Being the characterful and sought-after compact off-roader it is, this 1987 Fiat Panda is a four-wheel drive, tank-looking italian example of automotive passion: powered by a 999cc inline-four “FIRE” engine, this spicy hatchback comes with new, headlights, turn signal lenses and additional headlights, specifically installed for a pure off-road experience. Last but not least, a relatively low mileage of 75,000 km.
Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show in 1980, the Fiat Panda was born after the combined effort between the legendary designer Giorgietto Giugiaro and a newly formed engineering company named Italdesign.
Though it was created to become the people’s car, with a low price tag and even cheaper maintenance costs, it was only in 1983 that Fiat introduced its 4x4 version of the Panda, thus contributing to the creation of what would become one of the all-time, most iconic vehicles in the Italian automotive industry.
In fact, with its 965 cc engine from the Autobianchi 112 and the beyond-famous Steyr-Puch drivetrain, Fiat could offer what is considered by many as the first small, transverse-engined production car to have a 4WD system.
Named ‘Pandarmato’ because of its resemblance to the colours and the aggressiveness of a tank, this vivacious Panda 4x4 is reportedly a Trekking edition, which underwent several restoration efforts during time, after many years spent in a garage.
Overall, the body is in good order, with some equally scintillating graphics and stickers, which are spread along the rear and both sides. The Military Green paint is in clever conditions, as the seller states the car was repainted under previous ownership, and features black door mouldings and bumper covers. Further equipment includes additional fog lights, rear and front reflective lights and a small led bar over the bonnet and on the trunk; the latter is kept closed by two custom fasteners, as allegedly fitted by the previous owners.
The period-correct set of 13-inch steel wheels were also previously refurbished and painted in black, in order to match the car’s spirited nature. They are wrapped in four Pirelli MS Winter 160, 145/R13, which are reported as in good working conditions.
The interiors were restored too, as the cabin, the seats, door cards and carpet were completely replaced in favour of a much more lively green/grey upholstery combo, made of fine synthetic leather and beige rubber carpets.
The entire custom trim appears in pristine condition, including the charcoal vinyl, as the seller states that the inclinometer, the analog clock and air conditioning are completely operational. The six-digit odometer strikes just over 74,000 km.
Mechanically, the 999cc inline-four FIRE engine received a timing-belt replacement and overhaul at just 72,000 km and service was recently performed by the current owner, replacing oil filter, spark plugs and tyres.
The seller also states that the car runs smoothly and starts in a key turn. As anticipated, power is sent to the front or all four wheels through a Steyr-Puch drivetrain, including a five-speed manual transmission and a live rear axle with locking hubs. Also, the underside of the car is reportedly been resprayed with antirust paint during the previous interventions.
Displayed for auction by the same family who barely used it their daily commute, the purchase of this unique Panda 4x4 ‘Pandarmato’ will include ownership titles, an Italian Fiat historical club registration and the keys of a fun-to-drive, 4x4 daily commute!