FIAT 128 Classic Cars for Sale
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FIAT 128 was a front-engine, front wheel drive car manufactured by FIAT between 1969 and 1985. It revolutionised automotive design in its class at the time, and it was produced in sedan, wagon, and coupe variations.
History of the FIAT 128
In designing the FIAT 128, engineers Dante Giacosca and Antonio Lampredi achieved remarkable passenger and cargo volumes, making the model an instant hit in the family car niche. The fact that the engine and mechanical blocs occupied only 20 per cent of the total vehicle's volume was at the centre of Fiat's advertising campaign at the time. The model achieved immense market success. It was voted European Car of the Year 1970, and even Enzo Ferrari drove one as his personal vehicle of choice. FIAT sold upwards of 3.1 million units of the FIAT 128 up until 1985, and licensed production of the model continued until 2001 thanks to other manufacturers, such as Zastava.
Front wheel drive innovations in the FIAT 128
In the 1960s the front wheel drive which Alec Issigonis created for the British Mini was the industry standard. It had a number of setbacks, however, such as the transmission and engine sharing the same oil sump despite their different lubrication needs or the side-mounted radiator which could not supply cool air to the engine. Dante Giacosca created an alternative arrangement - a transverse-mounted engine - which allowed the engine and the gearbox to be neatly placed side by side without sharing oil. He also included an electric fan to secure enough cool air for the engine's needs. This innovative layout was initially tested on the Primula by Autobianchi, a FIAT subsidiary, which allowed Giacosca to observe the engine's performance over several years and optimise it before the FIAT 128 went into mass production. The transverse-mounted engine was a huge success and quickly became the industry standard in front wheel drive car manufacture.
Different variants of the FIAT 128
Originally manufactured as a practical family car, the FIAT 128 came in the following versions: sedan ("Rally" with two or four doors), wagon ("Familiare" with three or five doors), and coupe ("Berlinetta" with two or three doors, also known as 128 SL and 128 3P, respectively). To keep with the FIAT128's family image, the sports convertible version did not carry the 128 label and was marketed as FIAT X1/9 instead. The original FIAT 128 achieved the following stats during a road test for the British "Motor" Magazine in the spring of 1970: top speed of 85.4 mph; acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 15.5 seconds; and fuel consumption of 27.5 miles per Imperial gallon. Thus, the FIAT 128 held its own against contemporary rivals, especially in the acceleration department.