OK, kids, time for who is probably the oldest owner in both physical years and years of ownership. I was born in 1935, bought my first FIAT in 1958 and have more than 1,000,000 miles under my butt in FIATs. Can anyone beat that combination?
Most of my FIATs have been in under one liter sedans and I've yet to get anything but absolutely stellar performance and reliability from these cars. I've never been left on the road except for this past week when the OEM battery conked out after five years in Florida's heat.
My current ride, No. 17, is a '13 "Pop" in Chiaro Verde and it sports the large rear spoiler fitted to a few of the '13s. The front under-chin spoiler was both draggy and ugly and was removed on a trial basis to see if it really affected fuel economy and it hasn't. For 42K miles, my overall MPG on "regular" is 42.3 which breaks down to 40.5 local (69% of miles) and 47.4 highway ( 31%) other than Interstates which I abhor!.
Verde chiaro is one of the original late 1950s colors from the FIAT pallate which I remember so well. Then all FIAT cars came with cream colored wheels so my steel wheels (intentionally purchased without the alloys- hate cleaning all those danged pockets!) are now cream. I've purchased a set of s/s reproduction 500 "L" (Model 110- years '57-'75) hubcaps and mounted them with adapters which I fabricated. Then topped it all off with trim rings. A trip to the auto parts store to snag a couple of coils of chrome trim and, voila, there are shiny bumpers, side ding strips and a strip down the center of the hood. Oh, I should also mention that I'm a retired industrial designer and had a hand in the preliminary design phase of the Spanish-built re-bodied 850 sedan, the SEAT 133.
All we as enthusiasts have to do now is to sing the praises of these marvelous cars and try to counter the erroneous press about "dubious reliability" by the likes of Consumer Reports. These little cars built like ceramic deficatoriums. They make great road cars, too, says me having logged more than 500 miles in a day on more than one occasion. (I can take it, but my wife can't, so that's that)
Oh, I had a '12 with the Aisin automatic (wife said I'm to old to do the shifting) but I've groused about it not shifting where I wanted it to shift that she relented and told me to get a stick (YE-HA!)
Keep the faith, folks, maybe rising fuel costs will drive more SUV drivers into our camp where they can experience REAL driving!