Seems I couldn't stay away from rusty Italian cars for more than a couple of years....
My Aston still feels special every time I drive it, clean it or even look at it. However, using it as a daily is a bit daft, especially as it does about 15mpg around town.
So - the hunt was on for a shed - something that I'm not worried about leaving in dodgy parts of town. Something that's already a bit shabby so I don't care if it gets a scuff and most importantly, something that is so slow and noisy that I still use the Aston whenever it's a viable option. I also like a bit of photography, especially during winter, and a Vantage on Michelin PS4S was never going to get off the drive, never mind halfway across Wales.
So, I trawled Autotrader, Ebay, Gumtree and countless other sales site for some inspiration. Dacia Duster, Skoda Yeti, Audi Allroad and Volvo XC70 were all discounted as they were too good (and the Aston would never come out of the garage). I had the chance to buy back my old Alfa GT, but the insurance company wanted twice as much as I was paying for the Aston.
In the end, a really poorly worded advert on Preloved caught my eye and a couple of days later (and £1,100 lighter) I was the proud owner of another of Fiat's cult cars - the mighty Panda 4x4. 59bhp (when new) of tarmac-rippling power, dished up through tiny little mud & snow tyres.
A quick clean had it looking OK, although when you get up close, its full of scratches and small dings. However, after I'd spent the same again at Motormech as it cost me to buy it, I now have a mechanically sound car that will go almost anywhere, but that I really don't need to care about getting scuffed.
It even coped with strapping two 20+ kg e-mountain bikes to the roof and travelling a 320-mile round trip to deepest Wales and back....
I'm not going to mod it - definitely NOT going to mod it, I really shouldn't mod it.... Ah heck - how much is a lift kit?....
This reminds me so much of samsite999. When I picked up the BumbleBee from him back in 2010 he showed me this poor hedgeling of shreds and patches resting in a shed, which to his credit he slaved away at until roadworthy, documenting everything on the FiatForum.
I bought mine this may. Bags of fun. I think I could live with the Coupe and the Panda as a seasonal two car garage. The original, hardly worn 13(!) year old winter tyres will have to go though... New ones already ordered in good time for norwegian winters.
One might have a word with Jake Knight, who's tuning small Fiats at Joe's place. Last time I was there we were kicking ideas around for twin turbo and V8 castings... Don't have a contact for him but I'm sure he's into this modern bookface stuff.
Ha Nigel enjoy , I keep looking at the 4x4 version as well ...............have done for years now ,but I also keep saying no more no more hired one in italy years ago and loved it , as you say great fun
was Paul S,now just paul...Member since Oct 2000,Coupe may be FATALLY injured - :(oh no it's not