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The Fiat 124 is a mid-sized family car produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat between 1966 and 1974. It was the replacement of the Fiat 1300 and Fiat 1500. Today it is perhaps best known as the car used as the basis for the Russian-built Lada, which continues in production to the present day beyond the 124's discontinuation in 1974.

Thanks in part to the ubiquity of the Lada version in Eastern Europe (and also in Latin America and the Caribbean), the 124 has achieved iconic status, and if Lada production is aggregated onto the original Fiat production run, the 124 and its various clones is one of the biggest selling automotive designs of all time with over 15 million units sold worldwide.

Launch

The 124 was introduced by being dropped by parachute from a plane and instantly won critical acclaim, including that year's European Car of the Year award - the fourth winner of the award and the first from Italy.

It was praised for its spacious interior, advanced coil spring rear suspension, disc brakes on all wheels and lightweight construction.

The car was unusual in the extent to which Oscar Montabone, the chief engineer responsible for its development, was able to start with a clean sheet.Only the all-synchromesh gear box came from an existing model, the Fiat 1500

Engine

Power came from a 1.2 L (1197 cc) Fiat OHV straight-4, producing 65 hp (49 kW) and 70 ft.lbf (95 Nm). Also 124S with 1438 cc OHV engine and 124 ST with 1438 cc and 1592 cc Twin Cam with 5 speed gearbox.

Variations

A 124 station wagon was introduced in April 1967, featuring most of the same specifications as the saloon but the springs were stiffened and the final drive ratio changed to 4.4:1.

A slightly stretched and more luxurious version of the 124 sedan known as the 125 was launched in the early part of 1967.

The basic 124 saloon also spawned the Fiat 124 Sport Spider and the Fiat 124 Coupé, both sought after 1970s classic cars.

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