Cherished Vehicle Insurance Cherished Vehicle
Insurance Services
Call Us Now 0333 207 6597
Classic Fiat 850 Abarth restoration Episode Five

Classic Fiat 850 Abarth restoration Episode Five

12 August 2014

Well it’s time for us to check back in with our good mates Nick & Bob for the very last time. We only joined the guys part way through their restoration project but the last six months have seen the guys heading down the home straight. Will they cross the finish line or will they fall at the final hurdle? We hand back over to Nick for the very last time to talk us through the “Grand Finale” of their Fiat Abarth Adventure……

“It was the middle of winter – and we got the blues. Although the car had come a long way we hit the equivalent of writer’s block. We couldn’t see an end to the project. We sat down and raided the fridge in Bob’s man shed. It all became clear after a few amber nectars. We had too much time and money in it to quit now. It was full steam ahead from there on in.”

“We had the seats retrimmed in black with red piping along with the doorcards. Bob’s son Lee, gave the car another coat of white paint and his other son, Rob, a carpet fitter, added the carpet.”

Cool interior with Coupe dials – all working

Cool interior with Coupe dials – all working

“Bob hunted around for some window and door rubbers as well as rubbers for the engine bay and boot. He also rebuilt the heater. The windows went back in without a problem. It was a big relief as we were worried about breaking them. Where would we get replacements?”

Under the hood – clean as a whistle

Under the hood – clean as a whistle

“New door handles were added and a myriad of little jobs were done. Some went unnoticed but took hours.”

“One problem we had concerned the headlights. We could not find replacements the right size with the correct fittings. In the end we took them apart and whizzed them over to a company in Leeds to be resilvered. Nice job.”

“Then came a rotten job. We had decided on a chequered roof and wanted it painted rather than a transfer. Lee set to, marking it up with pencil. In all, including measuring up and painting, it took two days. The result was superb. Thanks, Lee.”

Anyone for a game of chess? Great roof paint by Lee

Anyone for a game of chess? Great roof paint by Lee

“Then came the nice bit, adding the finishing touches. An Abarth grille was fitted along with period spotlights, various transfers and badges and some bonnet straps.”

Headlights – ‘Beaming’ good job!

Headlights – ‘Beaming’ good job!

“We talked to our pals at Cherished Vehicle Insurance Services to get it insured and then the car was booked in for its MoT. We were now nearly there. Two years and eight months after we had purchased the car, Bob drove it to a local garage and asked them to do the tracking and set the headlights.”

Great rear end – the finished job

Great rear end – the finished job

“We waited nervously for the result. Would there be problems, was there something we had overlooked? ‘No’, was the answer. It sailed through the MoT with no advisories.”

In the beginning exterior In the beginning interior

In the beginning……

“We’d done it. We’d turned a wreck into something which would still be on the road long after we had passed on.”

Two Years & 8 months later

Two Years & 8 months later….

“Our target had been to create a good, useable car with increased performance – an Abarth recreation. It was never meant to be a show car or trailer queen and it was built by amateurs with minimum equipment. It just goes to show that if you put your mind to it…….”

Alas, we now bid a fond farewell to Nick and Bob with a big thank you for the time and effort the guys put into, not just the restoration project itself, but also in putting their experiences into words and pictures for us. Knowing Nick & Bob as we do, they are probably already thinking of another project – anyone fancy a sequel ??

Latest News
Post Image
Cherished Vehicle Insurance Test Drive FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier
08 June 2017
50 years since the first Baywindow
04 April 2017
Post Image
A little turbocharged boost goes a long way
17 February 2017
Post Image
The Ford Model TT: 100 Years
06 February 2017