Unfamiliar – 1977 Fiat 128 Familiare Wagon

So we’ve been seeing a lot of rare-versions-of-a-common-car features lately, as a way to either get yourself a good deal, or just to stand out from the crowd. If you’re above the common classic car, and want something quite unusual and fun to drive, how about a Fiat 128? Although you don’t hear as much about their story, they (along with the original Mini and the Simca 1100) arguably defined the modern compact car as we know it today. You get a sporty (if not fast) car, powered along by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder designed by Aurelio Lampredi (who also designed the larger twincam 4 from Fiat, as well as some Ferrari V12s), the same engine used in the Fiat X1/9 and Yugo. Depending on your source, the car is still in production today in Egypt as the El Nasr 128. You can find this 1977 Fiat 128 Familiare wagon for sale in Sacramento, CA with bidding at $404, reserve unmet and 2 days left to go.

1977 Fiat 128 Familiare wagon left rear

So how do you feel about a rare version of a rare car instead? Looking good in dark blue, and free of dents and visible rust (you know there’s rust, you just can’t see it), it’s said to have not run for a month, and needs attention in various areas. The seller’s shortlist of issues include a transmission that goes from first to third (does that mean it skips second or won’t go to fourth?), an interior needing some sprucing up, and a failing paint job. And in a car of this age, that’s likely just the beginning of your needs, but you’ll figure the others out as you drive it.

1977 Fiat 128 Familiare wagon engine

Wait, where’s the engine? Does its absence explain the nose-up position? Oh nevermind, there it is, hiding under the air filter. That open area under the hood is where the spare tire lived, just like in the Renault 5 and Citroen DS. The seller does not give much detail on the engine, so perhaps when he says “running about a month ago” he actually means running and driving. A replacement transmission is included, and hopefully that would cure the problem, although you might want to check the shift linkage before doing anything expensive.

1977 Fiat 128 Familiare wagon interior

Interior is the scariest part on this one – white vinyl covered in stains. Icky! Try some vinyl cleaner, but judging by how the staining is even across all surfaces, this may be a mold problem from protracted storage. The dash is remarkably intact, and the car has an awesome AM radio facing the passenger.

1977 Fiat 128 Familiare wagon front

That dull finish but rich color of the paint suggests it was recently rattle can painted without a buffing or sanding. And the wipers’ position says they’re broken or the autopark feature is failing. Overall though, such a rare car deserves saving, and it would probably be fun to throw some time and money at it before moving it on to the next “investor”.

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One Response to “Unfamiliar – 1977 Fiat 128 Familiare Wagon”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    If the Serbs had built this, they would have called a We-go…..sorry, old Yugo joke.

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