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Classic Fiat 850 Abarth restoration Episode Four

Classic Fiat 850 Abarth restoration Episode Four

04 August 2014

We’ve been following friends of the Cherished Vehicle Insurance Services team, Nick & Bob and their quest to not only restore a classic Fiat 850 but at the same time turn it into an Abarth recreation. Sometimes you have to deal with the non-motoring problems that life throws at you, so we hand back over to Nick who talks us through what happened next…..

“The rebuild had been going along nicely but we hit a major stumbling block when Bob and his family had to move. We had been building the car in his covered yard. The big problem now was there was no garage at Bob’s new home.”

“We had used quite a bit of sheet metal to weld up the car although the top half was surprisingly good. Bob’s son, Lee, a paint sprayer by trade, applied primer and a nice coat of white before the big move.”

The body in primer

The body in primer

“The car was transported to the new house and lived in a tent in the garden for a few weeks while a new garage, or man shed, was built by Bob. On completion the car was installed and the work started again. There were worries. Had we located all the parts and brought them with us? Time would tell.”

“The new garage was ideal. We had music, heat, electric and, most importantly, a fridge well stocked with amber nectar and cider. Our usual ritual ensued. Work was followed by a few cans and talk of the day the car would hit the road.”

“Over the coming weeks Bob installed the engine and then set to in other areas. The brakes were repiped and a new master cylinder added. New brake shoes were fitted and a new handbrake cable.”

With its first coat of paint and the engine installed

With its first coat of paint and the engine installed

“Work then started on the suspension. The reverse eye leaf spring was fitted to the front to lower the car. New bushes were used along with two new back lowered springs and new shocks all round. So basically, the brakes and suspension was all-new.”

“An electric water pump replaced the mechanical one and we fitted a new aluminium radiator and an aluminium header tank.”

Looking good down below – the finned Nardi sump and Abarth exhaust

Looking good down below – the finned Nardi sump and Abarth exhaust

“Around this time we spotted some nice, larger secondhand wheels and tyres on ebay and shot over to Liverpool to pick them up. I found some Abarth wheel centres which fitted perfectly. Now, for the first time since we started the project, the car was able to stand on its own wheels.”

“The car was totally rewired and Bob added oil and water temperature gauges. He then fitted the 850 Coupe speedo and rev counter and made a bespoke dash.”

The front shaping up and the wiring done

The front shaping up and the wiring done

“A new clutch had been fitted along with a new clutch cable and throttle cable.”

“There were many other bits and pieces to attend to as well and basically we lost track of everything which was either refurbished or replaced.”

“We wanted the car to have an aggressive stance and after a great deal of deliberation we bought a pair of MK1 VW Golf GTi rear wheel arches. With a clever bit of moulding from Bob they fitted perfectly. The car was starting to take shape.”

If it fits.... a Golf Mk1 GTi rear wheel arch

If it fits…. a Golf Mk1 GTi rear wheel arch

The little Fiat has come on leaps & bounds since the guys started out on their journey. Come back soon for the last and best episode of “Nick & Bob’s Fiat Adventure”

 

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