Rare Rides: The 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe - a Stylish Little Italian

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

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]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Tonyola Tonyola on Aug 02, 2018

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

  • Lon888 Lon888 on Aug 02, 2018

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

  • Lou_BC Another way to look at this is the upgrading of hardware and software. ...............The average length of car ownership is 10 - 12 years ....................The average lifetime ownership of a cell phone is 2.5 years. ................................................................... My phone will remain up to date, my vehicle won't. Especially if you buy a new "end of run" model.
  • TheEndlessEnigma "...we could be seeing a foundational shift in how Americans and car buyers see Stellantis products." yeah, I view Stellantis products as being off the cross-shop list. Stellantis is doing an excellent job of killing the Chrysler and Dodge brands and turning Jeep into something it isn't.
  • 2manyvettes 495 hp in a base C8 is more than enough. 800+ hp in a ZR1 is not worth the extra $60k (plus dealer markups). Unless the buyer is going for bragging rights. I remember when the C7 Grand Sport came out, and a reviewer got his hands on one and put it on the track at Lime Rock. His conclusion? Save yourself $15k and skip the Z06 and get a Grand Sport.
  • MaintenanceCosts Last year, I rented a closely related Audi A3. The overwhelming impression was of cheap build quality, although the drive wasn't bad. It had ~45,000 miles and the sunroof sunshade and passenger side power window were already not working correctly. Lots of rattles, too.
  • Lou_BC As others have pointed out, some "in car" apps aren't good or you pay for upgrades. My truck did not come with navigation. It was an expensive option. There's a lame GM maps app that you need to subscribe to "in-car" data. The map does not give you navigation other than to tell you where restaurants and gas stations are located. I'd want Android auto since I already pay for the phone.
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