Aestheticons is joined today by a new guest contributor, Grant Calton. Grant is a petrol-head who has owned some beautiful classic cars. In this, the first of what we hope will be a regular slot, Grant kicks himself for not buying a Fiat 130 Coupe when he had the chance.
As an autophile from a very early age, my annual visit, with my father, to the Earls Court Motor Show (before they had the temerity to relocate it to bloody Birmingham) (Ed. Who else remembers the Earls Court Motor Show? Brilliant day out!) was a highlight of my year. 1971 has a special fondness in my memory as it was the year I first set eyes on a motor vehicle that remains to this day close to my auto heart and firmly entrenched on my ever expanding bucket list of must own motors.
The Pininfarina designed Fiat 130 Coupé.
That sophisticated sleekosity, the deep opalescent Adriatic blue of the Earls Court display car. …and that orange velour upholstery. (I think I had a pair of flares seemingly cut from similar cloth). It remains a striking car to this day with its’ wide headlights, OTT velour and Pininfarina design. It simply oozes style, 70’s glamour and auto-chic. But it is little known or oft forgot by many.
Executive designers were Paolo Martin and Leonardo Fioravantim – and their boss Sr Sergio (Pininfarina) described the car as a “masterpiece of simplicity”. It was recognised by industry bible, Style Auto magazine, in 1972 when it won the Design Award.
The relatively mundane 130 sedan had been available since 1969 with a 2.9 litre V6 engine, the coupe was bestowed with a 3.2 litre V6 to give it a little extra oomph that befitted its grand tourer style – it delivered a top speed of 190 km/h – not bad for 1971.
The Coupé was significantly more expensive – around 35% more – than the technically identical sedan. On the German market it was offered in 1971 it 28,000 DM – 8000 DM more than the sedan – similarly priced as a BMW 3.0 CSi or a Mercedes-Benz 280 SE Coupe. Nowadays it’s a relative bargain in the classic car market with good examples to be had for £12-15,000. Shame on me for missing out on one for £10,000 in 2014!
They total production run between 1971 and December 1977 was a modest 4,493.