motor sport




Writers of recent letters for and against foreign cars are surely crying for the attainable. Let us face it, general attitudes of workers in Western Europe, the diversification of models and products, and the ever-increasing demands, (till petrol rationing reverses them!) make it inevitable that the perfect new car which the unperfect supplier will not need to work on to correct deficiencies will continue to be the exception rather than the rule. I can sympathise with Mr. P. G. Doyle who in the August issue told of his many frustrations with his Fiat. Like him, I run a Fiat, in my case an 1800 coupe, . ly third in a row. This one so far has needed a new windscreen, the steering wheel tightened, the carburettor cleared of swarf. It still occasionally stops, suddenly and unaccountably, due, I suspect, to a badly set carburettor. All this and the desperately thin paint covering in

places I accept. What I find hard to tolerate is Fiat’s skimping of underbody protection, thereby reducing the resale value. This latest model is advertised as having p.v.c. underseal which it has, on the parts one can easily see on looking casually underneath the vehicle. The rest is lightly painted only.

To make matters worse, before Fiats paint the bottom of their cars they mask the wiring outlets with adhesive tape. ‘This they do not trouble to remove later, merely including them in the final spray. For the third car running I have been obliged to detach these tapes myself and paint over the exposed priming coat.

In spite of all this why do I continue to purchase Fiats? Where could I do better at the price? Continental drivers, especially Italians, punish their cars in a way that British drivers, on their incomparably smooth but crowded roads do not.

I could not easily contemplate the dowdy native sports product, with its antediluvian body, low ground clearance, sickly shock absorbers and what appears to be soft steel used in vital places.

No, I will continue to put my money on smart, easy on petrol, unburstable, relatively spacious inside, if somewhat tail-happy little Fiats.

Dungannon. Dr. C. McCLUSKEY.. (Fiats, to their credit, now have a two-year guaranteed anti-rusting process. Ell.)