Already in 1947, Dante Giacosa, the brilliant genius boss of the design department at Fiat, had applied for patents for his invention, a car with a front-mounted engine and gearbox. His closest colleague Carlo Salamano, chief test driver at that Italian car manufacturer, hated front-wheel drive cars and criticized every attempt to make something of it.
In 1962 he said goodbye to Fiat and that finally opened the doors for a sequel. That eventually resulted in 1964 in the Autobianchi Primula. Autobianchi was more or less a continuation of the bicycle and motorcycle empire Bianchi, based in Milan, a factory that already produced the first automobile in the world in 1899. After the war it was decided to stop production and to resume it in 1955. There was no money and so the help of Lancia and Pirelli was called in; Lancia fell prey to Fiat in 1967 and so Bianchi automatically became Autobianchi.
project X1 / 4
The success of the Primula convinced the Fiat management to bring such a car onto the market itself. In 1969 the 128 and the Autobianchi A112 were born, with the former being seen as a 'family car', the other a real city car. The X1 / 4 project, the later Fiat 127, had already been started a year earlier. Simply outlined by Pio Manzoni, the successor to the 850. The handling appeared formidable and the car had sufficient engine power and was low in purchase. We'll just say a 'supermini'. The cart would be introduced in 1972 as Fiat CoTY. From the first moment, the Fiat 127 was a blockbuster. It took a while for rivals Audi (the '50') and Ford (the Fiesta) to come up with almost the same concept. In Europe, the curtain fell on the Fiat 1987 in 127; in 1995 in South America. The counter then stood at 5,2 million copies.