The Fiats 30 years ago were much more reliable than you give credit for. Their biggest problem was the lack of good dealership networks and qualified mechanics. Ford and Chevy mechanics were never good at diagosing and repaing any European automoblie. The Fiat 124 Spider was fun, fast, reliable and had by far the easiest up and down convertible top made.
Do you remember the Vega, the Maverick, the Pinto, the Duster, the Fiero and all of the K-cars (just to name a few)? Can't hardly find one today, even IF you wanted to (who would?). There are ton's of 30 yr old Fiats still buzziing around Europe!
Does that help with your "reckoning"?
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