Chapter 3 – Owning a masterpiece S10 is a legend that lives through the veins of every fiat fan. The more I was engrossed about the car was because it was launched during the end of my college days. Got to see reviews about the car being the fastest hatch in the Indian market with a limited edition badge and 100 HP which was unheard in that era. The only other sedan to have 100 Horses was the Honda City 1.5. It was always a long distant dream to own one and it came to reality after a wait of 9 years. Some dreams take time to reach but when it reaches you it’s overwhelming. Living with a dream accomplished is an awesome experience. The car is a true fiat. Build like a tank with an awesome suspension with a feeling of safety prevails. The car is a true sports breed with sportiness in every inch crafted. Acceleration to 100 is as quick to 11.5 seconds. That’s pretty good for a company stock car by any means. The dyno gave us a 96 BHP at crank which can be upgraded up to 160BHP with performance tuning of different levels. A big letdown is the brakes of the car, It just is not enough for the power it has been given. Performance brakes are available but for a price. Different aftermarket braking modules have been developed which will be implemented on the project car. The notice everywhere you go tag follows you in the S10. Be it the local market to the new mall in town. The glances and stares just don’t tend to stop at the canary yellow even in this era where supercars rule the road in India. People who know the S10 come with questions to you and you can find the new kids noting the sachin signature and commenting on it. Some people call it the Yellow Palio and I have even been asked by garages that where I got it painted. I take time to explain to them what the yellow guy is all about. It’s very much a normal car for daily drive if you don’t mind the running costs. There is a good commanding driving position, good gear ratios, decent clutch and a gem of an engine. The motor tends to be thirsty in the city but gives you the pleasure once the signal goes green. Other cars take time to pass by once you decide to floor the accelerator. Its best enjoyed at signal to signal where people glance at you in a flying palio. It’s not that you drive as a hooligan but the car is programmed to move with the acceleration tap. I could notice the stage faces giving me glances on their faces that meant what is this guy doing with a PALIO. Little does he know that the 1.6 has the power to weight ratio to leave many of the latest road gadgets to shame. A used 1.6 comes at a dirt price starting from 60 k that can go up to 3lakh depending on the condition of the car. I would not recommend a badly abused car which comes too cheap. Restoration is not an easy process as there are a very few who know the mechanicals of the Fiat engine. The toughest part is the electrical of the car which fiat has incorporated space ship technology. If the wires have been cut and the car has electrical issues just stay away from such a car. Most of the cars have been cared for and its preferable to get one from a fellow enthusiast even though it might commend a high price. The reasons are it requires sound technical knowledge, spares, dedication, a workshop that can work on with you and of course the budget which you plan to build up.. The most important thing that has to be looked into when going for a used S10 is to make sure that the engine does not heat up and has all the mechanicals working. Fixing it can be a tiresome job. Preferably change the timing kit at the time of purchase of a used car. The kit includes a timing chain, idler bearing and tensioner. A change in the MC/SC and clutch would make an average car trouble free for a long time. Preferably stick to the NGK spark plugs as the cars ECU might not recognize the firing of the new generation iridium or platinum plugs and it’s based on advice from counter owners its preferable to stick to the stock for better drivability and performance Synthetic oil with performance filters marks a huge difference with in a stock car making it a lot smoother revving machine. A Free flow exhaust adds a note and makes a huge difference in the drive. I would recommend it as a must since it makes a statement on road. The note of some FFE is so addictive that I come back home from work tired and exhausted and occasionally go for a beer. Its just to keep your vitals relaxed. After the S10 has come I just take it out for a drive with and the exhaust note brings me back home fresh and energized. It’s what caffeine does in red bull so does a FFE does in an S10. If you wonder why Sebastian Vettel constantly wins... I would say because the RED Bull has got a car with wings. So if its wings that you need then go for a FFE, performances filter with synthetic oil. It’s the stage one mods a normal 1.6 would need. The next chapter will be in detail of the parts collection, cost and different parameters that where looked into while purchase. It would assist a fellow enthusiast before he starts to dream S10.