1979 Fiat 128 Reviews

1979 Fiat 128 3p 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Model year1979
Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1989
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Distance when acquired90 miles
Most recent distance120 miles
Previous carFiat 128

Summary:

Awesome engines

Faults:

Corrosion. serious corrosion requiring reinforcing of most of the front end.

Body shell weakness, requiring strut braces and door pillar supports.

General Comments:

This was a fiat as they used to be. Awful body and electrics, awesome engines, and I mean trully awesome. The 1290 motor in the 128 has a 55 mm stroke and an 84 mm bore. That means it has big valves and very low piston speed at high revs. The result? Over 10000 rpm from a 100000 mile car. Yep, 75 mph in second gear! Mind you it was modified.

I ported the head, skimmed it back by 2.5 mm (yes, static compression was 11.5 : 1)

That was alleviated by fitting a 300 duration cam. 40-80 80-40.

The valve stems were cut back using a lathe and an angle grinder. It ran twin DCNF downdrafts and a home made exhaust.

Alloy wheels off a fiat 132 with 185 70 13 tyres.

Standard suspension and the reinforced aforementioned reinforced body.

Mind you, it needed reinforcing, I used to take it off road and do jumps in it. We had a copuple of humpback bridges near us and we used to take our cars over them at about 90 mph. Now the bridge is about 20 ft high. We used to get the fiats (we all had them) about 10 ft off the ground.

But what can I say, a truly awesome engine. Bog standard 90000 mile bottom and and over 10000 rpm!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th June, 2005

23rd Feb 2007, 02:31

I agree. max rpm is 10800. Pistons speed is 20m/s. Great engine, probably the best ever made.

1979 Fiat 128 3P Coupe SS 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1979
Engine and transmission 1.3
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10

Faults:

Car had numerous electrical problems. The clutch disintegrated while on the move. Generally a very reliable car.

Rusted depressingly quickly.

General Comments:

Car was a little exotic gem and is a forgotten classic. Go cart handling with great acceleration made each trip a joy.

Car had looks of a minature Ferrari especially decked out with SS stripes and alloys. Radio often had to be switched off and windows opened to hear glorious raspy exhaust note. Why don't Fiat make cars like this anymore?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th August, 1999

8th Dec 2000, 12:59

In 1100 form it's still very fast, I've got a 22 year old example and it's still running strong.

Rust hunting keeps me entertained.

9th Oct 2002, 22:58

My 128 Sport L had after market mag wheels. Since Fiat insisted on using bolts to hold the wheels on instead of the standard studs and nut combination used on most other vehicles. My Sport L was caonstantly breaking the wheel bolts in half.

Average review marks: 5.4 / 10, based on 2 reviews