Car Beat: Sporty little Panda!

Whenever I see a cool car around the neighborhood, I take pictures and send them to my pal Eric up in Portland who runs Other People’s Things, my favorite car blog. He responds with some knowledge and we post the results here and it’s called “Car Beat.” Here’s what Eric has to say about this sporty little ride:

That is one nice Fiat you found. It’s a late model Panda, but that’ could mean a lot- this bodystyle was made from 1991-2003. It’s also the “4×4 Trekking” model, which puts it in the the hall of fame of amazing 4WD subcompacts alongside the Subaru Justy, Toyota Corolla All Trac, Civic Wagon, and the Panda’s Russian cousin the Lada Niva.

While I am no expert when it comes to import laws, this car poses a bit of a mystery if its legally tagged, as it is newer than 25 years old, which technically makes it illegal to drive in the United States. Nevertheless, it’s an an eccentric’s dream car, slow, (relatively) reliable, durable and Italian. That’s not a combination that you hear too often. Love that grille badge as well, it almost makes up for those ridiculous Italian graphics on the rear quarter.

Thanks, Eric! Gosh, I love sporty Fiats.

8 Responses to “Car Beat: Sporty little Panda!”

  1. Freedrinker says:

    ‘Ridiculous Italian graphics’? – you Portland Moron. put a turd on yourself, PDXer.

  2. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Why is it illegal to drive in the US? Can they not be legally imported?

    • SlobDog says:

      It’s *almost* impossible to import a car that is not “federalized” for the usa that is less than 25 years old. Legally anyway. It has to be crash tested and epa approved otherwise. The form you would use/declare is HS-7. You can go to prison if you sneak a non-approved car in. If f’ing sucks! In essence a European spec car that has an identical model in the USA can NOT be imported legally for example – let alone a car like this that was never imported.

      As all these young urban professional move in I hope they choose to buy funky old cars (Like a Citroen!) instead of the predictable late model German metal or ride a bike.

  3. sixtypercenttogether says:

    sooooo awesome.

    as mentioned, a Suburu Justy is a close substitute. so much fun to drive.

  4. SlobDog says:

    This car could be legal if it is owned by a foreigner. It can be here for 1 year and then it needs to leave and or leave/come back and reregistered ;-)

  5. SlobDog- Thanks for the insight, Its a pain trying to figure out all sorts of rules/loopholes and exceptions.

  6. SFnative says:

    The owner of this car is a family friend. He has been in the import/export business for as long as I can remember. After 30+ years of dealing with customs you learn to play by the rules and get what you want.