Fiat 124 Reviews - Page 2 of 4

1972 Fiat 124 BC 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired87000 miles
Most recent distance160000 miles

Summary:

An Italian Classic

Faults:

Engine reconditioned at 150,000 miles.

Distributor replaced with electronic type, resulting in excellent reliability and spark plug life.

Gearbox replaced at 155,000 miles due to jumping out of 3rd gear.

General Comments:

Gets up and goes for their age.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th July, 2003

1974 Fiat 124 Sports Coupe 1.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired105000 miles
Most recent distance118000 miles
Previous carSubaru Rex

Summary:

A colorful and competent classic coupe - buy one before prices skyrocket!

Faults:

Very little actually. I bought the car from an enthusiast who had owned it for 11 years, but not driven it much in recent times. I replaced the cam belt ($17 part), the fan belt and fluids. As it turned out both of these belts definitely needed replacing.

The only issue has been the handbrake which will not work on really steep hills and apparently cannot be fixed. As a result I always leave it in gear on inclines.

General Comments:

A "rorty", taut and mischievous sports coupe that has character in buckets and still manages to lift its skirts and run with the modern cars.

The standard 1750 twin cam engine is fine, but responds really well to some modification. I have added twin Dellorto twin throat carbs, a polished 125T inlet manifold and K&N free flow filters, then had it dyno-tuned.

This resulted in an increase in performance from 85hp at the back wheel to 106hp (approximately 140 at the crank). And while this car is never to equal the contemporary sports cars, it makes it very nippy to drive and has a wonderful "raspberry" exhaust note. The brakes are superb, the handling excellent and the five speed box superb. And a decent sized back seat too!

If you are looking for one the over-riding requirement is rust - or the lack of it. Search long and hard for the most rust free example you can find, then grab it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th June, 2003

28th Oct 2004, 23:08

Reading your review brought back a lot of fond memories for me when I had my 124 (circa late 1969 early BC version with 1430 engine). If only Fiat would have the sense to reintroduce such a fine example of a sports coupe. Did you know that you can (could) get electronic ignition for your CC model. From memory there was a spot on the passenger side of the engine bay.

Did you fix the handbrake?

18th Nov 2007, 13:52

My Father had bought a new one in 1973. Red and the 1400cc, ordered with 5th gear. He only drove it Sunday's and he only did 9k. I got it in 1980. Used to race it on the track and on the road. never gave me any trouble except for some rust around the windscreen. People were in awe seeing it here. I sold it back in 1986 after I had done 140k. To this day I regret I sold it and if the guy had not wrecked it totally I would have bought it back.

5th Apr 2011, 07:25

Re: your handbrake problem, try backing off totally the lever adjustment, press the footbrake several times, then adjust the lever to 6 clicks.

Ex Fiat Mechanic Dealership Owner.

Mikewild.ls@hotmail.co.uk.

1972 Fiat 124 Spider 1600 1.6L 125BC.040 from North America

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6L 125BC.040 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance0 miles

Summary:

Classic sports car with LOTS of potential!

Faults:

One of the previous owners put the dumb 132AC (1592cc) engine in, which when the timing belt came loose on the previous owner, snapped both valve heads off on the #4 cylinder. I bought a "new" 20 year old 125BC (1608cc) engine to replace the non-original, piece-o-crap 132AC.

The valve cover and cylinder head gaskets leak (not too bad considering age), and the transmission (5-speed) needs new seals.

I replaced all of the gaskets and seals on the engine and transmission, rebuilt the carburetor, and made everything nice and shiny. It all works great now!

The only other major problem left to take care of is body cancer. There is a 3 inch wide hole to the left of the driver's seat, a hole (puncture maybe, not rust) in the floorboard, and the suspension to body connecting points are rusted (HAZARD!).

General Comments:

This car is seriously fun to drive!

When I rebuild the engine (how many thousands of miles later?), I plan on making it a 14:1 C/R, hot cam, 500cfm, tunnel ram, race car. Theoretically, that should make around 230HP and 210ft.lb.

With a Rotrex supercharger, that Fiat engine (125BC) would make 250HP on a street setup and pump gas on 1.6L!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2003

14th Dec 2004, 15:35

The Fiat Twin Cam is a reasonably bullet-proof donk, providing all the right bits are done (grab a copy of Phil Ward's Fiat & Lancia Twin Cams).

The Achille's Heel is the box & drive train.

With over 200hp, that delicate little piece of equipment called a 'Fiat 5-speed gearbox' will spray cogs in every direction before even thinking about transferring all that 'grunt' to the rear wheels.

23rd Jul 2005, 07:43

Hi! I just installed a rebuilt 1592 motor in my 1970 Spider. Is there someething wrong with them I don't know about? It replaces a 1498 that came originally with it. 1608 is more desirable, I know, but is there a particular weakspot in the 1592? Thanks!

12th Sep 2009, 08:24

"1608 is more desirable, I know, but is there a particular weakspot in the 1592?"

Yes, the 1608 is "the" engine to have in the early cars, based on the 125 block (the original Ferrari designed block). The 1592 (introduced in 1973 and ended in 1974) was a different block and was a piece-o-crap.

16th Aug 2010, 05:53

Everyone has a favorite among the motor series. The high revving early motors are a hoot, but lack the torque needed for easy and relaxed driving.

The"1800" series has torque to spare but lacks the wind-up thrill of the earlier versions. The 2 liter FI model is less "sportscarish" but a great everyday drive.

I have the "1800" (really 1756CC) and have enjoyed it for 22 of its total 32 years.

A great car!

Average review marks: 6.5 / 10, based on 13 reviews