The Fiat 127 an Italian manufactured small mini car produced between 1971 - 1983 by the truckload.
The 127 was Fiat's first supermini-hatchback & at the time the engine layout was state-of-the-art with transverse/front-wheel-drive and a transmission mounted right on the end of engine.
It also featured unique leaf spring suspension to the rear giving pretty good handling for the era. Safety was yet another innovation with the 127 having articulated steering column and crumple zones for better crash protection under impact. It was also the first car fitted with an all-plastic bumper stuck on a steel support.mThe 127 was also one of the first modern superminis to use floor space for passengers!!
The 127 was an instant success, winning the European Car of the Year award for 1972 (Fiat’s third time in six years to receive that accolade).
It became one of the best-selling cars in Europe for several years. Just over three years after its intro, Fiat reported one million 127’s had been completed at the Mirafiori plant in Turin.
The Sports model was introduced in 1978 with a 70hp version of the standard 1049cc engine. Abarth revisions included larger valves and exhaust, a higher compression ratio, newly-designed camshaft and twin choke Weber carburetors which meant 40 per cent more power than the standard model. Changes were also made to the gearbox for improved performance. The Sport model also had high back sporty seats, race style wing mirrors, rev counter, sports wheels, leather steering wheel, tinted glass, a rear spoiler & stylish instrumentation. It came in 3 colours, black silver & orange.
Seat made Spanish versions, including a unique variant with a OHV engine. This had 1010 cc instead of 903 cc and produced 50 bhp.
Polish FSO and FSM also made a Polski Fiat 127p. These were assembled using both Italian and Polish bits.
In Brazil the car was known as the Fiat 147 and a three-door station wagon called the Panorama. It was also built in Argentina & Colombia.
Fiat 127 movie debuts include Gung Ho, about a Japanese car maker reopening a factory in a Pennsylvania town, the movie's "Assan Motors" cars were Fiat 127s.
Competitors were the Renault 5, Ford Fiesta, VW Polo & GM’s Opel Kadett.
Production in Italy ended in 1983 being replaced by the Fiat Uno, itself another icon.
You don’t need hundreds of horsepower or thousands of £’s to get smile on your face. Try a classic 127 and see why.