Aley Fiat 124

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Still new to this country and seen but rarely, the Fiat 124 has already acquired a reputation as a roomy family saloon which performs well above expectations considering the 1,200 c.c. engine capacity. This much we confirmed while testing the car last year, before it was elected “the car of the year” by an international panel of journalists, and with some very mild tuning work by John Aley, in Cambridge, we renewed experience with the car.

No special claims for increased power or performance were made, the conversion simply consisting of elementary work on the cylinder head, cleaning and reshaping the combustion chambers, and altering the inlet manifold in order to improve the engine’s efficiency. The cost of this work is £35.

If the unmodified car performs up to the level of an average 1 1/2-litre model, the tuned version is streets ahead in terms of acceleration and maximum speed. The standing-start time to 60 m.p.h., for instance, can be bettered by a Cortina GT or a Cooper S 1275, but by no other 4/5-seat saloon of similar engine capacity, and the same applies to the maximum speed figure which was not, in any case, improved by the conversion. In fact the tuning only takes off the odd second here and there, at most about three seconds from the 0-80 m.p.h. time, but it is still worth-while to the man who puts performance at the top of his list and considers the cost in relation to the car’s purchase price.

The engine is a 4-cylinder, 1,197 c.c. unit with cast-iron block and alloy eight-port head, equipped with a twin-choke Solex or Weber carburetter, developing 60 b.h.p. gross in standard form and a probable 60 b.h.p. net as tuned by Aley. As one would expect, the torque characteristic is not particularly good and the gears have to be used freely to get along quickly, though the conversion did help by giving a smoother flow of power in the middle speed range. One drawback is a pronounced flat-spot at low speed if the throttle is depressed suddenly. Unfortunately our test was speeded through as the car was needed urgently and the overall fuel consumption figure of 22 m.p.g. reflects a disproportionately high amount of motorway cruising, cross-country work and performance testing working to tight time schedules, and should not be taken as typical.

The Fiat 124 is a good car for high speed work, especially on good roads, being quiet and restful to drive, but we have reservations about it on less than perfect surfaces as the suspension feels over-sprung, in a manner peculiar to Fiat saloons, so that the car is affected by surface irregularities and needs a fair amount of concentration. The brake pedal, too, has a long and spongy action which allows it to reach the floor when the car is standing still, though this would lock the wheels if attempted while the car was going along. – M. L. C.