I am pleased to tell you that our club membership has now crept up to 105. Four new members have signed up so far in 2016. The first new member of the year was John Capon from Feniton in Devon. Surprisingly John is our one and only member living in Devon or Cornwall.

John has kindly put a few words together to tell us about his cars and why he has joined our club. I hope some of us will meet him in Buckinghamshire at our annual meeting in June. Judging by the vast selection of cars that John has loved and owned he is well qualified to judge the qualities of the Barchetta.

Martin Garrad

(Membership Secretary)

John writes: “Since my childhood I have loved Italian cars. When I was 11 one of my Dad’s friends bought a brand new 1976 Lancia Beta Coupe. It looked so beautiful and so different to everything else. I was in love! A few years later, once I learnt to drive, my first car was a Mk. 1 Escort. It was yellow and as I remember it was a 1300 base model. However, it had enough accessories on it to make it look like it was about to enter the world rally champion competition…..Then one day, I spotted a Fiat 127 cheap in the local paper. It was a 1973 hatchback in orange, the original 903cc version. At first it was as slow as a slug, but only because the points had closed up. Following a home DIY service it went like a rocket! I never looked back, it was Italian cars for me! It was only little but loved to rev and made all the right noises. It lived and breathed.

Since then I have owned a Fiat 127, 128, 131, 126, Strada, Croma, (both shapes) Punto, Brava, Marea and Barchetta. I have also owned several Lancias, Delta, Prisma, Beta (sedan, HPE, Coupe, Spider & Trevi.) Gamma, Dedra, Thema & Kappa. Oddly enough I have not owned Alfa Romeos. The modern car I drive is a Citroen but I do also now have my lovely Barchetta, of course.

I had one when they were nearly new and missed it since I sold it 12 years ago. I always said that if I saw one in really nice condition in yellow with black leather I would buy it. Well two years ago that is exactly what happened.

The Barchetta is a great car. It is as pretty as can be imagined, cheap enough to own and run and of course it cannot depreciate. Mine is kept garaged and is much cherished. Once I discovered that there is a club especially for these cars I could not join quickly enough and look forward to meeting like minded owners together with all the little Barchettas parked together.”

John Capon

Feniton Devon

February 2016