I found my car!
On Saturday my lovely friend Phil helped me drive all the way down to Oxford where there's a garage who specialise in FIAT Coupes, and who had a low mileage 20v Turbo in Broom Yellow with the various options I wanted and comfortably within my price range... The car turned out to be exactly what I was looking for (unlike the others I've been to see which all seemed right on paper but were disappointing in person) and so I bought it.
Driving back up I discovered that he's definitely a he, and - later on - that his name is Hobbes (like Calvin's Tiger.) So far we've been very happy together.
I'm too tired to write more just now because I spent my lunch hour going to the Council for his parking permit and then after work we went to Halfords and I bought a stereo (the previous owner took theirs out which, given other indications of their idea of good taste, is probably for the best) and some other "essentials" (like leather upholstery cleaner, a fire extinguisher* and a first aid kit) which I then spent the last few hours fitting and using to clean Hobbes interior... now I'm tired and hungry but before I go here's a picture of my new friend for anyone who's not yet seen him(clicking will get you a bigger version):
handsome devil isn't he? his FIAT badge is missing because some oik in Halfords car park pulled it off while I was inside shopping, but a replacement is on its way.
* every car I've ever owned has carried one and thankfully I've never yet had cause to use it but it's one of those things I think every car should have, just in case.