I joined a couple of weeks ago and have just lurked since. I'm a brit resident in France and looking to buy a Coupe
I have recently been looking at a 1998 20VT and was set to buy it when I discovered the vendor had not been completely truthful which lead me to doubt some of his other responses regarding history and maintenance so I walked.
I am now looking at a 16VT with approx. 65k miles 1995. It has a full service history, been kept garaged and was apparently owned by a recently deceased lady of 84 who also owned a Merc sports car of the same epoque... the old "one lady owner" story perhaps. Anyway, it looks good, body and especially the interior immaculate however it only has the silver and blue keys and a metal tag with key number stamped on - no credit card code. I know Fiat did the credit card code for 1995 because we own a Fiat Panda of that year with both the red key and the CC code.
So, my question is do you good people think this is a show stopper? I have read about as much as I can on this excellent forum and seen some of the previous threads about the red key issue but knowing how we have never needed it on any Fiat we have owned before now I'm not sure what to do. The car is the colour I want, I would prefer the 20VT but good un thrashed models of 16 and 20 VT hold their price very well here and its too big a country to go driving here there and every where chasing adverts. The advertised price is acceptable to me btw.
Thanks. I did read that but took note of it saying "some very late cars". This is a 95 and knowing Fiat's of that era I would of expected a red key. My concern is how likely a problem it would be given I've never needed a red key to date on others I've owned - have other Coupe owners found it to be a problem?
In terms of the red key - from my understanding, now it's pretty much redundant, as long as you have the other key(s). You can then use one of them to make a duplicate with the same code of the key, so you wouldn't need a red key to "sign in" a new key code.
But, in terms of security, it does mean that a key is out there and can be used to unlock and start your car, if for example your seller happens to have it.