Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo
Year: 1998 Mileage: 115,000
Acquired: 2016 Dream car: Alfa 156 GTA
John Philpotts ‘You could easily get into trouble with the blues and twos if you let the car do what it does best’
Why a Fiat Coupé Turbo?
I’d always wanted one and approximately seven years ago, a friend of a friend offered me a low mileage example. It was basic spec without the LE or Zender bodykit, so I didn’t really love the looks but it was unbelievable to drive. And the noise... just wow. I sold it after only brief ownership but hankered after another. After mortgages and two kids I finally took the plunge again but with a very strict list of requirements. Broom Yellow, leather, LE body additions, all the big jobs done. This car ticked most boxes.
What do you love about it?
I love the colour. I love the fact the Coupé is so rare and not many people know what it is, so it gets lots of attention. The Chris Bangle styling has aged with great dignity. I also love the gearing; each gear is really long. Third and fourth especially could get you into trouble with the blues and twos if you let the car do what it does best.
What’s the worst bit?
It’s old and Italian so has a sense of fragility. I worry that things will break even though I have not experienced any issues or ‘mood swings’ from the car.
What’s it like to run?
It’s good, and surprisingly parts supply is great and has not yet been an issue. For example rear discs and pads are stocked at a well-known European car parts supplier for £32 all in. Plus all other consumables are at very reasonable prices. Quite a few Coupés are still being broken too. There are various specialists around. John Cartlidge at Midlands Car Servicing, Leicester, is an extremely knowledgeable person.
Any advice for buyers?
Become a member of the online groups and forums. Do your homework before buying. Make sure the car you are looking at has had the big jobs done such as cambelt, turbo, clutch and manifold. If not, make sure the cost reflects this.
Any funny mishaps?
My three-year-old daughter asked to go out in my yellow car recently for the first time. So, with the rear child seat fitted, she loved it so much that I’m not allowed to go out in the Coupé on my own now, or there’s a tantrum. She’s got great taste, even at three!
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