WHEN looking for his first car Elliott Mather was in no doubt as to what he wanted.
“When I visited my friend I passed a yellow Fiat Seicento parked on his street and absolutely loved it. I sent a picture of it to my dad and two weeks later dad sent me a photo from Autotrader of a car that looked exactly the same.”
The pair traveled to Essex to see the car and bought it. As Elliott had not yet passed his test, his dad, Phillip, drove it back to their Bingley home.
Soon after, Elliott got his full license and loved being at the wheel of his eye-catching broom yellow car. “It was a joy. Being 1.1 liter I thought it would be quite slow but it was like a little rocket ship,” he says. “I was hooked.”
He wasn’t the only one to get the Seicento bug. On the journey north, Phillip enjoyed driving the car so much he bought his own, in red, which he still owns.
Elliott sold his car after three years, replacing it with a Fiat Panda 100HP in magnetico blue.
“It’s a fantastic little car,” he says, “I have been adding bits and bobs to it, bringing it back to its former glory.”
Elliott, who works as a chef, has inherited his dad’s passion for cars. “When we went out as kids dad could name every car we passed on the road, and knew all about their engines,” he says.
His grandad too, helped to sow the seeds of a love of motors, taking him across the country to watch stock car and Formula 1 racing.
In 2014, Elliott accompanied his dad to a car meet in Birmingham, when Phillip took along a Dihatsu Copen or ‘kai car’ – a Japanese microcar.
“The meet was held in a large field and my dad let me have a go at driving. I was 14 and he expected me to stall, but I took to it like a duck to water.”
The family’s love of Fiats – Elliott’s mum once owned a Fiat 500 – led to father and son creating a creating the Yorkshire Fiat Owners’ Club, a group that can discuss their cars online, offer each other advice and meet up at locations across the region .
“It grew out of an Instagram page I used to have called Yorkshirecento,” explains Elliott, who now posts as Yorkshire Panda. “Lots of enthusiasts were following me so I started a Facebook page and soon it had 50 followers sending messages about their cars – it was brilliant.”
The group members have taken their cars to meet at locations including Grassington, Northallerton, Wetherby and Sherburn in Elmet.
Now Elliott runs the group with Riley Bristowe from York.
“It is going really well and we welcome any owners who would like to join the group,” he says. “We have members who live in Lancashire and we are looking to expand our meetings to the north west.”
He is still very much attached to his Panda. “You don’t see a lot of them. I get lots of people coming up to chat about the car – I can talk their ears off.”
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