The Italians have been building roadsters since the fifties with great success. So much so they are still building them now with the same formula today. Light, fast and handles well, these are the three main ingredients of an Italian Roadster and still are today.
The Fiat Barchetta is one such roadster that still follows these rules. 130 bhp weighing in at just 1056 Kg it was perfect for B road fun although they only came in left hand drive for that European feel. Bought by many city dwellers the left hand drive only option was no longer a disadvantage as you could get in the driver’s side at the kerb and over taking isn’t possible in most big cities anyway.
Powered by the front wheels the purists insist it’s not a true roadster but the public see it as a good alternative to the MX5 after all it’s a stylish Italian roadster. The Fiat Barchetta has always been a rare site in the UK although today they are becoming more desirable as an ideal weekend toy.
At the moment prices for the Fiat Barchetta are still quite low and with the summer on its way now is the time to buy a roadster. The Barchetta is actually based around Fiats Punto so is comparatively simple when it comes to the mechanics and with the body being galvanised shouldn’t have too many rust issues. Check panels and panel gaps as poor accident repair work could cause rot to set in. Make sure the car comes with the red master key as these cannot be reordered.
Engines should sound smooth and eager however in 1999 the Barchetta was recalled due to a sticky control valve on the engines variable valve timing which made the car sound like a diesel and blunted performance. Make sure by checking the cars history that the work has been done to cure this problem.
If you want a hard top then make sure it comes with the car but you will pay extra for it. After market ones will leak so the cars original is best. Slim line door handles look the part but can get damaged with age so make sure they are fit for purpose as sourcing replacements can be a tricky job. Also check the soft top for damage or wear. Great looks, great handling and great price. Snap one up before everyone catches on with this curvaceous Italian bargain.
The Fiat Barchetta was developed under the project name Tipo B Spider 176. However the literal translation for Barchetta is ‘Little Boat’ in Italian.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“The Fiat Barchetta is a typical example of a modern classic roadster, Ideal for summer days on the open road. A rarity in the UK thanks to it being left hand drive with values starting to turn. These cars will soon be Italian icons for the future”.