Friday, May 17, 2019

Forza Fiat! 1980 Fiat Strada / Ritmo

Sometimes a car jumps out of the page because it has sweet/wicked wheels (think Saab Inca Alloys), which this next car does...but what really jumps out is the coolness of the door handles...and it isn't often that a door pull is exciting. Leave it to the Italians, I guess. Find this 1980 Fiat Strada / Ritmo offered for $7,500 in West Hollywood, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

 From the seller:

1980 Fiat Strada 
VIN: 138A0002371694 
condition: excellent 
cylinders: 4 cylinders 
drive: fwd 
fuel: gas 
paint color: blue 
size: compact 
title status: clean 
transmission: manual 
type: hatchback 

This is a delightful little car that you just don’t see anymore in this country. I am a professional car designer and my hobby is collecting and restoring odd vintage foreign cars that have interesting design histories. I purchased this low mileage, well cared for American Spec Strada last year, and then collected all the necessary new old stock design components to covert it to European specs, which includes the original front and rear fascias that the designer, Sergio Sartorelli intended it to have. It's an unusally styled vehicle to say the least, but was ahead of its time in many ways. 

You can read more about this interesting car here:

This is a very nice example of this car, and perhaps the nicest one left stateside. It’s also a nearly 40 year old Fiat, so I’m looking for it to go to a collector who appreciates these cars.

There is some flexibility on the price, but let’s chat first as I am wanting it to go to a good home.

Please call Bryan with questions. Thanks for taking a look.

See a better way to drive something Italian?


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  3. Finally!

    Just for a second there....

    [image src="" width="400px"/]

  4. It's like when your kids grabs the hand of a random woman in the store, looks up - What the hell, that's not my mom!

    1. I did that at Costco one time as a kid, except I didn't grab her hand, I started going through her cart asking why she was buying weird stuff. I distinctly remember looking up and realizing she was not my mom at the same time I was loudly knocking on a frying pan she had in the cart. I think I put it down and ran.

      Still, less embarrassing than saying, "Hey babe, should I get some broccoli?" to the back of a woman at the supermarket and then when she turns around realizing she's not my girlfriend (who has moved on to the next aisle). Ooops. Had to apologize and joke that it wasn't a weird pick-up line. That was only a few weeks ago.

    2. Sounds like an excellent pickup line other than the part where obviously you are with someone else shopping right now in that very store. Of course if you are looking to meet someone for whom having your girlfriend standing right there holding some random vegetable is no impediment to "whatever" then that would be a pretty good filter.

  5. Given today's choice, I certainly would take that sexy and sublimely sophisticated Citroen XM over this Fiat, and I would have $2500 left over for eventual repairs. Vive la difference!

  6. Given the choice, I'd probably pick the VW over the Fiat, but the Fiat gets more "funky points", so the scores are close.

    Considering that the round headlights and door handles were signature design features, it seems someone dropped the ball by going with rectangular tail lights. Right?

    Why do I find these grey plastic bumpers less offensive than on other cars (I'm looking at you Aztec, Avalanche, DX-trim Hondas from the 80s/90s)?

    Also, don't forget this doppelganger copycat:

    [image src="" width="400px"/]

  7. Actually, the Talbot Horizon came about a year BEFORE the Ritmo (1978 vs 1979), and was a French Chrysler vehicle a year before the Plymouth Horizon/Dodge Omni was sold here (built in the US, BTW). I love the Ritmo! I worked for a Chry/Ply/FIAT dealer back in 1979, and saw three of the Ritmos offloaded from the transport at the dealership. I remember thinking this was a really stylish sedan, far different-looking from the 128 cars. Come to think of it, the last time I saw a Ritmo in the flesh, was in Italy in the late '80s.


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