Fabian’s 1957 Fiat 500 Restoration
Welcome to our Restoration Blog
A passion of ours is cars, not only providing our couples the best service on their day but also restoring and maintaining cars.
Over our 35 years in operation we have restored countless cars however we have not been properly documenting this. Well thats all about to change.
We would like to introduce you to our restoration blog and first up is this cute little 1957 Fiat 500. We have known the cars owner Fabian for many years and he recently purchased this car from Western Australia. Although the little Fiats body and interior had been recently restored and looked great from the outside, underneath the car told a different story and needed a lot of work to get it to be not only roadworthy but also drive like it did when it left the factory.
Inspection and Dismantling
First things first we took a look at what needed to be done, replaced or repaired on the car so we could create a plan. A small drive around the car park revealed the car was in desperate need of a clutch, a tune, brakes and suspension (it was almost un-drivable in its old state). We know from experience that many more issues are always likely to arise once we get started stripping the car down and getting deeper into the project.
Up on the hoist revealed that all suspension bushes and parts would need a replace or look at. Brake lines front and rear needed replacing. Drive shaft boots. The gearbox had some leaks so that would also need attention.
The under body of the car was looking a bit shabby, a bit of surface rust and the signs of a hard life revealed itself. The front leaf spring needed some bushes and TLC as well as many other associated bits.
Dropping the running gear
Starting out we dropped the gearbox and 2 cylinder motor, usually this is a heavy 2-3 man job however this was the easiest engine drop we have ever completed and the beauty about working on a car like this. It’s so simple, small and light and makes progress easy. We also removed the braking and suspension components.
Although the motor was just going to receive a tune we noticed some leaks so new front and rear main seals are on order and the motor will have a once over. Andrew has checked the tappets, air cooling system and ducting and also took the sump off to have a look at the crank and internals. This motor has been rebuilt some time ago so all seems well inside with big end and main bearings and piston. While it’s apart we gave it a new coat of high temp engine paint to make it a bit more pleasing to the eye before being re-installed back into the body.
Steam Clean and Under body Protection
While we wait for some new parts and as most of the mechanical bits have been removed we carried the body shell outside for a good old fashioned steam clean. It’s unbelievable how light the body is and so easy to lift with just 2 people.
After a good steam clean it was back on the hoist inside and time for a coat of under body deadener and protective paint. Not only will this prevent any rust and corrosion but it also makes the under body look brand new and will help reduce road noise.
New brake lines and hoses and rubber suspension bushes. Note how nice the hubs and suspension components have turned out after a refurbishment. Also the under body paint giving the underside of the car an almost new look, plus the benefits of protecting it from the elements and road grime.
Sound proofing, new windscreen and seals
While on the hoist Micky took to the interior, sending off the steering wheel for a new coat of paint as it was cracked. Although the interior had been freshly restored we thought we would rip it out and fit in some sound deadening and carpet underlay. We also sourced and fitted a new windscreen as the old was chipped and would not pass a RWC. New side window frame surrounds were fitted as the old ones were corroded and looked worse for wear. All door and window trims and seals were checked or replaced.
A bit of a freshen up for the small little 2 cylinder motor