Friday, February 20, 2015

4k: Spaghetti Western: 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe

The Fiat 124 Sport Coupe pilfered most of the sedan's components and the Spider's five-speed manual transmission in the sedan-inspired three-box design. It had a more menacing aura than the doe-eyed Spider, yet offered more versatility and similar performance. This CC-generation 124 has shed its I-beam bumpers but retained the hardy 1.8-liter engine. Lest there be any doubt to its national origins of the rustic (that's an emotional trigger word for Fiat owners because for a minute there it sounds like you're saying rust) Italian countryside, it comes with the color palette of an Italian cafe. Find this 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe for sale in Houston, TX for $3,950 via craigslist.

The 1997 Fiat Coupé and this, its rear-drive grandpappy, are the exact height and length. Compared to that newfangled and Bangle'd coupe, this 124 is 125 horsepower weaker (at 92) and 600 lbs lighter (at 2,200). But what if it wasn't? What if the 1997 Coupé was a carbon copy of the 124? Had Fiat ponied up for a 100-horsepower rear-drive featherweight, it would have beat the S1 Elise to the market by three years and surely inspired competitors. Dreamers will dream.

The 1,753cc four-cylinder has a cross-flow aluminum head and unequal bore center dimensions (a gap-toothed layout with extra space between cylinders two and three) to aid in cooling. As with most engines of the mid-70s, adding horsepower is as simple as bumping the compression ratio and fitting different carbs and exhaust. Equipped as such with a five-speed manual, you could do much worse for a daily driver. You could have a 1997 Fiat Coupé, for instance.

Hailing from New Mexico but listed in Texas, rust should be at a minimum, which gives electrical failure a fair shot at killing the car. It's priced to rival the Brits, but brings an Italian flair and at least the impression of rain protection thanks to the coupe body. It's sure to bring that Italian flair (self-immolation, uneven power delivery, more shorts than an Old Navy commercial) to the Western style of driving.

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PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. Please, whoever buys this, put the bumpers back on.

  2. I bought a 1974 124 Sport Coupe brand new. No problems until the drive home. The volt meter went to zero. I called my friend who ran a Fiat repair shop. He said the big orange wire had fallen off the fuse block; It had.

    I replaced the distributor and cams with those from an earlier motor and adjusted the timing and carb. It ran very well Plastic inside door handles broke in weeks. Replaced with metal items from an earlier model. Only warranty repair was a front wheel bearing. I sold it for what I paid for it after 14 months to some kid who just had to have it. I got close to what I paid for it. He blew it up within weeks.

  3. God this looks beautiful. But I was curious and tried to find body parts online for one. I couldn't find bumpers and when I clicked a link for body panels, just out of curiosity, it was a guide to making them.

    I applaud anyone with the tenacity necessary to convert one of these to a modern engine and transmission.

  4. Uh,stories like the ones above led to the Fiat acronym " Fix It Again Tony"

  5. Uh,stories like the ones above led to the Fiat acronym " Fix It Again Tony"

  6. Uh,stories like the ones above led to the Fiat acronym " Fix It Again Tony"

  7. This is listed on ebay as well...$4500 BIN price so Craigslist is a deal. I am more tempted with the Craigslist number.


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