Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo LE
When you're an F1 designer for Ferrari, there are many perks. A tasty company car is one of them – and here's John Barnard's Fiat Coupe.
Cost New £25,599 Price £11,000
arnard refused to move to Italy to design cars for the Scuderia, and during both tenures at Ferrari he set up engineering firms in the UK.
The Coupe's service history includes signed notes of sale from B3 Technologies, Barnard's company. And it's just returned from a spot of refurbishment.
The respray is a fantastic job – it really does look as if it had just rolled out of the showroom. We couldn't find any wear and tear. The alloy wheels and fuel filler cap have been refurbished too. The tyres are fresh – Uniroyal RainSport 2s – as is the stainless-steel exhaust.
The interior is in excellent condition, with only minor creasing on the leather seats. The soft-touch covering on the centre console is unblemished – a rare sight for these cars, and the gearknob is unworn. All the user interfaces are free from wear, and we didn't experience any electrical faults. It's hard to believe it's done 60k miles.
Popping the bonnet reveals a bay that’s clean, with all fluids at the correct level. The documents reveal a car that's been well-loved, with plenty of receipts, and it even comes with the original LE handbook, rather than the standard Coupe one. The red key is present and correct, and there's even a new spare too. The belts have just been changed and the clutch has been replaced too.
If you've never driven a Fiat Coupe, it's a treat. It's one of the great '90s GT coupes. The steering is tight and precise (thanks to a standard LSD), and you'll never tire of planting the throttle in third and revelling in the five-pot's heart-pumping theatre. We didn't experience any peculiar noises or rattles, and the brakes were sharp yet predictable. The steering was free from slop and the turbo kicked in when it should, with no smoke coming out of the back. It's absolutely on the button.
Even without the sprinkling of stardust that comes from its former owner, this Coupe deserves scrutiny. It's got to be one of the finest examples on the open market, and has been lavished with care and attention. It's definitely worth a look.
Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo LE
On sale at: Autosportivo
Engine: 1998, 5-cyl, DOHC, turbo
Transmission: FWD, 6-speed manual
Top speed: 155mph
Choose your Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo LE
1994: Coupe launches in January as a turbo or NA 2.0-litre DOHC four. Turbos had a Viscodrive front limited-slip differential.
1996: A 1.8-litre 16v engine was announced, along with a five-cylinder 20v engine, again either turbocharged or naturally aspirated.
2000: 20VT gets new seats, skirts and wheels before production ceases.
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