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At $6,500, Is This 1983 Autobianchi A112 A Supermini With A Super Price?

Photo: <a class="link " href="https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/913154053912501/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Facebook Marketplace;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Facebook Marketplace</a>

Any American could easily be excused for not knowing what today’s Nice Price or No Dice Autobianchi is, as the cars were never officially offered in the U.S. That oversight has been addressed by this Canadian import, and we’ll have to see just what further welcome its price engenders.

One of the first things taught in Economics 101 is the concept of supply and demand and the valuation curve connecting the two. Prices trend higher when demand outstrips supply. Daimler-Benz’s disinterest in providing the U.S. market with its Geländewagen in the 1990s resulted in a supply/demand imbalance, a situation relieved by other companies like Europa International, which imported and federalized the 2000 Mercedes G500 we looked at yesterday. That proved a hit then, but its $32,000 price tag proved less so today. At that price, you all voted the big box SUV down in a substantial 79 percent No Dice loss.

Photo: <a class="link " href="https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/913154053912501/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Facebook Marketplace;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Facebook Marketplace</a>

Yesterday’s Mercedes is a type of car that status seekers gravitate to, while the general public at least acknowledges it as an icon of achievement. Today’s 1983 Autobianchi A112 Junior, on the other hand, will likely only be appreciated by a smaller and more select group of enthusiasts.

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First off, however, just what the heck is it?

Autobianchi (which I like to pronounce “Ah-to-be-on-key”) was founded in 1955 by a consortium of Fiat, Pirelli, and the world’s oldest bicycle maker, Bianchi. The brand built small cars exclusively, always based on Fiat mechanicals, but typically priced above its progenitor’s products. The most well known of Autobianchi’s cars was the A112, built between 1969 and 1986, but the company’s earlier Primula is not just its most important car, but also one of the most impactful in all of automotive history.

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Introduced in 1964, the Primula was a test bed for the then-new drivetrain format of a transverse engine with an end-on gearbox and un-equal length halfshafts driving the front wheels. This is the standard for most manufacturers today, but that might not be the case had it not been for the Primula. The modest success of the Primula led Fiat to engineer the 128 compact around the same drivetrain design, bringing it to the mass market. The Autobianchi A112 uses a truncated version of the 128’s platform and, naturally, the same transverse engine placement. Its supermini chassis would also serve as the basis for Fiat’s 127.

The Autobianchi had a leg up over the 127, though, as it featured beautifully proportioned styling from Marcello Gandini while he was at Bertone while the 127 had serviceable but less iconic lines penned by Fiat designers.

Photo: <a class="link " href="https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/913154053912501/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Facebook Marketplace;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Facebook Marketplace</a>

Over the course of its life, Autobianchi churned out over 1.2 million A112s across multiple series and models. Fiat eventually replaced it with the Y10, which was sold as both an Autobianchi and a Lancia. That would prove to be the last Autobianchi, as Fiat phased out the marque in 1995.

This A112 Junior is a sixth-generation car, but it has had a lot of additions and deletions, making it a bit of a hot hatch mutt. The original 965 cc OHV four has been replaced by a larger 1050 cc 70-horsepower unit, fed by a single down-draught two-barrel. That has been paired with the desirable five-speed stick. Anti-sway bars and an engine bay strut bar have been added, as has a set of Minilite alloys with Abarth scorpion center caps. Missing is the front bumper, and while this may have the Abarth’s engine displacement, it’s still badged as a lowly Junior.

We don’t get to see the interior in the ad. However, there’s a lengthy (16:12) YouTube review of this very car from about three years ago that not only shows off the interior but offers the money shot of the car driving, making up for the ad’s limitations.

Photo: <a class="link " href="https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/913154053912501/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Facebook Marketplace;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Facebook Marketplace</a>

Going back to the ad, though, the seller claims to have imported the car from Canada in 2020 and closes their sales spiel, saying:

Be the hit at your latest cars and coffee or drive around town and have the time of your life. I guarentee you will be one of the only people with one of these locally.

The asking price is $6,500, and the car comes with a clean title and Massachusetts plates.

What’s your take on this little hot hatch and that $6,500 price. Does that feel like a deal to be the only one, not just on your block but likely in your whole city, to have an Autobianchi? Or is it just too small and modded to ask that much?

You decide!

Facebook Marketplace out of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Jana Watson for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at remslie@kinja.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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