’61 Fiat Abarth 850TC Replica!
…Ok long story short, Tony .P was at the workshop one day as he does and this time, I was going through the pictures of the “Barn Find” sale of collected Fiat/Lancia’s for Tony C. asked what that cute little car was, pointing to the 600 bodied car, after 2 cups of Cafe’ grade coffee and a history lesson on how Linsay Derriman started this project with 2nd radiator upfront, 850 sport gauges with oil temp mod’ and many Aircraft grade alloy covers,etc , Graeme Smith the First “Fiat Car Club” President purchased from him , played with it for a short time and passed to me after smashing it into the back of his 1-tonner ute while towing it somewhere (I can’t remember were), I found back then a original set of Abarth Campagnolo rims , that where from Mr Wards car trailer I was told! Also took and fitted the Abarth oil sump from my Fiat 850SC the SOHC”Fiazuki” to the refurbished 750cc motor (600 block) with the sidedraft 40dcoe Weber carby and Abarth camshaft that sat for 6months after rebuild ,in our Noranda lounge room, when Deb & I were married without kids!
Shortly after having Son #1 we bought our first workshop in Malaga, needing just $2000 to complete and get in, as a holding guarantee on the small loan , sold the car (worth a lot more) based on the understanding that 12 months later buy it back for a small profit, due to a major “Miscommunication” it slipped through my fingers and sold of to the highest bidder ,Mr Paul B.(I’m sure the situation was unknown to him), Paul has made some nice upgrades like metal flared guards, race seats and a Fiat 127 903cc motor, Paul sold it to Tony C. awhile later as he was needing a new kitchen from what I can understand, sadly it has sat idle in a “Chook Shed” for about a decade!
So having just lived that history and explaining the fun with the VSCC “Round the Houses” Racing Benny and I are aiming to do, Tony P. said ” Sell me that Cute little Car!”, “I’m coming along too!”….”Get it Ready for me!!” I had to tell Tony to put his best foot forward price wise as Tony C. and Paul B. have a Gentleman’s agreement of “First Right” ……after Paul declined at that market price, Tony P. was a happy Abarth TC owner!
Now to find out what has happen to this little beast after sitting for a decade! just for starters ,I do know the alloy water pipes that go from front to back have corrosion and leak, the carby has dried petrol sticking all internals together, the exhaust system has fallen off leaving the extractors hanging in the breeze! Brake system has been reversed back to rear Drums since I saw it last -YUK!!! it also has bled out to go dry and seize! The tyres have fatigue cracks all over as does the fuel lines!…..Yep work to do!
Update 3/2014 – Pressure wash 10 years of “Chook Shed” dust, cobwebs, spiders,etc, complete car inside and out! An hour later drained fuel tank and refilled with clean, put new battery in and gave it a crank!…OMG fuel burst out of that little carby like water bursting from a balloon! ….done re-kit to Carby, remove choke levers assembly and idle vacuum circuit to inlet manifold, refit and try to start!!
Update 4/2014 – Inlet manifold modified to remove idle circuit breather fumes recycling , rekitted Carby fitted, all choke and recycling bits removed, bolted on the 850TC …….and fired up! what a noise without an exhaust system! Now an oil change with filter and new NGK plugs, exhaust repaired with a Abarth”Stinger” type rear muffler (a hot dog and squashed oval type chrome tailpipe!) …Bled the brake system to get rid of 10 year old fluid and sediment! …then a quick “Spin” around the block, just to check everything is working of course ….Yep it is!!!
Update 5/2014 – The Rear tow hooks have been brought upto date and painted Red…Benny? rear axels with uni-joints have been purchased ..Now an Abarth Alloy rocker cover and 2piece twin exhaust system from “Scuderia Topalino” ……and now the Rocker cover is Red with raised alloy fins polished, looks Fantastic!
Update 6/2014 - Unfortunately Tony P. has been hit with a major Illness, surgery has been done and sofar so good! …Get well soon Mate! and on this bombshell , Tony has asked me (made an offer I couldn’t refuse!) to buy and complete this project………. I did and I will Tony!!…..First job is to replace alloy water-pipes and water pump, then the rear disc set-up refitted!…...
Update 9/2014- All that is done, is to only cleaned up some front bodywork to take to the “Italian Car Day” at Waneroo raceway, the rusty bits sanded and primer grey painted.
Update 10/11-2014 – The little beast has been stripped and take to the best panel and paint guy Chris in Esperance, who happens to loves Fiats too! ….after peeling back the outer , the mighty 850TC in in very good condition Chris said and no need for a full Resto’! Just a tidy up of the rear wheel arches back to the original shape and minor rust spot under rear window!!
Update 11/2015- Just seen in Esperance a stripped out primed 600 rolling shell, nothing more nothing less!………..Chris explained to me that “it would be a shame NOT to do the whole job and Fully Restore”…Hahaha , heres me thinking I had a little job to do and would be driving my 850TC!!?!