Fiat 130 saloon and coupe (1969 – 1976) Review

Fiat 130 saloon and coupe (1969 – 1976) At A Glance


+Great styling in coupe form, excellent engine with plenty of power and torque, beautifully light steering and dynamics

-Rust and repair costs, values still low, making full restorations financially questionable, saloon looks like a big Polski Fiat

The Fiat 130 was the company's first attempt at a large car - so to get so much of it right first time was a real achievement for its maker. The technologically-advanced 130 was a brilliant saloon disguised by low-key styling. It featured all-independent suspension, passive rear steering and four disc brakes.

The quad-cam V6 was initially offered in 2.8-litre form, but was extended to 3.2-litres in 1971, just before the launch of the handsome coupe in 1972. It was that car which really captures the imagination today. With straight-edged styling from Pininfarina’s Rolls-Camargue/Lancia Gamma Coupé period, the 130 Coupé has a vast and intimidating presence.

The Coupé only ever received the larger 3.2-litre four-cam V6 (which is unrelated to the Fiat Dino's), so performance was more than adequate. The handling was tidy, and the light power steering was perfectly judged. Many came with a three-speed automatic, but enough were specified with the ZF five-speed manual. A commercial flop, but a brilliant classic car.