Brodie’s Hobby

1Everyone needs a hobby and mine is a tiny little Italian. I have a 1960 Fiat 500 that I am very slowly restoring (or destroying if you talk to those in the Fiat club as I’m not really going original). I love cars and I love working on them. I’m not sure I’m actually any good or know anything that I’m doing at all but I play around, take nuts and bolts off and hope they all go back on.2

After getting a couple of quotes on welding work required that resembled Linda Evangelista’s weekly pay packet (google it for the young ones), I thought my Fiat dream was dead, until I met a lovely man who was a sucker for a lady into her car. Nick agreed to complete the welding on my little beauty for a reasonable price but wanted a year to fit it in around other projects. We fast forward to a year later and my husband is smiling again as he had been able to use the garage for 12 months and I’m smiling because I got my car back. When it left, the panels resembled a colander but now they are hole free and smooth.

Now that it looks more like a car, I’m getting more and more excited. I have most of the parts, including an upgraded engine but I’ve now got to spend the time getting everything right as I put it back together. As much as I want it done yesterday and want to be able to drive it, I also want to do a good job.

3I want to do as much as possible on the car myself. I’ve even sewn my own seat covers from leather and I stripped the car when I originally got it. The last thing I did on the car was get the seam seal out and cover all the welds. I’ve unfortunately found a broken bolt that’s welded to the car, so more welding, more parts, and more money.

Next I’ll stoneguard the bottom, then undercoat, rub back and reap before taking it to a mate’s to paint. I’m going mat black but with a gloss realistic flame over the front (see, not so original).

It’s coming along, especially since I bought it from a lady who had driven into her paddock 15 years earlier and never touched it again. The cows had eaten the interior and rust replaced pretty much everything else.

My biggest challenge now is the engine 4conversion. I have the newer engine (650cc instead of the 500cc, so I might hit 100 kms on a downward slope with the wind) but I need to somehow work out how to connect it to the old gearbox. It seems that it’s not as easy as the 2 page instruction sheet I downloaded off the net. So if anyone knows how I do this, I’d love the help because I really need it!