In August last year Doug Cleverly wrote his article for our website when we thought he owned the only Barchetta in New Zealand. As a result of that article Stewart Glynn contacted us to say that he had bravely shipped his car to NZ when he emigrated. Here is his story. We really hope you can meet up with Doug and swap notes.
Thanks for your story Stewart.
I first saw a Barchetta in 1996 at Brands Hatch and I immediately loved this beautiful little car. I was in a position to buy one in 2003 but it had sadly gone out of production! I test drove a couple of used ones but then I heard it might be coming back into production, so I decided to wait. I called Fiat UK every month for a year for any news and one day early in 2004, a dealer I had been in contact with told me he had one in the showroom and asked if I wanted to see it. I finished work immediately and drove over to see it and paid a deposit on the spot!
After a few knocks, the roof deteriorating, and the obvious need for a variator replacement, in 2010 it was re-sprayed, a new roof fitted and the variator fixed. That same year my wife and I decided to migrate to New Zealand and we couldn’t bear to leave it behind, so the decision was made to bring it with us! Some might say it was a crazy decision – I knew it would likely be the only Barchetta in the southern hemisphere – but I just couldn’t think about parting with it. After jumping through quite a few hoops with the NZ Transport Agency it was shipped out to us in June 2011.
We’ve enjoyed many km’s of driving through NZ’s amazing scenery. One of the highlights was driving it to the top of Mt Ruapehu – the North Island’s highest point, a skifield, and an active volcano! This could possibly be the only Barchetta in the world to have been driven onto an active volcano!
She’s due for some TLC in the near future (paintwork, headlight replacement, new boot strut etc) but will be given the time and attention she deserves to hopefully set us up for another 18 years!
Through the UK Barchetta Owners Club, it was amazing to find out that another Barchetta arrived in NZ last year! Doug and I hope to meet up at some point to show off the NZ branch of the club – we’ll keep you posted!