I Fell In Love With This Italian Babe And My Dad Bought It.
If you were to ask me what my happiest moment in my life from my late teen to early twenties, I would say it was the moment when I collected my brand new Fiat 127 in 1975 and it was registered under my name.
I didn't know how my dad feel but I knew he was RM6,000 poorer after he bought me this cute Italian babe with cash. RM6,000 was quite a lot of money 40 years ago in Malaysia for my him. My dad must have loved me so much to be willing to part with his hard-earned money without hesitation.
Why Did I Choose An Italian Car Over A Samurai Rival?At that time the only Japanese rival in the same category was Mazda 1000 which cost slightly more. I had a soft spot for Italian car right from the beginning simply because Italian cars, until now, have souls unlike the Japanese. On top of that, the former have unique styling that stands out among the crowd and yes the performance.
Did I Love This Car?You bet. Although it was a super-mini class car powered by a 903 c.c. four-in-line petrol engine mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, it was front-wheel driven, independently sprung, spacious inside, fuel efficient and it hugged the road like a leech. In fact it won the European Car Of The Year Award for 1972.
I drove it aggressively on winding roads most of the time and I remember vividly that I overtook many Japanese cars of bigger engine capacity (1.2 to 1.3 Liter) such as Datsun 120Y, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Colt Lancer and Mazda 808 when I drove this car to Genting Highlands back in the mid 70's. I guess all those drivers would have been pissed off.