Another SS cousin: FIAT Stanguellini Bertone Berlinetta

1954 FIAT Stanguellini Bertone Berlinetta *071366*. This car is for sale now through Fantasy Junction, but is doing residence at the Petersen Automobile Museum in southern California -worth a visit even if this wasn’t there.  If the Sprint and SS have an extended family, this car would be considered an older second cousin, perhaps a first cousin even, and definitely a near sibling of the Sprint and BAT cars.  The list of cars Franco Scaglione had a hand in creating is impressive, and includes many of Alfa’s most coveted one-offs, listed one after another (1900L, Sportiva, BAT 5,7,9 etc) and many others like this little guy.  Truly art in automotive form.  This is a car that demands a place in your house -not your garage.  For $295,000 you’ll be in an exclusive club.

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This is a beautiful car from some angles and a challenging car from others -but then a lot of Scaglione’s creations are.  You have to look at it for a few moments, then remember that this is a hand made car.  Panels were hand formed, gas welded together and married to some seed of a FIAT 1100 chassis.  Color is great -not a color one would typically associate with Italian sports cars, but common in the palette of early 1950’s Italy.

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Fiat Fresh-up four: Phew!

Fiat 124 sport sedan engine transplant is moving right along -and if the 69% hp increase all indications point to it seeing is realized, it will probably finally live up to the ‘Sport’ in its name. Fiat enthusiast Csaba Vandor in Texas came through with a big box of parts that I needed and Friday was the day I was set to start. As usual I didn’t have a detailed plan, or much of an idea of the hurdles I’d be jumping, but I knew that it took starting the race for the hurdles to appear.

First step after the starting gun goes off? Remove the 1438 bell housing and install the twin cam bell housing.

IMG_9868Here’s the transmission after I removed the 1438 bell housing.  I was expecting the bell housing to put up a fight but it just came right off once the 7 nuts were removed.

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GTV and Fiat: pleasing two mistresses…

I am making progress towards simplification, but some of these simplifying measures are turning out to be quite complex -the Fiat engine swap for example.  I mentioned recently that I bought an 1800 TC out of a late 70’s 124 Spider to put in the Sedan.  Last weekend I took possession of said engine after an hour and a half helping easing it out of the Spider -a tip for all you aspiring 1800 TC removalists, drop the steering centerlink so the flywheel can clear it!  Suddenly I have a somewhat long, but not really very expensive list of Fiat parts to procure if I want this engine to fall into place.  I think I have a package deal coming together so maybe this wont be so bad.  I guess I’ll be the FIAT 124 twin cam in a pushrod car swap expert in a week or two.

fiat engine coming outHard to believe how much engine you can get for $250.  This thing sounded and ran good with no smoke, is clean and not much bigger (they basically share a block) than the pushrod motor it’s going to replace.  Note fancy wrinkle finish on the belt cover.  I like.

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Fiat 124 Sedan gets a freshen-up down low, part 1.

Did I mention I have to fix a rod knock in the Fiat? I’ve only just now allowed myself to begin thinking through the project, with the Sprint rebuild coming to a close. Last night I drained the oil, coolant and took a bunch of stuff apart, but I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. You probably want to hear more about the knock. It goes like this…

fiat-and-veloceOne of the nicest 1972 Fiat Sedan Specials around keeping the Veloce company.

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Event Notice: Pedal Pushers Pullover Rally 11/15/2008

I thought it would be nice to pass along a press release from the Pedal Pushers website. They have put a lot of miles and effort into putting on an exciting fun event with great T-shirts. Show up in your classic car and bring $20 to buy a shirt, you’ll be glad you did. Supplies of the shirts will be very limited so arrive early! The following is all nearly verbatim from their website:

Don’t put your vintage ride into hibernation just yet…Come on out and join us for the Pullover Rally, a 150+ mile romp through the back roads and hills of the East Bay

The Pedal Pushers would like you to join us on Saturday, November 15 for some fall season driving fun. Our route will begin in the heart of Oakland, behind Peet’s coffee at 3401 Fruitvale Ave and we’ll make our way through remote two-lane roads and fields of windmills to reach our lunch stop, an Italian ristorante, where we’ll fuel up on pizza, panini, and cappuccinos before the second leg begins. After we zoom along beautiful scenic roads, we’ll race over the backside of nowhere to a watering hole in Port Costa, between Highways 80 and 4. Approximate driving time including lunch is 6 hours, ending the rally by 4 pm.

Giulietta and FluviaGiulietta Sprint belonging to and Pedal Pusher Citation Bait sits beside Shaun and Candy Pond’s award winning Fulvia at the lunch stop on the last Pullover Rally.

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Something about the devil and idle hands…

You know the beginning of Magnolia when the lady shoots a shotgun at her husband and misses him but hits her son who just jumped off the roof as he falls by the window? Well the pile of circumstances today wasn’t quite that profound but the result was pretty good. The story is something like this…

Possibly the most absurdly cute car ever. Don’t you just want to pinch its cheek?

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Fiat centoventiquattro ongoing fix it again

Ahhhh yes. You think things are going your way but really the elements are conspiring against you. Within an hour of making the Berlina run I get a call from the better half. “Uh… I smell gas strong in the Fiat.”

“Where are you?”

“Right in front of work.”

“Where is it coming from? trunk? Engine compartment?” I am already pulling the gas tank out in my mind

If you’re reading this blog you’ve experienced this sort of thing. That night I spot a puddle forming under the passenger side rear corner below where the gas tank lives. Great.

There is dirt, there is gunk and a spaghetti of fuel lines and wires but no reason for the bottom of the gas tank to have rusted out.

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