Towards the end of Fiat’s original run in the US market in the early 1980s, the manufacturer had several offerings in showrooms. The newly introduced Strada (known as the Ritmo elsewhere), the mid-engined X1/9 and Fiat 124 Spider. While the Strada would be discontinued after Fiat’s exit in 1982, the X1/9 would continue on as the Bertone X1/9, which the 124 Spider would be sold under the Pininfarina badge. There was one other holdout in the US market until the pullout, the 131, later known as the Brava.
Offered as a two or four door sedan and four door wagon in the US, these weren’t particular flashy vehicles, but their tidy styling and Italian DNA gave buyers seeking something a little less boring in the family car segment. Not only that, the 131 went on to win the World Rally Championship three times; an accomplishment few of its competitors could boast about. This Brava for sale in New York is a rare chance to get one of these cars in good condition.
For sale is my 1980 Fiat Brava sedan. The car is completely stock and has only 51,670 miles. The only item added to the car is an AM/FM cassette radio I installed in the car back in 1993 (I still have the original radio plastic blank). This FIAT drives very well and is in wonderful condition. I have the original manual, brochure, keys, pictures from the original owner and maintenance records. It has Pirelli tires which are in great condition, original wheels, jack and tool kit.
History......I purchased the car in 1993 from a person in Michigan. I believe I am the second owner. It had 33,000 miles on it and was completely original. The car had been rust-proofed when it was bought from the dealer in Michigan. Domenick's Foreign Cars of White Plains inspected the car before my purchase. That inspection in 1993 revealed some previous body work to the right rear quarter panel and appeared to be an excellent repair (I have the body shop invoice!). Although I put 18,000 miles on it, the car has been driven about 500 miles in the last 10 years. It has been garaged since 1993. In the last 200 miles, I did extensive work to the mechanicals....complete engine tuneup, transmission serviced, replaced suspension, brakes and replaced various lines, hoses and wires. In November 2011, the car was repainted for the first time in its original color using a 2-stage urethane process. I have kept this car in very good order.
Items of attention.....The timing belt could be replaced as it is over 5 years old. The headliner is sagging a little and I considered replacing it myself but discovered a local shop that replaces headliners. If I keep the car I will get this done. The A/C needs to be recharged or converted. The driver seat left side seam has come apart. The interior rear deck lid needs repair. This is a rare 1980 Fiat Brava in fantastic condition.
Even though they are rare, the 131 and Brava doesn’t have that much of a following in the US, which has kept prices low. For a car like this, I’d expect somewhere around the $4,500 to $5,500 mark would snag it. Unfortunately, this Brava has the GM sourced 3-speed automatic transmission, but, with a car like this, beggars can’t be choosers. I haven’t seen a clean 131 or Brava like this in a while and it’s nice to see a few of these out there in the wild that are still well preserved.