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s I write this update on the Biposto, Big Ben has recently signaled that 2022 has come to a close and we are into a new year. Much of the news over the last few days has been about what a year 2022 has been and how many people will be glad to see the back of it. Personally, speaking, the last year has not been a bad one; work has been okay, and apart from a small hiccup, my health has been good.


However, the last few months of the year have not been the best for the bank balance, as owning the Biposto has certainly meant a few bills that were well north of the contactless card limit. In the last update, you may recall I had taken the car for a full check-over and geo setup, and all seemed to be okay, with the car being given a clean bill of health. However, in the months since that report, something had happened. I first noticed it on my drive back from Donington Park, where I had been for the Supercar Driver Secret Meet; the car just did not feel right.


With the Biposto being race-inspired and the suspension setup being so firm, any change in the handling is quite easy to notice. I pulled the car over upon sensing the issue and had a good look around. Whilst the fault was not immediately apparent, I limped the car home, removed the rear wheel, and investigated further. There it was, a large crack in the rear suspension arm; I could hear the cash register cha-ching almost instantly.


A morning spent ringing around Abarth dealers and consulting the internet saw me locate a pair of the rear arms and arrange for the dealer (who had them sat on a shelf gathering dust and was only too happy to get rid of them for a small discount) to collect the car. Whilst they have it, I also asked them to replace the front suspension top mounts, as there has been a 'clicking' noise on steering lock which led me to believe they were past their best.





Fate is a cruel beast, and the damaged suspension could not have come at a worse time, especially with the annual Abarth Festival looming. With the car off the road, I had to make the trip in the Audi Q4 daily driver and park in a quiet corner out of the way. The event was great, with almost 500 cars attending. Surprisingly, this year there were no Biposto Record Editions on show, quite a change from the 5 that were there in 2021. Really annoyed I could not get my car along to this event as I had been looking forward to it. As last year, I had only popped in for an hour on my way back from another engagement, so I really wanted to spend a full day with fellow fans of the Scorpion.


Upon completion of the scheduled work, I received a call from the service adviser at the dealership. He tells me all went okay, and the rear suspension is now fine. 'Rear,' I say, with a niggling feeling I know what is coming. 'Yes,' he says, the rears are fine, but when replacing the top mounts, they have discovered that the front gas struts are shot. Fearing that the credit card just cannot help me after the battering it has taken replacing the rear suspension, I head over to collect the car, knowing I can use it for a month or two before needing to get the struts replaced.


The weeks in between the two dealer visits saw me try to limit the amount I was using the car, but I did manage a visit to Caffeine and Machine for their All Italia event (alongside around 50 other Abarths) and a trip to Silverstone for the Classic Festival, where the car was parked in the paddock as part of the Abarth Owners Club display.





Deciding the credit card bill had been sufficiently reduced, I called the dealer and arranged for the front suspension to be done. This time, as it should be a quick fix, I drive the car over and plonk myself in a coffee shop local to the dealer while they replace the front struts. That afternoon I drive back home with a big grin, despite the second rather large bill I had settled in the space of a few months. Knowing the suspension (which is a known issue on the Biposto) was all new was a great relief, and I was looking forward to the last few months of the year and getting out and about in the car.


Sunday comes, and it's time for me and the Biposto to head to the first event post-repairs we had planned, a trip to Warwickshire for an Abarth Owners Club breakfast meet followed by a visit to the British Motor Museum for the 60th birthday of the MGB. All was fine for the first 25 miles, but then I noticed a squeak from the front suspension, you know the sort of squeak, the one where you move the steering wheel from left to right to see if it goes away. You dab the brakes, and nope, it's still there. You speed up and slow down, but it still sounds like there is an angry mouse trapped under the bonnet. Where this squeak puzzled me was that it did not change with speed or braking, or movement left and right; it was just there, and getting worse.


I carried on with my journey just in case the squeak stopped en route. It did not stop me from having a great day out, but limping home from Gaydon did take its toll on my sanity a little, especially given the Biposto does not have a radio to drown out the incessant squeak. A call to the dealer the following morning, and a date was agreed for me to take the car over. They believe it would be a simple fix, as my home diagnosis was that there was something wrong with the top mounts, which do not seem to be seated properly.


Again, thinking it would be a short visit to the dealer, I decided to wait with the car. An hour passes, then a second, at which point I am thinking a quick fix might not be on the cards. The service advisor comes to see me and shares the news that the problem was indeed the mounting of the driver's side shock and that while trying to mount it correctly, it had been damaged and would need replacing. Of course, this would be at no cost to me (phew!). However, the kicker was that there were no parts in the country, and they would need to be ordered in from Italy.


Seemingly, the parts were coming from the darkest corner of Italy by the slowest means possible, as the 7 days became almost twice that. But finally, after a couple of weeks, I had the car back just in time for the weather to turn. The delay meant I have only managed a quick trip around the block to confirm the squeak has gone (well, I hope) before its pre-hibernation deep clean and ceramic coat. Safely tucked away while the gritters do their worst, I am turning my time to browse the classifieds, as the second anniversary of owning the car is rapidly approaching. Could this mean it's time for a change?

s I write this update on the Biposto, Big Ben has recently signaled that 2022 has come to a close and we are into a new year. Much of the news over the last few days has been about what a year 2022 has been and how many people will be glad to see the back of it. Personally, speaking, the last year has not been a bad one; work has been okay, and apart from a small hiccup, my health has been good.


However, the last few months of the year have not been the best for the bank balance, as owning the Biposto has certainly meant a few bills that were well north of the contactless card limit. In the last update, you may recall I had taken the car for a full check-over and geo setup, and all seemed to be okay, with the car being given a clean bill of health. However, in the months since that report, something had happened. I first noticed it on my drive back from Donington Park, where I had been for the Supercar Driver Secret Meet; the car just did not feel right.


With the Biposto being race-inspired and the suspension setup being so firm, any change in the handling is quite easy to notice. I pulled the car over upon sensing the issue and had a good look around. Whilst the fault was not immediately apparent, I limped the car home, removed the rear wheel, and investigated further. There it was, a large crack in the rear suspension arm; I could hear the cash register cha-ching almost instantly.


A morning spent ringing around Abarth dealers and consulting the internet saw me locate a pair of the rear arms and arrange for the dealer (who had them sat on a shelf gathering dust and was only too happy to get rid of them for a small discount) to collect the car. Whilst they have it, I also asked them to replace the front suspension top mounts, as there has been a 'clicking' noise on steering lock which led me to believe they were past their best.





Fate is a cruel beast, and the damaged suspension could not have come at a worse time, especially with the annual Abarth Festival looming. With the car off the road, I had to make the trip in the Audi Q4 daily driver and park in a quiet corner out of the way. The event was great, with almost 500 cars attending. Surprisingly, this year there were no Biposto Record Editions on show, quite a change from the 5 that were there in 2021. Really annoyed I could not get my car along to this event as I had been looking forward to it. As last year, I had only popped in for an hour on my way back from another engagement, so I really wanted to spend a full day with fellow fans of the Scorpion.


Upon completion of the scheduled work, I received a call from the service adviser at the dealership. He tells me all went okay, and the rear suspension is now fine. 'Rear,' I say, with a niggling feeling I know what is coming. 'Yes,' he says, the rears are fine, but when replacing the top mounts, they have discovered that the front gas struts are shot. Fearing that the credit card just cannot help me after the battering it has taken replacing the rear suspension, I head over to collect the car, knowing I can use it for a month or two before needing to get the struts replaced.


The weeks in between the two dealer visits saw me try to limit the amount I was using the car, but I did manage a visit to Caffeine and Machine for their All Italia event (alongside around 50 other Abarths) and a trip to Silverstone for the Classic Festival, where the car was parked in the paddock as part of the Abarth Owners Club display.





Deciding the credit card bill had been sufficiently reduced, I called the dealer and arranged for the front suspension to be done. This time, as it should be a quick fix, I drive the car over and plonk myself in a coffee shop local to the dealer while they replace the front struts. That afternoon I drive back home with a big grin, despite the second rather large bill I had settled in the space of a few months. Knowing the suspension (which is a known issue on the Biposto) was all new was a great relief, and I was looking forward to the last few months of the year and getting out and about in the car.


Sunday comes, and it's time for me and the Biposto to head to the first event post-repairs we had planned, a trip to Warwickshire for an Abarth Owners Club breakfast meet followed by a visit to the British Motor Museum for the 60th birthday of the MGB. All was fine for the first 25 miles, but then I noticed a squeak from the front suspension, you know the sort of squeak, the one where you move the steering wheel from left to right to see if it goes away. You dab the brakes, and nope, it's still there. You speed up and slow down, but it still sounds like there is an angry mouse trapped under the bonnet. Where this squeak puzzled me was that it did not change with speed or braking, or movement left and right; it was just there, and getting worse.


I carried on with my journey just in case the squeak stopped en route. It did not stop me from having a great day out, but limping home from Gaydon did take its toll on my sanity a little, especially given the Biposto does not have a radio to drown out the incessant squeak. A call to the dealer the following morning, and a date was agreed for me to take the car over. They believe it would be a simple fix, as my home diagnosis was that there was something wrong with the top mounts, which do not seem to be seated properly.


Again, thinking it would be a short visit to the dealer, I decided to wait with the car. An hour passes, then a second, at which point I am thinking a quick fix might not be on the cards. The service advisor comes to see me and shares the news that the problem was indeed the mounting of the driver's side shock and that while trying to mount it correctly, it had been damaged and would need replacing. Of course, this would be at no cost to me (phew!). However, the kicker was that there were no parts in the country, and they would need to be ordered in from Italy.


Seemingly, the parts were coming from the darkest corner of Italy by the slowest means possible, as the 7 days became almost twice that. But finally, after a couple of weeks, I had the car back just in time for the weather to turn. The delay meant I have only managed a quick trip around the block to confirm the squeak has gone (well, I hope) before its pre-hibernation deep clean and ceramic coat. Safely tucked away while the gritters do their worst, I am turning my time to browse the classifieds, as the second anniversary of owning the car is rapidly approaching. Could this mean it's time for a change?

Abarth Biposto 695 Record Edition - Report 004

By Tim Dunlop

A wallet-busting bill for a suspension rebuild hasn't dampened Tim Dunlop's appreciation of his mad, Italian Scorpion. So why is he thinking of selling up?

FAST CLUB

GR 88.jpg

A

RUNNING COSTS

Date acquired
02/03/21
Total mileage
16404
Recent mileage
951 | MPG - 38.4
Expenditure
£3479.50 (Ouch !!!)

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