Cross-Germination: 1977 Fiat 128 3P

Here’s an unusual example of a fairly rare brand of car, if you discount 124 spiders. Fiat’s 128, while innovative and quite successful elsewhere, did not sell too well in the US due to Fiat’s reputation for rust and lack of dependability. And if you thought the 128 2-door, 4-door, and 2-door wagon were rare, just wait until you see the 3-door. Wait, what? Isn’t that the 2-door wagon?

Nope, it’s this little beauty, which looks like a VW Scirocco with a recessive gene for weird tail lights humped a VW Rabbit. You can find it listed in Spokane, WA for $1500.

1977 Fiat 128 3p rear

Those wheels look very much like the ones on a contemporary Accord, but that could just be the image quality tricking my eyes. Even if the Scirocco and Golf didn’t come from the same pen as this car, you can see where Fiat took its cues from those Italian-designed Germans. Due to the primer on this car, it’s really hard to tell what the condition of the body is. From the thoroughness of the description, you’d think the seller would have mentioned rust if it was there, and the dry climate in Spokane gives us hope.

1977 Fiat 128 3p front

The front is fairly bland Euro compact. Notice there are probably missing rubber bits to fair in the park bench bumpers with the body. The metallic blue original paint with white Fiat sport stripes would look pretty period, although a small car like this would really look better in a solid, non-metallic color.

1977 Fiat 128 3p interior

As the owner says in his listing, the interior is pretty clean and only missing the OEM radio. The dash, amazingly, appears crack-free, and the owner says the seats and carpet are good, except for the driver and passenger seat. So basically they aren’t, because who used the back seat in a car of this size? Anyway, in a cheap car this age, you should be happy for any interior, much less a well-kept one.

1977 Fiat 128 3p engine

According to the seller, the car only has 84K miles on it, and runs like a champ. I’m guessing a champ from 1977 doesn’t run so well anymore (Muhammad Ali?), so I’m not sure how to take this one! Either way, it’s got a 1300, and the hot tip for Fiat 128s appears to be the 1500 FI engine from an X1/9 or a Yugo, at least if you’re in a smog state. Overall, this sounds like a pretty straight car for the money, if you can afford to be choosy, given the market. Bargain hard, get Earl Scheib on this and you could have a fun runabout for less than 2 grand.

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2 Responses to “Cross-Germination: 1977 Fiat 128 3P”

  1. Todd Schinell Says:

    I dunno man, if anybody can understand a little old forgotten italian car I can. The part that bothers me is the notion of UPgrading to a Yugo motor πŸ˜‰

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