The Fiat 130 is a large executive car which was available as a saloon or coupé.
The saloon was launched at the 39th Geneva Motor Show in March 1969, replacing the previous largest and most exclusive Fiat saloon, the Fiat 2300. It was a thoroughly modern car, with four-wheel independent suspension (torsion bars in the front and coil springs in the rear), standard power steering and four-wheel disc brakes, and was the first Fiat to adopt an alternator instead of a direct-current generator. Production of the saloon finished in 1976, with 15,093 produced
The Coupé, based on the same platform, was introduced in March 1971. It was designed and built by Pininfarina, and significantly different in style, including a separate interior design (adopted in the saloon when it was upgraded to the 130B version which also featured the Coupé's enlarged 3235 cc V6). Even more luxurious, it featured a button-operated mechanism allowing the driver to open the passenger-side door. In addition to this model, there were two one-off variations built, a 2-door estate and a 4-door saloon known as the opera. The Coupé continued until the following year, and production ended with 4,294 built in total.
The Fiat 130 Saloon type "A" was launched in 1969, with the 2866 cc 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS) engine. The press soon concluded that the 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS) was insufficient in view of the weight of about 1,600 kg (3,527 lb), hence the Fiat 130 berlina type "A" did not compete with the big BMW and Mercedes sedans. Interior design was not ambitious, with rectangular dials in the dashboard, a black plastic centre console and black plastic everywhere.
The 130 Coupé identified as type "BC" on the chassis appeared in 1971 at The Geneva Motor Show. They exhibited a completely new 2-door body and a completely new interior entirely designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina. The car won a design prize, attributed to Pininfarina, and this helped Pininfarina begin a new life after all those years relying on the "Fiat 1800/Peugeot 404/Austin A60" concepts. Pininfarina extended the Fiat 130 Coupé line with two proposals that were rejected by Fiat : the Maremma in 1974 (2-door shooting break) and the Opera in 1975 (4-door saloon). Paolo Martin never got involved in these Fiat 130 Coupé variations, as he left the company soon after the design prize in 1971.
The seats were shaped and designed by Paolo Martin with the collaboration of Giovanni Gottin, a specialist established in Turin. The dashboard was redesigned with sporty round dials, using white needles.
The central console was redesigned by Paolo Martin, featuring wooden veneer, a row of switches and soft illumination throughout using state of the art fibre optics. The steering column is adjustable for rake and reach. The driver's seat has a degree of height adjustment.