Fiat 130 Review

1974 Fiat 130 Coupe 3.2 V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.2 V6 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired77000 kilometres
Most recent distance150000 kilometres
Previous carAlfa Romeo GTV

Summary:

An Automotive Love Affair

Faults:

Too little use over the life of the car before I bought it, meant that anything rubber required replacement.

It required two Mazda RX7 fuel pumps to replace the one factory fitted pump after it seized. Fuel evaporation a major issue.

Factory air-conditioning is very poor in hot weather.

High maintenance. During my ownership it seemed every spare part was the last known with a price tag to match.

General Comments:

This would have to be one of the most elegant automotible's from the 1970's.

Designed in the late 1960's by Pinnifarina to take on Mercedes Benz and Jaguar. Unfortunately they were built with the cheap iron ore sourced from Russia, as were most Italian cars of the era - they rusted away from the moment you drove out of the dealership.

These models unfortunately were not sold in the USA, which would have lifted sales and subsequent spare part supplies for collectors.

Even though a very attractive two door with loads of standard equipment and some famous owners (i.e. Dusty Springfield had white one with gold plated door handles) they remained fairly rare as Fiat was not regarded as a luxury marque (they cost nearly as much as a Silver Shadow when new).

Very impressive road holding and ride with all independent suspension, roomy cabin, cosseting bucket seats front and back. A poor driving position let comfort down due to an offset steering wheel and an accelerator pedal set too high.

Performance was very impressive considering its size and weight. Overtaking is its forte, so too the glorious sound from the Dino sourced V6. This all comes at a price. Economy is very poor, even in its day for 3.2 litre motor. Smiles per mile made up for it every time though. I still miss its beauty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th February, 2007

20th Feb 2007, 16:12

Have to say, it looks an awful lot like an IKA Torino... which Pininfarina also gets credit for designing...

25th Feb 2007, 05:47

For pictures of this car & more information, check: http://www.mirafiori.com/130/

It's design (coupe) influenced many cars through the 1970s & '80s; a credit to Pininfarina.

5th Jun 2012, 06:07

Ford Cortina mk4/5, Ford Granada mk2, and Peugeot 604 to name but 3. Any more suggestions?

7th Sep 2012, 02:01

I agree, the 130 Coupe is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Sergio Pininfarina himself regarded it as one of his favourite "in house designs" - although the real designer is unknown.

There was a 4 door version (one off concept that they pitched to Fiat for the sedan) and an equally stunning station wagon version (Maremma). But unfortunately no go.

However, with regards to the V6 Dino based engine, this is not true. The engines have nothing in common except that they are a V6. One is 60º, the other 65º.

The 130 engine is belt driven twin cam or SOHC per bank - 2866cc 60º V6 with 140bhp.

On the other hand, the Dino has a chain drive quad cam alloy 2418cc 65º DOHC V6 producing 190bhp. The idea that the Fiat 130 has a Ferrari Dino engine is myth.

I bought mine 10 years ago and the seller told me "...it's got a Ferrari engine..."

I replied "...oh, in that case I better not buy one then"

"Why?" he asked.

"Well, imagine the costs of servicing the engine. It's only a Fiat".

"Hmmm." Then he went all quiet.

Great car. I have fond memories.

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 1 review