Certain cars have become a rare sight on UK roads, with the Fiat 132 being among them. Introduced as a replacement to the Fiat 125 in 1972, the 132 was a large family car that featured a twin overhead cam engine. It also had a five-speed gear box that was considered unusual for the time. The car received an update in 1974, which improved the independent suspension and tyre strength.
In Italy, the 125 sold as an average transport vehicle, while also starring in many ‘Poliziottesco’ crime films. The Fiat 125 was marketed differently in other countries. For example, it was badged as the Polski Fiat 132p in Poland. In the UK, the Fiat had an air of mystery to it, with the sharp lines being compared to the kind of vehicle that would be seen in The Sweeney.
Today, there are only eight 132s of any type left in the UK. A prominent example belongs to an owner called Brian Hall. His 1976 1600 GLS is one of two known survivors, making it one of the rarest Fiats in the country. Hall bought the car for £1790 and it came with a five-speed gearbox and adjustable steering column.
Hall said he bought the 132 and “fell in love. My car was registered in Gateshead and I acquired it from the original owner. I hadn’t intended to keep it this long, but here I am still enjoying ownership. In fact, I get withdrawal symptoms not being able to use it in the winter months.” The Fiat had been “fastidiously Waxoyled by the first owner. It’s everywhere, and seems to have preserved the shell perfectly. I haven’t had any worries about rust, thankfully.”
Hall’s Fiat has a striking green paint job that makes it stand out at classic car shows. “I often get a lot of positive feedback from people who look at the Fiat as they are pleased to see something different among the MGBs and Morris Minors.”
The Fiat 132 is a memorable motor that still has its place on British roads.