A Fiat Panda 4x4... up Mount Etna
An epic TG mag adventure from the past 20 years: we drive the Panda up an erupting volcano...
Posted: 15 Oct 2013
Somewhat inevitably, there's a dark green first-generation Panda 4x4 at the bottom of the mountain. It's the Sisley special edition, still wearing the Steyr-Puch badges. Fondness swells. It's tiny, with tyres barely a handspan wide, and so tinny and basic it could have come free with a box of Sicilian cereal.
But there are lots of cues that point at the latest version, and it exudes the kind of straight-edged, fuss-free charm it's impossible to engineer with modern, crash-safe cars. A brief conversation with the owner, and it turns out this Panda has covered 380,000km (about 236,000 miles) on its original engine. Actually,
no one really knows how far it's been, because for "some years" in the Nineties, the speedo was broken.