$2,500 Italian: 1975 Fiat 128 Wagon

083116 Barn Finds - 1975 Fiat 128 Wagon - 2

This 1975 Fiat 128 Wagon is in gorgeous Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and is listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,500 or make an offer. This car has been parked inside in storage since 1985. This photo shows a similar car without the huge bumpers; I like it. No, I love it.

083116 Barn Finds - 1975 Fiat 128 Wagon - 1

This is one unique body style! A Fiat 128 was almost my first car so I have a soft spot in my head, I mean in my heart, for these things. This car has a couple of dents in it as you can see, one in the passenger fender and one in the driver’s door. The seller says that “neither is creased or terrible and could be removed with paintless dent repair. has a few minor rust spots”, and overall it does look pretty good for being a 41-year old car. The 128 was the European Car of the Year in 1970 and it was a fairly advanced layout for the time, being a transverse-mounted engine with front wheel drive. I love the oddly-unique (is that redundant?) design of the three-door wagon, and this color only makes it even more desirable to me.

083116 Barn Finds - 1975 Fiat 128 Wagon - 4

Other than the driver’s seat, she looks pretty nice, no? It looks nicer from this shot through the passenger door. Kudos to the seller for including the driver’s seat in a photo. The rear seat looks like it has never been used and the headliner also looks perfect. There are only two exterior photos of this car and no engine photos, but this is a 1.3L inline-four cylinder with about 65 hp. It should look similar to this one. It doesn’t look like the roomiest engine compartment on earth, it’s a good thing that Fiats never need engine work. I say, it’s a good thing that Fiats never need engine work (tough crowd..).. For a car that weighs just over a ton, 65 hp isn’t a terrible amount of power, especially with the 4-speed manual transmission. I love this car, are there any other Fiat 128 Wagon lovers out there?

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Comments

  1. VR LIVES

    Saying you have a thing for this car is like saying you like to kiss your sister. No, like French kissing your sister. I will pass on the sister, and probably pass this Fiat broke down on the road.

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    • Horse Radish

      His sister must have had a Fiat that she made him work on, or something like that……

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  2. Tom

    With the lines of the hood and type of damage to to doors. May be time to look at front rails/anybody?

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    • Horse Radish

      door catch broken ?, and insisted on opening too far ?, at least the FIRST time.

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  3. Richard

    left door damage? Look for serious rust around the door supports on this model

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  4. Tirefriar

    This model is called the Estate. It is my favorite 128 model in part because my father owned a navy blue one with this color interior. His car may have been repainted, I don’t know but I sure as hell loved that wagon. These are pretty hard to come by but because of ther non-standard style they tend to be pretty polarizing. The asking price is way high, daily driver cars with straight body panels, tired paint but somewhat livible interior will run for similar asking price – when you can find them. About a year ago I had a chance to buy one out of Oregon as a father/son project but that coincided with a relocation to a new house which required transporting the 3 bikes I already had… One day…

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  5. AMCFAN

    I like it. My father spent time at a Fiat dealer in 1974 and considered buying green 128 like it and had the salesman write it up. Went home and next day called back and said he would take the 124 Spider convertible. Great choice. That was a fun car.

    I believe in 74 the 128 had the chrome bumpers which would tend to have a cleaner look. With a set of eBay tuner wheels for $350. Some new tires. Seat covers this would be sharp A good body man could fix the dents and match the original paint. This is an uncommon find and would be unique to have. Fiats are again acceptable in the US. Back in 1982 after exiting the US and leaving 1000’s of owners stranded and dealers not so much.

    My how time heals all wounds.

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    • Tirefriar

      Those that really loved their Fiats found safe haven in indie shops. Parts were and still plentiful and are relatively inexpensive. These were great cars, majority of their undoing was rather poor maintenance by their owners. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked about reliability of my Alfa Romeos I could be comfortably retired by now. Yet none of the nine AR I owned ever left me stranded, even in the worst summertime traffic. i really like the fun factor of the Fiat 128, just a simple box on wheels but with proper mods could be made into a little screamer if only in audio…

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  6. Howard A Member

    Tirefriar is spot on.( people bash British cars, and I had the best luck with them) Cars, generally, don’t come off the line with problems, it’s what the owners do(or don’t do) to them. Not sure what the 1st “econobox” was, but this had to be one of them. I’ve never owned a Fiat,( one of possibly 3 makes I didn’t own) and probably never will. These were thrown away, and remember plenty in junkyards years ago. It’s amazing to find one today, intact. Remember, in ’75, we thought the world was coming to an end, gasoline wise, and this is what the answer was. I believe history will repeat itself, and guess what we’ll be driving. Cool find.

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    • Gerry

      My uncle purchased a brand new 1975 Fiat sedan against my father’s advice not to. My father was a mechanic by trade and a good one at that. My uncle sold the car after two years of nothing but problems and breakdowns. Terrible even when new. They will be the downfall of Chrysler.

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  7. Jesper

    My first car in 1992 was i Fiat 127.
    I got it for free from my father.
    It was a shitty little car, but wery cheap to drive in.
    Im no Fiat fan, but only for transport, it could go.
    It was better tham moped and bus.

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  8. VR LIVES

    Hey, I am sorry if I offended the Fiat crowd, to each his own I guess. I owned a Pinto which I put 160k on with nary a problem. It got me through college and I have many fond memories of it. Nuff said.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi VR, you didn’t offend me. And thumbs be darned, I always thought these were junk too. Pinto was a good car. Lot better than this. I could never figure out why someone would buy these when so many other good cars were out there. If you’re going foreign, go with the Asian cars, or an Opel. Every time a Fiat of this vintage is featured, I have to remind everyone, I knew a guy that worked at a dealer that sold Fiats in the ’70’s. I saw for myself, there were no less than a dozen Fiats, all different models, behind the shop waiting on some sort of part.

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      • Howard A Member

        Oops, ran out of time. These cars continually made the “top 10 worst cars in history” lists. Tom and Ray listed it as the 8th worst.

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  9. Jeff DeWitt

    I had a 74 128, worst car I ever had. The thing broke down on the way home from the dealer where I bought it.

    However when it worked it was a fun little car.

    Fix It Again Tony!

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  10. Allis128

    I’ve had three 128s–all sedans. The first was bought new (no previous owner to not take care of it). It had 275,000 miles on it in 3 years and was great until a VW needed an engraved invitation to stop for a red light. Still ran well, but since it was t-boned, it was a “banana car” with the passenger door jammed. My neighbor–a single guy–bought it. The last one was 28 years old and we were living in the Midwest–not Fiat country–and my husband’s Jetta had 750,000 miles on it. Seemed appropriate to start shopping for something new. My new Civic made me wonder how in the world Honda got a reputation for reliability! That one went back the day the lease ended and, with trepidation, I ended up with another Civic. Eleven years later, I still see my old Fiat mechanic at the track when the Civic and I have a “play day”! The three 128s and a 124 also taught me to either have a good sense of humor or tough skin! It comes in handy at the track amongst the Porsches, BMWs, Camaros, and Hellcats who like to tease me–until the twisty bits!

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  11. VR LIVES

    Hey Howard A., I like the way you think my boy. Man, I apologized and I get 17 thumbs down? I could be petty, but where does that get me? Fiats for everyone.

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  12. Matt Tritt

    Having had a ’72 edition of this exact car (but in lemon yellow), I can attest to two things I didn’t like: Valve adjustment time and the rubber used in the fuel filler tube. If you’ve ever had one, you know what I mean about the valves, and if you’ve ever taken a bath in gasoline while lying under the back end of one, you know what I mean about the filler neck. I loved the way they handled, though, and plenty of zip on the mountain roads I drove daily.

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  13. Tirefriar

    This comment is aimed at Barnfinds – why in the heck did VR comment gets closed? He spoke his mind and although he and I have difference of opnion on this car I thought his initial comment was a bit humorous. Maybe he didn’t know about the Fiats as much as he thought he did and has now changed his ways 😉

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  14. Brian M

    I bought a 74 128 wagon new in 75 for $2500 in Spain to replace our 69 Chevelle wagon that my wife totaled by going off of a railroad overpass.. Only the car was hurt, still have wife. This was a fun little car for us an two kids. While on vacation in France the bolts holding the tranny case halves together loosened and the oil left. Bad sounds but found a Fiat dealer in Valence and got it fixed for about $25. Took on next assignment to England (left hand drive fun in RH drive country). Found out that the “lubricated for life” ball joints apparently had “life ” defined as 40K miles. The Brits didn’t like them but worked on them at a slightly higher shop rate. On two successive summer holidays we towed a caravan (trailer) into Scotland and Cornwall. Definitely not over powered but did a good job. Brought it back to the states since it was US spec and almost immediately had to replace the clutch (caravanning maybe?). That was around 50k. Went to have the timing belt replaced by a local mechanic (shoulda known better) who put it on one tooth out. Can you say interference engine? Hammered the valves. The body was starting to dissolve due to rust as the Italians affixed the window trim with metal clips that scraped the paint to bare metal, not good. Kinda like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When it was good, it was very good. When it was bad it was horrid. I think magneto marelli electrics are the Italian cousin of Joe Lucas.

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    • Matt Tritt

      The German mechanics I knew all too well because of a Fiat 850 Sport I owned while living in Germany in the 60’s, referred to the “pot metal” that some critical engine parts were made of as “spaghetti metal”. It was about that strong.

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  15. VR LIVES

    I was raised in Michigan, and my Dad was born in 1908. He influenced my love of vehicles like most Dads do, and his first car was a 1925 Star. He went on in his life and saw car companies come and go, which left me with a lot of knowledge about the good and bad of everything. He also was a very funny guy, and I was fortunate to get that trait as well Humour was what I.was attempting in regards to Fiat, because most Fiats I saw were by the side of the road or in junkyards Beer was involved with the kissing your sister comment. I thought it was pretty funny.

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  16. Bill

    I had a 1976 128. i loved that car, no serious problems except ones i caused. Got great economy and was a blast to drive. I would buy this one if i had time and means at the moment, but maybe the price is optimistic. Then again.. there aren’t many out there now either!

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  17. Melvin Burwell

    My brother had a fiat 128 sedan. Dark red. Had it for 15-20 years. Best little car on the planet. I think automatic trans. I’d buy this car if it was closer.

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