In 1974, You Could Sit in a Gas Line… Or You Could Buy a Fiat

Fiat introduced the front-wheel-drive 128 for the 1971 model year in North America, and its sticker price was cheap, cheap, cheap— even lower than that of the pfennig-pinching Volkswagen Beetle. It took the OPEC oil embargo of late 1973 to really make sales the 128 (not to mention the various flavors of 124 and the X1/9) take off, though, and that’s the timing for this 1974 magazine advertisement for the entire North American Fiat line.

Gas prices went up alarmingly in the wake of the embargo here, but they reached levels of about 10 bucks per gallon in inflation-adjusted 2020 dollars in 1974 Europe. The Japanese knew a thing or two about crazy fuel prices, though, and the Civic and Corolla proved stiff competition for Fiat over here.

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