RE: Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo: PH Heroes

RE: Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo: PH Heroes

Author
Discussion

J4CKO

24,146 posts

129 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
Still love them despite my Portafino blue one being a disaster, mate at work is running a 16v non turbo for a year or two, had been sat in his mums garage for years, probably one of the tidiest and most original ones left after a £1500 recommissioning. It does feel so old fashioned now though, which is weird as it still smells new, mine just used to smell of burning oil biggrin

Doubt I will own another but still get that frisson of excitement like in the 1990s when Sprint blue turbo goes past, almost supercar presence back then.

Robmarriott

1,056 posts

87 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
I went to the motor show in 1993 and this is one of the few cars I remember being in awe of as a 7 year old.

Since then I've wanted one but never been brave enough to take the plunge as the few people I've come across over the years who owned one have had no end of trouble with them.

Craikeybaby

8,300 posts

154 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
My mates Dad worked at a Fiat dealer, I was always excited when he picked me up in a 20v Turbo Coupe, even if I had to fold myself into the tiny rear seat.

Futse

113 posts

114 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
andyps said:
I love mine, I've had it 14 years. It is important to recognise the stories about Fiat reliability though - the engine went on it last year after only 198600 miles, and all gentle miles, the failure occurred on a timed run at a Hillclimb event.
'only' 198600' miles? that's some serious miles though. And all gentle miles? Except the last timed run at a Hillclimb event? Or did you take that gentle too? ;-) And you bought it new?

nckr55

198 posts

144 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
I've seen this very well kept & gradually bespoked version around Edinburgh for a few years now.
Still looks special.



Advertisement

GregorFuk

446 posts

129 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
My 20VT was the most unreliable car I ever owned, seemed to suffer from one ailment after another. Tailpipe trim falling off, stretched throttle cable, failed clutch slave cylinder and pin hole leak in an oil cooler line (Left real of oil all the way down there high street).

All of the above stand out but the creme de la creme was complete and utter foot to the floor brake failure at significant speed.

I'm sure I'll get told I had a bad example, I'm not so sure as at the time many were considered 'common issues' on the forum.

Sounded nice though.

Darlonick

53 posts

86 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
I'm now on my 5th Coupe in 12 years of ownership. They really are a car that gets under your skin. I've always used them as my daily driver, with me doing 13k miles a year for the last 5 years.

The key to ownership is helping them well maintained by one of the specialists. Unless you are handy with the tools, in which case there is a great Facebook and forum community to offer advice!


My current 20vt Plus


Coupe#4 (20v turbo) as my wedding car


Coupe#3 (20v turbo) on the Stelvio Pass



Coupe#2 (20v VIS) at Spa Italia

muppet42

263 posts

134 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
I had this 20v NA non-VIS for a few years, a rarer and cheaper to maintain option compared to the Turbo and in relative terms, still pretty nippy with an 8.something 0-60 and plenty of mid-range torque from that amazing sounding 147hp inline-5...



Used to set off car alarms in car parks with a prod of the throttle and get compliments wherever I drove it incl folk taking pictures when they drove by(!) Didn't buy it for that but I rather enjoyed that as a bonus.

Also cost me £700 with a full service history and low mileage though needed a few jobs doing, the NAs are always cheaper to by as they're generally unloved. Sound different though without the Turbo and many prefer them aurally.

One of the cars I regret selling but I was putting too many miles on it and passed it onto an enthusiast. Who added cheap mats, the badges that were missing and sold it less than a year later. Hopefully it'll keep going well even though it's pretty much 20 years old now.

If I were getting a Turbo, it's be a Plus. Think they're the most resolved design of the lot with the best bits they added. Standard seats weren't the most supportive you really need that 6th gear on the M-way.

I also concur about the headlights, nice design feature but utterly useless.

Btw, for a Coupe it was also one of the most practical of its contemporaries. Compared to something like a GTV, it was easier to see/get out, would seat 4 adults in relative comfort and had a usable boot space (with useful ski-hatch).

That said if you nailed the throttle, it was one of the few cars I've driven where you could see the fuel gauge drop!

firebird350

253 posts

109 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
I too am a fan of the N/A Fiat Coupes. Bought my '99 VIS in 2014 with 2 owners and 83K miles to be a daily driver seeing as it's basically a Tipo in a party frock but with that lovely-sounding 5-pot engine. To ensure it was a reliable daily driver I invested in new cambelt and tensioners, brakes, radiator, exhaust and battery plus a new 'CHOD' (Coolant Hose of Death) and so far it has totally proved itself on that score for the subsequent three years..

It's quick rather than fast although better mid-range than you'd expect thanks to the 'fleshed-out' VIS torque curve and on two fairly brisk trips to Cornwall and back it notched up 450 miles with an eighth of a (63 litre) tank remaining by journey's end.

The main point though is it's simply a really nice, fun car to drive - uncorrupted steering, comfortable ride on its taller sidewalls, crisp throttle response and tidy chassis. Autocar described the normally-aspirated Coupe as "a sharp scalpel to the Turbo's blunt instrument" and that's a fair assessment.

Winter-wise ensure the handbrakes cables and rear calipers are in good condition (they can freeze on otherwise in sub-zero weather) and the door locks can freeze too but otherwise I haven't experienced any downsides to the car.

All in all I think they make great daily drivers even today providing you entrust them to a specialist once every couple of years (Solo Italia, FCSS, Midlands Servicing etc) since these guys know their foibles and are useful at sourcing some of the more awkward parts now that the cars are seven years past the manufacturer's 'support expiry date'.

Thanks to the above my Fiat Coupe doesn't really know that it's an eighteen-year-old car with more than 100,000 miles on the clock. All it knows is that it's a happy little car that looks forward to getting out on the road every day.




Yardelli

90 posts

174 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
Previous 16V NA Owner and I've had this LE for eight years now. Still absolutely love the thing. Its my daily driver although I only cover 3k a year.
No expense spared on servicing and yearly oil changes regardless of mileage - zero problems with it. I get asked about it all the time. They are still bargains in my book - nothing else for the money has this much style/performance/noise...........


spookly

1,914 posts

24 months

Monday 29th May 2017
quotequote all
Blaster72 said:
Mine lunched its crank bearings costing me far too many ££££ but to be fair the boost had been turned up a smidge and it had suffered the oil cooler pipe leak issue so probably ran a bit low on oil at some point. Here, probably 15 or so years later I still look back as it being one of the best cars I've ever owned. I had a 16v non turbo before that and even that was pretty special.

This place was my second home for a number of years and I managed to meet up with a fair few owners at dyno days here and there

http://fiatcoupe.net/

God knows what they're like now though, some parts (like exhaust manifolds) were hard to get hold of even all those years ago. Must be tough to find them now. It's nice to see there are still around 1000 20v varients left on the road though smile

https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&...

p.s. If anyone comes across the workshop manual for sale online it may well be a distant relative of the one I created. I spent hours and hours on my home PC with a flatbed scanner scanning the paper Fiat workshop manual in and initial sold on the manual on CD to people from the forums. Once I'd made enough back to pay for the then expensive paper manual I started sending out the discs for the price of a stamped envelope. Must have had too much time on my hands in those days.



Edited by Blaster72 on Sunday 28th May 22:18
I've still got a load of parts sat around in my shed which I keep meaning to sell.
I think I still have: thermostat x2, inlet rubber hose thingys, inlet manifold, some rear lights. I also seem to have a load of parts for P38 Range Rovers, but haven't owned one for many years :-)

RogerExplosion

1,065 posts

119 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
I've been obsessing over these for a few days now.
Super rare in Aus. One for sale for $11,500 AUD. Probably still more than I'd pay but very tempting.
https://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Fiat-C...

rtz62

1,398 posts

84 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
re the headlights, I remember reading road tests from 'in-period' about the headlights of S1 and S1.5 E-Type Jaguars being the same, and in moist or misty conditions drivers said the headlight beams were deflected straight up.
I remember the headlights on my 'Classic' model Impreza Turbo being poor, and wondering how style got the upperhand over performance.....

magooagain

2,035 posts

99 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
RogerExplosion said:
I've been obsessing over these for a few days now.
Super rare in Aus. One for sale for $11,500 AUD. Probably still more than I'd pay but very tempting.
https://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Fiat-C...
That looks tidy enough to stick a cheeky 10,000 dollar bid in to the owner.

Keep that red coupe well out of the sun though,otherwise it will be pink.

Spingo

101 posts

124 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all

RAF Laarbruch - late 90s... these Coupe Turbos were everywhere! A Dutch dealer at Emmerich ( I think) was churning them out with leather, air & CD player (!!) for around £12k tax free IIRC - an absolute steal. Very, very popular - helped my mate out by lending him some cash to buy one - a Blue Turbo - went like stink up the 57 Autobahn... happy days! :-)

Mr2Mike

19,014 posts

184 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
PartOfTheProblem said:
I'd completely forgotten about these, intact I hadn't ever really known much about them!

What's the real world mpg like? Would 30 be achievable?
Depends on your usage of course but I used to get about 30mpg out of mine pretty regularly (60mile commute to work and back) and the later cars with the 6 speed gearbox were supposed to be even better.

Pereldh

92 posts

41 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
I still miss mine, but I realize I cannot buy another.
Would be too much work & cash to bring another one up to the same level.
And I wouldn't stand thinking how good it could be!

Anyway, best car I've ever had.





Edited by Pereldh on Tuesday 30th May 17:14

wal 45

414 posts

109 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
My favourite car of all the ones I've ever owned, absolute reliability over the 8 years I had it and I do genuinely regret selling it.

Headlights can be made better with HID's (projector lenses) and a couple of hours a side elbow grease to refurb them, needed them for the regular 170 mile Hampshire/Dorset/Devon late night drives I used to do. Could get mid 30's mpg as well on that drive so not too bad.

They aren't cramped in the back and have a decent boot so are actually quite practical, the kids preferred it to the 159 I've got now. Some parts are getting really difficult to find now but probably should have relented instead of chopping it in for a project Alfa Spider.

Although for me the Plus is the nicest spec to go for (never liked the LE interior) the sweet spot car to buy would be a standard 1997-early 99 20VT, they just don't seem to rust as badly as the later cars. Can't really recommend a Fiat Coupe enough and will be buying another one again without a doubt.

RM

168 posts

26 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
nckr55 said:
I've seen this very well kept & gradually bespoked version around Edinburgh for a few years now.
Still looks special.


Nice period alloys but can't remember the name of them? I had OZ Super Ts on my coupe, as I was never fond of directional alloys.

muppet42

263 posts

134 months

Tuesday 30th May 2017
quotequote all
RM said:
Nice period alloys but can't remember the name of them? I had OZ Super Ts on my coupe, as I was never fond of directional alloys.
They look like Momo alloys though I forget the specific model name.

Actually seen this one up close a few years back at some of the Scottish Italian Car meets, was a really clean example inside and out.