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Fiat 130 Coupé. Intended and unintentionally exclusive for fifty years

In 1969 Fiat introduced the 130 Berlina. The Turin manufacturer's flagship was one of the alternatives to the established higher order of the automotive landscape. Fiat did not stop at these aspirations for the top model. In 1971 the Italians presented the coupé version of the Fiat 130 in Geneva. The public was introduced to a car constructed from beautiful lines drawn by Pininfarina.


More specifically: Paolo Martin and Leonardo Fioravanti were responsible for the design on behalf of Pininfarina, which was completely different from the Berlina in cosmetic terms. The Fiat 130 Coupé had an interior and an exterior that really differed from the four-door version. The self-supporting body had a low waistline and was notable for, among other things, the large C-pillar, the large smooth surfaces, the sleek lines and the long stem. The long doors also caught the eye. The body was assembled by Fiat. After this, the body was transported from Stabilimento Rivalta to Pininfarina. There the 130 Coupé got its paint and the logo on the sides. Pininfarina also took care of the assembly and the overall finishing.

Stylish interior

The coupe version was just under ten centimeters taller in length than the four-door version (484 cm versus 475 cm). In terms of width and height, the coupé lost out to the 130 Berlina. The wheelbase was the same for both models at 272 cm. The 130 Coupé also got a new and extremely stylish interior. Wood inlays, a sky with semicircular panels from front to back, furniture with beautiful upholstery and a newly developed dashboard with a sporty steering wheel with two spokes also told from the inside that this 130 Coupé was independent in a number of ways. In 130, the 1971 four-door largely took over the dashboard of the new coupé.

3.2 V6 engine

The Fiat 130 Coupé also shared a number of things with the Berlina, such as the bottom plate and the chassis. The Italians also fitted the renewed 3.235 cc 60 ° V6 engine, a further development of the 2.866 cc engine from the Berlina, which was taken into production two years earlier. The configuration of the enlarged power unit remained the same. The engine consisted of a cast iron block and alloy (two-piece) cylinder heads. The two camshafts were overhead and were driven by a toothed belt. The engine also got a place in the Berlina in 1971. He thus replaced the oude V6. The power was 165 DIN-PK, the mixture was provided by one double Weber 45 DFC carburettor. The chassis came from the Berlina. At the front, this consisted, among other things, of independent wheel suspension and torsion bar suspension at the front. The chassis consisted at the rear of independently suspended wheels, including angled reaction arms and coil springs. Stabilizers were also fitted at the front and rear. Speaking of the rear suspension: this was basically also used on the second series of the Fiat Dino.

Coupé a little smoother than Berlina

The performance of the rear-wheel drive 130 Coupé was, just like the same-motorized Berlina from 1971, at a more than acceptable level. Those who opted for the heavy Borg Warner automatic transmission greeted a top speed of 190 kilometers per hour in the coupé. In combination with ZF's five-speed gearbox, the driver tapped even a higher top. In both cases, the top was also slightly higher than with Berlina's with the same transmission. To curb that performance, Fiat installed a separate braking system, whereby the driver had the certainty of always being able to brake on the front wheels in the event of one defect. The deceleration was done hydraulically by means of four air-cooled discs, and a brake pressure regulator was placed on the rear wheels for an even more even braking behavior.

Luxurious

The Fiat 130 Coupé was extraordinarily luxurious. It was equipped with numerous chrome and stainless steel elements and the standard equipment was also in order. Electrically operated door windows, a height and length adjustable steering wheel, four iodine spotlights, hydraulic power steering and Cromodora alloy wheels were some of the delicacies of the Pininfarina beautifully finished Fiat. Those who wanted to take the car to a higher level in terms of equipment could order leather upholstery, electronic ignition, a radio, a metallic color and air conditioning. Special: headrests were also on the option list (at least in the Netherlands). The side note: partly because of the sheet steel used, the exclusive car was quite susceptible to rust.

130 and Dino available side by side for another year

In 1971 Fiat was in any case well represented within the higher echelons of automotive construction. The 130 versions were the actual successors of the Lancia Flaminia within the Fiat group. In addition, the Dino got a nice offspring in the coupé version of the 130. The Dino continued to exist for another year alongside the 130 Coupé. Based on the Fiat 130 Coupé, two study models also appeared: the four-door Opera (móói) and the Maremma, a shooting brake in Italian.

With 4.491 copies unintentionally exclusive

No matter how beautiful the 130 series was: Fiat did not achieve too high sales numbers. The 1969 Berlina, built from 130, never brought Fiat the success it had hoped for, and that was certainly not the case with the extravagant 130 Coupé from Pininfarina. The 130 Coupé was Fiats' answer to the BMW CS models and the Mercedes-Benz SLC (C107). These were sold in considerably larger editions. With a total number of 130 built between 1971 and 1977, the beautiful Fiat 4.491 Coupé lagged far behind the German competition. And he therefore unintentionally remained exclusive.


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12 Comments

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  1. Also had a Fiat 130 coupé, great car. When I got it, it was already oltimer, a lot of thumbs up on the way.
    1 accessory was also special, the lever at the bottom right next to the steering wheel. You could open the passenger door with that.

  2. How does the Fiat 132 fit this story. I've had one of those. Basic 1 cc engine, great thing to drive. Double camshaft and a large carburettor tuber. The if you kicked in hard you gave a big kick in the back and a whirlpool in the tank. Was a thirsty type anyway. Too bad it rusted like crazy. When you slammed the door you could hear the rust rustling down on the inside. That is why I had only sold it on the engine and acceleration to a student. Was a year before the MOT started. He was already 'beyond repair' but just drove very well.

  3. The 130 coupé had one of our customers from Someren ...
    He was an adventurous man with a romantic encounter with an expensive lady on a regular basis ...
    The car came in once with a hole / crack in the crankcase.
    And he had called in advance it had to be a pit stop because otherwise his wife could find out. We were promised a big tip.
    We disassembled the crankcase and drove to a metal company to have a weld over it because it was an aluminum crankcase.
    When we finished the ride from Maarheeze to Someren.
    There is a long bend in that road near the exit to Nederweert. (I drive that at the most with 80)
    The 130 went through it at 130 km / h ...
    There was a very good suspension underneath which ensured very good road holding.
    When we arrived in Someren, we collected the tip from a very satisfied customer.
    A few years later I looked at the same car when the same owner tried to slide the 130 on the side to damage a Belgian lamppost.
    That did not work, but the imprint of that pole was on the back seat and the bottom plate was a meter lower than normal.
    Rear wheels hung about 50 cm above the road. A shame of such a beautiful car.

    • I also lived in Someren for a long time and owned several 130 Coupés, but I am not the man from Gerrit's story. Nice to be reminded of that colorful figure here. I owe indirectly to that man - let's call him Jos - that I have become a huge Fiat fan. This Jos drove various Fiat coupé models when I was still at primary school in Maarheeze; he rented storage space from the director of the 7-Up factory in that village, where my mother cleaned the house. One day he even almost drove me off my bike in his chic 130. Forgive him, I was deeply impressed. My personal counter has now reached more than 50 Fiats, mainly coupes and a few spiders. Now I have a Dino Coupé 2.0. In those years, Fiat was really a brand 'for every wish and prosperity'!

  4. Between 1972 and 1979 473.035 Mercedes S-class W116 and 311.789 SL-class W107 left the showrooms. Why Mercedes succeeds and Fiat not?

    For the same reason as the Opel Diplomat B and Diplomat A Coupé sold poorly and were even loss-making (The Coupé sold 347 times, that's called an automobile fiasco). Why?

    Customers with money want to see an asterisk, an angel, a leopard or a blue and white propeller on the hood and steering wheel. Fiat builds masses of cheap cars, Opel too. The “executive” who drops a Fiat key ring on the conference table is bullied. Just like a CEO with an Opel. That disturbs the natural order of things.

    Unfortunately. Because these Fiats were perfect. The Opel KAD series too. Unfortunately.

    • That still applies today. The average car was and is standard in the business market. Most managers and directors are mediocre themselves (really), so they don't feel like standing out and explaining, even if they could already explain it.
      As a different car brand with an above-average size management, you can really get wet there.

      • It has pushed several car manufacturers into the abyss. The German director remained loyal to his annually renewed Mercedes S-class instead of even considering a Borgward P100, and the French ministries firmly ordered the Citroën DS Limousines instead of the luxurious and fast Facel Vega. As a result, brands like Borgward and Facel Vega sadly went under while they had designed and made beautiful, top-class cars.

  5. I was allowed to drive the 130 coupe for about 10 years, of which about 4 years in an 'oldtimers lease construction'. Enjoyed every day. Big trucks drove with 150 at the back, slowed, drove around 3 lanes to have a look and then continued their way.
    Comfortable, fast, quiet, automatic transmission, air conditioning, it was a pleasure to drive and an exclusive feeling to own.

  6. I was allowed to drive the 130 coupe for about 10 years, of which about 4 years in an 'oldtimers lease construction'. Enjoyed every day. Big trucks drove with 150 at the back, slowed, drove around 3 lanes to have a look and then continued their way.
    Comfortable, fast, quiet, automatic transmission, air conditioning, it was a pleasure to drive and an exclusive feeling to own.

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