Used car buying guide: Fiat Coupe

When the dialog turns to long term classics, the Fiat Coupé is never discussed.

The executive scrappage scheme of 2009 burnt up a lot of them and costs for the couple of thousand or so last have been at the flooring round 5 years in the past. Today, they begin at about £1000 for runners however first rate vehicles cluster across the £5000 mark. And then there’s not anything till you achieve £10,000, the place the most productive low-milers are to be discovered. The most costly late-plate variations will also be as top as £20,000.

See Fiat Coupe on the market on PistonHeads

We’re speaking 20-valve, usual and Turbo, however most commonly Turbo, fashions, by way of the way in which. The authentic 16-valve is sort of non-existent, because of now not most effective scrappage schemes but in addition its suitability as a spares donor for Lancia Delta Integrales.

It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but when it’s yours, it’s a reason for birthday party that you’ll get a tight, well-maintained 20v Turbo for as low as £2995 privately or a pleasant 1997/R-reg instance with 82,000 miles, complete provider historical past and two earlier homeowners from a just right broker. Those Chris Bangle-penned traces nonetheless glance recent and the full-length, colour-coded fascia strip continues to set the guts a-flutter.

It used to be introduced in 1993 – in Brussels. Not essentially the most auspicious location however pleasure surrounding the brand new fashion used to be so nice that few cared. It arrived in the United Kingdom in 1995 powered by way of a selection of 2.Zero-litre 16-valve engines – naturally aspirated (135bhp) or turbocharged (190bhp). Power went to the entrance wheels thru a five-speed guide gearbox, even if at the Turbo additionally by the use of a Viscodrive limited-slip diff.

Less than two years later, the 16-valve engines gave method to extra robust 20-valve devices, once more both naturally aspirated (143bhp) or turbocharged (214bhp). The naturally aspirated engine quickly won a shot within the arm with the addition of a variable consumption machine (VIS) that boosted energy to 150bhp.

Even so, with its Zero-62mph time of 6.3sec, it used to be the Turbo (known as VT) everybody sought after, then as now. From 1998, Fiat introduced a sequence of tweaked variations, beginning with the VT LE (Limited Edition) wearing crimson Brembo entrance brake calipers, a bodykit, a push-button get started, a strut brace and Recaro seats. The following 12 months, the Plus used to be introduced, having a look very just like the LE however with out its distinctive badge. Crucially, each variations had a six- velocity gearbox. With the arriving of the VT6 in 1999, the six-speed gearbox changed into usual. That mentioned, you might in finding the atypical 1999-reg five-speed VT, a legacy of when sellers ordered for inventory and vehicles hung about till bought.

Even the youngest Coupés are actually 17 years previous and might really feel just a little saggy however a suspension refresh will go back the car to its sharp and agile self. The engines are very robust however test that the timing belt and water pump adjustments were executed on time. Find a just right one for round £3500, cherish it and watch its worth upward thrust.

How to get one to your storage: 

An skilled’s view – JOHN CARTLIDGE, DIRECTOR, MIDLANDS CAR SERVICING: “I fell in love with the Fiat Coupé the moment I saw a new one on a car transporter. It was being delivered to the Fiat dealer where I worked as a mechanic. I now specialise in the model, selling and servicing them. Prices fell to an all-time low five years ago but, in the past 18 months, they’ve started picking up. You can get a decent car from as little £3000 but rarer versions such as the LE and Plus in mint condition command far higher prices. For example, I have a very nice 2001-reg 20v Turbo Plus in pearl white with 38,000 miles for £20,000.”

Buyer beware…

ENGINE – Camshaft put on is a matter on16v engines so test the oil drive. The Turbo is delicate to de-cat exhausts, over-boosting and sloppy cooling- down apply. Watch for smoking from chilly and when idling. Check the 20v’s rear coolant hose as a result of it could let cross with out caution. Inspect the engine for leaks for the reason that head gasket is so robust that it refuses to fail, inflicting issues in other places. Ensure the oil cooler pipe isn’t corroded. Cambelt adjustments are each and every 35okay miles at the 16v Turbo and 50okay miles on 20v and must come with the water pump. Check for a cracked exhaust manifold.

TRANSMISSION – Gearbox O-ring seal can fail, inflicting diff bearings to wear down.

STEERING, SUSPENSION AND BRAKES – Nose-heavy design traces the entrance wishbone trees, whilst dampers leak and comes crack. Listen for clonking from failing bump stops, and noisy rear wheel bearings.

ELECTRICS – Generally dependable however fan and heater resistor failure isn’t unknown.

BODYWORK – The 16v wasn’t galvanised and the pillars and floorpan rotted out. The 20v used to be galvanised however the previous couple of years have proven rust rising on sills (previous vehicles) and floorpans (later vehicles). Examine the boot flooring and entrance wheel arches for rust. Boot seals perish and make allowance water in.

Also price realizing:

The so-called ‘coolant hose of death’ is in the back of the engine, close to the bulkhead, and tough to test. Trouble is, it could fail. Because of the temperature sensor’s location within the cooling machine, it doesn’t know disaster is approaching. The clamshell bonnet traps the escaping steam, so all seems effectively. Replace the hose as a precaution.

How a lot to spend:

£1000-£1995 – A mixture of drained venture and far changed 16v and 20v vehicles.

£2000-£3995 – Sweeter vehicles, comparable to a right-hand- force 1998-reg 20v Turbo import with complete historical past and 75okay miles for £2350.

£4000-£5500 – Tidier 20v Turbos with as much as 85okay miles and just right histories. The maximum fascinating start at round £4750 from sellers.

£10,000-£12,995 – Mint, low-mileage vehicles, together with a 26k-mile 2001-reg 20v Turbo Plus, get started right here.One we discovered:

FIAT COUPÉ 20V TURBO, 1998 R-REG, 98Ok MILES, £2995: Depending in your viewpoint, this car used to be both a shed short of TLC – therefore its new entrance decrease wishbone hands, new turbo, new rear wheel bearing, new brakes, new authentic Fiat exhaust machine and new tyres all spherical – or a rejuvenated vintage that should be snapped up.

John Evans 

Read extra 

Fiat 124 Spider assessment 

Fiat 500 assessment 

Fiat Punto assessment

Used car buying information: Fiat Coupe

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