Fetish for Fiats

Hobby Club

Karthik M B, one of the founding members of the Fiat 1100 Club, has always loved Fiats. “My father bought the 1992 model of ‘Padmini’ in 1999. As soon as I started driving it, I fell in love with it. I have driven so many cars in my life, but have never felt as comfortable in any of them as I feel in a Fiat,” he says. Slowly, Karthik started learning more and more about Fiats.

He then thought of starting a community on Orkut in 2006 for Fiat lovers. “Not many people know about Fiats. So I thought of creating a community to make everyone aware of them,” he says. It was through this community, that Karthik met Arun Srinivasan, Sujit T, Karthik Makam and Kedarnath. All of them gradually transformed this community into a full-fledged club for the owners and lovers of Fiat in Bangalore.

“Many people dislike Fiat, but those who hate them, haven’t driven them,” declares Arun Srinivasan, another founder member of the club. “This club is dedicated to the Fiat 1100 series, where the members share information on this series, which is not available in the market anymore,” he adds. “The members own various models like ‘Millicento’, ‘Select’, ‘Super Select’, ‘Delight’, ‘Premier President’ and ‘Premier Padmini’,” says Arun.

The first official rally of the Fiat 1100 Club was held in April 2009, with ten members driving the classic beauties through Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, M G Road and Brigade Road. “It was great fun,” exclaims Arun. “Many people hadn’t noticed that we were on a rally. But once they did, they started clapping and cheering,” he adds.

Karthik prefers to drive only a Fiat wherever he goes. “I drive it every day, and I don’t prefer to drive any other car,” he says. Agrees Arun, “It’s a unique experience to drive a Fiat.” He adds, “It doesn’t have power steering but is as smooth as power steering.”

In fact, Karthik even drove his Fiat all the way to Goa once. “It was a 1986 model of ‘Padmini’, which I had purchased for the April 2009 rally. Since it was a new car for me, I hardly knew much about it. I did face a few problems during the trip but I really enjoyed driving the car at 100 km/hour.”
Arun feels that Fiats are quite easy to restore. “The basic composition of a Fiat has remained the same ever since it came into being. There hasn’t been much of a change,” he says and adds, “Fiats are completely unlike the expensive and advanced luxury cars available these days, which become outdated later.”

The members meet every second Sunday of the month at the Airlines Hotel on Lavelle Road. “We get our cars along, and discuss the technical problems that one can face with Fiats. We also discuss about the availability of spare parts,” says Arun. The October Fest held on October 24 and 25, has been the latest event in which the club took part, where in a few members showcased their Fiats.

The club currently has 40 active members and is open to all. “One doesn’t need to be a Fiat owner, in order to be a member. As long as a person has the passion for Fiat, he or she can join us,” informs Arun. “Whenever we see someone driving a Fiat, we tell that person to be a part of our club,” adds Karthik.

Visit http://fiat1100club.webs.com for details.

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