According to the owners manual a Fiat Bravo HGT has a 60 litre fuel tank.
Today I proved after 638.8 kilometres commuting you can put 59.53 litres in so that capacity must be about right. I know you shouldn’t run it that close, my usual fill is about 550km/50 litres, but—after putting it off on the way home—was glad I decided to fill up at the first opportunity on the way to work.
Nice to see science based car badging on the morning commute. My FSM Fiat was following a Honda Jazz with a Darwin Fish badge down Rosebank Rd.
It helped provide a data point for my hypothesis that light controlled motorway on ramps are the only time you should choose to follow trucks. The lights release one vehicle per green but a truck represents 2-5 cars depending on size and trailer.
That’s how the FSM Fiat beat the Darwin Fish Jazz… to the queue on the motorway itself.
I had hoped to have a look around the Hicks Bay Motel grounds before I left but the weather was still lousy. It is on a point overlooking the bay, has a bush walk down to a small beach, apparently!
I headed for the East Cape Lighthouse, about a 22km diversion from the main highway along a coastal road from Te Araroa.
It was very exposed with gale force winds (90km/h ~50 knots according to weather forecast) battering the car all the way there. The slowly clearing overnight storm weather made for a dramatic, almost spooky, scene.
It is a mixture of sealed and gravel road, one lane in places where it hugs the cliffs with the sea gnawing away at it! No problem taking the Bravo HGT out there but have to be a bit careful not to 'ride the crown' on gravel as the sump clearance isn't the greatest. I think Grand Touring is more suited European highways than Kiwi back roads! It survived ok, although maybe a few new scrapes under there.
The climb to the lighthouse was good, 750 timber steps the whole way up made avoiding the mud easy, and the surrounding brush made the gale tolerable. It was still very windy, combined with the sea fog/cloud made for a good demonstration why this lighthouse is needed!
From there it was back to Te Araroa to see Te Waha o Rerekohu (one of the largest pohutukawa tree in NZ). I grabbed some food and drink for lunch at the general store. The following week it featured on the news, stock falling off shelves as the region was rocked by a large 7.1 earthquake! Thankfully nobody was injured and there was minimal reported property damage.
The rest of the day was bay hoping to Gisborne. I stopped at all the main beaches and a few other attractions like this Mercedes slowly turning into a work of roadside art.
Tokomaru Bay impressed with some fine, some fading, architecture.
Contrasting with earlier in the day summer had arrived for the obligatory walk to the end of the 600m long Tologa Bay Wharf (NZs longest). The gale had blown away the rain leaving fine sunny day, 20ºc almost summer warm!
This wharf was the main access before the roads reach Tologa Bay, extreme length required due to the shallow bay.
It is impressive how a community trust is funding on going restoration to keep this historic structure, no longer used commercially, open.
The nice weather stuck around for the drive to Gisborne, lovely roads and little or no traffic!
I spent the night in Gisborne, nice Motel near the beach (Ahi Kaa Motel) and (more) fish for dinner!
(Initially sent from Outlook Mail for Windows 10 phone, additional text and photos added later)
The ‘new’ (not by the time I posted this) Fiat 500 TwinAir meets its older sibling. While the new one would be fine as an everyday car the old 500, or Bambina as it was known in NZ, is one for my “When I win Lotto garage”.
Have you heard of the Fiat Coupé? I’ll admit, before my father bought one when I was a kid, I hadn’t, but when he brought it home I instantly fell in love with it. The sounds of the turbo, the decadent interior, and oh boy, the looks…
I seriously thought about getting one of these when shopping for a car to replace my mighty Uno. I remember seeing them arrive fresh off the boat at Continental Cars (then the Fiat agents) and loved the style. In addition to the shapely exterior there were some really nice details like the headlight ‘bumps’ (inspired by the female form), a chunky retro metal external filler cap and body coloured dashboard panel strip.
It was a true successor to the 70s Fiat 124 Coupé and 131 Racing Coupé. A sporty twin cam engine in a stylish two door body at an affordable (if not for me at the time) price. I wonder how the new (Mazda based) Fiat 124 will be regarded in comparison in a few decades?
In some ways I still regret opting for the Fiat Bravo HGT I eventually purchased, especially when I see a Coupé on the road! Although mechanically very similar — 2 litre, 5 cylinder, FWD — it’s a far more practical, rather less stylish, three door hatch. What tipped the balance was the Bravo was ridiculously affordable, OK cheap, in comparison.
Although barely six years old when I purchased depreciation — and perhaps people scared by its rarity in NZ* — and a dealer needing the space for the new 500 models meant I paid less than 1/5 of the $40,000 it cost when new**.
That was about 1/2 the price of an equivalent age/condition Coupé, so style lost out.
* I’ve been told only a dozen were sold here!
** There was the additional cost of front brake discs & pads (not cheap) and a top engine damper which needed replacing but that was factored into the price negotiation. The previous owner had just got through a major cam-belt service and had traded the Bravo in on an Alfa.