By on August 1, 2018

You can go into a Fiat showroom today and buy a brand new Fiat 124, undoubtedly delighting a dealer who’s desperate to move some reworked Miatas. It wasn’t always this way, though. The 124 name was originally applied to a lineup of Fiat-developed vehicles, like today’s Sport Coupe from 1974.

This isn’t technically the first time we’ve touched on the influential 124. Last year, Rare Rides featured a woefully beige Lada Samara. Its manufacturer, AvtoVAZ, used Fiat’s 124 as design inspiration a full 10 years after the 124 ended production. The 124 line debuted with the sedan version back in 1966 — a brand new design. The sedan was followed later in the year by the Familiare wagon. The Sport Coupe and Sport Spider rounded out the range, debuting in the 1967 model year.

Fiat hired designer Mario Boano, who was slightly famous for designing the Ferrari 250 GT Boano Coupe. He gave the Coupe a notchback design, and shared as many parts as possible with the 124 sedan. As Boano had his hands full, the design of the Sport Spider was handed over to Pininfarina.

In rapid styling succession, the original lines of the Coupe soon fell away. Known as the AC version, this first iteration was produced between 1967 and 1969. At that point in time, the more rounded BC began production. BC finished up in 1972 as the final CC design debuted. It remained in production through the rest of the Sport Coupe’s life, wrapping things up at the end of 1975.

As each new version came along, the car got a bit larger, more rounded, and gained larger engines. There were trim differences each year, giving later collectors something to fuss over on the Internet. Production figures shrunk with each new iteration: the AC managed around 113,000, the BC 98,000, and the CC 75,000.

Today’s CC is right in the middle of that version’s tenure. It has the largest engine fitted to any factory Sport Coupe, at 1.8-liters in displacement. The seller lists engine modifications to improve power, and mentions a revised suspension. Interestingly, the listing photos show both a partial bumper, and no bumper at all. Either way, it’s managed to escape the rust bug which inevitably ate most of these away long ago. Yours for $6,500.

And the great gold lace alloys are included in the price.

[Images: seller]

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28 Comments on “Rare Rides: The 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe – a Stylish Little Italian...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My knees just went weak.

    But those gold alloys need to go; the OEM steelies or aluminum wheels are much nicer.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Or a set a Cromodoras would be period correct.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Totally agree re: the wheels, SCE to AUX. This looks like a misguided 1980s attempt to update the car. Apparently no one’s ever corrected the mistake.

      And the front end looks like an homage to Green Hornet’s Black Beauty, which I mean as a criticism. Dean Jeffries could have been tried for a war crime for what he did to the ’66 Imperial’s front end.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I test drove one of these in ’72. Not impressed, bought a used ’68 912 instead and was impressed.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    I wonder what the price would be if the seller included the correct grille.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Something tells me this car used to have/is supposed to have a grille.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    There is nothing stylish about this car.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll need a citation for this fact.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Source: I have two eyes that work.

        It has exposed screw heads and carburetors in 1974.

        VW 1600TL spanks this car from build quality, technological– and design standpoints– years earlier. Dang near set the template the Italians copied cheaply to make this car.

        Additional Sources: a degree in Art and Art History– independent studies in museum work. I’ve run summer art camps and have experience docenting with three museums.

        I’ve studied aesthetics for years. yo.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    An Italian 510, I love it.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Most of the auto magazines and Consumers Reports in the early 70’s tested the 124 coupe compared to the small sport coupes of the era ie Opel Manta, Capri, Celica and the Datsun 610 coupe.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        I started driving in the 1980s, so I missed these cars.

        Today, it’s fun and interesting to drive ANY car from the pre-power steering era, let alone pre-power brake.

        My father started driving in the 1950s. Those cars were not nearly as good as 70s, which were not as good as 80s, with are not as good as today’s.

        However, I think my dad’s generation made for safer drivers because they were much more aware of the laws of physics, due to the low limits of their cars, and they had better driving habits.

        Brake early. Downshift and brake BEFORE starting the turn.

        I would love to drive this Fiat! Or go back in time and drive a new Capri or Manta or Celica or 510, not to mention a BMW 2002.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          I think the latest car I drove that had unassisted steering and brakes was a 1981 Fiat X-1/9. Not at all powerful, but very fun to drive. I had an ’87 GTI that had unassisted steering, and a slightly bigger steering wheel for that reason. I replaced it with a Momo “Mario Andretti” steering wheel, which made parking a little more work but everything else more fun.

          I sure wish there was a small sporty car I could buy that had no power assists.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Lada Samara’s a transverse-engine FWD hatchback/sedan. If anything, the design’s inspired by Chrysler Europe’s 1970’s vehicles such as the Talbot 1510, Solara and Horizon. The Zhiguli models on the other hand were license-built 124’s.

    On the actual topic: 1970’s Fiats are indeed a rare sight these days, as they were incredibly prone to rusting due to the use of Soviet steel. The Italians helped to build the VAZ factory and sold the plans for the Fiat 124, and in return they got huge amounts of steel for many years. Unfortunately for them, the steel was of low quality, and tended to rust quickly. As a result, there’s probably more pre-1970 Fiats left than 1970-1990 models.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Back in the day when a greenhouse was a greenhouse! Just look at all of that marvelous glass! I do love me some squared-off cars!

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Dig the surface rust on the steering wheel and the cobwebs next to the instrument binnacle. This guy wants $6.5K after a 28 year snooze in someone’s barn?

    I love me some mid-1970’s Fiats, but hard pass on this thing.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Very interesting place for a DLO fail. I’ve never seen that look before.

  • avatar
    overdale

    “This isn’t technically the first time we’ve touched on the influential 124. Last year, Rare Rides featured a woefully beige Lada Samara. Its manufacturer, AvtoVAZ, used Fiat’s 124 as design inspiration a full 10 years after the 124 ended production.”

    Corey, you are getting your Ladas all mixed up. The original model Zhiguli was literally a 124 saloon and estate licence built in Russia from the end of the 1960s with a Soviet engine but was otherwise pretty much identical to the Fiat. It evolved glacially over the next few decades.

    The 1980s Samara was a FWD hatch developed with the help of Porsche and had zero resemblance to the 124, with contemporary European styling. It sold alongside the 124-based RWD model.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      I was waiting for GTem to make the correction as he has an affinity for and great knowledge of Ladas.

      As I am very close to someone who was a senior engineer at AvtoVAZ, have a close friend who drove a Lada and work down the street from Lada’s North American Head Office (yes the blue name and logo are still on the building on the SE corner of Steeles Avenue West and Petrolia), I too have some affection for that brand.

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t say resemblance! They wanted similar success with a family car idea.

  • avatar
    Drew8MR

    My dad had one in white. The passenger side floorboards were completely rusted through,so I called it the Flinstone car. We also had a 128 and a sweet red 131S whose engine/tranny went into my Franken7 for quite a few years. The 131 especially was a pretty sweet ride for it’s time.

  • avatar
    Ben T Spanner

    I bought a brand new 1974 Coupe and had no problems until the drive home. The volt meter dropped to zero. The selling dealer was closing when I left, so I called his compeitor who I also knew personally. He said the big orange wire had fallen off the fuse box. It had and I replaced it. Other problems in 3 years, were one wheel bearing and the clock.
    I removed the seat belt interlocks and lots of unneeded electriacl crap somewhat associated with emission controls. I used an early distributor and carb, and advanced the cam timing. It ran great, and got great mpg. A young kid just had to have it and he blew it up within 2 weeks. Those are earlier inside door handles, the 1974 were brittle plastic, the earlier were chromed potmetal.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    The 124 coupe was pretty clean-looking through 1972. For 1973, it got a messy facelift, which this car shows.

  • avatar
    lon888

    And for bonus points with this car, the seats appear to be useable.

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