124 Times Two – 1973 Fiat 124 Wagon and 1972 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe

In recent years, VW seems to have cornered the market for affordable cars that are also fun to drive and reasonably attractive. But 40-50 years ago, that ball was solidly in Fiat’s hand, with their 124 series of sedan, wagon, coupe, and spider offering driving fun for all. In North America, there were different levels of driving fun with the 124, starting with the sedan and wagon, which were equipped with a 1438cc overhead valve engine giving 69-74hp and moving up to a 1592cc twin cam in 1973, giving a more fun 95hp. Further up, the coupe and the spider started with a 1438cc twin cam, moved on to 1592cc and 1608cc, then the 1756cc and finally the 1920cc twin cam. So basically, it is anyone’s guess what engine is in any of the surviving 124s, like this 1973 Fiat 124 wagon for sale for $2300 in Tigard, OR.

1973 Fiat 124 Wagon right front

Assembled all over the world under license, most famously as the Lada VAZ-2101 Zhiguli, they were not quite as successful in North America due to the issues that plagued many of the smaller foreign manufacturers – insufficient distribution network, poorly trained dealer staff, and insufficient adaptation to the needs of the market. However, none of that keeps them from being a great starter classic. According to the seller, this car has a solid body, which is surprising given its outdoor storage. So poke around carefully – there’s definitely some rust to be seen, but 124 wagons aren’t exactly on every corner. The car also looks to have spent some time parked under trees, given what looks like dirt accumulation from tree debris.

1973 Fiat 124 Wagon left rear

The rear bumper is bent, and the hatch and rear corner seem to have sustained a light hit that’s developed some rust. Blue and yellow Oregon plates are probably a plus, as you can assume the car hasn’t spent much time in truly rusty climates. Things look pretty complete, and you’ll notice there was clearly some kind of who-can-design-the-boxiest-car competition between Fiat and Volvo. The car is said to have the pushrod 1438, paired with an automatic, so it’s definitely a momentum car. Assuming originality is not a priority for a car that has suffered a fair amount of corrosion, you’ll probably want to find a manual and make the most of the 1438 if it’s still good, or mothball the lot in favor of one of the higher-end powerplants that, if nothing else, will be good for making some nice sounds.

1972 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe right rear

However, if you want to pass go and skip straight to twincam, while getting a prettier, less-practical body thrown in with the deal, you should probably be looking at this 1972 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe for sale for $1200 in Vancouver, WA. Storage conditions for this car look equally dubious, and the seller says it’s in need of a complete restoration. The only photo provided shows a straight, complete right side, and likely rust around the rear window (nevermind the stuff you probably can’t see on the sills). For some reason, the rear marker light has gone missing, so you might wonder if the rest of it is complete. 1972 was the final year for the 1608cc twincam second series (BC) coupes, before the universally less-popular CC cars, and they shared their taillights with the Lamborghini Jarama, so you can probably make your money back selling those to some unsuspecting Lamborghini owner, right? Both these 124s are firmly in the project camp, but with mechanical parts being readily available, it should be straightforward to bring either back to driver status – which would you choose?


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2 Responses to “124 Times Two – 1973 Fiat 124 Wagon and 1972 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe”

  1. kew1999 Says:

    Looks like a parts car at best

  2. celovsky Says:

    Any idea if that 124 wagon is still for sale?

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