FIAT 130 COUPÉ

The three-litre born in Vicenza

YEAR: 1972

On this page you will find not only the elegant coupé wanted by Gianni Agnelli, but also the portrait of a rich province in the northeast of Italy. The coupé in the pictures has a documented past that started in Vicenza in the early 70s and has spanned over five decades, all in the same city. Today, it’s a historical car still well-loved by a large group of aficionados. Top-tier mechanicals, Italian style, excellent build quality, limited production: a fifty-year-old car worth betting on, whose quotations will only grow with time.

Historical background

Between design and oil crises

The mission was to compete against the most important marques in the executive saloon segment. For this reason, in 1969, after five years of development, the Fiat 130 was born. A year from the launch, however, the saloon’s sales were struggling to take off, due to the design—perhaps a tad outdated—and the diffidence of potential buyers, who didn’t consider the Turin marque prestigious enough for the production of premium cars. In March 1971, the 130 Coupé was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, strongly advocated for by Gianni Agnelli and designed by Pininfarina—more specifically by Paolo Martin, father of the Lancia Beta Montecarlo and the Rolls-Royce Camargue (to mention a few).
It was simplicity that guided his pencil, as it often happens with timeless masterpieces. Fiat’s new creature came into the world showing off a stylistically original minimalism: zero frills and only a few, taut lines wisely traced for aesthetic purposes, as well as mechanical and structural. For instance, due to the raised position of the engine, the front box was rather cumbersome and compromised the harmony of the profile. Martin decided to lengthen the nose and bend it downwards to make the profile more pleasing to the eye. Likewise, the character line running along the side was meant to make it look slimmer. The result was a streamlined body, with a total length of 484 cm—9 cm longer than the saloon. The sharp profile was complemented by the 14” Cromodora rims that, at the time, were considered oversized. The head and tail lights, slightly oversized, lent the front and rear view a feeling of solidity.
The 130 Coupé was therefore created nearly from scratch, with no reference to the saloon or its predecessor, the 2300 Coupé, built a decade prior by Ghia following completely different stylistic trends.
Production was split between the Fiat Rivalta factory (body) and the Pininfarina factory (painting and assembly), and each vehicle was entrusted to a driver tasked with testing its proper functioning. Fiat spared no expenses for this coupé, and the first sales results were promising. The price of 4,950,000 liras, cheaper than the German competition, initially tempted the sceptics and stole more than a few customers from Mercedes and BMW. Fiat was on the right path, but due to the 1973 oil crisis the three-litre segment saw a drastic decrease in orders, and the 130 Coupé followed suit. It lasted on the market until 1977, with 4,500 vehicles produced, 3494 of which with automatic transmission.

Technical specifications

  • BODY STYLE: Coupé
  • SEATS: 5
  • LENGTH: 484.2 cm
  • WIDTH: 176 cm
  • HEIGHT: 138 cm
  • WHEELBASE: 272 cm
  • WEIGHT: 1,555 kg
  • ENGINE: V6
  • DRIVETRAIN: RWD
  • DISPLACEMENT: 3,235 cc
  • POWER OUTPUT: 165 hp
  • FUEL TYPE: Petrol
  • TRANSMISSION: Automatic
  • SPEED: 190 km/h

Driving experience – Long distances

This Italian car is anything but frugal when it comes to consumption. After all, its thirsty 3,235 cc V6 has plenty of torque, keeping the car ready to accelerate, from any speed, without having to shift gears to recall power. The top speed of 190 km/h is therefore easy to reach, and the three-speed automatic transmission is well-suited to the character of this model—despite not being top-tier in terms of speed—ensuring a comfort level of absolute excellence. The limited-slip differential does its job perfectly, giving the driver a nice feeling of agility in twisty roads, although it should be said that they are not quite the natural habitat of this Italian car. The 130 Coupé loves suburban roads and high speeds. Its cosy seats and the high-quality materials used for the interior, such as carpeting, briar-root, and velvet (the latter derived from the fabric used in trains and therefore very sturdy), are a clear example of 1970s design. The beautiful wheel with perforated spokes and the seat pattern that is repeated on the ceiling upholstery are no exception. Considering the elegance of the passenger area, it is easy to imagine how Gianni Agnelli played an active role in Paolo Martin’s choices. A true gem amongst the accessories, a lever that opens the passenger door, located near the steering wheel and attributed to the Avvocato himself: a touch of chivalry towards the fair sex.

One plate, one city – Passione Classica’s Fiat 130 Coupé

Surely one of the first available—deliveries of this model only started at the end of autumn 1971—this Fiat, delivered in Vicenza by the Fergia dealership in Viale Roma at the beginning of 1972, tells the story of this Venetian city and still has its original number plate. The first owner was a businesswoman who kept the 130 until 2009. From then, it had two more owners from the same city.
The car has three keys, with the original key chain, and the condition of its preserved interior makes it one of the most beautiful of its kind. The body’s pastel colour (dark violet—code 198), framed by the shiny chrome bumpers and the polished steel finish, is well matched with the light shades of the interior.
The car was recently taken in for a full service that included motor, gear, and differential oil.

Driving experience – Long distances

This Italian car is anything but frugal when it comes to consumption. After all, its thirsty 3,235 cc V6 has plenty of torque, keeping the car ready to accelerate, from any speed, without having to shift gears to recall power. The top speed of 190 km/h is therefore easy to reach, and the three-speed automatic transmission is well-suited to the character of this model—despite not being top-tier in terms of speed—ensuring a comfort level of absolute excellence. The limited-slip differential does its job perfectly, giving the driver a nice feeling of agility in twisty roads, although it should be said that they are not quite the natural habitat of this Italian car. The 130 Coupé loves suburban roads and high speeds. Its cosy seats and the high-quality materials used for the interior, such as carpeting, briar-root, and velvet (the latter derived from the fabric used in trains and therefore very sturdy), are a clear example of 1970s design. The beautiful wheel with perforated spokes and the seat pattern that is repeated on the ceiling upholstery are no exception. Considering the elegance of the passenger area, it is easy to imagine how Gianni Agnelli played an active role in Paolo Martin’s choices. A true gem amongst the accessories, a lever that opens the passenger door, located near the steering wheel and attributed to the Avvocato himself: a touch of chivalry towards the fair sex.

One plate, one city – Passione Classica’s Fiat 130 Coupé

Surely one of the first available—deliveries of this model only started at the end of autumn 1971—this Fiat, delivered in Vicenza by the Fergia dealership in Viale Roma at the beginning of 1972, tells the story of this Venetian city and still has its original number plate. The first owner was a businesswoman who kept the 130 until 2009. From then, it had two more owners from the same city.
The car has three keys, with the original key chain, and the condition of its preserved interior makes it one of the most beautiful of its kind. The body’s pastel colour (dark violet—code 198), framed by the shiny chrome bumpers and the polished steel finish, is well matched with the light shades of the interior.
The car was recently taken in for a full service that included motor, gear, and differential oil.

The 130 Coupé lasted on the market until 1977, with 4,500 vehicles produced, 3494 of which with automatic transmission.

Price

Venduta/Sold

``Piazza Grande``— The soundtrack

At the 1972 Sanremo Music Festival, Lucio Dalla competed with “Piazza Grande”, the very famous song born from Ron’s guitar and later performed by Gianni Morandi as well.
It “only” placed eighth, but to this day it’s still one of the most important pieces of the Bolognese singer’s repertoire.

In the world of the three-litre cars

From the Fiat archives, the commercial of the Fiat 130 Coupé, a real alternative to the competition’s three-litre cars.

The cars in my garage

Interested in my Fiat 130 Coupé? Contact me now!