The Uno Turbo I.E is the kind of car we wish still existed today. Fiat made it by slotting a 1.3-litre fuel-injected inline-four under the bonnet, with a water-cooled turbocharger increasing the power to 105bhp. Doesn’t sound like much, but this little hot hatch weighs just 850kg.
Meanwhile, its boxy, Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed flanks contrast brilliantly with 2020’s often over-styled, excessively-creased cars. The only trouble is finding one - if the figures on How Many Left are to be believed, only around 200 still exist in the UK, with fewer than 30 licensed for road use. The car you see here, then, is a rare treat.
Yes, it’s not what you’d call original, but all of the changes that have been made are tasteful and reasonably subtle ones. The bodywork of the 1988 example (originally grey) has been fully resprayed in Ferrari’s famed Rosso Scuderia, with the black Uno Turbo side and rear stripes present and correct.
It sits lower than a standard Turbo on new dampers (Avo GTZ Evo coilovers at the front, Spax Performance dampers and custom springs at the back), with Ronal R10 15-inch wheels nicely filling each of the arches. Beneath those are ECB brake pads all round, with Punto calipers added at the rear. Rounding off the chassis changes are bushes and an anti-roll bar from Powerflex.
As part of its extensive restoration five years ago, it had a rebuilt engine from Somerset-based Italian car specialist Avanti Motorsport fitted. The unit features a gas-flowed cylinder head, an improved camshaft, a re-circulating dump valve and a Turbo Technics hybrid snail. It should sound much fruiter, too, thanks to its Scorpion Exhausts pipework.
The interior is unrestored but other than some wear on the driver’s side bolster and seat bottom, the Uno has endured its 122,475 miles and 32 years of use well. Distracting from the less-than-perfect cloth trim is a Momo steering wheel and a Momo gear knob.
The MOT expires later this month due to the Covid-19 six-month extension (otherwise it would have lapsed in April), although it will be getting a fresh ticket post-sale. It’s up for auction on Collecting Cars, showing at £6850 with three days remaining at the time of writing.
To give you an idea of how much it might go for, there’s an unmodified and lower mileage example for sale elsewhere at £10,000.