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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
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Fiat 124 Familiare

So I think I'm about to buy a very original two owner 1970 124 Wagon in excellent condition.

The first owner had the car until around 2014 when he passed away and the car was then sold to a friend of mine who now wants to sell it.

It's a lovely, reliable old machine that still has lots of life left in it. It has however been 'personalised' by its first owner, who seems like he was a little eccentric. He added a bunch of extra gauges under the dash including an altimeter ...

He also labelled everything with Dymo tape - and I mean everything.

Because it's in such lovely original condition, the temptation would be to restore it back to factory standard but I'm of the opinion that it has such character that if I buy it I'll leave it precisely as it is.

Any other opinions?

Chris
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

Quote Originally Posted by Bambino View Post



Any other opinions?
No!

I would even keep the Dymo-labels, with the possible exception of the gear-position instructions.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

Crikey he did love a bit of dymo tape as you say! Looks really clean. I would imagine if he is as eccentric and fastidious as it seems, then there is a high chance that whole car has been really well looked after.

Yeah as Peter says leave it as it is, it’s all a bit mental��
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Last edited by Vitesse; 2 Weeks Ago at 15:38.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

I'd snap that one up in a heartbeat.
Can't be many left, especially in that condition.
Personally, I'd keep it as is, just check/service as required.
Pretty much all the mechanical parts are still available, many of the chassis parts are the same as the 124 Coupe/Spider. (I spy a Coupe in your 1st pic )

Only time I recall seeing a car with extra gauges and all controls labelled was when it had been owned by a pilot (the altitude gauge was the giveaway ). Or maybe the original owner had multiple cars with differing controls and need a reminder?

AL.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

Yep - thanks for your sage advice.

I bought it and it should arrive in the next day or so.

I'll keep you posted.

Chris
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

I worked on lots of these back in the day and subsequently. Probably worked on just about every part/unit of them. They had no real problems other than those caused by lack of maintenance. And, as I said, lots of parts are still available

Where I worked, we had one as a workshop van for many years, was far better imho than the 131 Estate which replaced it.....

Sadly most have succumbed to rust (over here), I'd be interested to see how your's has fared.

The 124 Estate (Wagon/Familiare), over here, came fitted with a 1197cc OHV engine and had a lower final drive ratio than the Saloon (Sedan) 4.3 vs 4.1:1 (iirc). I'd be interested to hear what the Australian version had.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

It arrived this afternoon and I put it up on my hoist to have a much more detailed look at it.

It has been very well looked after and has no rust that I can find. It also passed the magnet test for bog (filler).

The engine starts without any blue smoke, idles evenly but has a noticeable flat spot on acceleration which I knew about before I bought it. The carby is a downdraft Holley (Weber) 32 DMS which could probably do with a rebuild. Other than that, I'll check the timing, advance etc.

Interestingly, the engine is a 124B - a 1440cc OHV "S" engine - which may explain why it seems to get along quite well. Not sure whether it is the original motor or not. I'll try to find out about the diff ratio too.

The car came with a heap of reading material from the first owner which goes through its history. I intend reading it all tomorrow.

Thanks for your interest. I'll keep you posted.

Chris
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

^^ The 1438cc OHV engine was available over here in the Fiat 124 Special but not in the 124 Familiare/Estate/Wagon. In the Special model (9:1 C/R) it developed 70 bhp and with a 4.1:1 final drive ratio, could supposedly reach 93mph (150kph) - pretty good for the 1970's.

Many of the 124's, regardless of make of carb fitted, suffered from a flat spot on acceleration especially at lower engine speeds. Assuming the ignition timing, advance curve, carb. float valve and accelerator pump are ok, you might try fitting a larger accelerator pump jet (the bit that squirts the fuel into the venture) if you can locate one. (not correct I know, but I sometimes ran a very fine drill bit into the hole to enlarge it a little but don't overdo it, you need a controlled spray of fuel not a torrent being dumped).

Also, check out the condition of the engine/transmission mountings, the driveshaft 'doughnut' coupling at the rear of the gearbox and all the rubber bushes on the rear axle suspension arms. Any excess movement in any of these can make the flat spot appear worse by adding to the jerking/surging on acceleration.

Happy Motoring

AL.
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

Loving the Dymo tape. I did similar with my Trabant before taking for an MOT.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

I found this in the drivers side door pocket. It's a table outlining the responses to various changes in the gauge readings.

Nothing on the Altimeter though

There is also a book which is full of the additional wiring diagrams for the extra gauges - all beautifully hand drawn.

Chris
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

Quote Originally Posted by Bambino View Post
I found this in the drivers side door pocket. It's a table outlining the responses to various changes in the gauge readings.

Nothing on the Altimeter though

There is also a book which is full of the additional wiring diagrams for the extra gauges - all beautifully hand drawn.

Chris
^^^

Would have been great to have met/spent time with this gentleman (the 1st owner) but at least (part of) his legacy lives on.

Did you find anything interesting in his vehicle history file?
Sounds like he was a very careful and competent engineer.
Did he have any other cars?

AL.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Re: Fiat 124 Familiare

Yeah - when I first saw the car, I thought that it should be preserved just as it is and that is my intention.

All I've done so far is remove and store the roof racks, remove the front wing mirrors, topped up the steering box oil, changed the engine oil and filter, flushed and replaced the cooling system water and rebuilt the carburettor..

I'll change all of the rest of the fluids and check over the general wiring and ignition system next.

I have a postal address and I'll write a letter which may hopefully get forwarded to a family member. I would love to find out much more about the original owner.

I've attached photos of the hand drawn wiring diagrams.

Chris
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