A Kiwi Barchetta

First we hear about David Broadley’s yellow RHD Barchetta, now, incredibly, coming along like number 2 buses is another story of a RHD Barchetta!  This one is even further from Europe being tucked away in New Zealand.  Many thanks to new member Doug Cleverly for contributing this article and pictures of his enviable collection of Italian cars. 

Martin Garrad 

How does a Barchetta make it to New Zealand? 

Well as far as I am aware this wonderful little car was not sold anywhere below the equator, let alone on the other side of the planet, here in New Zealand! 

So how did it get here? 

The story starts with a hunt for my son’s first car. I have been a Lancia-Fiat person since my first Fulvia in 1986, which I still own to this day. My son has an interest in the same line so now he’s “coming of age” it has come to what car should I sort for him – the answer was Italian. 

My first love being Lancia I set about finding a good little cheapie for Max, my son. I bought a lovely Lancia Y10 out of the UK, no rust and only 18,000 miles on it. I shipped it to NZ expecting the worst but was delighted when it turned up – spectacular little car and we started to ready it for use. 

The “brakes” came on in the form of the cries of No Airbags from my wife – I’ve never owned a car with airbags so missed this one completely. 

Strapping a pillow to the steering wheel did not win the day so sadly we had to sell the only Y10 in the country (but to a local enthusiast). The garage became a barren place whilst we worked out what next. 

A great friend of mine is a Fiat nut and has been plugging the marque for decades (he had a 128SL – I had my Fulvia) and he suggested the Barchetta – the hunt was on. 

I looked for a long while and finally a lovely black one that was RHD appeared on the Barchetta UK website. Nice guy selling the car and the deal was done. 

Three months later and the little Barchetta arrived here in sunny New Zealand and we are going about getting the car sorted for use. The car came with a number of spares to help with road-readiness, all of which are all now installed. Henk from Barchetta Parts has also been really helpful getting me a range of spares, including new floors and a hardtop! 

It lives here with several other Italian friends to keep it company. 

Doug Cleverly