There’s a few significant cars we’ve yet to cover properly here, and the Fiat 128 is right at the top of the list. it’s one of the most important cars in the evolution of the modern FWD small car, and was the most significant inspiration for the VW Golf/Rabbit. Its space utilization, efficiency, economy, performance, handling and braking were all absolutely at the top of its field. The 128 and the Simca 1100 revolutionized the market, and and it forced everyone out of their slumber.
Needless to say, I’m speaking mostly about Europe, as the 128 was not quite as successful here. Like all Fiats and French cars of the times, the lack of a proper dealer network and general familiarity with these cars led to them quickly developing a rep for being…fragile. Which reinforced the Fix It Again Tony reputation. CC Cohort William Rubano caught this one in a stereotype-reinforcing situation, although give its age and circumstances, it’s not really fair to jump to any conclusions. It’s probably the lightest sedan this truck has ever hauled.
The only Fiat 128 love at CC so far came from the late Kevin Martin, who waxed eloquently about his 128, here. There was a 128 in town, just before I started CC’ing. But then it disappeared…hopefully not on the back of a flatbed to the scrapyard. One of these days, I will find a 128.