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Thread: '78 Fiat Spider Driver / Project

  1. #1

    Default '78 Fiat Spider Driver / Project

    Hi all, and thanks for having me.
    Car purchased back in Sept. and very thankful for the wonderfully warm October we had in So. Maine, so I got to iron out a couple electrical gremlins and drive more than I anticipated. Cleaned out attached 2 car garage and still setting up shop, finished insulating and a couple more lights to install. Compressor ordered, looking at heat options. Before starting on stripping I will change out clutch, T.O. bearing, and figure I might as well change trans pilot bearing and ... why not install an 8# flywheel as opposed to keeping the 18# orig one.
    Orig. TX car, 47k+ miles. No structural rot and little panel rust, floors excellent. Going for the "muscle roadster" look, so def. lower and larger / wider wheels and tires.
    I'm pretty mechanically inclined and have experience at many things but very little in body work and hardly any in painting (real automotive spraying) but have enough faith in my ability to learn processes and techniques and in my attention to detail to do this myself. Seeing the other projects posted on this forum is very encouraging and inspiring.
    Feel as though I've already gained quite a bit of knowledge from time spent here browsing and searching. Thought I'd introduce myself and post a few pictures of what I'm getting myself in to. First pic is the day it arrived:








  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    olympia,wa
    Posts
    494

    Default

    looks like a great starting point, kind of a blank slate. i've always liked that body style. there's great marquee support for those as well.(https://www.fiatclubamerica.com/)
    those look great in a variety of colors, but i like darker colors on them. my sister had one in dark green with tan interior that was just beautiful.
    keep us posted on the progress.
    b marler

  3. #3

    Default

    I've liked this body style since I was about 13 -14 y.o. Been actively looking for one for about 4 years and now at 52 I finally have one. The lines are pretty awesome, esp that shoulder aft of above door handle back and how it runs all the way to front, and the line / slight spine on top of fenders. My guess is these would show up even more in a darker color. I also notice along entire sides is a parabolic curve. Very cool design.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    olympia,wa
    Posts
    494

    Default

    there's been a lot more of these coming to market lately. check the bat website, you may find some inspiration there.
    b marler

  5. #5

    Default Project Update: Getting closer


  6. #6

    Default Basically finished!

    Took these at around 8pm when light was much more subtle and better reflects what car looks like, + better b.g. than driveway. You can see how the tone of green shifts with light and angle. I think this helps show off style lines.








  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    olympia,wa
    Posts
    494

    Default

    nice job! it's looking fantastic. i love the wheel choice too. are you planning any mods to the engine? those twin cam lampredi motors respond nicely to tweaking...
    b marler

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you! Will eventually do some engine mods but for now happy w. 2.25" stainless exhaust. The note is deep, kind of loud over 3000 - 3500 (I like that), and has an awesome burble when decelerating - music to my ears. Maybe over winter convert to dual Webbers and high energy ignition. For now will dub with steering and suspension. I know kind of going at this backwards but my #1 priority is to drive. I really didn't want a 2, or 3 year project right away. I want it drive-able during the nice weather months. Our So. Maine winters are long enough to do projects.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    317

    Default

    Wow! I feel lazy!

    Six months or so after the first post of the car and your done with the paint!!

    Looks awesome. I agree, drive it for the summer, then lower it during the winter.

    Again, looks great, what a fun car.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    olympia,wa
    Posts
    494

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice777 View Post
    Thank you! Will eventually do some engine mods but for now happy w. 2.25" stainless exhaust. The note is deep, kind of loud over 3000 - 3500 (I like that), and has an awesome burble when decelerating - music to my ears. Maybe over winter convert to dual Webbers and high energy ignition. For now will dub with steering and suspension. I know kind of going at this backwards but my #1 priority is to drive. I really didn't want a 2, or 3 year project right away. I want it drive-able during the nice weather months. Our So. Maine winters are long enough to do projects.
    by all means, drive it as much as possible. i didn't do enough tinkering during the winter on my fulvia, and now i'm trying to catch up so i don't miss all of the driving season.
    one of the biggest challenges i seem to have is actually driving these cars. they need to be exercised to stay in shape, just like us!
    b marler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    9,587

    Default NICE...

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice777 View Post
    Thank you! Will eventually do some engine mods but for now happy w. 2.25" stainless exhaust. The note is deep, kind of loud over 3000 - 3500 (I like that), and has an awesome burble when decelerating - music to my ears. Maybe over winter convert to dual Webbers and high energy ignition. For now will dub with steering and suspension. I know kind of going at this backwards but my #1 priority is to drive. I really didn't want a 2, or 3 year project right away. I want it drive-able during the nice weather months. Our So. Maine winters are long enough to do projects.
    WOW, that sure came out really nice. I found your link, https://imgur.com/a/7MoyQLe very well photo documented.

    How long have you done this work?

    Henry

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatBald View Post
    Wow! I feel lazy!

    Six months or so after the first post of the car and your done with the paint!!

    Looks awesome. I agree, drive it for the summer, then lower it during the winter.

    Again, looks great, what a fun car.
    Thanks man! Don't feel lazy. This took me around 400 hrs. which was virtually every Sat. and Sun. since late Nov. last year. What shocked me was the 80+ hrs it took to wet sand, cut and polish, but it needed to be done as I've never painted a car before and that was evident in the clear coat.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    by all means, drive it as much as possible. i didn't do enough tinkering during the winter on my fulvia, and now i'm trying to catch up so i don't miss all of the driving season.
    one of the biggest challenges i seem to have is actually driving these cars. they need to be exercised to stay in shape, just like us!
    Lol... I drove it 9 days straight, then not at all over last rainy weekend. Yesterday took it out for no reason what-so-ever, other than it was nice out, then to work meeting today. I really like driving this!

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    WOW, that sure came out really nice. I found your link, https://imgur.com/a/7MoyQLe very well photo documented.

    How long have you done this work?

    Henry
    Thank you Henry. This is my first time restoring a car, so... around 7 mos. to answer your question. I'm a Jack-of-all-trades type and friends know me for attention to detail. Add a bit of confidence to that and I just jumped in with both feet. In the end it was more work than I imagined, especially the wet sanding phase. I ended up sanding 8 different grits in at least 2 different directions so effectively sanding the clear coat on this entire car 16 times. I am glad I did 2 rounds of surfacing primer / guide coating as it did come out pretty straight. Now I know why restoration shops charge as much as they do.

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