In sending the DFW Fiat Club a couple of links to Fiat articles, we were impressed by the enthusiastic response by its president, Kathy Young. Since the ‘enthusiastic response’ is in notably short supply, we asked Ms. Young to provide a personal perspective on the roots of her Fiat enthusiasm, and a little more about her club. It has been (modestly) edited for length…
Tell us about the FCA and its DFW outpost.
FCA is the national chapter of Fiat Club America; we are the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. We plan monthly gatherings and events for Fiat enthusiasts to enjoy their Fiats (both new and classics), as well as annual events like “Fiat Spring Thing”. https://www.fiatclubamerica.com/about-us/flu-history/
How did you become its president?
I purchased my first Fiat, a 1975 124 Spider, and fell in love with the cars and the people. After attending the Fiat Spring Thing that takes place every year in the beautiful Hill Country with drives, tours, more drives and such amazingly friendly people, I knew I had to have more. Then it was brought to my attention that we did not have a local chapter in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I stepped up and became the president of our local chapter. We have a website and a FB page with all of our events on it. We have large groups in Austin and Houston (Gulf Coast) area as well.
What do you drive?
I drive a 1975 Fiat 124 Spider, in stock, original condition, which – happily – has won many awards. And I recently acquired a 1982 Bertone X1/9, which I am looking forward to modifying – and possibly racing. I have worked hard to keep the 124 Spider original. For the X 1/9 project I looked for a car that wasn’t so original, allowing me to modify it as I felt inspired. A Nissan Altima is my daily driver.
What would you like to drive?
I would like to add a Fiat daily driver but that’s a little out. Maybe when the NEW 2017 FIAT 124 comes out in the fall of 2016 – or maybe a 500X.
Tell us about your first car.
I had a 1973 VW Super Beetle, which was great. It had tinted windows, bra and an upgraded sound system and interior. It was a really nice car.
What book is on your nightstand? And what enthusiast pub is in your mailbox?
On the nightstand: Priscilla Shirer’s The Armor of God. Enthusiast pubs include the Griot’s Garage catalog and Autoricambi (national magazine of Fiat Club America). TV Programs that we really enjoy: Last Man Standing, Fast N Loud (Gas Monkey Garage), Car Guy, Chasing Classic Cars and Meacum Auto Auction.
Best Christmas gift idea?
New 2017 Fiat Spider!!!!!
My grandparents passed away a few years ago and left me a few thousand dollars. I decided to purchase a little classic car so that my husband and I could play around with our cars and maybe attend a car show or two. He has a 1968 Camaro RS that he has had since 1975. I knew that my grandparents would appreciate that I chose something that will always remind me of them.
I found a 1975 Fiat 124 Spider that barely drove but had a decent body and a sound top. I began working on the car myself. My husband was shocked, as I was VP business banker at a local bank, always manicured and polished; now I was getting my fingernails dirty on a regular basis. I rebuilt my Weber carburetor while my husband watched football in a nearby room. I found a new sense of accomplishment when I drove a car that I had actually worked on myself.