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Little Classics Feature: 20 August 2014

A Classic Fiat 850 Restoration: Part Three

A Classic Fiat 850 Restoration: Part Three

For a while now two friends, Nick and Bob, have been sharing their experiences of their first ever restoration project. Their classic car of choice is the Fiat 850, which has been taking shape nicely through their hard work.

They’ve now reached a stage where they needed to improvise a little and be creative to leave their mark on this project – especially as this was not a standard restoration, but a transformation from everyday classic to a nod to the pocket-rocket Abarth.

As with every armature restoration, there are always a few unforeseen interruptions. Bob’s slight hurdle was moving house to somewhere without a garage half way through the restoration. So first on the list was building a shed before anything else – hoping all the little bits made it to the new shed and not lost in the move.

Before the move, a lot of sheet metal was used to weld the car together – although the top of it turned out to be in surprisingly good condition. After this, Bob’s son, Lee (who is a paint sprayer) gave the finished shell a lick of bright white paint (top).

Then from the exterior they moved to the inner workings of the car.

Fiat engine

Whilst the newly worked-over engine hasn’t actually been revved yet, it now sits where it should (above). The brakes and suspension were the next focus, both of which benefitted from a complete overhaul. The brakes were re-piped and a new master cylinder was added as well as brake shoes. Bob also worked on a new handbrake cable.

The suspension had reverse eye leaf spring fitted to the front to lower the car and new bushes were added. It left the restoration project with all new brakes and suspension.

The work on the interior wasn’t finished yet as they replaced the mechanical water pump with an electric one and fitted a new aluminium radiator and header tank.

Fiat with Golf wheel arches

Then came the improvisation. They wanted the car to have an aggressive stance and after a great deal of deliberation bought a pair of MK1 VW Golf GTi rear wheel arches. With a clever bit of moulding from Bob they fitted perfectly (top). These were supported by some slightly larger wheels and tyres they found on ebay.

It gave the car a slightly more intimidating look, making you want to take it a little more seriously. They aren’t far from completing this project now so we expect that the next update will be the last, letting us witness what they have achieved.

Through the whole process they have been providing other updates through the Cherished Vehicle Insurance blog and facebook page.


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