Tuning Built vs Bought Cinquecento track day project

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Tuning Built vs Bought Cinquecento track day project

On the topic of great cars. I have an announcement to make.

The bought car will not be my Alfa 145

Let's make things closer to home.



The main issue with my Bravo was the inside wheel would lift coming out of corners costing me seconds per lap. A shorter wheel base and similar power (from basically the same engine) should resolve that issue and be a tad quicker than my HLX was. :)

A much fairer trail for the Cinquecento that a touring hatch Alfa. :devil:
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I drove the Idea home today. What a weird thing it is. Electric power steering but nowhere near a vague as the MkII Punto, the speedometer is so far away it may as well be in a different car, top heavy, heavy,cumbersome and the headlights are completely useless.

That's why they make such great donors. :devil:
Again little in the way of progress while I have been at work.

Every single "Yep I'll definitely have it" message referring to the Idea has been a waste of time. :rolleyes:

In the spirit of the "invisible car" I have added a supplementary red reflective strip to the bottom of the tailgate.




I'm thinking some kind of 80's graphic to break it up a little.


For now though I'm concentrating on getting the Punto HGT home from Brighton and possibly a different "built" car as well.
So my 145 could be for sale thanks to this...


...hang on a minute...


...that's better and that's also how you should clean your vehicle before driving anywhere. :devil:




Nice looking, reasonably tidy HGT not in yellow, red/faded pink or blue for rarity sake. :)


Familiar territory. It's a Bravo HLX engine with VFD written on it.

VFD is Variable Frequency Drive, or in English fly by wire throttle body. More about that later as if I mention it now it will involve swearing.

Time for more usual suspects.


Cloudy headlight plastic with no side light bulbs. I guess it had chav spec leds like innit and they were kept.


Knackered engine mount so those (now) 78,000 miles have probably been tough or it was broken by whoever did the belt change six months ago.


Dirty, rusty, pitted rear brake discs after a two hundred and something mile drive home? Calipers need reconditioning then.



...and for comedy sake a factory sub box...


...with a three inch woofer? Glad I listened to Classic FM on the way back from Brighton (via Kent for a mate) my ears would be bleeding from the bass from that monster if I had one of my Hardcore CD's with me.

So the good.

The engine is perky and the car is easily as fast as my Bravo was when she was stripped out. :)

The bad.

The fly by wire throttle is garbage. What were they thinking? There's an over rev' blip every change up and a noticeable delay no matter what you do with the pedal. It's as if they are using "Internet Explorer 2.0" to run the bloody thing. The ABS is horrid and useless. In the dry it's fine but if you're braking normally in adverse conditions and have full control all of a sudden the ABS kicks in and you are literally not braking at all.

The surprising.

Every single Mk2 Punto I have ever driven has had the same problem. The electronic power steering. At best it's total crap, at worst it is the single most dangerous thing ever put on any car; ever. I have driven all the Mk2 Punto's now and can honestly say the HGT is the best of the bunch. With the others the power steering is like an on/off switch. When negotiating a bend the steering kicks in making the wheel light, due to being under load it moves more than you need it to so instead of a smooth round line you end up taking a tetracontagon one. This is true of most electronic power steering vehicles I have driven including the last generation Porsche 911 so it's not just a Punto thing.

With the HGT I don't know if it's the extra weight of the engine, the wider tyres or bigger brakes increasing rotating mass at the hubs but the steering was pretty okay. A little skippy now and then but nowhere near a bad or dangerous as other vehicles.
While I wasn't part shopping at my local Fiat/Alfa/Renault/Dacia dealership earlier I noticed the 695 Abarth has the 180 t-jet.

Won't be long before one of those is stacked backwards into a hedge and the engine liberated. Wooooo-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa! :devil:

Anyway while doing the chores I thought I would stop and stare...


With two weeks to go until the first track day of the season I took my Cinquecento to work as usual.

Bit of a fun commute. I managed to pull two much newer and expensive cars from the verges where they had lost control in the snow and a Land Rover Discovery out of a small ditch. With a small Fiat and a rescue rope. :D

As we know no good deed goes unpunnished so while I was in a shop getting my lunch. A Luton van reversed into the front of my car and drove off.




Bumper, headlights and passenger side indicator smashed. Passenger side wing, bonnet, slam panel, front valance and corner panel bent.

I already know UK headlights are impossible to buy new so insurers or the MIB will write the car off due to inavailability of parts. The lenses are smashed so I can't buy a pair of left hand drive ones and convert them. That's the major thing. I have a spare bumper and the rest should straighten out. It might not be that bad. She drove home okay. No overheating or tracking issues.

I like to think the best of people and hope the Luton driver didn't know he/she/it had hit anything. It wasn't driven off with any kind of gusto from the shops cctv. No view of the number plate or driver so it's a dead end. I got a Police incident number in case I was stopped on the way home.

Lucky it happened near a public bin so I could throw the glass away safely. I didn't want any to fall off the car causing a puncture or other damage to my or anyone else's car.

Car's don't need headlights for track days so it could turn out to be a handy few grams weigh saving. ;)
I assume you got the van reg and have called the rozza's

The Police are aware. I was in the shop at the time and didn't see it happen. The shops CCTV was at the wrong angle and because this happened in the arsehole of Cambridgeshire, Wisbech nobody...

"Like saw, nuffink innit".


We have an exact time so the if the van went by one of the towns CCTV cameras that could help.

I'm not too optimistic as it will be a no fault claim and my insurance will be roughly the same as this guys...

Good news - The Police have caught the hit and run Luton driver.

Bad news - He was not insured.

Good news - I have given my Cinquecento to a mate who wants to teach his grandson how to do bodywork repairs and will be restored instead of track day fodder or a write off.

Bad news - I need to find another "Built" car.

Good news - I have something FIRE powered and radical in mind.
Just seen your update such a shame let’s hope the van driver gets what he deserves
well that sucks... i do hope the van driver gets the book thrown at him, hard..

van drove into my mums brand spanking new 500 abarth 595, less than 50 miles on it :'(

they found the driver though, he drove off and claimed to not known - don't believe him for a second and neither did his boss haha. Thankfully wasnt that bad and is all fixed now though - just waiting on a bit of trim from italy to finish it up.

I seen a really clean looking mk1 punto for sale on facebook recently for 100quid, minimal details though - can try find it again and tag you if you like...?

edit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fiatmotorclub/permalink/2032373903445766/
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Six points and an undisclosed fine that I know of for no insurance. The van was impounded and his boss had to collect it Monday.

Potentially if the CPS push Due Care and leaving the scene another three to nine points for each so possible ban and more fines. I'm pretty sure he's lost his job though.

Thanks for adding me to that page blu73

I have to sell my Alfa now to buy that Fiorino. :devil:
Cinquecento restoration?

Good afternoon everyone.

As you may recall I gave my Cinquecento to a mate to restore with his grandson. First project and first car rolled into one.

Well Mummy and Daddy bought the little cherub a "like Corsa innit? Br-br-br-br-brap! Brap! Chair" and instead of scrapping my car she's back home with me.


There will not be much in the way of progress as the original "Built vs Bought" has become just a build and is here...


...in the Uno section. The next track day is in three weeks and as you can see the car is nowhere near ready but progress is steady.

With any luck the Cinquecento will be a Winter restoration project and back in the road in time for Spring.

Good morning everyone.

Forgive the thread resurrection but my Cinquecento was resold via the forum and I'm getting road fund license reminders.

Can the individual who bought it either get in touch, sort the log book out or I will send off for a duplicate and sell the number plate to cover the costs.

Thank you.
Hang on, the seller is supposed to sort the log book out during a sale, not the buyer, or have I missed something?
Yep. I should have known better than to trust a forum member to take care of the V5C.

V62 sent. I'll have the new log book soon enough.

If the new owner fails to come forward so I can issue them a new V5C I will have to resort to the methods outlined. :devil: