Fiat 124 Spider Integrale Turbo restoration - part 1
Finally good progress has been made on getting this project closer to being on the road. It's been stop/start on this project since I acquired it from my good friend Roger in 2005. Many other project have got in way, namely the Strada Abarth and Lancia Integrale restoration. So this project remained on the 'back burner' until now. A tribute to my late friend I decided to crack on with the project during the summer in Scotland 2009.
The biggest issue for any old car is rust and accident damage. Whether it's a million pound Ferrari or a hundred pound mini it's the most important thing to check. These 124 Spiders don't have a particularly bad reputation and are actually better than many cars of the period. Build by coachbuilder Pinninfarina the metal used was ok quality and the rust proofing is the best the 1970's could offer. However rust proofing has come a long way since then and if the car is neglected it can deteriorate beyond economical repair. All panels and repair panels are available for the car but if the main chassis is affected forget it. You will notice this by looking at the tops of the door shut, if the door is rubbing the chassis is sagging which means the chassis has bent. Second hand panels are also available.
My car had a good super structure being an original californian supplied car. However over the last 30 year though the car had picked up various repairs and had been subject to various levels skill/time maintaining it. As the value falls and the ownership changes the level of money required to make repairs also changes. My car suffered from this, cheap repairs to the back arches and floor along with limited rust to the bottom edges of the doors and wings, these would need properly repaired to a high standard. The car had also had a very cheap respray in paint which remained soft, chipped easily and also seamed to blister creating a ostrich skin effect!
All removable panels were either stripped or blasted to remove the bad paint and get see what damage they had collected in 30 years. Then repairs started. The below pics show the repair of the rear arches.
The below pictures show the outer and inner arch removed. After careful marking they are cut off using a angle grinder. You can see the new panel lying on the ground. A repair panel was used as the rest of the wing is in good condition. This picture is before removal of paint and 'joggling' which will ensure a flush professional fit. You will notice the rear side marker hole has not yet been blanked off.
The rear arch with paint removed on the mounting surface and joggled ready for fitting of the outer rear arch.
Below pictures showing the arch now attached
A small repair to the corner of the bottom of the rear wing
See the next stage part2 here