I also rely enjoyed a 1974 that I purchased new. Drove it from Vermont to Arizona. Quite a trip; a bear ripped open one of the back windows at Yellowstone and we later hit a mule deer. The car survived both, but made it back to VT with no radiator fan. I put an Abarth exhaust on it which added to its delightful sound. Unfortunately it later got totaled at about 46,000 miles when a car pulled out in front of my wife. Those ugly bumpers helped out when she hit the other car at 50 or so. Other than whip lash injury it protected her well. In its short life span I never had a bit of trouble with it.
I have one of the latest version. It is called Yugo Skala 55. Serbian production (november 1989).It is FIAT 128 hatchback version (five doors) so it is really practic. It is the best car of that type here in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Yesterday I achieved 150 km/h (5300 rpm) on the motorway Sarajevo-Visoko. Max. speed is 160 km/h. Nice result for only 55 HP. 6000 rpm is really nice, woaw what a sound. I - 55 km/h (6000rpm), II - 80 km/h (6000 rpm) or 85 km/h (6400 rpm), III - 123 km/h (6000 rpm) and IV - 160 km/h (5700 rpm) after very long pushing to the limit. It is not true about poor fuel consumption and rust. My car is in perfect condition even after 130.000 km and 17 years. Fuel consumption is sometimes even lower than 8l/100 km in city. On motorway fuel consumption is about 5-7 l/100km (it depends on driving style). Electronic ignition makes wonder. There is no problem to drive the car in 4. gear 1200 rpm. Really elastic high touring motor, the best ever made in car industry. We have a nice FIAT BRAVA in family. Excellent car. Why? It is Fiat too.
I bought a 1973 128SL brand new in in California and if I recall, the total price out the door was just under $3,000! It was a sort of burnt orange exterior with black interior. What an awesome car. Never gave a problem for the first 4 years then one day while driving, the engine started a repetitive surging and me being young and impatient got tired of the problem and rather than fix it (fuel pump), drove it to the nearest car lot and traded it for a 1973 Olds Cutlass Salon. The little Fiat was in immaculate shape in every way... what an idiot I was to let it go.
I bought a 1973 128 SL from new. Red with black leather interior. I had many beautiful memories driving that car which I still think that it had the most beautiful shape in its class and a lovely roaring engine sound.
Why don't Fiat make cars like this anymore!!
I bought a used '74 128SL in about '79, when I was in college. I really enjoyed that car, but... they did require more routine maintenance then a lot of other cars. That was sort of a problem as I was on a "budget" in terms of parts and tools! So, a lot of things that I presumably could have repaired easily and in shorter order, ended up being more complicated than they should've been.
I own a '78 X1/9 now, and it has similar running gear. It's surprising how much easier it is to work on a car when you can afford to buy the right parts and tools at the right time! And for what it's worth, those parts don't cost anymore in real dollars, than they did then. That means they cost about 4x as much back then.
But...I've gotta say, my 128SL was a "ruster" like no car I've ever seen. I've owned lots of Fiats and none have been nearly so bad as that car. Even the slightest door ding would crack the paint. Then the paint would peel off down to bare metal. Then within a week, it would rust to a point that would've taken any other car 2-3 years to accomplish!
I had a red 1300 SL from 1977-80 during my years as a college kid in Aachen, Germany. I believe the car was a '73 model, but I'm not sure.
It ran 170 kph (about 106 mph) on the Autobahn. The engine was superb and the sound: simply incredible. Had a little problem with rust, though. After one of the tie rods was ripped out of the sheet metal while taking a hard brake, I had to sell the car.
Anyway, I live in Michigan now and I'm missing my little red Ferrari...
Back in 1978, I bought a 128 3P Berlinetta 1300 year 1976, second hand with over 72'000 km on the clock.
It was, well I better say 'IS' my first car and is still alive today.
I restored it 3 times tuned it up and still after all these years driving other cars it is stuck on my side.
Seeing all these comments, I feel proud that I own a 1975 Fiat 128 1300 SL coupe. I'm trying to restore it and then I might try to sell it to a kind owner. Anyone knows any sites where I can find parts? I live close in Malta, very close to Italy. So I'm hoping to find all the needed parts from there. Thanks guys. Hope I'll be able to find a new owner that takes care of it.
I bought a wrecked & totaled 1976 128SL in 1979. Had a little trouble finding the body parts to repair it (ended up ordering everything new from a dealer.) When done, I drove the car for about a year & a half before giving it to my eldest son for his first car. That little Fiat was a real blast to drive, handled quite well for FWD, & was by far the fastest of the 3 Fiat 128s I have owned. It would top 100mph quite easily.
I also had a 1966 Fiat 1500 Spyder that I bought after a salesman at the dealership rolled it. It was supposed to be a demonstrator only, & wasn't for sale, so, it being wrecked was the only reason I was able to buy it. I drove (& loved) that car until my family wouldn't fit in a 2 seater anymore.
I bought a FIAT 128 SL brand new in '74... I was in college and it was great for driving around town... I even got a rebate of $150.00 from FIAT for it. I had it re-upholstered in red and black, installed a gauge cluster, and had a "Abarth" logo painted on the back trunk lid. Then I installed some real "Chromadora" Italian magnesium wheels on it, Koni shocks, had a Italian car race shop put dual 2 barrel Webers on it, and did some Sports Cars of America Rallys.
But as nice as it was, and as well as I maintained it, it went thru timing belts like crazy, and showed rust bubbles nearly from new! And I don't live in the East.. I drove it in SoCal! And it still was a rust bucket. Loved it till it got to expensive to maintain. Sold it and bought a new 280ZX Nissan Z!