I bought my first Fiat in 1974 when I was 16. It was a red 128 two door coupe. I kept it for 6 years and put 60,000 miles on it. It was great fun to drive and I got compliments on it everywhere I went, especially at school. I never had any rust problems, and the engine was very reliable. It never left me stranded and it started every single time. The only real problem that I had were the seats. They started to split at the seams after about a year. It never burned oil, or gave me any electrical problems. It had Michelin tires that were still good after 60000 miles when I traded it in. The weber carburetor performed flawlessly and never gave a lick of trouble. I enjoyed the car until I traded it in for an X1/9 in 1980.
I was 19 years old and living in the a small town in Illinois. I had found my first 128 (yes, I said "first"), sitting at a Ford dealership used car lot, located in Freeport Illinois. It was a midnight blue 2 door, with a tan pleather-like interior, all sitting on 13" white-walled tires. Instead of carpeting, the 128 had an entire floor of rubber floor matting, so it was easy to maintain the enterior. Except when one of my friends "Bob" ripped a huge hole into the header panel one winter night, when the temperature was way below zero. The pleather material just shattered like it was nothing. Only the finest quality material was used with the 128!
An interesting feature with the entire, the two door model had front seats that would pop forward, after flipping a lever on the seat. Very easy to use and simple.
It definitely was a car with some interesting aspects of it, but it also had several quirks as well. Kinda looked like the cousin to a BMW.
Driving the car, it drove quick and handled very well. I was hooked even before I test drove this car, and had wanted it even more after driving it. I loved the car so much, I even overlooked the small rust spot that was already starting to blister, which was only the beginning of owning a Fiat!
I had this car for a few years, until it decided to throw a bearing and that was the end of it. Years later, while living on the east coast, I saw an ad for a 78 128 and immediately called to inquire about it. I was told that it was a dark blue 2-door, and the seller only wanted $100. Normally, only the price alone would deter someone from even thinking about purchasing, but I was interested!