|Winding Road Classics, LLC|
|Building cars you love to drive|
|These pages will document the complete restoration of a 1959 Fiat 500 Nuova, American spec. |
We have finished the restoration on this car and delivered it back to the owner. It was a very rewarding experience to learn about the car and hopefully it will be enjoyed for years to come. Look through the different sections of this page to see the details and work that went into a less than common car from the golden age of American motoring.
Though Fiat is an Italian car company, this car was built for America, and thanks to federal regulations, you will notice larger bumpers, and more prominent headlight positioning. There are other differences that will be noted along the way.
The present owner is simply the caretaker for a car that has been in the family for decades. We restored the car very closely to showroom fresh. It can be driven on side roads and in the neighborhood or to the park. It will be lovingly cared for and should last for decades more and enjoyed by all who see it.
Arriving at the shop, the car has been mostly disassembled, but the parts were put in bags and labelled. It's going to be a bit like a puzzle as I continue disassembly to get ready for stripping, but that's part of restoring old cars.
This is the start of the frame that the car will be mounted to for all bodywork and painting. It will allow removal and disassembly of the suspension as well as ease of access to the parts that need welding.
Very carefully, I strapped the car up and started lifting it. Next I slid the frame under and mounted the uprights, finally welding the uprights and putting some braces in.
I'm very pleased with how this is mounted. I attached it to the shock mounting points at the front and to the engine mounting points in the rear. Mounted in this manner I will be able to remove suspension pieces for their own restoration. I can take the body and parts to be soda blasted on this frame, and do all the welding to the floors and some repair at the front. Finally it will be painted on this stand and then reunited with the suspension pieces before going back to the ground. Everything is really solid, both with the frame and with the car.
It's a unibody type construction, and though the floors are rusted out, the main channels which provide strength are very solid. All the body panels are in great shape except on the right front which is under the battery box. Over time, batteries leak acid, and mixed with any moisture, the rust attacks quickly. It was repaired at some point with bondo, but that's coming out and a patch panel will be fabricated and welded in.
New floors have already been procured and will be some of the first things to go in. The old floors will be cut out all the way back to good metal, then the new floors trimmed to match, welded in, and then sealed and painted on the bottom. These repairs will last for generations to come, since the owner has a nice garage space all ready for this little wonder.
October 5, 2012
Yesterday was an exciting day for the Fiat. The Mobile media blaster came to the shop and was able to completely strip all the paint and most of the bondo off the car in about 3 hours. Today I've been blowing sand out of all the little crevices and corners and treating the metal with Ospho, which is a rust converter but is also good to neutralize any chemicals left on the metal and protect it from the elements until it can be primed and painted. With the floor replacement and other rust repair to be done, this will protect the metal but allow me to work on it without having to clean it again before priming.
I have broken this page up into a few subpages which you can see on the side menu. It should load a little faster with the pictures and is easier to follow along the different parts of the restoration. I will continue the narrative here as we continue with getting this Fiat back on the road.
Body work was mostly completed, including finish welding of the floor pan replacement, fabricating and replacing the front patch panels, and welding a few holes up in the fenders. A new battery tray will be installed. The passenger door had a large dent that you can see from the pictures was filled with bondo in the past. I have pulled it all out and straightened it out. It still needs a little finishing and a skim coat of filler to make it ready for paint.
March, 2013 Suspension pieces were disassembled, cleaned, and most were powdercoated. New bushings, seals and gaskets were used everywhere. Spring liners were cut to fit and installed. The steering box was cleaned, reassembled and adjusted to specs. Brake drums will be turned and painted before reassembling. Remember, pictures are on the subassembly pages on the left menu.