How to Buy a Classic Fiat Car
Classic Fiat....what ?
Some would say that Fiat have never built a great car, let alone a classic. How To Buy A Classic Fiat car will remind you of the cars they have built, are building and which are now considered classics.
What is a classic ?
A classic car to me should be any vehicle which is still running and in a fair condition which is over 25 years old. It could be argued that the car need not be a runner at the time of purchase to be a classic so long as the ultimate goal is to restore it to it's former glory !
In the case of Fix It Again Tomorrow, ( Fiat ), to see one still on the road after 25 years is quite a feat. Not recognised as one of the most well built of production cars, the Fiat is an icon in the motoring world. Having owned a Fiat Tipo for a number of years I can say that it was one of the most reliable used cars I have ever owned. As well as being reliable it was also very easy to work on.
It is all about individual taste. You decide which old Fiat will be your classic. If you go for a rare model, of which many models over 25 years will be, the chance of it being regarded as a classic becomes somewhat of a guarantee. Like everything else which is rare premium values can be enjoyed as the demand eventually outstrips supply. When this happens you can expect the value of your classic always to increase. This is another good reason for owning or wanting to own a classic Fiat car or any other so called classic.
How do you choose which model ?
How to choose the model you want as your classic Fiat is first of all down to personal choice. My own personal preference would be to get one which I can remember from childhood. You know the drill, you look back to when you were 10 years old marvelling and dreaming at every new car which is seen on the roads. Many years ago new car registrations happened once a year in September and this is when many of the British manufacturers aimed to bring out and launch new models.
The Fiat 127 or latterly the Fiat Strada may be my choice if I was to go for a classic. I can remember when I first started work at the age of 16, one of the mangers had a sporty, black and orange Fiat 127.
Where to get one.
Wanting a classic Fiat car is one thing, finding one is another. Start your search close to home initially. Local free ads in newspapers and free sheets. Classic car magazines are a good way to see what is available. Check out Fiat owners clubs, most will have a presence online if they are any good. Look out for paid advertising in motoring publications. Private sellers is the most likely way you will get the desired vehicle. Specialist Fiat enthusiasts may reveal a hidden gem, but you will pay a premium for this. Another way is to let people know what you are looking for. You never know where the search may lead. Often somebody you know will know someone else who can point you to what you are after.
A search online will also let you know what's available on e-bay.
Fiat, a little history.
Formed in 1899, the Fiat company was formed in Turin, Italy. So named and abbreviated from Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, ( FIAT ). Built around the world and with various partnerships with other joint venture manufacturers Fiat also builds tractors and agricultural vehicles. Fiat was and still is the No.1 car manufacturer in Italy since it was formed and is testament to the loyalty of the people of the country. Something which has not been replicated in all European countries as we have seen the demise over the last 30 years of many of the great car makers.
Rusty Fiat Strada.
Would you want to tackle this rusty Fiat Strada ? A full nut and bolt overhaul is what this would require and probably take hundreds if not thousands of hours to complete. This is project which cannot be rushed and is a labour of love. Here is another place where you can source your ideal vehicle, but is not for the faint hearted as sourcing from salvage or scrap yards could cost much less in the long run, but the cars may need more work than ones which are currently on the road and being used. It is entirely your choice.
Advantages of owning a classic Fiat.
In the UK, a car over 25 years old and was built before 1973 is exempt from road tax saving up to £200 per year. Another advantage is that older cars re easier to maintain as they are much more simply built compared to modern cars. Obviously this applies to all classics and not just Fiat cars.
Buying your classic Fiat.
As always when buying a car, set a budget and don't make an emotional decision when you have found the car that you want. Aim to get it cheaper than advertised and get as much as you can from the seller. If you make an emotional decision, which often car purchase is, it may cost you more than you budget so beware. Remember that any money you save on the purchase will go towards the restoration costs.
How much should you pay ?
Depending on which classic you go for, you can expect to pay from £1500 to around £7000.
A good condition Fiat Strata would be around £1700 while a top of the range Strada Abarth would be around £7000.
If you can find a good Fiat 127 or 128 you could be looking to spend in the region of £2000 for a fair condition car and up to £10000 for a mint, showroom condition car.
Other classic car articles.
Aimed at finding a classic Mini, How To Find And Restore Your Very Own Piece Of Motoring History explains a little about the history of the Mini, how to get one and what to do when you get it.
© poshcoffeeco ( Steve Mitchell )
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