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1970 FIAT 500 Luxe - £20,000

  • Img 1698
  • Img 1432
  • Img 0577
  • Fuel tank with stainless straps
  • Img 0569
  • Img 0412
  • Img 0399
  • Img 0382
  • Fan hose and regulator
  • Img 0073
  • Img 8573
  • Car before work
  • Img 1325 anotate

I'm in the final phase of restoring one of two 500's. This first one is a 1970 car, bought from Italy in 2014. The car was one of the best 500's I could find at the time in original untouched condition. The car had the same documented owner (Ms. Vanna Pinotti) since 1975 and plenty of documentation including the Italian "revisione" (equivalent to our MOT but done every other year) with 16 stamps and a couple of insurance certs (kept in the windscreen like a tax disc) for 2009 & 2011. The car had covered just 38399 KM about 28K miles - and the documentation seems to support this. I am currently trying to contact the previous owner (she's 71 and living in Modena) for more info.


The car was then carefully stripped of every fitting, nut and bolt, then front end removed (wings / front panel, spring supports, floor supports) and then bare metalled by hand on a rotisserie which had been specifically built with a main beam running through which fastened into front and rear suspension points (so acted as a jig too). The car was then sandblasted to ensure hard to get to places were reached. It was then immediately coated with 2k epoxy primer and fabrication work was began - which took 6 months 2 - 3 days per week. After every session of fabrication all fabricated areas were epoxy primered. When this was complete the car was coloured and stone chipped on the underside, bulkhead, inside of front panel, wheel housings and inside of wings as well as rear quarters. Finally it was painted clear over base using a Glasurit clear coat (lacquer).

The car was then fitted with brake pipe, new uprated dual circuit brake master cylinder, steering, some of the loom and some of the suspension whilst still on the rotisserie. Then off the rotisserie the rear suspension arms were added along with leaf spring. Interior was fitted with sound deadening material on the floor, fire wall, inner parts of doors, wheel housings (interior), quality jute carpet underlay (for further sound reduction) and jute under the rear seat assy.

Exterior body parts were then dry fitted along with glass. These were later removed for final paint finishing (which it's in the body shop for now).

A new (old stock) fiat 500 R / 126 engine was stripped and the crank was balanced along with flywheel, clutch cover plate, front pulley, pistons and conrods which were balanced together and end to end, the head was ported and gas flow drilled with tricked up valves (all work done by Automotive Services Northampton Limited - who i've used for over a dozen tuned 500 engines). A warm steel cam was added, along with a jetted 28mm carb, programable electronic ignition distributor, stainless steel exhaust, new alternator, starter motor, tinware / air cowling powder coated with zinc and RAL 5012 (many other car parts and suspension parts were powder coated in this way). The engine is mated to a new 126 synchromesh gearbox with 500 shafts.

Nearly all parts (with the exception of the steering wheel / column / speedo and air ducts) are new. Where appropriate were refinished by Unique Powder Coating in Northampton and where suppliers offer a premium part over a cheaper / lower quality part, the premium part was chosen (to my reckoning this added 4.5K to my costs). The wheels are the rare Borani Steel wheels with their famous logo embossed on the hub caps.

All in all this car is subtly different, without looking like a road racer. It's never been started so never used on the road and looks like a toy. As it's not quite finished and I have selected subtly different parts / trim etc for the two cars which will be very similar (the next will be a RHD 1971 finished in the same white), there is an opportunity for the new owner to make limited changes before it's finally completed. The car has cost me just under 20K so far, and I've spent around 400 hours on it, plus workshop / machine shop time. Offered at 20K it only covers what I'm out of pocket. Having played around with small Italian classics since I was 14 well over 3 decades ago, I had this project in my mind for some time and had to get it out of my system. When finished I won't want to drive it. So I've decided to move both on and give classics a rest - for a while at least.

The restore was photographed at every little stage in great detail. A selection of about 350 of these photo's is being made into a hardback book, which will come with the car. All other photos will be handed over on a pen drive. The NOVA documentation has been done, but it will need to be MOT'd & registered with DVLA - something that will be done after it's sold.

Any questions please feel free to call.

  • 23860 Miles
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 LHD
  • RefCode: DIY1097526

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