2021 Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction

1968 Fiat 124 AC Sports Coupe





This lot is no longer available

Often overshadowed by the glamorous Fiat 124 Spider, the Sport Coupe is an underrated, stylish and advanced four-seater grand tourer that was mechanically unbreakable and fantastic to drive.  Under the shapely bonnet was a high-revving twin-cam motor designed by Aurelio Lampredi with plenty of torque driving the rear wheels through a slick manual gearbox.  Based on the advanced 124 sedan platform, the Sport Coupe and its Spider sibling shared the same suspension set-up consisting of unequal length wishbones and coil springs up front and a coil-sprung live rear axle located by a Panhard rod and radius rods to provide sure-footed, predictable handling.  The first series, codenamed the ‘AC’, was launched in 1967 with a 1438cc engine and four-speed gearbox on the earliest cars, although Fiat soon changed to a five-speeder.  Mechanically advanced, the Fiat’s twin-cam engine was the first use of a toothed timing belt in place of the usual chains, along with a torque tube rear axle and disc brakes featuring a front/rear proportioning valve.  Styled in-house, Mario Boano was responsible for the 124 Sport Coupe’s svelte lines while the interior was typical late 60s Italian, with a well-stocked instrument cluster, woodgrain dash and supportive bucket seats.  The initial AC series remained in production for three years and proved the most popular version, with over 113,000 sold.  Priced at $3,648 the 124 Sport Coupe cost roughly the same as an MGB and offered a unique blend of Italian styling, handling and lively performance with a relatively affordable price tag.  The subsequent BC and CC series of 1969 and 1972 saw larger engines, revised interiors and a redesigned frontal aspect doing away with the classic round headlamps in favour of a more modern squared off grille.  Sadly rust has accounted for most of these and the numbers of surviving examples continues to dwindle, with early AC models rarely coming up for sale these days.