1974 Fiat 128 Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1974 Fiat 128 from North America

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership1976
Most recent year of ownership1981
Engine and transmission Don't Know
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance69000 miles


First love


Clutch cable broke twice, seems like it was a pretty common issue. I really wish I had known that better engine block grounding would have spared the cable.

Fuel pump was mounted below the fuel tank with a wimpy little shield that was supposed to protect it from gravel and grit flying under the car. Mine had intermittent failures that drove me crazy.

US model had an emission control "air pump" with a cogged take-off belt from the camshaft. That belt broke and got wrapped around the timing belt, but it miraculously avoided trashing the valves. After putting in a new belt I ripped out the air pump and air injection manifold.

The car didn't like starting below 30F until I installed a Pirhana electronic ignition and rebuilt the carb. No ignition problems after that!

During cold snowy days the carb would ice up if I drove at high speeds for more than about 15 minutes. The solution was to pull over, shut off the engine, close the choke, and let the engine heat melt the ice for about five minutes.

General Comments:

One hot summer day a buddy and I were in a traffic jam when the top radiator hose got a small crack and shot out some coolant in an impressive cloud of steam. There was a cute girl in the car next to us and she rolled down her window. Is she going to offer us a ride? No, she says "Serves you right for getting a Fiat!" We just laughed!

Despite the problems, this was by far the most fun car I ever owned. It really handled well in wet and snowy conditions, it had great road feel with the manual rack and pinion steering. Owning this Fiat, I learned a heck of a lot about cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th September, 2005

18th Jan 2011, 17:51

I bought a used 1974 128 Coupe in 1979. I traded my 1973 Pontiac Catalina in on it.

I must say that the car was fun, but like others have reported, it didn't like to start below 32 degrees F. It had an electric block heater and that solved that problem. I also became very adept at changing out the clutch cable. About 20 minuets.

Alas I sold it a year and a half later for $75.00. I still keep my eye out for another.

1974 Fiat 128 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership1986
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired160000 kilometres
Most recent distance200000 kilometres
Previous carFiat 124


Great fun


Timing belt broke (my fault; didn't change the old one soon enough)

Rear shocks were poor, needed replacing

Clutch cable broke

Rust - it rusted away before my eyes.

General Comments:

It was very fun to drive; I loved the sound of the engine; the handling was brilliant.

A lovely little car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2004

1974 Fiat 128 from North America

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1974
Most recent year of ownership1979
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance28000 miles
Previous carPlymouth Duster


A Disaster


Let me count the ways this car failed: It wouldn't start below 32F unless it was humid and then it wouldn't start below 50F. The trunk lock broke. The clutch cable broke once in heavy traffic. All I could do was stop the engine immediately to keep from rear-ending the car in front of me. The parking brake stuck on necessitating having a towtruck drag the car out of a garage. At five years it was leaking a mixture of coolant and oil from the crankcase.

General Comments:

It was a fun car to drive when it ran. The most telling moment was when the mechanic had all the cars in his garage stolen except our 128.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th November, 2003

22nd Mar 2006, 22:16

My Dad had two 128's when I was growing up. A 4 door and a station wagon, they were my favourite cars as well as my dad's. They did many thousands of hard miles in the unforgiving Australian terrain. The station wagon got wrapped around a pole and the 4 door died of excessive rust (we did live across the road from the pacific ocean!)

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 8 reviews