Good Baby

Sir,

To those peasants like myself who cannot (alas!) aspire to a VW, I would like to commend the Fiat 500, following a year's experience of 20,000 miles on the worst country roads that Shropshire can provide. From the time I collected it until the time I sold it, the accelerator touched the floorboards and bends were taken at passenger-shattering speeds, yet even at this mileage it was using no oil between oil changes. I ran it, incidentally, on Russian petrol (let no-one say this 4s. variety is rubbish!). The car never went into a garage, for servicing is so simple that even the ignorant like myself could do it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, went wrong during this period: the tyre treads at the time of selling was still good for another 5,000 miles.

Finally, almost exactly 370 gallons of petrol were used during this time, which gives 54 m.p.g. To my mind, since this is equivalent to roughly 60 m.p.g. of premium petrol, the car does come in the 60 m.p.g., 60-m.p.h. category which is taken editorially as the standard for small cars. I can't really speak for the spares service for I never needed any : however, I did think that 18s. for a replacement paper air cleaner cartridge was a bit stiff.

One final word of praise. For those who like air-cooling and a heater capable of gale-force warmth, this is your ideal car. With my new Fiat Giadinera, I see that the previously limited headroom has now been heightened considerably but, Fiat, what about putting that Giadinera engine in the old saloon and then we could use the engine compartment as a boot!

                                                                                                                                      I am, Yours, etc.,

Wellington.                                                                                                                                     P. B. BULLOCK.