Fiat 130 saloon mixes sin­is­ter over­tones with top value

Value 2012 £4750 Value NOW £6500

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

Fiat’s 130 four-door has al­ways been the ugly sis­ter to the swish coupé. The trans­port of Ital­ian politi­cians and Vat­i­can high-ups, it was de­signed to be Italy’s an­swer to the BMW E3 saloon and Jaguar XJ6. But sales be­tween ’69 and ’74 were only 15,093 units and few have sur­vived. Se­ries 1 cars had a Lam­predi-de­signed 2.8 V6 while the ’71 Se­ries 2 got the gutsy 3.2 engine, im­proved dash, op­tional leather trim, air­con and a but­ton to re­motely open the front pas­sen­ger door. On the road they’re poised with pre­cise power steer­ing and de­cent ride from all-in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion. The op­tional Borg Warner three-speed auto was the most pop­u­lar and ZF five-speed­ers are rare.

Th­ese days the unloved 130 Ber­lina looks al­lur­ingly sharp in a Mafiosi sort of way, es­pe­cially in black or dark blue. Watch Charles Bron­son screech­ing up Ital­ian hills in The Mechanic and you’ll see the ap­peal. This is a car that should carry a Walther P38 or Luger in the glove box. Saloon 130s ap­peared in dozens of Ital­ian art house films with ti­tles like L’asassino, typ­i­cally with gang­sters spray­ing bul­lets from the side win­dows – it ex­udes a Seven­ties Mafia get­away car vibe. Clas­sics and Cabri­o­lets in Es­sex has a smart ’69 in fac­tory black and just two own­ers for £6495 while Clas­sic Ital­ians in Popoli, Italy has a per­fect sil­ver one-owner 1975 car with 15,000 miles for £10,500. For some­thing so exclusive and dis­tinc­tive th­ese are low prices for ex­am­ples that don’t need work. I’m not say­ing the 130 saloon is a sure-fire in­vest­ment, but ten grand for a 15k minter feels extremely good value to me.

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