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Classics Of The Future

Fiat Barchetta 1995


Barchetta Fiat’s 1200,1500,124, and 850 Spiders from the 1950s-70s with this mainstream marque had a solid reputation as being delightful sports cars. From 1972 they were boosted by the mid-engined X1/9. The company returned to the genre with this beautifully styled roadster, only this time it was given a front-wheel-drive Punto chassis. As with other Fiat sports cars, the assembly was carried out by a coach-builder, in this case Maggiora, but it was always a much rarer car than either the market-leading Mazda MX-5 or the MGF.

Engine1,747 cc, straight-four
Top speed124 mph (200 km/h)

Barchetta means “little boat” in Italian. This open-top two-seater offered excellent handling on all types of road surface.

Abarth 500 2008


Abarth 500 Fiat belatedly followed the new Volkswagen Beetle and BMW-sponsored Mini in the trend for classic revivals, turning its Trepiùno Concept car into the New 500 in 2007. Based on the Fiat Panda/Ford Ka platform, it was instantly successful, with its compact dimensions, “wheel at each corner”, painted-metal interior, and stubby charm. A year later, Fiat re-established Abarth as a separate marque, making this the home of sports-orientated 500 models.

OriginItaly / Poland
Engine1,368 cc, straight-four
Top speed127 mph (205 km/h)

The turbocharged engine, five-speed gearbox, lowered suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes make this car a true pocket rocket.


It is a quote. The Classic Car Book – The Definitive Visual History 2016

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