A Photo For Sunday – 1995 Fiat Brava

This photo is really a part of our monthly theme. Can you tell why?

1995 Fiat Brava - why was it that the five-door was feminine? The 3-door was a Bravo.
1995 Fiat Brava – why was it that the five-door was feminine? The 3-door was a Bravo.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

24 thoughts on “A Photo For Sunday – 1995 Fiat Brava”

  1. Integration of the bumper with its upward curvature to join the rear side panel?
    If not this, it could be the three lines around the rear light.

    1. The BMW Minis also had this, but it was abandonned in the newest generation. Cheaper?

  2. I always thought this was an odd indulgence on an otherwise unremarkable car. Fiat Group were going through a phase of body piercing lamps – see also the Alfa GTV’s headlamps. Typically stereotyped that the practical 5 door was the ‘feminine’ version.

    1. The GTV’s headlamps are done in an unusual way, but it’s very cost-effective – the clamshell bonnet with the two projector cut-outs sits over a single conventional unit:

      As for the Brava, this might be interesting for comparison:

      On the evidence, we can be thankful the stylists won that particular battle with accounts.

      Apparently Cantarella was big on distinctive tail-lamp signatures – he insisted on personal input in more than a few. Even the Punto got quite far without its trademark lamps:

      The 3200 GT is another that was influenced by Cantarella. But the story I like most is on the Multipla’s lenses. According to Giolito, they’re supposed to look like a breakfast plate – I forget exactly what is supposed to represent what, but there is at least supposed to be eggs and sausages, plus something else, on this ‘plate’:

    2. Worth noting as well that when they did the horrid facelift on the Multipla, they both ditched the interesting lenses and its enclosure entirely within the panel:

    3. Yes, I saw a GTV with the bonnet open one day and was both disappointed and impressed at the way they’d done the lamps. Oh, Stradale, you would go and remind me what they did to the Multipla with that bloody stupid (and probably very expensive) facelift. Though it wasn’t a very Italian breakfast, surely?

  3. I had forgotten about the Alfa GTV and the Mini (named above). When you think about it in isolation, it´s quite costly little flourish that most people don´t spot the significance of. Apart from a small clique of design-interested people, the inset lamp doesn´t often justifify its existence. I have a theory about aesthetics that much of what we like seems attractive because it is rare, difficult to do or costly or all of these in some combination. A plastic cup is one extreme and a handmade Georgian silver medlar bowl is another. I call it the semantics of cost. The inset lamp is a nice touch and it does allow a different approach to the lamp graphics but for some reason it scores a low rating in terms of recognizability. I hope someone does another one soon.

    1. I think it is. It has something to do with the exact maximum size of the sheet used to stamp the part and perhaps the depth of pressing (which affects stamping rate). There is also a bit more waste as there is an off-cut to be disposed of. You can imagine 2.2 million bits of waste metal add up to a not inconsiderable sum.
      Further, lamps set in a cut-out need a different assembly concept. The Fiat´s had to be added from the inside and conceivably the boot lining design was affected as well.

    2. Ok, interesting. I wouldn’t have thought that it is actually an off-cut, but that the metal is cast or welded in the exact form without there being too much waste.

  4. I resent the loss of the inset rear cluster on the New New New Mini. On a car ostensibly priced at a premium to facilitate such flourishes, its omission is both miserly and destructive. Hell, why not go the whole hog and get rid of the floating roof and frameless windows? Then they can join the same race to the bottom as every other small car manufacturer.

  5. Daniel: welding to join two or more parts takes labour for joing and concealing the weld. I think manufacturers hate hand work so they get rid of it as much as possible. These parts aren´t cast but stamped from a flat piece of steel. It begins as a flat sheet and is cut to the right shape and stamped out. I expect the hole where the lamp went is cut out at this stage. I think that adds labour too and time. It´s impressive Fiat did that with the Brava.

  6. If I’m not mistaken, a light cluster in the middle of a panel was much more common than it is today. Fir example, many saloons in the 60s and 70s had a vertical, roughly square panel at their end with the lights somewhere in it, but not touching the bootlid or the side panel. The original Mini also had the lights located similarly to the first two BMW generations. The Volvo 145/245 did it very simertainly, these lights were not flush like the modern examples, but rather

    1. Sorry, this went out too soon.

      It should go like this:
      The Volvo 145/245 did it very similarly. Certainly, these lights were not flush like the modern examples, but rather set on top of the panel. Nevertheless, they necessitated an opening cut in the sheet. Did they have more money for stuff like this in the old days, or are there any well-concealed welds I’m not aware of? In this case they had more money to flatten out the welds…

  7. Those rear lamps were appended to a flattish rear panel on old saloons of the 60s. Think of the rear of a Lancia Flavia. Without having dismantled one I would guess the wiring went through a small hole and was clipped to the lamp unit. Then the lamp unit was fastened by screws. Thus only a few holes were needed. The tail panel was welded during assembly of the body in white.

    1. Say about him what you like, but Bangle certainly certainly was/is one helluva creative mind. For better or worse, the Bravo/Brava siblings could be called the Ritmo of their age.

  8. Stradale: those were cheerful times for Fiat design. Cantarella is the opposite of Marchionne who has presided over a cavalcade of forgettattable cars. He’s an Iacocca for our times: dull cars and accountancy.

    1. Very succinctly put, Richard. He and Ramaciotti have a lot to answer for, once the Aesthetic Commission has ended its investigation process.

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