Saturday, December 10, 2011

FIAT Tipo 2.0 Sedicivalvole

FIAT Tipo 2.0 Sedicivalvole

yes, i know, "Jai has bought another FIAT!" thread, but bear with me, this one's a little special..

so let's start with what a Tipo is, a medium sized hatchback, that comes in either 3 or 5 door flavours, petrol, diesel, won the eCOTY back in 1989, praised for it's packaging, styling and drive.

a long time back, when i used to trawl around another italian internet forum, one of the guys had a Tipo, the top of the tree, 2.0L 16V (yep that's what sedicivalvole means), essentially the big brother to my Uno Turbo.
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i used to make fun of the Tipos big bum, pumped up size and galactic weight....all that changed when i went head to head with her at a trackday in 2008, at the awesome Oulton park circuit...

not only could that beast keep up with the smaller, lighter tippex, she could out handle her too, and a passenger ride confirmed it, smooth fast spin up of that lancia mill, swift snickety gearchanges, great ride and sharp handling, overlaid with a vulcan cannon exhaust note...i was secretly besotted....

over the years tippex and the "milkbottle" (UHT) met several times,
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and always i had that voice in the back of my head...make an offer, but i didn't. then a few weeks back, i was pointed to an advert, there she was, for sale, and had been for a while, no one wanted her, the owner was unable to devote the time to drive and care for the beast, and wanted her to go to a good home....i processed this for about 2 microseconds, and emailed him, sale was done :D

and now, at last, after all these years, i get to recreate this photo:
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at the spa and nurburgring circuits next year!

for now though:
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the fleet has become just that little bit bigger.

there are issues to address, as you would expect with any car 16 years old, italian wiring does not age well, there are a couple of loose connections here an there about the dashboard. the idel control is a little off, and is hunting, esp in the cold. and the rear arches need to be cleaned up from a poor bodyshop repair a few years back.

but apart from the odd gremlin, she's solid, very clean for a 120k miler, and can pull hard when you put your foot down. bilstien, lowered sports suspension, allround keeps her flatish and pointed the right way through enthusiast cornering. the exhaust note is a gentle burble at idle and town pootling speeds, power assist steering, large glass areas combined with relatively narrow pillars give excellent visibilty. good, firm seats, i like their upright nature, and for a fiat well laid out controls mean for once you can concentrate on driving not where the buttons are.

But, once the roads clear, and gets a little intresting, get above 3000rpm, and the noise is addictive! gearshifts are click clack spot on, just the right ratios to keep you pushing on.

the weathers getting a little cold and nasty here, so will have to wait for the spring and europe for a full out blast, but it's already shaping up to be a great 2012 :D

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