In the world of oddball cars, at least from an American market perspective, Italian sedans rank pretty highly. Just think – when’s the last time you saw an Alfa 164, Lancia Fulvia sedan, or series 3 Maserati Quattroporte? Or even a Fiat Brava? For those of you who don’t instantly recall what was for sale 30 years ago on your local auto row (did those even exist?), the Brava was a boxy compact, rear-drive sedan with a twincam four and advanced suspension. Sounds like fun, right? Many other automakers have successfully used this formula and variations thereof. The Brava, also knows as the 131, was marketed in the US from 1976 to 1981, after which Fiat pulled it from the US market. It was available as a 2- and 4-door sedan, as a wagon, and with automatic or manual transmissions. It replaced the 124, itself a pretty fun car for its time, especially if you happen upon one with the twincam engine.
Most importantly for your writer, the car is tied in with a childhood memory. In 1984, my family was on vacation in Egypt, near Cairo, and we were loaned a Fiat 131 sedan by a business contact. Which brings up an important point – this car is apparently still under construction in Ethiopia and Egypt, so parts availability must be decent. Anyway, moving along to our particular car… it sounds like a more fun contemporary of, say, a BMW 320i or Mk1 VW Jetta GLI. And it would probably also give its contemporary Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan (Alfetta) a run for its money. It’s listed
in Oak Run, CA, near Redding, for $2350.