Rally-Style Project – 1973 Fiat 124 coupe

I’ve written about Fiat 124 coupes before, so no doubt I’ve already gone off about how these cars are a great lesser-known alternative to an Alfa Romeo GTV or BMW 2002. Think about it – 4 seats, spacious trunk, 5-speed transmission, and a twincam alloy head four-cylinder. So why are there so few around? Well, nearly every car sold in the 1970s was prone to rust, but some more than others… and the 124 coupe was one of those. As a closed car, they were subject to hard daily use, unlike their spider brothers.

Like the once-popular Ford Capri, these are now pretty hard to find. But they do pop up every so often in west coast classifieds. In fact, an AC coupe needing restoration has been listed for several months by a classic car dealer in the Pacific Northwest for a rather high price. Most cars on the market are much more reasonable, though, and today’s car is one of those, listed for $1850 in Burlingame, CA.

1973 Fiat 124 coupe left

With a yellow paintjob and black hood, you can see the owner was going for a rally look. You could take this further with some fog lights up front, a big whip antenna, number circles, sponsor decals, knobby tires on steelies, and some mud flaps. Either way, you’d want to get rid of those BMW 320i turbine wheels – Fiat spider alloys or Maserati biturbo wheels are readily available and look much better.

1973 Fiat 124 coupe right

Good thing they painted the grill black – the style of the CC coupes’ grills was rather iffy, though I think the rear end is much more successful than the earlier cars. The low trunk opening is also a nice byproduct of this style. The seller of a CC coupe I spoke with said it’s easy to bolt on a BC coupe front end.

1973 Fiat 124 coupe rear

Here’s the rear. Not bad looking, although that silly little spoiler should probably go. Bumpers look unfortunately heavy, although nowhere near as bad as the 5mph bumpers on the 1974 and 1975 cars. Notice the blue plate, which implies this is an original California car.

1973 Fiat 124 coupe engine

Engine is pretty clean, although I’m always put off by black engine compartments on foreign cars. See if you can get service records – the seller appears to be a dealer who’s got a bit of an oddball car collection, including a Renault 12 done up rally style, a Glas 1600 GT, a couple of European Ford Escort Mexicos, a Simca 1000, and some other weirdo cars I can’t remember. Given that good running examples of this car are so rare, I’m almost tempted to go check it out. And others have also responded – in his ad, he said there are so many responses he’s having an open house of sorts for the car on Saturday. Let me know if you go!


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3 Responses to “Rally-Style Project – 1973 Fiat 124 coupe”

  1. Kevin T Says:

    I just came across this site, I bought this car from that guy in November 2011..

  2. Rick Says:

    Never parting with my ’73 Coupe. I told my kids I’m goi to be buried in it.

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