Thursday, April 03, 2008

Seinfeld's Fiat "BTM"

Is this 1967 Fiat Dino 2000 Coupe a Fiat "BTM"?

Like many others I was puzzled over the description of the vehicle that Jerry Seinfeld was driving when the brakes gave up the ghost and he flipped the car before he would've careened into an intersection. The car was described as a Fiat "BTM" and although I am no expert on Fiats I had never heard of the BTM designation and thought that it may be the designation left by an outside tuner. Having no luck finding an example of it on the web (and let's face it, if a picture of a friend's Autocar is on the web, what the heck isn't?) I went to a few books, still no luck. Jerry Seinfeld is a sports car nut (I mean that in the best sense of the phrase) and really there is only one 1967 Fiat that Jerry Seinfeld would drive around the Hamptons, that car is the 1967 Fiat Dino.

The Fiat Dino was the comparatively ugly cousin of the gorgeous Ferrari Dino, they share the Ferrari six-cylinder "Dino" powerplant. The Ferrari was designed by Pininfarina and the Fiat was designed by the now struggling Carrozzeria Bertone or Bertone to us non-Italian speakers. This reporter contacted her auto editor and his speculation was that the car could have been a Fiat Dino Coupe badged BTM to stand for Bertone (B) which is based in Turin (T) and uses a Ferrari engine built in Maranello (M), thus BTM. At this point I am willing to buy that explanation. For starters Seinfeld's brakes failed so yes he was driving a Fiat, Seinfeld seems like he wouldn't drive a pedestrian Fiat around the Hamptons (or anywhere else for that matter), thus it was likely a Dino, he wasn't decapitated so the car wasn't a Dino Spyder and I wouldn't be surprised that the Bertone factory put on some wacky badges on a limited number of cars or even all of them. Right now there is a Fiat-savant in the Fiat America Club who knows the answer to this mystery. Someday that Fiat-savant may come out from under his braking challenged car and give the rest of us an answer.

I should add that the problem with the Fiat Dino is that the parts are either Ferrari, Bertone or unavailable and the engine rebuild is the same price as a Ferrari (see: uber-expensive) and the car is valued as a rare Fiat, not a Ferrari. It is also notable that it sounds as if Seinfeld did a fantastic job of driving through the situation and avoiding harming others. When I heard about it I commented that he has likely had some serious driving instruction and experience. Great job Jerry.

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Blogger simran said...

Seinfeld is very interesting show. i always Watch Seinfeld Online. Its all episodes are best. I like it so much.

4:05 AM  

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