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Its Name Is Sophie: 1978 Fiat 131 Brava


This clean 1978 Fiat 131 Brava really looks nice with its repaint in the original color. “Sophie,” as her sellers call her, has obviously been well taken care of and is also optioned quite well. As they say at the bottom of the auction listing here on eBay, “We really love this girl. She’s a car you can jump in and go. We just have too many cars and she’s spent too many long, lonely months in storage. We’d like to find her a home with someone who will love her and drive her.” Sophie is currently lounging in Goodyear, Arizona. Thanks to Jim S. for this choice find!


It’s been a long time since I have seen a 131 this clean and without rust. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it was possible–I’ve heard horror stories about the quality of steel (Russian, supposedly) that Fiat was using in the late 1970’s, and it is a fact that some cars had to be purchased back by the manufacturer in the US market due to premature rusting. Apart from the very evident bumpers, the styling is clean and unoffensive.


Unfortunately the seller doesn’t show us under the hood, but they do state that anyone that purchases Sophie for the buy-it-now price of $6,000 will also receive a big valve head along with performance cams and other parts to turn Sophie into a screaming Italian siren.


The interior looks awfully nice, and it makes sense as the seller states that it has been reupholstered. They go on to also say that her carburetor has recently been cleaned and that her clutch, timing belt and water pump have recently been replaced. Sophie sports new Yokohama tires and a new battery, along with a disc brake conversion. The air conditioning is said to work, but needs a charge and was inadequate for Arizona conditions. It will be interesting to see if Fiat fans flock to Sophie as an unusual but nice specimen, or if they stay away in lieu of a more sporting option. What do you think?


  1. Grr

    Great color. Nice survivor.

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  2. Paul

    Just to clarify, is anyone else wondering what Jim S. does for a living? I love the fact that he submits so many good barn finds, but Jim, what do you do all day That allows you to find so many good barn finds everytime I log in? LOL. You have some awesome finds! Thanks Jim S.!!!

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    • jim s

      thanks for the kind words. i am just an old guy with way too much time on my hands. i love sending finds in to this site. plus seeing what others send in then reading the writeups and comments. i’m having fun and i hope everyone else is also. i was slow to respone because i desided at the last minute to make a road trip to Spring Carlisle in Carlisle PA. a lot to look at plus i scored some manuals and brochures!

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  3. Leon

    Italian. It should be Sophia

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    • Chebby

      YES! That’s an easy fix. Pretty car in great colors.

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  4. Steven C

    I would love to bring Sophie home to meet my parents.

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  5. Bob

    oh man. I would love to have this. My sister is in Phoenix (Goodyear is a suburb) so maybe i can ask her to go fetch it for me. I’ve had 8 fiats through the years and a 1976 131 was my favorite of them all (my current 500 Sport notwithstanding). Really comfortable, quiet and just as peppy as its Spider brethren.

    The really funny thing is that I sold my 1978 124 Spider (Fiat #7) to a guy who snowbirds in Goodyear. Keeps it here in Seattle and has another to enjoy in Arizona. Maybe i should tell him about this car so his Arizona Spider will have a buddy.

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    • Sandy Shoup

      Send your sister for a test drive…she’ll love our girl. ;)

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  6. Tirefriar

    Definitely choice find! The BIN price is in the higher range but then how many of these are on the market in this condition? Another car I am tempted to buy, and most likely do so if it was close to me. If it was white, I may have even made that trip to AZ over the weekend… Oh well…ill just sit here in the corner and drool, quietly

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  7. Mike V.

    Curious choice for the car’s name. In Spain, the diesel version of the Seat/Fiat 131 was called “Sofim”. It looked exactly like this, except for the bonnet, which had some kind of protuberance to allow the bigger engine, and of course, for the Seat grill.

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  8. Jesper

    When i lived i Denmark, i had 131.
    Its the most rusty car i ever had in my name. But it was driving good. Not a slow car by Europeen standard.
    I gave 3500 D.kr = ca. 600$
    But its also 22 years ago

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  9. cliffyc

    Here in the UK,Fiat called the 131 Mirifiori,which to my ears,sounds more exotic. There are some nice Abarth versions about too!.

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  10. wagon master

    Although I admire it for it’s survivor condition, I wouldn’t call it a barn find. This 4 door model, with I believe a 1300cc, is uninspiring to me personally.

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    • Bob

      No. It has a 1.8 liter. The last decent carbureted version before FI was added

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  11. wagon master

    Good to know. Thx

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  12. Chebby

    BIN is gone, I’ll bet it is going to look like a deal in retrospect.

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  13. Jesper

    My rusty fiat was also a Mirafori.
    It was faster than these Opel, and Ford with the same engine size, my freind’s had at that time.

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  14. Sandy Shoup

    Hi….this is Sofie’s owner. I appreciate all the kind comments on our girl. I added pics of under the hood and undercarriage to the Ebay ad as well as the magazine ad we have “from the day” that looks just like our girl. Yes, we originally called her Sofia…but it just morphed into Sofie. ;)

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    • Ian

      I realize this is nearly two years late for this thread, but I now own this car. Would love to know more about its past. Please contact me if you know more! rothwell(dot)automotive(at)gmail(dot)com

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      • Tirefriar

        Congrats Ian. I have a very soft spot for these cars as I stated earlier. Tell us more about your experience, what state do you reside in?

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  15. jim s

    sold for $ 6750.

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    • Bob

      good price

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      • Sandra Shoup

        We are quite pleased!

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  16. Waleed

    I have original fiat brava 1980 martini racing (16000 miles only)

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