In the November 1969 issue of Motor Sport you printed your impressions of the Fiat 125S and during the course of the article you invited readers’ experiences on the car’s behaviour.
It was about this time that I put the 125S on my short list, thinking ahead to when I would have to replace my excellent and reliable Rootes Vogue which was then two years and 40,000 miles old. Having read your favourable impressions I then watched each month for readers’ comments, but none seemed forthcoming.
Last October, with the Vogue three years and 50,000 miles old, I reviewed my short list and eliminated all cars except a BMW 2002 and a Fiat 125S. With a daughter recently married I had to lower my sights financially and buy the 125S, which was about £350 less.
The car is now 10,000 miles old and has had the following defects: at 1,500 miles, ignition failure; 6,000 miles, window winding mechanism failure; 8,000 miles, faulty carburetter.
All the above faults were rectified under the warranty, without quibble, either by my own garage or by Fiats Service Dept. at Warrington. The latter fault was serious in both performance and consumption and Fiats were so anxious to make amends that they replaced the sparking plugs, coil, carburetter and points without charge—not even for the plugs and points. They told me that their aim was a satisfied customer—they now have one!
The car is certainly exciting to drive and has a performance which is quite exhilarating for a 1.6-litre saloon. The finish is first class and the equipment comprehensive and the whole car is as taut as the day I bought it. It gives me the impression that it will still be like this next year and the year after.
I did not “buy British” for two reasons—firstly there did not seem to be anything of comparable value and performance and secondly because I was dismayed at the attitude of the majority of British car “workers” (or should I say “strikers”) and I did not want a car which might have been made in between tea breaks or strikes by men who obviously did not take a pride in their work and who were probably more interested in planning their next strike or “go-slow”.
This seems to me to be a sad situation, especially as the British car industry has lost another customer, maybe permanently.
One thing is certain, however, my next car must favourably impress W.B., as did the 125S.