Bertone traveled to the 1974 edition of the Geneva Motor Show to introduce a close-to-production concept called 127 Village. The show car was designed as a potential successor to the Savio Jungla, which was in its last year of production, and billed as a do-it-all car that could be used for work, leisure and anything in between.
Starting with a stock 127 chassis, Bertone added a rugged-looking open-top body whose design was openly inspired by cars like the Citroën Méhari and the aforementioned Jungla. The front end featured square headlights pulled directly out of the 127 parts bin, a radiator grille made up of a thin slat and two round openings, a hood held closed by metal pins and a tubular bumper. The back end was decidedly utilitarian with a pair of simple round tail lamps and a flip-down tailgate.
The 127 Village was designed to be as versatile as possible. The press release that Bertone distributed at the Geneva show indicated that it could be easily transformed into a convertible with room for four passengers, a small van, a pickup and a number of other body styles.
Interior pictures are few and far between so it’s difficult to get a good idea of what the 127 Village looked like inside. However, period press shots hint that it featured a concept-specific cockpit with a four-spoke steering wheel, an instrument cluster made up of two large pods that created a visual connection with the radiator grille and a grab handle in lieu of the glove box. The rear seats could be folded flat or removed entirely to free up extra cargo space.
Bertone did not make any mechanical modifications to the Village, meaning it was powered by a 903cc water-cooled four-cylinder engine that was used in a wide number of Fiat products including the 127 and the 850. The four-banger was tuned to make 45 horsepower at 6,200 rpms and 46 lb-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpms. Power was sent to the front wheels via a four-speed manual transmission.
Fiat was not interested in building a successor to the Savio Jungla so the 127 Village remained a one-off prototype. However, a number of similar vehicles based on the 127 were built during the 1970s including the Moretti Midimaxi and the Fissore 127 Scout, both of which debuted at the Turin Motor Show three years before the 127 Village.
As a side note, some sources claim the Village was developed jointly with Italian magazine Quattroruote but Bertone makes no mention of the collaboration.