The Official Car of the Ideal Home Show. How’s that for an introduction? Admittedly it doesn’t have the same gravitas as say, Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 or Official Safety Car of the Monaco Grand Prix, but hey, being the official car of something has got to be cool, right? Step forward the Fiat Panda Alessi.
First, a confession – the Fiat Panda Alessi had pretty much slipped off PetrolBlog’s radar. These days we’re more likely to get excited about the Panda 100HP or Panda 4×4 than we are about a special edition from way back in 2006. But actually, the Fiat Panda Alessi just happens to be another piece in the jigsaw that one day will complete a picture proclaiming the Fiat Panda to be one of the greatest cars ever to grace the planet.
Think about it. For B-road thrills, you have the Panda 100HP. For off-road shenanigans, you have the Panda 4×4. For basic, utilitarian fun, you have the Panda Pop. And for football-tastic cheese, you have the Panda Italia ‘90. Even the Panda Alessi is cool, in a way that marketing-led special editions shouldn’t be cool. Just look at it.
Marvellous, isn’t it?
Alessi is a very cool brand. Simply do a Google Image search for a gallery of some of the coolest kitchen utensils you’ll ever set eyes on. And being Italian, if Alessi was ever going to collaborate with a car brand, it would naturally be an Italian manufacturer. It just had to be Fiat – no other model than the Panda would do.
The Fiat Panda Alessi was available in three distinctive two-tone colour schemes: Narciso Orange, Tagliente Green and Cattivo Black – all of which featured a white lower half of the body and bumpers. There was also a set of white roof bars, a redesigned aerial and the coolest hubcaps ever created (with the possible exception of the Fiat Strada).
It’s the little details that catch the eye – like the red ALESSI lettering on the rear doors and the distinctive ‘Alessi man’ on the hubcaps. Did we mention the hubcaps? Cool, aren’t they?
But the design brilliance wasn’t just reserved for the outside. You could choose between orange or green seats, plus the tunnel console was redesigned and featured a CD holder (how times have changed).
The Fiat Panda Alessi was powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine, capable of returning a combined MPG of 50. With 60bhp on tap, you could hardly call the Panda Alessi quick, but its low weight of 860kg made it just the thing for darting about and looking cool in the city. And believe us, you would look cool.
So naturally you want a Fiat Panda Alessi now, right? Well you’re in luck as there just happens to be one for sale on eBay. Sadly it appears to have lost its super-cool hubcaps and the mileage of 145,000 suggests that this is one Panda that’s well and truly broken in, but hey, the seller is accepting offers on the Buy It Now price of £1,350.
It’s finished in Narciso Orange – arguably the best colour you could have ordered your Fiat Panda Alessi in – and it has only had one previous owner. For once, the seller is entitled to use “very rare” in the description.
Is PetrolBlog barking up the wrong bamboo tree, or is the Fiat Panda Alessi the epitome of cool? Let us know.
In case you were wondering, PetrolBlog is looking to enter the competition for the highest number of instances of the word ‘cool’ within one automotive article. So far, if you include ‘coolest’, we’re up to 12. Oh, make that 13…