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Old 20-03-2016   #1
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1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Hello,

Let me introduce you to my recently acquired Mk1 Punto Cabrio...

I'd been considering a cabrio of some sort for a while, and the Punto was on my radar given how much I'd enjoyed pottering about in my brother's '96 Punto 55 S. Also, I was curious as to how these later 1.2 engines drove, given the 16-valve Zetec motor in my '97 Fiesta LX has the exact same displacement.

This one was being sold by a dealer, at what I reckon is probably top whack for one of these - a slightly embarrassing 1650! - but it's had only 3 owners before myself, covered approximately 61,000 miles, and appears generally very tidy. (I'm hoping it won't imminently need any particular care over and above regular washing, servicing, and being kept under a cover when not used for long periods). The only issue currently presenting itself is that the roof doesn't meet the windscreen header after being raised - I have to pull it the last few inches. Perhaps adjusting the tension straps will help?

I've already put more miles on it with the top down than with the top up though, despite the fairly chilly March we're having. And the 1.2 is easily as tractable as the Fiesta's engine. Those of you comparing the 1.6 and 1.2 Cabrios might compare other 1242 cc engines before disregarding the 85 16V as being short on torque - in normal driving it's more like operating a diesel-powered vehicle than the rev-hungry Fiesta!

So what do you think to another Cab making an appearance on the FIAT Forum - and a 'Rosso Corsa'-painted one at that? I for one don't recall ever seeing a similar one on my travels.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to driving the car more regularly as the weather (hopefully) improves, and really getting to know it. Already, though, I get the feeling this car is one to keep.

-SpeedHunter1992
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Old 20-03-2016   #2
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

I read your other thread before this one so I'm replying in both now

I saw this one hanging around on Autotrader/eBay when I was looking for mine, however it was about 1000 more than I wanted to spend and about 1300 more than I ended up paying for mine but I bought mine knowing it was a project, yours certainly looks significantly nicer

I don't know how long you'd been looking for one but did you see the white Cabrio on eBay for 995? I phoned/emailed the seller several times and got no response unfortunately.

I'm sure you'll find the forum of great help as I have for my last 3 Fiats (I fear I have a bit of an obsession )
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Old 20-03-2016   #3
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Quote Originally Posted by Didge3 View Post
I read your other thread before this one so I'm replying in both now

I saw this one hanging around on Autotrader/eBay when I was looking for mine, however it was about 1000 more than I wanted to spend and about 1300 more than I ended up paying for mine but I bought mine knowing it was a project, yours certainly looks significantly nicer

I don't know how long you'd been looking for one but did you see the white Cabrio on eBay for 995? I phoned/emailed the seller several times and got no response unfortunately.

I'm sure you'll find the forum of great help as I have for my last 3 Fiats (I fear I have a bit of an obsession )
Funnily enough I also replied to your other reply before reading this one.

I did see the white one on eBay, but several factors swayed me towards buying the one I now have:

1. It has the 16V engine, which I'd read was just as capable as the 1.6, but with lower fuel consumption, lower road tax, lower insurance group, etc.

2. It appeared to be in great condition and wasn't a million miles from where I live.

I wasn't exclusively looking for Punto Cabrios, though. I was considering stuff like the Ford Puma, given how much I like my Fiesta. Ultimately, the higher purchase price, lower running costs and rarity of the Punto outweighed the lower purchase price but higher running costs of a Puma.

I was basically after a second car to my Fiesta that was a bit more interesting as an ownership proposition. I hope somebody else is as daft enough as us, and buys that white Cab - I reckon it really deserves a good home.

Good luck with your Cab, by the way. I'll be following your progress.
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Old 20-03-2016   #4
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Quote Originally Posted by SpeedHunter1992 View Post
It has the 16V engine, which I'd read was just as capable as the 1.6, but with lower fuel consumption, lower road tax, lower insurance group, etc.
I'd be interested to drive a 16v Cab as everyone says the engines are very similar in power output but as you say the 1.2 has lower tax/ins/consumption, I really didn't care which engine I ended up with, I just wanted a cheap one to fiddle about with

Quote Quote:
I wasn't exclusively looking for Punto Cabrios, though. I was considering stuff like the Ford Puma, given how much I like my Fiesta. Ultimately, the higher purchase price, lower running costs and rarity of the Punto outweighed the lower purchase price but higher running costs of a Puma.
Before I bought my last car (Panda) I had considered a Puma, 1.7 looks like a good engine and would be fun to throw about but just never fell in love with the styling...

Quote Quote:
I hope somebody else is as daft enough as us, and buys that white Cab - I reckon it really deserves a good home.
Good luck with your Cab, by the way. I'll be following your progress.
I hope someone gets the white one too, it's probably a rare colour on a mk1 Cabrio.
One thing I really want is electric rear windows, I saw some on the first Cabrio I looked at, an orange '98 car, unfortunately the car was at the other end of the country and sold within days! Does yours have rear electric windows out of interest?
I'm hoping one day I might be able to pinch the motors and switches/wiring out of a scrap/spares Cabrio if one ever appears...
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Old 21-03-2016   #5
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Nice one, I was putting the dash back in mine today after the new heater matrix! Mine is far from perfect but very original with 65K miles. 1999 with all electric windows and manual roof. I have just replaced the clutch and brakes as well. Stuff is cheap and plentiful. Hope to have it on the road soon.Welcome to the forum, plenty of help here.
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Old 21-03-2016   #6
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Quote Originally Posted by Didge3 View Post
I'd be interested to drive a 16v Cab as everyone says the engines are very similar in power output but as you say the 1.2 has lower tax/ins/consumption, I really didn't care which engine I ended up with, I just wanted a cheap one to fiddle about with



Before I bought my last car (Panda) I had considered a Puma, 1.7 looks like a good engine and would be fun to throw about but just never fell in love with the styling...



I hope someone gets the white one too, it's probably a rare colour on a mk1 Cabrio.
One thing I really want is electric rear windows, I saw some on the first Cabrio I looked at, an orange '98 car, unfortunately the car was at the other end of the country and sold within days! Does yours have rear electric windows out of interest?
I'm hoping one day I might be able to pinch the motors and switches/wiring out of a scrap/spares Cabrio if one ever appears...
Quote Quote:
One thing I really want is electric rear windows, I saw some on the first Cabrio I looked at, an orange '98 car, unfortunately the car was at the other end of the country and sold within days! Does yours have rear electric windows out of interest?
Mine does have electric rear windows. They're very handy, too. One issue I failed to mention before is that the front windows only go all the way up if the rears are down. It's more of a problem on the passenger side - if I try to close the front window with the rear window up, I'm left with a gap of an inch or so. With all the windows being electric, it's easy enough to raise all the windows in the 'right' sequence to get them all to close! Yours has the electric/hydraulic hood, though, right?

Speaking of different specs, does your Cab have any of the following: one-touch up and down on the drivers window; height-adjustable steering column; audio control on the steering wheel; luggage compartment-mounted CD-changer? Mine features all of these, but I'm pretty sure the last one was an accessory.
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Old 21-03-2016   #7
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Mine has the lead for the CD changer but no changer.Steering wheel controls. The front windows need serious work as they are very slow.
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Old 21-03-2016   #8
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Welcome to the world of Cabrios, it looks like you've got a good one. It is a rarer colour which looks particularly good on the Cabrio. We have a 1996 1.6 Cabrio which has just passed its MOT. Interestingly, I also have a Fiesta, but with the 1.4 zetec engine and a Jaguar XK8.
The earlier Cabrio appears to differ in specification as well as engine having a power hood, but manual rear windows (it helps if you have double jointed shoulders). The driver's window has one touch operation and the steering wheel has radio controls. We have a cd changer, but it is an aftermarket addition.
I don't know how the 1.6 engine compares to the Fiesta 1.25 engine. My son has a 2008 1.25 Fiesta which does run out of steam on hills when loaded with four adults, whereas our old Cabbie copes with four up with no problem. However, this could be more to do with the gearing on the 1.6 Cabrio.
A couple of hints with the roof: It is easier to close if you drop the windows a little. If you get small drips from the front corners when it rains, smear a little silicone grease on the front corners of the header rubber. Most importantly, be careful when opening the hood and make sure the middle rail is in the correct position, otherwise the frame can work like a pair od scissors on the hood. There is a separate thread on this subject.
Most importantly, enjoy your car!
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Old 21-03-2016   #9
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Quote Originally Posted by SpeedHunter1992 View Post
Mine does have electric rear windows. They're very handy, too. One issue I failed to mention before is that the front windows only go all the way up if the rears are down. It's more of a problem on the passenger side - if I try to close the front window with the rear window up, I'm left with a gap of an inch or so. With all the windows being electric, it's easy enough to raise all the windows in the 'right' sequence to get them all to close! Yours has the electric/hydraulic hood, though, right?
I think most later Cabrio's had rear electric windows but not all... However all UK Cabrio's have a electric hood
Interesting that your fronts close easier with the rears open, I should try that as my fronts are glacial slow (as has become the term for slow windows now).

Quote Quote:
Speaking of different specs, does your Cab have any of the following: one-touch up and down on the drivers window; height-adjustable steering column; audio control on the steering wheel; luggage compartment-mounted CD-changer? Mine features all of these, but I'm pretty sure the last one was an accessory.
I've got one touch up and down, although the one touch up doesn't really work as the windows stops going up about an inch short of closing... Height adjustable steering column and steering wheel controls but no CD changer although have a button on the HU for it so evidently an option.
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Old 21-03-2016   #10
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Thanks everyone for your warm welcome to the forum and to Cabrio ownership.

Didge3,

My front windows, particularly the nearside, are glacial when motoring up. I only ever drop them an inch or so when opening or closing the roof, so I haven't found it much of an annoyance yet.

My CD changer is a 6-disc Philips unit. I intend to do some digging around the net to try and find out some info on it. It was clearly installed after the car left the factory as the boot carpet is bent out of shape (upwards) due to being displaced by the changer. I'll get a picture uploaded tomorrow if your interested.

renaultvation,

I agree; 'rosso corsa' suits the Cab well. To be honest, though, I just like red cars! My Fiesta is painted a similar hue called 'Radiant Red'. Is your XK8 a '96-'06 model, or later? Those mid-nineties XKs are one of my dream cars - I love the sleek-but-menacing styling.

I believe the later Fiestas put on weight above that of the Mk4 - despite being a 5-door, mine weighs in at a scant 975 kg. I imagine the same 1.25 in a later Fiesta would make for a slower car.

Lastly, your username hints at Renault ownership. Have you any Renaults to your name? I grew up with the family car being an Espace II. I loved that car, and hope to find one for myself someday.

-SpeedHunter1992
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Old 21-03-2016   #11
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

The Jag is a 2001 model (my mid-life crisis). I agree about the styling, it has elegance which I believe has been lost with the later models. The Jag is great to drive on long journeys, particularly in Europe, but I still love driving the little Cabrio round the Suffolk lanes.


The Fiesta is my sensible car!


Yes, my user name is a bit of a clue: I am currently restoring a 1972 Renault 17 TS. I bought it 'restored', but have been undoing the restoration ever since. There is still a long way to go, but you can see a snippet here: http://renaultccc.proboards.com/thre...72-r17-ts-1313
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Old 21-03-2016   #12
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Yes SpeedHunter - welcome. Those pics look like Dartmoor - where are you?

Here's mine
https://www.fiatforum.com/cinquecent...nto-elx85.html
https://www.fiatforum.com/punto/3511...ml#post3488994
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Old 21-03-2016   #13
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Very nice. Being only 23, I guess I'd have to call the Punto my mid-mid-life crisis car!

That Renault is fascinating - I don't ever recall seeing one, even at classic car shows. The side profile reminds me of AMC's Gremlin (long-ish bonnet and raked rear hatch). Looks like you've got a lot of work ahead of you with the restoration, but I'm sure it'll be well worth it. If I had the space to work on a car indoors, I'd have probably been looking for a project instead of the Punto. Or perhaps even considered a Punto project.

-SpeedHunter1992
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Old 21-03-2016   #14
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Quote Originally Posted by fostertom View Post
Yes SpeedHunter - welcome. Those pics look like Dartmoor - where are you?

Here's mine
https://www.fiatforum.com/cinquecent...nto-elx85.html
https://www.fiatforum.com/punto/3511...ml#post3488994
In fact I live in Sheffield. Those pictures of my Cab were taken out in the Peak District this last weekend. It's great to be in this part of the UK - quick access to so many great backroads which, at this time of year at least, have very little traffic.

By the way, in the first of the pictures you'll catch a glimpse of my brother's 'Rosso Swift' '96 Punto 55 S. Given he's had it for over two years - and has even named her: Pattie - I should really encourage him to join the forum!
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Old 21-03-2016   #15
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Re: 1998 Punto Cabrio 1.2 16V

Quote Originally Posted by renaultvation View Post
If you get small drips from the front corners when it rains, smear a little silicone grease on the front corners of the header rubber.!
Thanks for the tip actually, my front corners drip a little in heavy rain so will give that a go
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