Continuing the story of the Fiat 128 and its derivatives.
In 1971, Fiat introduced a mildly sporting version of the two-door 128 saloon called the ‘Rally’. This featured an engine enlarged to 1,290cc. Perhaps surprisingly, given how oversquare the original 1,116cc engine was, this was achieved by increasing the bore by 6mm to 86mm while keeping the stroke at just 55.5mm. A twin-choke Weber carburettor and slight increase in compression ratio raised the maximum power output to 66bhp (49kW). The Rally was fitted with servo-assisted brakes and an alternator in place of a dynamo.
Externally, the Rally was distinguished by front quarter-bumpers, spotlights, black stripes along the lower bodysides and a black rather than grey front grille. One expensive change was a new rear panel incorporating inset twin circular taillights, the latter sourced from the Fiat 850 coupé. Inside the Rally was equipped with additional instrumentation, comprising a tachometer, water temperature and oil pressure gauges. Continue reading “Dante’s Peak (Part Two)”
Remembering a highly successful car from a company that was once an automotive giant.
It is generally acknowledged that the honour of producing the first true mass-market(1) European B-segment supermini is most equitably shared between Fiat and Renault. While the Fiat 127 was unveiled first, in April 1971, it did not initially feature that essential ingredient, an opening tailgate, but instead had a conventional boot lid and fixed rear windscreen(2). The three-door Renault 5 followed in December of that same year, but its front-wheel-drive mechanical layout, featuring a longitudinally mounted engine with gearbox sited out in front(3), would not be adopted by any other supermini and, when the second-generation Renault 5 arrived in 1984, it featured what had by then become the supermini norm, a transverse engine with end-on gearbox.