The Fiat 147 with Dilser behind the wheel, before taking over his role of navigator for the test.
The first challenge was to make sure the two crew members could fit. Bitu is almost 2 meters tall, and Dilser is also pretty tall. But the car was good to them. "My size has prevented me from evaluating and testing interesting cars such as Willys Interlagos and the Lotus Europa. Although compact, the Fiat 147 is very roomy inside: it was not difficult to spend many hours behind the wheel," says Bitu. The relationship is really one of affection, and of great admiration. "I revere the Fiat 147 for its unique history: a model strategically designed for Brazil, with technical and stylistic solutions that were not adopted in the Fiat 127 in Europe," he reveals.
His passion for cars came from his family, specifically from his uncle, Luis. "My father, Francisco, always liked cars, but for him, cars were another machine to get us from point A to point B. My uncle Luis was always the guy with a foot on the accelerator: if my father bought a Fiat 147, uncle Luis would make it a point of buying a 147 Rallye", he jokes. Dilser also has a special relationship with the little car. Both his maternal grandfather, João Mendonça, and his paternal grandfather, Paul Dilser, had Fiat 147. "I was a kid and loved maneuvering the car in the garage even if secretly. I have great memories of the 147 and I'm in the process of buying one now", he confesses.
The trajectory to the race track, about 300 km, began and ended in São Paulo, passing through Jundiaí, Itatiba, Piracaia, Atibaia, Nazaré Paulista and Mairiporã. "The car’s performance was wonderful: the engine settled well, probably due to dilser's merit. Immediate responses to the smaller strides on the accelerator, steering and brakes with quick responses and impeccable stability", says Bitu. For him, at no time did the car convey the sense of fragility that many associate with the Fiat 147: "The feeling was that it was ready to face an even greater challenge!".
"Unbelievable. This car has only 4 gears, with an engine 1050, 1.0 practically, and we drove alongside cars with V8 engines, with triple, quadruple or quintuple the number of cylinders", Dilser recalls. Bitu confirms, and adds: "It was very funny to see the face of astonishment of competitors on board high-profile cars, with six or eight-cylinder engines and hundreds of horse power. No one believed in the capacity of the little car."