Journal: Which Coupe Would You Choose, a German GT or Italian Thoroughbred?

Which Coupe Would You Choose, a German GT or Italian Thoroughbred?

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
May 29, 2013
28 comments

The late sixties and early seventies were a golden era for grand touring coupes. If, at the time, you were young, successful, single, and in the market for something with an equal amount of style and sporting cred, the market was overflowing with elegant, fast, luxurious, and exclusive two doors to choose from. This week, we present one of our all-time favorite GT coupes, a lovely E9 BMW, and pitch it against a less well-known but equally worthy Fiat 130—with a Lampredi-designed V6 and Pininfarina styling, it wasn’t miles off from being a Ferrari…

Starting with the Beemer, we really dig the blue-on-blue color combination. Paint is claimed to be in the original color, but was resprayed some years ago, while the blue velour interior is said to be all original—astonishing considering its condition. The seller says there is no rust, and that the car is in excellent cosmetic condition. Transmission is by four-speed manual, somewhat of a rarity as many have been upgraded to five-speeds from newer BMWs. Perhaps the best part of E9s is the cabin—a beautiful dash and an incredible feeling of light and space aided by the thinnest of pillars make every drive a pleasure. Roll down all the windows and, thanks to their pillarless design, you’ll swear you’re in a convertible, that sonorous straight six’s song flooding your and your passengers lucky ears.

And then there was the Fiat. The 130 coupe was introduced in 1971, its sharp-suited style on the very cutting edge, as designers were just starting to move away from the organically-inspired shapes of the preceding decades—typically, most would agree, not a great thing, but the 130 coupe looked utterly fantastic. Equipped with a 3.2 OHC V6 with lineage traceable back to Maranello, it made a healthy 165 HP and loved to rev, with a sound to relish. Suspension was all-independent, with an LSD at the back—indicative of the excellent handling 130s are known for. Where this particular car really wins, though, is with its five speed manual—actually an option over the standard, fun-sapping 3 speed auto. The gorgeous medium blue over Bordeaux hides is also incredibly alluring. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the driver-operated, remote passenger door opening mechanism, too! It may not be the obvious choice, but that’s why we love this car.

So, which one would you like to see in your garage?

1973 Fiat 130 Pininfarina Coupe

Click here for the Fiat details.

1972 BMW E9 CSi Coupe

Click here for the BMW details.

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28 Comments on "Which Coupe Would You Choose, a German GT or Italian Thoroughbred?"

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Lamond Jack
Lamond Jack
3 years 2 months ago

GERMAN GT COUPE ALLLLLLLLLLLLL DAY!

Leucea Alexandru
Leucea Alexandru
3 years 6 months ago

What if we spice things up an give the BMW a proper competitor? How about this Ferrari 330 GT from the 60’s? The back end looks similar, even the C-pillar..

Erwan Brillot
Erwan Brillot
3 years 6 months ago

No competition here for me, it’s got to be the bimmer.

Josh Stewart
Josh Stewart
3 years 6 months ago

I think I’m going to have to break with popular opinion and go with the Fiat. The BMW is a great car, but compared to the Fiat, it’s just a bit… boring. Sure it looks good for a BMW, but sitting inside and driving it is going to feel pretty much the same as sitting in any 2002 or even E21. The Fiat on the other hand, just look at that interior! The wheel, the console, the gear selector etc. Love it!

Rik
Rik
3 years 6 months ago

+1 for the Fiat.

So rare and mysterious, the BMW is almost common by comparison. By common I mean I may have seen 2 on the road in the last 18 months whereas I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Fiat outside of a classic car show.

Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas
3 years 6 months ago
It’s not that easy a pick… the E9 looks utterly gorgeous, and has a lusty straight-six to go with it. The 130 is the subtle one, whose charms are not touted to the world. As a good fan of a sleeper, that would make it my choice, especially if I can have the 5-speed manual. Not a lot of people know these cars, and most would not even guess it to be a Fiat on the street. The build quality is excellent (more than a match for the BMW), and the equipment levels are second to none. And the wail… Read more »
Chris Macha
Chris Macha
3 years 6 months ago

Ah, found the prior post. Ask Bimmer Magazine how they pronounce their name. I bought my first BMW 2002 in 1974, have always called them Bimmers.

Chris Macha
Chris Macha
3 years 6 months ago
Well, the Internet certainly has a lot of opinions on nomenclature. This is from the BMW Wiki: “The English slang terms Beemer, Bimmer and Bee-em are variously used for BMWs of all kinds,[42][43] cars and motorcycles.[44][45] In the US, specialists have been at pains to prescribe that a distinction must be made between using Beemer exclusively to describe BMW motorcycles, and using Bimmer only to refer to BMW cars,[46][47][48] in the manner of a “true aficionado”[49] and avoid appearing to be “uninitiated.”[50][51] The Canadian Globe and Mail prefers Bimmer and calls Beemer a “yuppie abomination,”[52] while the Tacoma News Tribune… Read more »
Chris Macha
Chris Macha
3 years 6 months ago

I also think newer devotees to the marque who have only bought newer cars are the ones who say Beemer.

🙂

Chris Macha
Chris Macha
3 years 6 months ago

Afshin,

The bike is pronounced Beemer with a long ‘e’ like femur or lemur. Bimmer is pronounced like the word Dinner. Legend has it that the bike made a sound like beeemmm or something like that. I can’t find my original post though?

Steve Armstrong
Steve Armstrong
3 years 6 months ago

Another biased vote for the Bimmer 🙂

jecollins
jecollins
3 years 6 months ago

I think the E9 is way sexier, so that’s the car for me.

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson
3 years 6 months ago

BMW, no contest. Really don’t like that Fiat.

Sid
Sid
3 years 6 months ago

BMW E9 …. were you were trying to be funny with that comparo?

john tolle
john tolle
3 years 6 months ago

Guess what, another vote for the E9. Yes, I am a bit biased…

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia
3 years 6 months ago

I guess we have to put the CS up against an XJ6 Coupe, then! 🙂

john tolle
john tolle
3 years 6 months ago

Absolutely ! You’re on. 😉

BiTurbo228
BiTurbo228
3 years 6 months ago

If that was the case, I’d definitely pick the XJC.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
3 years 6 months ago

Or maybe a Fiat Dino coupe which is a very cool car ( especially in 2400 form when it used the 130s independent rear suspension) 🙂

Of these two I would probably go for the Fiat anyway probably because it’s different.

Leucea Alexandru
Leucea Alexandru
3 years 6 months ago

Just look at that Bmw. How can you say “no” to it? It is definitely the winner of this versus, no doubt about it.

Chris Macha
Chris Macha
3 years 6 months ago

OK guys, if June is going to feature BMWs, you need to correct something. A Beemer is a BMW motorcycle, a Bimmer is a BMW automobile. Think of it like this to remember, BMW motorcycles came before BMW cars and E comes before I. Great work, love your passion.

🙂

Alan Franklin
Alan Franklin
3 years 6 months ago

I’ve always heard people call BMW cars “Beemers”, the distinction you make seems to only exist in print and not the real world. I think it dates back to an early nineties Thos L Bryant editorial.

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia
3 years 6 months ago

I have the same experience. Maybe the difference exists, but they’re both pronounced the same, i.e. with a long “i”. Chris, what’s the official word on pronunciation?

timothymcn
timothymcn
3 years 6 months ago

Is it really Italy vs Germany, though? I’ve always seen a lot of the 3200 CS in the E9, and that was designed by Bertone.
No question. it’s the Bimmer for me. The rear window wraps around to meet the thinnest of pillars and the prettiest of Hoffmeister kinks.

Joseph DArco
Joseph DArco
3 years 6 months ago

E9 in my mind is one of the most beautiful German cars ever built, high on my wish list.

Ryan Hoyle
Ryan Hoyle
3 years 6 months ago

I own a Fiat Spider, but I’ll be honest the styling on this 130 just doesn’t do it for me. It’s just too boxy. The E9 looks amazing, I’d definitely go for that.

Kirk Robinson
Kirk Robinson
3 years 6 months ago

I also own a Fiat Spider, and also agree entirely. The 130 may have Pininfarina written on the side, but it was not designed by Sergio Pininfarina, like the spider – instead, it was designed by Paolo Martin (according to wikipedia), who – it looks like – was never taught how to use a set of french curves.
Shame, the fiat sounds promising, with the LSD, etc – probably could have been really great if the looks didn’t kill the whole thing.
BMW Wins.

Dave T
Dave T
3 years 6 months ago

Agreed. The Fiat just doesn’t do anything for me. The BMW is gorgeous.

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