Friday, February 20, 2015

11k: Bangle'd Bouffant: 1997 Fiat Coupé 20v Turbo

The Fiat Type 175 Coupé had flame surfacing, character lines on character lines, cuts, scallops, recessed taillights, and a processed (prolapsed? Don't think about it) fuel filler cap. Whether all the doo-dads intended to complement or distract from the vehicle's odd proportions is anyone's guess. However, at 22 years after the car's initial release, I can confidently say that the whole package has aged like Erkel glasses. But this ugly duckling is a rare bird in these parts, so here it is: a 1997 Fiat Coupé 20v Turbo for sale here on eBay in Buffalo, NY for $10,999 buy-it-now with five days to go via eBay. 


Styling came from the pen of Fiat's Chris Bangle, of later BMW infamy. Pininfarina was put in charge of interior design, which is like signing Ndamakong Suh to your floor hockey team and making him your water boy. It's a misappropriation of talent, not to mention a sure way to end up with a bunch of smashed-up water bottles.


Initially available with a four-cylinder engine in naturally aspirated or turbocharged form, the Coupé gained a five-cylinder turbo in 1996. As a 1997 model, this car has that 20v powerplant, but is a year off from the six-speed manual introduced in 1998. A five-speed is good enough to move this Coupé to 60 in just under six seconds, eclipsing the quarter mile in about 14.7. That is, if the Viscodrive limited-slip differential can harness all 217 horses and 230 lb-ft of torque. Stateside, front-drive contemporaries such as the Volkswagen Corrado VR6 and Acura Integra Type-R only managed 190 and 195 horsepower, respectively, even if they both undercut the Coupé's 2,888-lb curb weight.


With just under 32,000 miles, the Coupé's condition is significantly fresher than its looks. It was purchased by a collector who says it originated in Japan, which is strange given its steering wheel location. Besides surface corrosion on the brake rotors and allegedly sticky interior pieces, this import is ready to torque-steer you around the States with, uh, style.


See a more attractive Fiat for cheap? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com.

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.

20 comments:

  1. A wonderful, stunning car. It was absolutely criminal that we didn't get it here in the States. This despite my utter hatred of Bangle's work. Of course, I'd kick this to the curb so fast if I could get a contemporary Alfa GTV instead. God I hate Bangle designs.

    [img]http://imgsweb.ebuga.es/photos/cars/main/2/28.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fleetwood T. BroughamFebruary 20, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      Methinks thou doth paint with a brush too broad.
      [img]http://zombiedrive.com/images/2003-bmw-z8-1.jpg[/img]

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. My Fiat Coupe 1.8 16v

      [img]http://i57.tinypic.com/316827d.jpg[/img]

      Here in Spain you can buy a 2.0 20VT for 5 100 $, and a limited edition for $ 6800, which is what cost to me my L.E.

      Delete
  2. K2, you can: the same seller is offering this as wel:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/251838621713?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_nkw%3D251838621713%26_rdc%3D1

    It's a first year 96 - he sold a black 97 earlier. Apologies for any family discord this information could introduce... Beggars can't be choosers, but I would prefer a post-facelift version with the higher-output engines. Or an SZ (il mostro) so hideous it's actually kind of cool - the earliest ones are legal to import, I believe. Please buy one and let me drive it.

    A colleague of mine had a Fiat Coupe of this vintage - a 98 I think, and in BRIGHT lime green. It was actually a bit better looking in person, particularly the interior, with it's body-colored dash element. A hoot to drive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is awesome, thanks R Filer! Can I "borrow" $12K?

      Delete
  3. Love Bangle. This car shows that even home run hitters pop out. But I always give points for uniqueness, and would happily welcome this Fiat to my stable .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always found the term "the Bangle butt" perfectly appropriate and not in a positive way. My blind grandmother could design a car better than that dude. Even BMW has backed away from so much of the damage he did to that brand and they never do that.

      Delete
  4. Let's see... 1997 plus 25 is 1022. So how is this legal? And more importantly, how is the Alfa legal? "Cause I'd actually want one of those.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was in Italy in 1998 or 99 for a few weeks, and saw these little Coupé guys littering the streets of Rome. They seemed to be the hot automotive commodity at the time and looked great amongst the sea of early '90s jellybeans and boxy Fiat Pandas. Obviously a polarizing design, but one that stood out well in the context of its time.

    In person they look pretty cool. ebay photos don't really represent the shape very well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's gone, gone, gone. What a surprise ;-) Wasn't US legal after all.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everything older than 1990 is illegal. Period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're still talking about cars here, right?

      Delete
  8. 1) Nice looking interior
    2) The exterior actually hurts my eyes. I am surprised that Chris Bangle was given the chance to become infamous at BMW after this design....

    ReplyDelete
  9. 1) Nice looking interior
    2) The exterior actually hurts my eyes. I am surprised that Chris Bangle was given the chance to become infamous at BMW after this design....

    ReplyDelete
  10. 1) Nice looking interior
    2) The exterior actually hurts my eyes. I am surprised that Chris Bangle was given the chance to become infamous at BMW after this design....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Loved these when they first came out. They were quicker than many V8 cars and reasonably priced. Is that an aftermarket sunroof? That's the only part I don't like. Good colors.

    ReplyDelete

Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint Eastwood...it don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="http://www.IMAGE_LINK.com" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.