Make green really great again, on a budget…

By Matt Bird / Thursday, 12 October 2023 / Loading comments

It often seems like barely a day passes without a new crazy expensive, incredibly limited run special edition supercar is announced. One that’ll barely ever be seen in public, one that guarantees attention wherever it goes, one that looks like nothing else on the road. Monterey Car Week was crammed full of them.

And while not every super duper slice of exotica will appeal to all, the prospect of owning a car that makes people point, smile and wave doesn’t half sound nice. With so many cars met with total apathy – sometimes genuine rage – from passers by, to be behind the wheel of something that brings cheer to all around must be great. Especially if it costs £5k and not a million. If that sounds desirable, boy do we have the car for you…

This is a Fiat Punto Cabriolet, a car from that fascinatingly weird era of the 1990s where supermini drop-tops were actually a thing. Remember the Corsa cabrio? The Rover 100? Anyway, it’s hard not to look at this lovely old Fiat and raise a smile, seemingly beautifully preserved in that classically classy colour combo of green and cream. It’s so strange it’s come out the other side kind of lovable. 

Wanna guess how many Punto cabrios are still out there? HowManyLeft puts the number at 11 for this ELX model (apparently there was a 16v flagship as well) meaning this could be the only green one left out there. A potentially unique drop-top Italian classic, with just 60k recorded since the mid-1990s, for £5,000 – bargain, right?

Of course, we’re being a little tongue-in-cheek. The Fiat was never a cool convertible, really, all a bit stumpy and maybe a tad pram-like where the ideal is for a swoopy rear deck. As was almost guaranteed when working with a hatch shaped like the Punto. And it won’t be very fast. And best gloss over the questions about handling and rigidity. 

But we’re a long, long way from 1996 now. It’s rare, quirky, different, a bit daft and very likeable. The Punto cabriolet was never a serious prospect, just a bit of fun when such silliness was apparently actively encouraged in the industry. In such sombre and serious times, it’s a welcome bit of light hearted relief. You’re still smiling too, right?

Apparently fresh to the selling dealer’s stock, there isn’t a description for the Punto yet. Sorry, we were just too keen to wait any longer than necessary. But it looks incredibly fresh from here; inevitably the jazzy upholstery has suffered a little from more than 25 years of top down motoring, though the paint and roof look especially good. Great wheels, too. 

As something to pack pals and a picnic into for something like Festival of the Unexceptional, the Punto looks perfect. It’s in its prime kitsch phase now (we’d say), where it’s old enough to be forgotten by most but recent enough to be recalled and appreciated by a few. And hopefully still with some sunny summer days out to enjoy yet. There won’t be another one at the seaside, that’s for sure. 

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