Still Alive? Fiat 128 sedan double happiness

So I was trying to name this in honor of Lunar New Year…. hmm, maybe I should write about a Sunbeam Tiger. If only they were still $3K…. so instead I’ll write about a Fiat 128. Hey, 8 is a lucky number, right?

I’m still fascinated by these cars, although experience is starting to tell me I should keep my fascination to rear-wheel drive cars. Access in the engine compartment is easier, thanks to nobody trying to squeeze in a transmission and drive shafts where engine stuff should be. That said, it’s pretty rare to find one of these, let alone in Kentucky, and apparently rust-free. So that brings us to our first car, whose seller has the same sense of irony (or resignation) in light of the Fiat takeover of Chrysler as the seller of last month’s 124 spider. Find our first example, a 1978 128 sedan, at Mann Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Richmond, KY for $1980.

1978 Fiat 128 left

Wow, look at those shutlines. And, while I would expect any car of this era to have rust, especially a cheap Italian one, this one looks pretty good. I can picture the sales manager saying something like, “what, a car with rear drum brakes? slap some of them hubcaps on there earl, the ones that look like 17 inchers with rotors behind ’em”. There’s a minor ding at the leading edge of the front fender, and there might be some pinstriping going on there. Anybody know if this was an original color for this car? Looks like WRX STi blue…

1978 Fiat 128 interior

The interior is not bad at all. The front seats have been replaced with junkyard specials, and the rears are showing the effects of the weather. You might want to do some detailing, but for the most part it’s all there, ready for use.

1978 Fiat 128 rear

Rear is also pretty clean – not a trace of visible rust. Curious that the car has Indiana plates – while it borders on Kentucky, it’s quite a way for this car to travel. Maybe this was picked up in a dealer auction. In any case, if you’re in this general region, the Fiat 128 pickins are pretty slim, so you might want to swing by. No obligation! No credit! No shirt or shoes required!

1973 Fiat 128 sedan

But, you say, I like danger, and I hate those gigantic bumpers, large safety-style tail lights, and for that matter, even having headlights or a full paint job. And I want to pay even less! Well, have I found the car for you… a 1973 Fiat 128 sedan in Susanville, CA (outside of Sacramento… far outside) for the low, low price of $950. Seller says the car has a 1300 from a ’76 wagon, along with tons of new parts including brakes, lights, clutch cable, and tires. He’s already started painting the trunk and engine bay, so all you need to do is finish the exterior and throw all the parts at it. Looks like a fun ride you can start to make your own for not too much money, and if it matters, it’s smog-free too.


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5 Responses to “Still Alive? Fiat 128 sedan double happiness”

  1. Dave Says:

    178584 miles? Does anyone know the record for highest mileage Fiat 128 in North America? The Kentucky car could be close.

    It makes you wonder how it lasted that long. An enthusiast, maybe? But would an enthusiast trade it in at a Chrysler dealer (at least before they are selling new Fiats)?

    I love seeing cars like this.


  2. Roger Says:

    Neat little car, but buy do I hate those wheels and tires.

    • Chris Keen Says:

      I’ll go out on a limb and speculate that something cool from an X1/9 or Yugo (I think some came with alloys) might fit, given it’s the same powertrain, etc.

  3. Mary Gregory Says:

    That green 128 looks like the 1973-or-so model I bought in Nashville in 1976 and owned for a couple of years, right down to the mint green color. Cool!

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