Those Who Don't Learn From History Pt. 3

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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  • Shaker Shaker on Jan 25, 2009

    FrustratedConsumer: "I was desperately looking for a Strada in the mid-80s but ended up buying a used ‘79 128. Like has been said, fun to drive when it ran. But had to crush it when the unibody holding the front suspension rusted out." Same here - had a red '72 - first the lower control arm on the right side pulled from the unibody - (I found a skilled welder who reconstructed that part of the frame) - after that, me and my cousin hit a big bump going onto the High Level Bridge when the front sway bar ripped from the frame and it was all I could do to keep us from going into the concrete guard rail... I took it to the local Fiat Dealer, where they officially pronounced the car "scrap", whereas a salesman immediately proceeded to attempt to sell me a '76. I just gawked at the guy. Still, I wouldn't write any car off these days; the Internet certainly weeds out the "dogs".

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jan 25, 2009

    FIAT Television Network? I'm calling my cable provider and demanding this channel immediately! Though I think the whole vid sounds better with Georgio Moroder in the background to match the ending credits. I can see this whole Fiat/Chrysler thing working out as well as the Mercedes Sprinter. Good luck finding parts for any of these vehicles when Chrysler goes down. It'll be 1986 all over again.

  • Montgomery burns Montgomery burns on Jan 25, 2009

    The Strada was actually not a bad car for its day. I think a huge part of FIATs bad reputation in the US was the mostly crappy dealer network. Around here the was one dealer that was paired with a MB dealership, Guess what cars got priority. Another dealer was also a Triumph MG dealership. They just couldn't make any money being down the road from one of the biggest Datsun dealerships in the country. My shop did great servicing FIAT, MG and Triumph after they left the US. You really had to take care of those cars to make them reliable and of course there was the rust. Don't forget though Japanese cars rusted just as bad in those days but were more reliable. My mother bought a '72 124 sedan in 71 after the floor fell out of her 66 VW bug (rust). The 124 lasted to 1980 with only a water pump going bad. Otherwise just regular maintenance. Rust in the front suspension area got that one. Had 850 spyders and coupes. Had an X 1/9 that other than regular maintenance I sold after owning it for 15 years with no problems despite having the poo driven out of it by me. I'd love to get a hold of a good 850 spyder for a summer around town car, fun, nimble and 40 mpg around town.

  • Skor Skor on Jan 25, 2009

    Let's not forget the Yugoslav produced version of the Fiat 128, the infamous Yugo. The Yugo was produced in a Yugoslav weapons factory. Funny thing is that they car sucked but the tanks worked just fine.