My Grande Punto Abarth has been ordered!

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

I took a trip down to the guys at Westover Sportscars in Poole, Dorset, today. Somehow I left £500 lighter.

Some history, first. As an impoverished teenage student in the very early 1990s, I drove a black Fiat 127 GT. It had perforated bodywork, skinny 135-section tyres and indicators that wouldn’t self-cancel. However, it also had twin-choke Weber carbs, a fruity stainless steel exhaust, and unfathomably nimble handling. Technically, it should have been rubbish, but somehow it was greater than the sum of its parts. It was the car my friends wanted a lift in at lunchtime and, as I look back at the cars I’ve owned since (and there have been many), it’s the one I remember with the most affection.

My old Fiat 127 GT

My old Fiat 127 GT

It was with my old Fiat bouncing nostalgically around inside my head that I took a trip to see Ben at Westover. I wanted to downsize to evade the hideous road tax bill that Gordon Brown and chums have forced upon my perfectly environmentally-acceptable Honda. But I wanted to downsize into something that was still fun – Labour haven’t completely managed to make that illegal, yet.

In truth, I was expecting to be disappointed. I was sure I’d realise I was being more than a little rose-tinted about it all. Or I’d simply realise I was too big for it (I’m 6ft 4).

Rather annoyingly, I didn’t discover either of those things. What I did discover was this: the Fiat Group still know how to make great fun cars.

So, I put my deposit down on a Grande Punto Abarth in 1949 White with Climate Control, standard 17″ wheels and standard seats that was already nearing completion at the factory. But, because I think the car looks naked without the stripes, I’m having Westover’s bodyshop apply them when it arrives – I’m not bothering with the red mirror covers, though.

Hopefully, it’ll be here early October!

Grande Punto Abarth, 1949 White, Stripe Kit

Grande Punto Abarth, 1949 White, Stripe Kit

Tags: , , , ,