1996 Fiat Barchetta

The Fiat Barchetta is one of those cars that masks its humble mechanicals well. Based on the Mk1 Fiat Punto and equipped with front-wheel drive, this stylish roadster hints about that it is something more special than an Italian supermini. With Fiat's absence in the US market from 1983 through 2011 (barring the Pininfarina Spider and Bertone X1/9), the US never got a chance to sample this affordable open roofed runabout. However, I've seen a couple of these roadsters appear on the market stateside, and here is yet another one in Pennsylvania for sale with a low 36,000 miles on the clock.

1996 Fiat Barchetta

The true sport roadster Europe fell in love with. Looks, runs and feels great! At only 2300 lbs. with 130+ HP and aggressive gearing, brings a grin to your face. FWD. Manual 5-speed transmission. Custom free-flow exhaust system with great sound. Four wheel disc brakes (ABS). Power windows and mirrors. Central locking. Fog lights. 16" Alloy wheels. Front lip spoiler. Rear wind deflector. Two tone seats (black w/charcoal leather inserts). No marks or tears. AM/FM CD MP3 radio (bluetooth ready). Paint: only minor chips or scuffs (rust free). Vinyl top: no rips or tears w/clear rear window. Glass: no chips or scratches. Removable winter hard top with rear window defroster. Vehicle maintenance manual CD, owner manual, radio instructions, sales brochure etc. included. Due to age, car is sold as is with no warranty. OEM 15" steel wheels and in-tact OEM exhaust system available with car.

It's obvious that the big question with this car is how did it get into the country in the first place and how is it legally registered here. It's not wearing dealer tags, so the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation must not have had an issue with registering it. Still, questions of the owner must be asked before going in on a purchase like this. At nearly $18,500, this is rather pricey when you consider what these Barchettas trade hands for in Europe and that a Mazda Miata of a similar vintage could be had for around $5,000 or less. So then, is this the price of unobtanium?

-Paul

2 thoughts on “1996 Fiat Barchetta”

  1. There are plenty of ways to get this titled and registered. None of them legal, all of them risky. Inspection? Depends on the state and who you know. Then there’s the insurance. Plenty of ways to get it insured too – until you need to file a claim. Then your insurer walks away, leaving you on the hook for whatever injuries and damage occurred. All that for a friggin Punto cabriolet?!?

    Or, you can buy a low-mileage Miata for half the price. And no risk. And more fun.

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