Ashtrays: 1972 Fiat 130 Coupe

We can add this vehicle to the DTW collection of ashtray rarities.

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There are not so many of these cars hanging around and good one costs around €17,000 these days. The styling, by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina, is something of a legend. He also handled the interior, sprucing up the design based on the 130 saloon. And in turn Fiat carried these improvements back to the saloon (which already had a very fine interior).

1972 Fiat 130 coupe exterior: source
1972 Fiat 130 coupe exterior: source

The front ashtray is exactly as per the saloon: a flip over type and it’s well situated for laid-back smoking on that long night drive from Dijon to Lucerne, the radio humming quietly and the boot stocked with mustard. You really can dream when sitting in a car like this and it is for that reason it commands the price it does. Anyone can stare at the exterior but few get to enjoy a vehicle with an interior as sumptuous as this one: The orange velour, chrome, high-quality trim everywhere.

How much does such sybarism cost? Less than you think, less than it should. Frankly, €17,000 is a ridiculously low price for a car that has far more style than a Ferrari and which allows you to carry your friends as well. And lucky are those friends who sit in the rear of the car. I gingerly opened the door (it’s long), pulled a lever to tilt the front seat-back forward and I sat into the orange velvet seats. Getting in there did not require an inelegant motion. And once there you feel ensconced yet not constrained.

Paolo Martin’s centre armrest is broad, like a sofa’s and the ashtrays are easy to open with the flick of a thumb. These ones had a well-oiled action you’d expect in something from Crewe. Quite honestly, I’d be happy to let someone else do the driving so lovely is the atmosphere and physical arrangement of this car, front and back.

é As soon as one sits there one understands why Martin Buckley has been trumpeting the vehicle since the late 80’s. Bearing this in mind, modern coupe interiors are simply rubbish and they don’t ask one to be driven anywhere at all. I would rather take a train if given the choice between an A7 or Mercedes CLK or rail. But train versus 130 coupe? The coupe wins because there’s those succulent ashtrays and the prospect of stylish cross-continental travel with a cigar and a crate of Maille in the boot.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

11 thoughts on “Ashtrays: 1972 Fiat 130 Coupe”

    1. You should see it up close. It must have been a part-wool blend. The tufts were widely spaced so it didn’t reflect like velvet or modern velours.

  1. It’s seldom a legendary car really lives up to the reputation. This is one of them.
    Two, it’s a Fiat. Think about what they make today. That’s quite a change in image.

    1. What a treat Richard, I certainly wasn’t expecting my flippant remark to be taken seriously, or was it part of your master plan all along?

      This is one of my all time favourite designs, it exudes style and elegance in abundance.

      Whilst at University I had the pleasure of being chauffeured in a 1978 Mirafiori Sport, it had had the exact same interior application of luminous velour. Despite the passenger seat being broken, seat back not staying upright, it was memory that stayed with me, likely to be never repeated.

  2. Lovely car, and good quality pictures too. Clearly the sign of a dealer who really loves the product he’s selling.

    1. I was talking about the pics from the seller’s site of course. That said Richard’s effort isn’t too shabby either.

    2. You’re quite right, Laurent, the dealer knows how to present these cars. This is *not* autoscout stuff. I hope to visit again in the mid-term.

    3. Did you see that battered 2CV which is currently up for sale, or was that kept out of sight?

  3. Sanjay: when you made the earlier remark about the Fiat I was amused as I knew this was scheduled. I’m glad you enjoyed the item. The 130C is a car I’ve wanted to look at up close for at least 18 years. The only other one I have seen rusted in Oxford. The 130 is a car I have only ever seen once in the metal. To see both under one roof proved a real delight. Both cars impressed with their quality. Fiat must have thrown money at these vehicles. It was what I’d call analogue, solid-state, die-cast quality.

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