Radbourne, the Fiat conversion people in Britain, have produced a stylish and rather more rapid Fiat 127. Assembled at their Weber distributing branch, 8 Bramber Road, London, W14, the car has less than £100 spent on extracting extra power from the engine, but is considerably faster than the standard product, accelerating from 0-60 m.p.h. in under 14 seconds and exceeding 95 m.p.h. on a suitably lengthy straight. Although the standard brakes were left alone, Radbourne’s demonstrator had considerably altered handling on the lowered and stiffened independent suspension which hides inside large 6-in.-rimmed Crommodora alloy wheels. The white car—registered JMD 77K—is further distinguished from a bread-and-butter Fiat by coachbuilt wheel-arch flares, neatly covering Goodyear 165 section radial ply tyres.
The car’s character in this guise is rather similar to the old 970 and 1071 Cooper S types, featuring lots of smoothly, but noisily, attained engine r.p.m. and extreme manoeuvrability. Although our run in the car was spoiled by the rather spongy brakes (and a sump lug dropping out at Silverstone, though it luckily caused no damage at all!) the car certainly materialised as an extremely worthwhile idea. — J. W.