1967 Fiat 125
At first glance a rigid axle chassis and a double overhead camshaft engine do not go together. Yet, they are modified. The rigid axle comes along with
leaf springs but with additional, longitudinal arms and the engine features only one downdraft carburetor. This makes the engine a little bit powerless at very low revs, but overall it has potential and there is enough
force for overtaking others. Its top speed of 160 km/h is extraordinary for a middle class car of that time. The rigid-axle suspensions of the other mid-range Fiat are also quite well under control. They are neither hard nor
dangerous. Quite the opposite, except for a few relocations in very wavy bends the car remains indulgent.
It is a lucid, relatively quiet and sporty middle class saloon/sedan with lots of instruments and enough comfort. There are disk-brakes also in the rear, which operate well as foot brakes if not used too excessively. If the car
would have been more resistent to corrosion and Fiat had given it more time, maybe... Anyway, combined with an older engine and chassis its career as 125 Polski lasted until 1991.
The horror begins with the transfer of the Fiat 125 from Italy to Poland. That is not our opinion, but that is what experts from the country itselve attest to one of their most important products. They say that while one should
rather buy the latest editions of western products, in the case of the 125p it should be the other way round.
But let's take it one step at a time. Strictly speaking, only the bodywork is taken over. The underbody, newly the platform, comes from the 125's predecessor, the Fiat 1500, also the dashboard. The leap to a new car in
Poland is already enormous enough, there is no need for an engine with two overhead camshafts.
Instead of 1500 cm3, the car comes with the 1300cm 3 engine. It is said to be much more durable than the 1500 that was introduced later. Instead of five gears, there were only four, initially even
with a steering wheel gearstick. After the change to a middle gear lever, the disproportion between the required long arms and short legs length was noticeable, but this was the case with almost all Fiats.
The first Fiat 125p was always recognisable by its round headlights compared to the square-framed ones on the 125. The front and rear covers are smoother. At least the Fiat 1300/1500 already had disk brakes on all four
wheels, so the 125p had the benefit of a braking system of which other road users were warned by publishing it in the rear window.
|Fiat 125p in one of the last versions . . .