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Old 20th February 2019, 18:18   #1
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Default The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

'The Safest Place to keep Sachin's autograph is your garage'.

What on Earth does this mean? Why would you want to keep a Sportsman's autograph in your garage and what's the guarantee that it will be safe over there there? Well from the title of this thread, I am going to talk about Cricket. LOL! Just kidding! However, this thread is indeed going to involve the Master Blaster who we all know as Sachin Tendulkar. Any guesses what I am going to write about? Here's a hint:- It is something car related that involves Sachin but it is not going to involve his personal garage.

Alright, if any of you have had the image of a Fiat Palio in mind, then you are a 100% correct!! Many of you would probably remember that Sachin Tendulkar was the Brand Mascot for the Fiat Palio back in the day. This thread is also a tribute to Fiat in India, as the sad news was recently out that Fiat will cease to exist in India starting a little later this year.
Anyway, coming back to the Palio. The Palio was launched by Fiat in September 2001 and was their third attempt at making a success in the Indian car market. Their previous two cars the Sienna and the Uno had not done particularly well, hence came the Palio was introduced.

The Palio had then recently received a facelift in the international market, and thankfully the facelifted version itself was brought to India. The facelift including clear lens headlamps, flame design taillamps, a new front nose and some cosmetic changes. Initially, the Palio was launched with two engine options:- 1.2 Petrol which was meant for normal city driving and 1.6 Petrol! with of course the 1.9 Diesel which was introduced a little later. The 1.6 GTX variant became an instant favourite driver's car! The engine produced a whooping 100 bhp which made it the fastest hatchback in India at that time and the hard core enthusiasts fell in love with it! Despite the Palio not doing as well as the competition in terms of sales, a fair amount of cars were sold in 2001 and early 2002. The car received a complete facelift in 2007 and was rebranded the Palio Stile, but the car was already dead by then. While the Palio is a forgotten car by most today, it is one car I will surely never forget. Read on to know why!

These are a few promotional images of Sachin with the car from 2001!
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Last edited by tsk1979 : 22nd February 2019 at 04:15. Reason: Added car name to title because it helps search engines.
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Old 20th February 2019, 22:29   #2
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Default re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Now coming to the main part of this thread! In March 2002, a photo of Sachin Tendulkar appeared in the newspapers, in automotive magazines and on some websites. He was standing beside a bright yellow coloured Fiat Palio, if one looked closely the car bore the Master Blaster's autograph on the front left end of the bonnet. The car was called as the Fiat Palio S10 Limited Edition with the same 100 bhp, 16 valve engine as the 1.6 GTX.

Although the engines were the same, the S10 had different gear ratios as compared to the GTX making the gear ratios shorter . The car also had a cool rear spoiler, differently upholstered seats with S10 stitching in the center, slightly different front fenders, unique alloys, Sachin's autographs could be seen in various places on the car's body, it also came with a free flow exhaust out of the factory! Fiat also gave some goodies along with the car! These included an MRF cricket bat with a yellow grip that also bore Sachin's autograph, a certificate of ownership, a FIAT cap, an air freshner and a small metallic number plate near the door that stated the number of the S10, as only 500 cars were produced in total. The S10 was available only in the Canary Yellow Shade! Oh and did I tell you that Canary Yellow is inspired by the very famous Ferrari Yellow!

Today the Palio S10 is pretty much an extinct car although a microscopic number out of the 500 cars still surive. Time for some nostalgia :-

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-gettyimages514055801024x1024.jpg

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These are the very first images of the Palio S10 with Sachin Tendulkar standing alongside the firs S10 from March 2002.

Here are some images of the Fiat Palio S10's brochure

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1410.jpg
Notice the alloys. These alloys were restricted to the initial S10s if I am not wrong, the design later changed.

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1411.jpg

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1412.jpg
Check out all the goodies that came along with the car

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1414.jpg

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1413.jpg


Click on this link to watch the launch video of the car at the 2002 Auto Expo. Thanks to Wildfilmsindia, I was able to find this time reversing and nostalgic video!

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 20th February 2019 at 22:33.
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Old 21st February 2019, 15:26   #3
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Default re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

By now you must be wondering why out all cars I have chosen to write about the now dated and forgotten Fiat Palio, more so the forgotten Limited Edition!
Well stick around, and you surely won't be dissatisfied with what you will see!!

Alright, so this story goes back 12 years to the year 2007! My uncle who lives with us in my building, was quite the Fiat Fan back then. He owned a 2002 Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX Sport, which was basically a 1.2 ELX Palio which only came in the HOT Formula Red shade and borrowed some elements from the 1.6 GTX. That Formula Red shade was so beautiful, I find it droolworthy even today!! However, the 1.2 Palio engine was lackluster and as many people who've driven one say had nothing called Power. The 1.2 ELX Sport had then 1.2 FIRE engine which produced about 72 bhp.

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1497.jpg
This is an advertisement of the Palio 1.2 Sport that I found in an old issue of an Upercrust Food Magazine!


What on Earth is that Bright Yellow thing there?!
So in May 2007, one afternoon, I saw this bright Yellow Palio parked beside my uncle's Red 1.2 ELX Sport. It took me sometime to learn and understand it, but it was true that my uncle had purchased a Palio S10!! It was a second hand car but was in absolutely mint condition. It belonged to a known person who sold it because he was moving out of the country, back then it had done only some 6,000km.

Even as a 6 year old kid, I could feel the difference between the two Palios. The S10 used to fly! It was an absolute joyride. Let me correct that, it IS an Absolute Joyride!! I'm correcting myself because the car still lives with us! I get to see it everyday, as my uncle and I live in the same compound.

Now in 2019, the Palio is a dead car for most people, some have even forgot it existed. I'm not trying to boast, but I am pretty certain that our Palio S10 is the only one left in Mumbai in good condition. There were many at one point of time, with the number plate series MH 01 MA or MH 02 NA. Sadly, most of the Palio S10s have been scrapped or abandoned due to various problems common to many Fiat cars While some of Mumbai's cars have been moved to Kerala where they are still cared for! I am aware that there is a very nice Palio S10 in Pune that has been brought back to its original glory! I wonder if I can find the owner here

Alright, now I think it's time to share some pictures of the car for your viewing pleasure ! so here goes:-

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This is one of the earliest pictures of the car from February 2008. It was shot on a Nokia 6230i cell phone camera!
It had the Team BHP sticker then, which it retains to this day!!

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_0561.jpg
The Bold Blue Circular Fiat Logo which was in use in the 2000s against the Bright Yellow body of the car!

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1420.jpg
The Evergreen front of the car that looks good today too. Quite a timeless design no? Fact: The Palio was designed by the famous Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1418.jpg

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_9122.jpg

The car is now 15 years old, age has begin to show in some places, these taillights have become slightly faded. I love the 'Flame Design' of these lights!

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The 'Large by today's standards' headlight

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1417.jpg

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1416.jpg

Being Sachin's Signature Palio, this car is adorned with the S10 stamp on the C pillars and bears his Signature on the left corner of the bonnet and on the boot!

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1415.jpg
The FIAT logo sticker on the windscreen

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The Aerodynamic front fender. Notice the extra indentation on the fender which was unique only to the S10. I've heard that it improved Aerodynamics.

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Another recent picture of the Rear . PS:- Don't miss the exhaust!

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_1422.jpg
My 'Silver Streak' Corolla and the Palio S10 out one fine day at the garage

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 21st February 2019 at 23:41.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 00:09   #4
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Default re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Now for the interior I bet this is going to be a nostalgia trip for all you Fiat Fans out there, especially those of you who've owned a Palio at some point or have fond memories with one! So sit back, fasten your seatbelt for safety and enjoy the Nostalgia!!

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As you enter the cabin after much effort of trying to open the heavy doors that close with a heavy THUD sound, sit upright in the huge and supportive seats and experience the true comfort of the 90s and 2000s.

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_9569.jpg

By today's standards, the Palio's interiors are massively outdated! In a 'modern' car you'd see an infotainment system startup as soon as the car starts. Well, there ain't no such thing in a Palio It has a very simple set up and a cassette player for in car entertainment with 6 speakers and a cigarette lighter cause those were a premium feature back in the day. The cigarette lighter socket now doubles as a cell phone charging port! The interior too is a bit worn out now. I love the Silver Garnish and the green backlight very out of the 90s digital clock. Also, don't miss the Slide AC controls!

However, these things WILL NOT bother you if you're a true driver and car enthusiast!

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_9570.jpg
NO Push to Start! Experience the joy of turning the key in the ignition and hearing it crank to life! I love this little blue FIAT key and the keychain. It's a pity, most cars these days have remote locking and keyless entry.

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The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_9580.jpg

The meaty steering wheel is joy to use while the car is in motion, it is super responsive! Mind you, this is a hydraulic power steering and requires a bit more effort than the electronic power steerings on most of our newer cars that feel effortless to use. Notice the yellow stitching on the steering and gear knob which is slightly worn out due to the car's age. This car is a September 2003 model, so yes it is 15 and is an old teenager. Some S10s also received the Airbag Steering wheel which was limited only to the 1.6 GTX SP which also had ABS! Unfortunately, this particular car didn't get it.

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By Day

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By Night!

The simple but super classy 'Made in Italy' Veglia Borletti dials may look dated today but on being illuminated, they are surely an eye catcher! Yes! I know the car has done only a microscopic mileage of 23,615 km for a car that is 15. The thing is that it was used very less by the previous owner and is taken out for a drive once a week, mainly on Sundays so the pleasure of driving it can be enjoyed. As you know, getting parts and repairing an older Fiat can be a pain hence this precaution. Nevertheless, we do have parts stocked at home.

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The Sporty Aluminium Pedals have aged and will be changed soon

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Stranded? Call this number for immediate help!

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Most of the wear and tear is visible under the hood. The car will be sent for some much deserved TLC next month.

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While many people replaced the Cassette player in their Palios, we've kept the original Nippon Manufactured cassette player cum radio. This is one thing in the car I never liked much, I always found it a bit tacky and user unfriendly. Hence, many people changed it. Never mind, we've kept it for the sake of nostalgia and originality, besides what is better music to the ears than hearing the Free Flow exhaust of a cruising car

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If you ever went on a long drive and were in the mood to play Cricket, Fiat put in an MRF bat signed by Sachin in every S10! So all you needed was a ball and a DIY Stump and then enjoy slogging and then get back into the car and enjoy the drive!

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 22nd February 2019 at 00:11.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 00:45   #5
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Default re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Although this car has never been the daily driver for my uncle, we've owned it long enough for me to give you a list of Pros and Cons:-

First the Pros as always:-
  • Massive Fun to Drive! :- Although I don't drive yet as I am not yet 18, everyone I have riden with in the S10 have always wanted to take it for one more round. The 1.6 engine which produced a whopping 100bhp of power was something out of this world back then. Even today, few cars come close to it. It is one car that you just cannot drive slow, it cries to be revved and taken all the way to 7000rpm
  • Built to Last:- The Fiat Palio is apparently the only Hatchback ever in India, to weigh more than a sedan. Well, that speaks of good build quality. The Build quality of this car is phenomenal and one can realise that immediately from the THUD of the door closing! Although this car doesn't have airbags or ABS, I always feel safe in it.
  • Timeless Design:- The Fiat Palio came to India nearly 18 years ago, in 2001. As said earlier, it was one of Giorgetti's designs and I feel it's an evergreen and timeless design! It never gets old. In fact, it looks much better than some of today's cars.
  • Comfort:- Being from the early 2000s, the Palio has huge and supportive seats at the front and read with height adjustable seatbelts, a feature that are not present on some of today's cars too! The seats are immensely comfortable. Also, for somebody like me who's 6'1'' tall, I don't see myself struggling for headroom or legroom in the car. Even the AC works surprisingly well.


Now time for Cons:-
  • Mileage:- Well, like most fun to drive cars the Fiat Palio's 1.6 engine is quite a gas guzzler. It's often thirsty. If I am not wrong, it gives a mileage of about 8kmpl in the city.
  • Safety:- Of course you cannot expect the Palio to have something like 6 airbags, but I feel that Fiat could have introduced ABS and installed the airbag steering for all the Palio S10s. Only the Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX SP got the airbag steering and ABS, hence SP meant Safety Package!
  • Terrible Brakes:- Whoever who I know has driven the car, has been worried or complained about the Brakes. The Brakes are the same as those of the Palio 1.6 GTX and many people have oft- complained of them being weak. So, to drive the Palio S10, one has to anticipate when to brake and maybe make use of double braking tactics.
  • Lack of Parts/Expensive Spare Parts:- Now one of the major downsides of owning a Fiat in India was inavailabilty of spare parts, or super expensive prices which made a car that was already heavy on the pocket, increase its load on your pocket! People also had wait a long while for their parts, some out of frustration sold their cars and others, well sadly abandoned them.
  • Bad Aftersales service:- Another thing that every Fiat owner suffered was bad aftersales services from FCA India. Services were very expensive too and according to my uncle, not worth the money. The car is now sent to our local mechanic friend who's been taking care of it since a long time now and does a good job.
  • Weight:- Now as I said earlier in the Pros section, the heavy weight of the Palio spoke of it's good build quality. But this too was a downside, after a point steering that hydraulic power steering becomes more of a chore and task than a joy!
  • Fiat is leaving India

Well, the Fiat Palio is surely a car that I will not forget. Sadly, this is a car in whose case, the Cons outweigh the Pros. But if precautionary measures are taken while maintaining and owning one, I'm sure it won't be much of a headache.


To Conclude!

The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10-img_9572.jpg
Finally! I am happy to have the 466th Fiat Palio S10 as a part of my family garage! I am also glad that we've been able to maintain and have an example of a car that's now dead more or less on Indian roads in good running condition in our garage.

Like my Corolla, this is one car that is surely not going to leave my garage in a hurry! I can't wait to turn 18 so that I can have all the fun I've ever wanted to have with her!
I hope you'll enjoyed the thread! Do leave your comments and thoughts.

Signing Off,
BeemerBug_06.

Last edited by Samurai : 23rd February 2019 at 00:20. Reason: typo fixed
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Old 22nd February 2019, 16:05   #6
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Long-Term Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd February 2019, 19:11   #7
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Rated 5*
Let me be the first one to congratulate you on owning this beauty. There is a saying "No pain No gain" so with set of cons of using the car there is also a JOY to ride it.

As TeamBHP stands for - "Live to Drive" your passion with this is incredible. Wishing you more fun kms ahead ! Keep Driving Keep Living !
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Old 23rd February 2019, 10:04   #8
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Thanks a ton for sharing BeemerBug_06! Fiat is something else no? Despite what others say, cars like the Palio, Punto, Linea, Abarth, etc. have a special emotional connected that cars these days simply don't have anymore! Ofcouse, that just could be the hydraulic steering, sorted suspension, good road manners that I am confusing with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeemerBug_06 View Post
First the Pros as always:-
Massive Fun to Drive!
Built to Last
Timeless Design
Comfort

Now time for Cons:-
Mileage
Safety
Terrible Brakes
Lack of Parts/Expensive Spare Parts
Bad Aftersales service
Weight
Fiat is leaving India
Aptly summed up there! While I agree with most of the points, for an enthusiast, all these negatives are ok. Such cars don't come up often and I can already see them becoming future classics.

Quote:
Finally! I am happy to have the 466th Fiat Palio S10 as a part of my family garage! I am also glad that we've been able to maintain and have an example of a car that's now dead more or less on Indian roads in good running condition in our garage.
If you ever want to sell the car I'll be the first in line.

Jokes apart, I really appreciate the way the car has been kept. I narrowly missed on acquiring a 1.6 GTX about a month ago, but frankly, the seller was asking too much for a car in not such a good nice. Something I think I should have picked her up, but destiny has something else for me I'm sure.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 10:47   #9
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

As Harsha Bhogle said -"Somebody said to me he didn't want Sachin to quit cricketbecause it would mean his childhood was over. "

Thanks for sharing your pics and experiences, and thanks for reminding that via Sachin and via cars, that part of our childhood still lives on somewhere within us.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 16:50   #10
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

This car is already a classic man. Treasure it for the years to come. The S10 has it's fanbase even today. As you've rightly pointed out all the S10s should've got the Driver Airbag and ABS as standard from the GTX SP. Nonetheless, one S10 still gets this safety kit (#10 S10) which was owned by the Master blaster himself before it was sold to a car collector in 2008.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Aptly summed up there! While I agree with most of the points, for an enthusiast, all these negatives are ok. Such cars don't come up often and I can already see them becoming future classics.

If you ever want to sell the car I'll be the first in line.
No way, I'm in line even before you've entered this line . Nikhil, I know you wouldn't sell this awesome machine but even if you ever do so, remember that I was first in line .
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Old 23rd February 2019, 19:34   #11
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

This car is a part of automotive history!! One of the best cars of the era associated with the best cricketer of the century.
The Fiat story in India has ended on a sad note but the owners still value and cherish their prized possessions. When I had to bid adieu to my Punto 1.4 it was a sad day for me (ooh those Aston Martinesque lines, and the vault-like build quality even when doing illegal speeds on the highway always brought a smile to my face).
Enjoy and cherish the ride mate!!
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Old 23rd February 2019, 23:47   #12
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Quote:
Originally Posted by peus017 View Post
Rated 5*
Let me be the first one to congratulate you on owning this beauty. There is a saying "No pain No gain" so with set of cons of using the car there is also a JOY to ride it.
As TeamBHP stands for - "Live to Drive" your passion with this is incredible. Wishing you more fun kms ahead ! Keep Driving Keep Living !
Thanks for your wishes buddy! and yes you're absolutely right- Keep Driving, Keep Living!! Do stay tuned for some more information on the car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Thanks a ton for sharing BeemerBug_06! Fiat is something else no? Despite what others say, cars like the Palio, Punto, Linea, Abarth, etc. have a special emotional connected that cars these days simply don't have anymore! Of couse, that just could be the hydraulic steering, sorted suspension, good road manners that I am confusing with.
My pleasure blackwasp. Yes!! Fiat indeed is something else, there is nothing that can give you the same charm as a Fiat when you drive it, well in my case ride in it! be it a 1100, Palio or Punto Abarth . Of course Fiat cars have an emotional connect with the owners, why do you think Fiat call their engines EMOTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post
Thanks for sharing your pics and experiences, and thanks for reminding that via Sachin and via cars, that part of our childhood still lives on somewhere within us.
I am glad you enjoyed reading the thread! Oh and I've spotted a Sachin Fan! Same here. Stay tuned for some more info and pics of the car which will soon be on their way here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varun_HexaGuy View Post
This car is already a classic man. Treasure it for the years to come. The S10 has it's fanbase even today. As you've rightly pointed out all the S10s should've got the Driver Airbag and ABS as standard from the GTX SP. Nonetheless, one S10 still gets this safety kit (#10 S10) which was owned by the Master blaster himself before it was sold to a car collector in 2008.
Well it's not a classic yet to be honest, but I am sure it is on the list of Future Classics and will eventually join it's forefathers in the Fiat Classic Car Club! Oh! Thanks for the info about the 10th car, had no idea about that. LOL! You and blackwasp can keep standing in line, don't think it's going to ever move

Quote:
Originally Posted by docprashant View Post
This car is a part of automotive history!! One of the best cars of the era associated with the best cricketer of the century.
The Fiat story in India has ended on a sad note but the owners still value and cherish their prized possessions. When I had to bid adieu to my Punto 1.4 it was a sad day for me .
Enjoy and cherish the ride mate!!
Well, docprashant I couldn't agree more with you! As rightly stated by you, the Palio was considered as the best car in its segment but was underrated by many. Most people decided to stay away due to expensive maintenance and unavailability of parts:( As stated by blackwasp, Fiat cars have this certain charm about them, which form a connect with the owner!

Last edited by khan_sultan : 24th February 2019 at 07:36. Reason: spacing
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Old 25th February 2019, 05:08   #13
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

To me, the S10 is a very special Fiat. I don't think we are ever going to see Fiat pull off something like this in India ever again. The car got recognized for the Sachin Tendulkar bit more than the finer mechanical changes to the car itself. Few knew it ran different ratios and a different exhaust system (I am not so sure about the free flow bit but it was a different exhaust. It never made a racket for sure).

The S10 is also a far more sincere effort by Fiat India compared to the soon to be defunct Abarth Punto. The latter deserved way more than just an engine swap. I can understand if costs were to be kept in check cause who in the right mind would pay so much for a Fiat anyway. If they had executed the Abarth in a manner to the S10, it would have made it a more desirable car and unique in its own way. The current iteration is a half baked job if you ask me.

Does your uncle have the certificate? This and the cricket bat being part of the package is something I did not know.

Thanks for sharing. That car needs a really good clean up job. Please replace that damaged and rotting air filter.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 25th February 2019 at 05:12.
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Old 25th February 2019, 11:03   #14
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Thanks for sharing this. I like Palios and this one is special. Good job on acquiring and maintaining the car so well.

There was a well maintained S10 parked near my in laws place in Goregaon West. It was being used and looked good but haven't seen it in some time.
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Old 25th February 2019, 23:17   #15
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Default Re: The Cricket Connection - Fiat Palio S10

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
To me, the S10 is a very special Fiat. I don't think we are ever going to see Fiat pull off something like this in India ever again. The car got recognized for the Sachin Tendulkar bit more than the finer mechanical changes to the car itself.

Does your uncle have the certificate? This and the cricket bat being part of the package is something I did not know.

Thanks for sharing. That car needs a really good clean up job. Please replace that damaged and rotting air filter.
Absolutely right sandeepmohan! I couldn't agree more with you. Yes my uncle does indeed have the certificate that is also autographed by Sachin. It is carefully stored away in his house.
Oh yes the cricket bat too came with the car as a complementary item, there was also a Fiat branding air freshner and a Farenheit sunglasses case that came with! Just what a cricketer needs no? All that was left was a ball and stumps! Yes, the car does require a good cleanup, it is also due a polish. It is going to the garage next month for some TLC.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Yusha View Post
Thanks for sharing this. I like Palios and this one is special. Good job on acquiring and maintaining the car so well. There was a well maintained S10 parked near my in laws place in Goregaon West. It was being used and looked good but haven't seen it in some time.
Oh! Great to know that there are other S10s around India that are still surviving! Do post pictures of the S10 near your in laws place if you see it ever again.
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