Barchetta Rises Like a Phoenix

I am so pleased to receive this tale of a Barchetta being saved from going to the scrapyard.  I am sure that many owners would have given up trying to restore a car when it must have been tempting to abandon it to its fate in Spain, she’s looking good. Very well done to our members Karen & Richard!

Here is their Barchetta story.

Martin Garrad

(Membership Secretary)

May 2018

I really didn’t think the day would ever come, but last Thursday we met the car transporter at a service station in Alnwick and there was our little Barchetta, safe and sound.  I bagsied the first drive, back home to Amble (it is technically ‘mine’) but all the credit for it being here has to go to my dear husband Richard and his persistence in sourcing parts for her and a dogged determination that she was going to get back on the road again.

Last year it was a very different story. We had the Barchetta shipped over to Spain, where we were living at the time, in 2010. We had lots of fun driving on the winding mountain roads  where we lived. She attracted a lot of attention in our village and probably all the local youngsters will have had their pictures taken with her.

However, by the end of 2015 we had decided we wanted to move back to the UK – it wasn’t practical to take the Barchetta right away, so we left her to be looked after and driven by some good friends, who did a great job – they kept her spick and span, serviced and road legal.

Disaster struck a year later when she suddenly need a series of vital repairs: complete new exhaust system, wheel bearings, new cam belt and water pump, welding to the sills, new windscreen wiper linkage, a problem with the wiring was corrected. The problem was getting the parts – the village garage workshop in Spain absolutely drew a blank (they did try, they were very fond of the little car). So we wondered if anyone at the Barchetta Owners Club might know.

Luckily Martin came to the rescue and pointed us in the right direction to where we could get the correct parts. Richard was able to order parts from all over – Holland, UK. The Spanish garage fitted them and did an excellent and reasonably cheap job.

This was not the first major overhaul that the Little Barchetta has had. She used to belong to my ex-husband – from new – but he is emphatically not a car person. When I offered him a car swap he jumped at the chance, so now I was the proud owner of a Fiat Barchetta with a moss encrusted, cracked top, broken wheel arch, cracked and broken front bumper, damaged wheels  and serious damage to the paintwork.

Richard was the hero of the hour again: he got a new red cloth top from Germany, new bumper, repairs to the wheel arch and a complete respray in its original silver. I am sure all the repairs are probably more than she is worth, but at 20 years old this year, this limited edition still looks as pretty a little sports car as you are likely to see – well we think so, anyway!

Karen O’Mahony and Richard Hutchinson 

May 2018