecessor Fiat 1500 is the starting point in this area. The rigid axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs is one of the things that the 125 takes over from its predecessor, adding a conventional starting point to the modern sixties design. That also applies to the chassis that the 125 inherits from its predecessor.

Criticism disappears into background

The Fiat 125 is well received, although there are sounds left and right accusing Fiat of laziness. “Fiat is making it easy by merging parts from existing models into a new model,” say the skeptics. These critical noises soon fade into the background because of an excellent and luxurious equipment level, the engine character, the driving characteristics and practicality.

Magical 100 HP limit: the Fiat 125S

And the image of the Fiat 125 gets an extra boost when Fiat announces the 1968 S (Special) in 125. That's not just a more luxurious version of the ordinary 125. Due to engine adjustments, the S also reaches the magical limit of 100 HP, and such power for a four-cylinder engine was absolutely not common in those years. With the modified power source, the Fiat accelerates to a top of 175 kilometers per hour. To curb speed, Fiat mounts the separate braking system with double servos on the 125S. In addition, this version gets a five-speed gearbox as standard. Things like Cromodora alloy wheels are just a few of the extras on the delight-filled option list.

603.877 Italian copies

The Fiat 125 undergoes few exterior modifications during its career. However, for model year 1970, the regular 125 will be replaced in some markets and the 125S will be changed in 1970. This is especially visible in the modified bumpers (without rosettes), the grille and the units that house the sidelights and the direction indicators. He also gets larger rear light units and upgrades take place in the interior. It is also optionally available with an automatic gearbox. From now on, the 125 S will go through life as a 125 Special and it will be built until 1972. Then the Italian 125 book - after a production of 603.877 copies - closes. The 132 succeeds the 125 Special, but will never get the praise that Fiat has managed to harvest with its predecessor. In fact, the 125 gains admiration after the world gets acquainted with its (unfortunately) underrated successor.

License and own creations

Elsewhere in the world, the Fiat 125 is built under license (and modified form) or simply produced for a longer period of time. The Polski Fiat 125 is of course known. In Yugoslavia it rolls off the production line as Zastava 125. The 1982 is also built in Egypt and Argentina (until 125). Furthermore, the basis of the car lends itself in Italy for your own creation. The body shops Vignale and Moretti build beautiful coupés based on the strong base of the 125.

8 Comments

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  1. After 2 used Fiat 1100, a used 1300, and a used 1500 “finally” at the age of 22 my first new car: a Fiat 125! A Dark Green. What a fantastic car that was. 120.000 kilometers later I called my Vermeij in Uithoorn (where I bought this car) and asked him to order a Fiat 125S for me, but now a red one. This car has served me faithfully for many miles. For my work, the car was often loaded with heavy boxes, so that the mud flaps wore out, but what a pleasure this car has given me. in addition to using it for my work, I also drove tens of thousands of kilometers with the boat behind it through Europe to sailing competitions. The successor, a yellow Fiat 124 Coupé has done me the same faithful service.
    Great cars!!!!!

  2. Always found a particularly beautiful model. The Polski version, however, left a lot to be desired. I actually thought the successor 132 was just as beautiful, it made a much bigger impression. Like the Argenta, its successor, also looked bigger. All in all, nice models, unfortunately the quality was sometimes to cry. Italian design, Japanese production does better. Like the 124 convertible, for example.

  3. I had a Lada 1600, the same model as the Fiat 124. A cool fine car. I had driving lessons in the fiat, a nice car. All in all a good memory of that time.

  4. Very nice to see and read.
    Especially because we still have an Original Dutch Fiat 125 in our possession.
    Exactly like the one with the piece it says Gray on the outside and red on the inside.

  5. Nice model and nice story.

    For me the introduction to the Italian car world!

    My father bought a new white 125. We drove it to Normandy in '69 with the rental caravan behind it. My father was not a racing driver at all, but he was looking forward to that holiday. At 120 km/h we drove on the route national (2-lane roads) to the coast on dead straight roads, up and down hills. Dangerous of course. As a 7-year-old (with my Jan Jansen cap, who had just won the tour), I squeezed him in the back seat as well. But with this, the Fiat brand had made a definitive impression on me. And actually the entire Italian car industry with Lancia and Alfa…. I vaguely remember that it was one with double carburettors, so an S.

  6. I remember well how people looked pitiful in the 80s if you dared to buy a new Polski Fiat 125. This car deserved better and also looked much more luxurious and better than the many Lada 1200 (Fiat 124) that were sold at the time. An alternative in the 80s was the Dacia (Renault 12) for about the same price with the same pitiful looks. This one deserved better.

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