The Fiat Barchetta is a beautiful front-wheel drive sports convertible with a timeless design initially sketched all the way back in the early 1990s. In fact, the rather modern-looking Barchetta entered production in 1995, a time when curvaceous, popup headlight-less, modern sports cars (see BMW Z3) were just entering the fray. You should absolutely check out the story of the Barchetta’s design and look at the earliest sketches from all the way back in 1991.
Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).
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Last time I was in Europe, I couldn’t understand something.
In general, Italian cars stood out as being well styled and pretty. Which given the amount of Italian artists, this makes sense.
But the French cars? France has been known as having style and artistic ability for centuries, but a lot of their cars are just plain ugly. I will say they are never boring looking. They are obviously trying. But did they use up all their great artists by around 1920?