Fiat 130 Coupe: Smart Classics
The Fiat 130 Coupe is starting to find traction with collectors after promising much for so many years
Fiat 130 Coupe
Automotive history is littered with features that didn’t quite make the grade.
For all the useful stuff like cup holders, airbags or sat nav, there’s a myriad of tripe that the general public voted off the island. Reversing periscopes, Landau roofs, and denim interiors have all been tried and forgotten but once in a while something genuinely useful gets the flick.
Take the Fiat 130 Coupe’s button-operated mechanism allowing the driver to open the passenger-side door. How suave is that? It’s even more Italian than a wiring loom fire.
The 130 Coupe is more than just a gimmicky door though. Its designer, Paolo Martin, was responsible for beauties like the Lancia Beta Montecarlo and the stunning Ferrari Modulo show car.
He styled the Rolls-Royce Camargue too, but I’m guessing he leaves that one off the CV. The 130 Coupe is starting to find traction with collectors after promising much for so many years.
With an oversquare 3.2-litre V6 under the bonnet it drives as well as it looks. There was the choice of a Borg-Warner automatic box or a five-speed manual, and a limited-slip diff was standard equipment, as was power-assist on the steering.
Only 4491 examples were made from 1971 to 1977, and less than 520 right-hand drive cars were imported to Australia. Budget $30k and you could get lucky.
John Wright looks back with fond memories of his Fiat 130 and says selling his gorgeous coupe was a mistake.
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