This example doesn’t look cheap at first glance, especially as it looks as though the pink paintwork could do with a polish. But it looks clean and rust-free (though as with any Italian car of this age, that's worth checking thoroughly), and when you consider that an 8v Golf or an Escort XR3i of similarly low mileage will set you back even more, it suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. A quick chat with the vendor confirms that that low mileage is backed up by reams of MOT and SORN paperwork, and what the advert doesn’t mention is that the car will also come with a full year’s MOT. It’s had plenty of money thrown in the general direction of the engine, too, as the advert suggests; a full engine rebuild and a whole host of good old-fashioned mechanical fettling has been carried out in the current owner’s tenure, with the result that the car’s now kicking out somewhere around 160hp. Combined with its weight of just 900kg, that should mean it’s pretty respectably quick even by modern standards; the standard car’s 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds, with ‘just’ 130hp to its name, was hardly slow. What’s more, this car’s apparently pretty well-known in classic Fiat circles, with two magazine features to its name; the current owner knows a thing or two about them, too, having owned 30 - yes, 30 - Stradas, as well as a plethora of other classic Fiats too.
In other words, if you’re going to buy a Strada Abarth, there’ll be few around that have such provenance, or indeed a lower mileage. It seems, in other words, to be one of the nicest examples around of a classic hot hatch that offers the added cachet of relative obscurity. That’ll do nicely.
FIAT STRADA ABARTH 130TC
Why you should: It's one of the best-fun 80s hot hatches you've never heard of
Why you shouldn't: It's old, raucous, a bit fragile, and doesn't look as nice as a Golf.
See the original ad here