In the summer, the neighbors’ car takes time off, but not entirely. The series is transformed for five episodes to answer the question you’ve always wondered: what are the Caradisiac journalists’ personal cars. All new powerful and shiny cars? Old cars? Watch out for surprises. This week, Stéphane Schlesinger, tester and specialist in “collectibles”, is waiting for these cars in purgatory to enter paradise youngtimerintroduces us to his Daily.
He is full of praise for the Turin brand, even if a touch of irony sometimes spoils the compliment. His Fiat Uno? “It’s hardly broken in as it’s only 35, which isn’t for a Fiat.” Before I add that it has 35,000 km, “that’s a lot for a Fiat”. His is in perfect condition and serves him daily surrounded by two other cars: a BMW 130 i and a second Fiat: a 132 sedan.
This Fiat Uno, of course ultra-reliable, is of course also ultra-efficient, from the top of its 65 hp. “It’s a 1300 SX, the top model”. But what is a minimalist achievement in a city car today is rather honorable in these 90 years of lightness. “The Uno weighs only 770 kg”, At least according to Fiat. This brings the little Turiner to 165 km/h. Still according to Fiat.
Because Stéphane has verified at his own expense that the V Max of his Italian dragster can do much better. “I was caught by radar at 181 km/h.” A test that would be very expensive today, but fortunately 24 years ago. Powerful, the Uno is still frugal for a car of this era, “almost 7 l/100 km”. A nice result in connection with its successful aerodynamics, despite a line that is anything but rejuvenated.
A digital dashboard in advance
But Stéphane was not only seduced by the characters, nor by the “Fabulous Fiat reliability”. The good general condition of the car when he bought it also made his decision, as did its interior like no other. Starting with the velvet upholstery in fair condition and its digital dashboard ahead of its time with its electronic counter that works perfectly. In fact he didn’t have to do a restoration as the car was in this beautiful condition when it was bought.
But how do you get your hands on a case like this? “The easiest way in the world by consulting the classifieds”. Until it falls on a low-mileage Fiat Uno and shows up at 3,500 euros. A good negotiation later, “The tires were dead and the timing belt had to be changed” and for 1,000 euros, Stéphane leaves behind the wheel of the one who has passed his various technical checks without the slightest wrong mark.
More than two decades later, it’s still brave for the short and long trips the journalist makes on board if he doesn’t tell her his Fiat for his bigger sister or his German compact. But rest assured, the Uno is Schlesinger’s collector’s car, and assured as such, it is and not the Bayer, despite its extra cylinders.