RESERVE LOWERED -1998 Fiat Panda 4x4 LHD

Highlights


• Imported May 2021
• Believed to have had only one owner in Italy
• Low mileage
• Very original

The Appeal


It is surely the case that no devoted car nut can look at a Panda 4x4 and avoid cracking a smile, for it has an appeal that transcends its design brief as a cost effective utilitarian workhorse for the Italian countryside. For that, blame the Italians’ enthusiasm for all things automotive and their ability to inject that into even the most everyday products.

Here we have a recently imported, low mileage example in very original condition that seems to have led a low stress life in its native Italy with no signs of off road use. A much more original answer to the go-anywhere classic conundrum than a Land Rover, a Panda 4x4 will help you stand out from the crowd, and probably have a lot more fun on the road too.

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The History and Paperwork


• Purchased from a specialist located near Rome in May 2021 and imported to the UK
• All paperwork in order; V5 present in the owner’s business’s name and MOT to Aug 2022
• Comes with a certificate of authenticity from Fiat
• Understood to have had only one owner in its native Italy
• Some minor welding to the underside for the MOT and a dusting of underseal applied
• Since import, it’s had a professional valet and the wheels have been painted and new tyres fitted
• Although the seller loves the car, it hasn’t quite fitted into his fleet in the way that he envisaged and so is now offering it for auction

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The Interior


• Denim upholstery largely unmarked
• Some wear to driver’s seat
• Pristine dashboard
• Later head unit with USB socket
• Clean headlining and boot

While the Panda may initially have been designed around a utilitarian brief, that didn’t stop an injection of Italian flair and, in this case, that can be seen with the liberal use of denim for the upholstery and indeed the dashboard. 

The single Italian owner of the car was presumably not that sociable as the only seat showing any real wear is the driver’s on which the fabric has worn on the base and backrest and the plastic surround for the tilt lever is partly missing. Neither of these spoil the experience once you’re in the driving seat however, and the clear and simple denim-covered dashboard is reassuringly straightforward to use and free from touch screens.

A later, USB-equipped, radio is fully operational, as are the rest of the dials and switchgear, including the electric windows. The boot and parcel shelf, meanwhile, are clean and tidy, as are the carpets and headlining. In all, it’s very original and doesn't seem to have led as hard a life as some of the high mileage Panda 4x4’s out there.

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The Exterior 


• Finished in Tasmanian Green metallic
• Presents well with a few minor scuffs
• Freshly painted wheels and new winter tyres
• No sign of having been off-road

Predating the trend for jacked up superminis with plastic cladding, the Panda 4x4 looks suitably rugged and, in contrast with its more modern imitators, actually walks the talk. Shod here with chunky-looking off road tyres, this example certainly looks the part and, on closer inspection, has largely straight bodywork and underside, suggesting that it’s not been used to the fullness of its capabilities, with some small scuffs to the bumpers and paintwork suggest that it’s engaged in more urban pursuits.

Looking at the rear prompts the question as to why more cars don’t have the model name embossed into the boot lid but also shows a little waviness in the metalwork. The rest of the shell appears straight though and, although the bumpers have some marks, they are not specific to the 4x4 model and are readily available.

Overall, it looks quite smart and is surely the kind of car that will make its next owner glance over their shoulder as they walk away from it.

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The Mechanics 


• Later model with 1.1 litre FIRE engine
• 4x4 system provided by Magna Steyr
• 5 speed manual gearbox
• All believed to be original

Lift the bonnet and you’ll immediately see that the spare wheel has also been painted and also that the engine bay is very clean and tidy. The engine starts without hesitation and the current owner waxes lyrical about the way that it drives, citing steering that is free from any slack, a tight gear change and the whole experience being more enjoyable than it has any right to be.

Somewhat typically of the Italians, the engine loves to rev and, although he’s not tested its outer limits, the vendor does report that 60mph feels more like 90 in a modern car and that it’s just, well, fun at all speeds. In summary, he explains that however it appears, it drives more like a 205 GTI than a Land Rover.

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Summary


A low mileage, unabused example of the fun 4x4 supermini that should have plenty more life in it yet and should appeal to anyone with an eye for something different.

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As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1998
  • Make Fiat
  • Model Panda
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 101,862 Kilometers
  • Engine size 1108
  • Location Wiltshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
7 bids from 6 bidders
  • holly.s•••• £6,300 16/01/22
  • mark-sa•••• £6,100 16/01/22
  • Paullam•••• £6,000 16/01/22
  • holly.s•••• £5,400 13/01/22
  • n-r £5,100 10/01/22
  • Alpine £2,100 09/01/22
  • Saceli £2,000 09/01/22

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