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Fiat - 1972 128 Rally
Fiat - 1972 128 Rally

Fiat - 1972 128 Rally

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Fiat 128 Rally The Fiat 128 was a small family car manufactured by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1969 to 1985. The 128 was an advanced and influential design: like the Mini... More »
Fiat 128 Rally

The Fiat 128 was a small family car manufactured by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1969 to 1985.

The 128 was an advanced and influential design: like the Mini, the 128 is front-wheel drive with a transverse-mounted engine, however, the significant breakthrough with the 128 was the use of unequal length drive shafts which allowed the engine and gearbox to be located side by side, a layout which has since become ubiquitous for small cars. The 1972 128 3P version also was the first hatchback with this drive-train layout (other 128 models retained the more conventional boot). However, it was the later VW Golf, rather than the 3P, that first caught the public imagination for cars of this type and sold in significant numbers worldwide.

The 128 was voted European Car of the Year for 1970, and continued to be acclaimed by the press throughout its lifetime: the magazine Road & Track placed the 128 above the Datsun B210, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 808, and Subaru DL but behind the VW Golf (which was launched in 1974 some five years after the 128) and Honda Civic in a comparison test, praising it as a "driver's car" with "excellent" brakes and "outstanding handling".

The 128 was the first car to feature the all-new Fiat SOHC engine, an engine design which was considerably advanced for its time, featuring an aluminium alloy cylinder head with a direct overhead camshaft driven by a rubber toothed belt. This type of engine design became commonly adopted by most manufacturers of small cars at the beginning of the 1980s, but in the late 60s was unusual.

Initially, the 128 was available as a two door sedan, four door sedan or station wagon. The car was only available with a 1116cc engine on launch, though the 2-door-only 128 Rally edition launched in 1971 used a 1290cc unit. Also in 1971, the Sport Coupe, an all-new coupe body on a 128 platform, was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show. On launch it was available with both existing 128 engines. The 128 range underwent a revamp in 1972, featuring a range of minor changes inside and out; pre- and post-revamp cars can be distinguished by their differing radiator grilles. 1974 saw the launch of the 128 Special, which used the Rally engine in a four-door sedan body. In 1975 the 128 3P (3 door) replaced the Sport Coupe. The range was overhauled in 1976 with an array of exterior and interior changes including new bumpers and rectangular headlights as well as modifications to the engines.

Production of all 128s except that of the base 1100cc-powered model ceased in 1979 after the introduction of the Fiat Ritmo/Strada in 1978, whist in 1980 a small three-door station wagon Panorama was dropped from the range. Production finally ceased in 1985.

The 128 running gear and engine was used for the Fiat X1/9 sports car, where the entire front-wheel drive train, suspension and engine was moved to the rear of the car to provide a mid-engined layout.

The 128 formed the basis of the Zastava Skala range of cars made by the Zastava company in Serbia. The 128-based Zastavas remained in production till very recently, as a three (Zastava 311) or five-door hatchback (Zastava 511) and four-door sedan (Zastava 101).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.
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