Among truly affordable cars that can cause weakness in the knees, and silly thoughts of selling a minor organ (maybe a gall bladder), the Fiat 124 coupe ranks pretty high. In its favor are rarity, style, that sweet twincam, and the fact it shares many parts with a very ubiquitous platform. If you can throw a virtual rock without hitting an online listing or resource for Fiat 124s, you’re using the wrong internet. A good 124 coupe can be every bit the equivalent of a BMW 2002, Datsun 510, or Alfa Romeo GTV, although the interior bits are a little more likely to fall off. Some survived the odds, though – check out this 1972 Fiat 124 Coupe for sale for $3800 in Natick, MA.
Is there any car where a majority of the people would say, “Wow, I’ve always dreamed of having one of those in beige!”? The color does work reasonably well with the black steel wheels and chrome hubcaps in a period way – perhaps some period alloys from Momo or Campagnolo (or Biturbo wheels) would help offset the color a bit. This car is said to have had a full mechanical restoration 3 years ago, but is now refusing to start – you’ll definitely want to ask whether the timing belt was included in that work.
That work included a rebuild of the engine, transmission, and suspension. Interestingly, the seller says the car has a 1438cc engine, even though this BC-series car would have originally had a 1608 (which is reflected on the rear badging). As you can see, the interior and exterior need attention, although the paint is shiny enough that perhaps some judicious attention to detailing might be enough. Many of the necessary body and interior parts are said to be included, which is a big win on a rare car such as this.
And this is how buying a project Fiat 124 coupe in Massachusetts is a good idea – the blue plates belie the car’s California origins. Even then, you’ll want to do a thorough inspection to make sure the seller is not giving up on something chronically rusty. This looks like a great opportunity to get a driver car for reasonable coin, with the opportunity to go all the way and probably not be completely upside-down.