On EBay I found 2 (original) sills and a complete set of moldings including seal for the doors:
The price of the parts was not too bad, only the transport costs are rather high. And when you think you are buying something rare, it will just be for sale again a little later.
I traced them at "van Andel's", an old store, now closed, with lots of Italian parts. Called him today and he still had two wheel arches. Because I had a day off, I was able to pick them up immediately. They are clearly not the best quality, but they will be very useful. We now have all important sheet metal parts so as soon as there is room in the workshop planning we can get started. In the meantime we continue on the engine.
The parts for the 850 come from all over the world!
Sheet metal work from Italy and Northern parts of Holland, moldings from America, gaskets from the German border, Joop will hopefully soon bring a cylinder head from the area around Goor (Mideast of the Netherlands) and tomorrow I will pick up an engine block in Belgium. It is a reconditioned short block (100 G); it comes from an old overhauling workshop the owner of which died. No further information about the nature of the overhaul, the condition of the oil pump and camshaft, but we will look at that once we get it home!
Today Joop delivered the Marbella cylinder head. This cylinderhead has, in contrast to the original, double valve springs, which should allow slightly higher revs. Joop had not only taken the trouble to drive all the way from Goor to the south, he had also cleaned the head nicely and supplied the head bolts and the valve cover, all for the money I had to pay for it ... Just a bargain. Much appreciated. Of course we will tinker with a Dremel to improve breathing a little.
Today also the sticker set (to be used under the hood) arrived from England. Replicas, of course, but worth it (and not everything is used!)
Searched for bodyparts a long time. Sometimes I found parts I needed but didn't buy them because of the absurd asking price. Last Saturday I finally found the sheet metal for the front of the Fiat 850 at Markplaats, a Dutch auction site! Two wings and a front panel, the headlamp rings and the welding edges. Picked everything up yesterday in Kinderdijk. And finally we can now start on the front of the car.
Lately, too little has happened to the Fiat 850. Various reasons, the one with the highest impact was the death of my father. Slowly we get back into our rhythm and that includes work on the the 850. The gearbox is still not made (where do I find Bert ???) but in the meantime I bought a nice set of disc brakes on Marktplaats. Steering knuckles from a Special, anchor plates from a Spider, new claws, discs and blocks. Leftover from an Abarth 850TC project.
In mid-March I bought a reconditioned gearbox at Bert's in Geleen. Due to all kinds of circumstances I only had the opportunity to finalize the deal last week, so I quickly made a trip to Geleen in the very south of Holland. Spent a pleasant hour drinking coffee and talking about 850 spiders and then it was back home with the gearbox.
Bert regularly has engines and gearboxes from 850s in overhaul and sometimes advertised them on Marktplaats. What he doesn't sell there is sold all over Europe through Spiderclubs.
The master at work
Because the wing we bought for the right front caused problems with the fit, I bought a new one. That came in this week:
My cousin Bram brought a nice Abarth VIN-plate from Italy:
I think I know somewhere to put that!
Sometimes, very occasionally, something comes up on an auction site that you don't know whether to buy or not. Is it necessary? Is it fun? Isn't it too expensive? In this case I came across a Triger distribution set for an 850 on EBay. Long periods of doubt and it just stayed for sale. Then I sold some parts and then the decision came a lot closer. Searched whether someone had something like this for sale to be able to make a price comparison. Although they are rare, still found two and both considerably more expensive, so clicked "buy". This week it arrived and I can do something with it. Something to tinker again soon!
For the A112 owner there is also a set for sale on EBay (actually for a 127) which fits nicely in an Abarth replica.
In the last weekend of October, the "Auto e Moto D'epoca" is held in Padua; according to the organization the largest old-timer fair in Europe. When you have viewed 90,000m2 (11 halls plus the outside areas) you are inclined to believe that!
When I arrive at half past eight, the door to the cash desks just opens and I am one of the last to work my way inside. The rest have to wait another half hour. The fair really opens at 9 am sharp and you will immediately end up in hall 7 between the parts stalls. At a quarter past nine I picked up the first stash: a collection of rubbers for the 850. Besides support rubbers for the hood and trunk lid, also the blocks on which the front seats rest in the rails. Checkout 5.00 Euro and on to the next one.
Almost all sellers in this hall are specialized in something and here you can find very special stuff. I saw a distribution housing for an Abarth 1300 OT but also a crankshaft for a Dallara X1 / 9 racer. Need a 5-speed gearbox for your 600 Abarth? Also for sale here. And whoever needed a engine for an Osca could find one here.
There are four of us and we all have a shopping list. So the pace is slow (you never know where you'll find something in the huge selection) and we only leave the first building around half past twelve. I also have found a nice set of door rubbers and a rubber molding to fit around the gearbox and, at Casa di Freni, a set of brake hoses and a main brake cylinder. Nice material and for a reasonable price. Not much cheaper than over the internet but you here can check it before you buy and that's important too.
Seen a lot of stuff that makes me greedy, but I keep my wallet shut for a while. After all, you don't know what else will come along. In the first outdoor area you will come across stalls with parts and private individuals with cars too. There are also some stands from abroad there, including Martin Willems. Then on to the other halls where we mainly find cars: small traders with cheaper stands (and therefore packed), but also renowned companies with very exclusive equipment and tasty coffee.
Finally, on to halls 6 and 8 for the model cars. Less supply than expected, but often there are very beautiful and rare models. When we're done there, I still have money and half an hour to spare. Greed strikes and I buy another Abarth grille. A replica, but very neat and good to use for the 850.
At the last booth I went to the seller didn't want to cooperate. I had seen an instrument housing there that belonged in an Abarth 1000 OT. The price was good, but the exhibitor only wanted to sell it after the fair. That was impossible for me because at that time I would already be home again. It was agreed that I would order it via the internet.
Conclusion: Padua is absolutely worth it, although I have seen few Fiats of the types I am working on. Fortunately I've seen enough other beautiful things. On the return trip I visited a scrap yard where I encountered the first 850 Berlina of the trip; too bad to buy, but the window frames are 100% again!
The Fiat 850 has been on borrowed Cromodoras for a long time. Cleaned an painted nicely but not exactly eligible to win a beauty pageant. And as a disadvantage, they have an ET value that is too low, so small I occasionally hear grinding noises during driving. 't Was time to get something else and after a long search I found a set of Campagnolos in Portugal (yes Portugal), similar as mounted on 850 Abarths.
And of course I immediately had the tires transferred with this result:
Not only are they beautiful but I now keep enough space between the tires and the fender edges:
Sometimes new and interesting parts are for sale on the Internet or via-via. You can see the latest purchases here.
I found this on Dutch auction site Marktplaats in Amsterdam; I was only interested in an Autobianch A112 B1 engine block .......
Autobianchi A112 Elite (965cc) B1 block, modified cylinder head, oil cooler, crankcase and oil pump. It will be a lot of work to build this up nicely. The front suspension is from a Fiat 600. It stays in storage for a while and then it will be returned to Amsterdam.
Sometimes things happen i a strange way: I've been looking for Abarth windshield wipers for a long time. Abarth Online does not have them and recently a 600 owner was also looking for such a set. Rare ..... (you would think). Then, two days later, suddenly a set is for sale. And in the Netherlands too. So now it's mine.
The problem is that I have to modify the wiper mechanism again before being able to mount the set. I am using the mechanism of a Coupé / Spider where the wiper arms are attached to the shaft with a nut. I must have this:
Another search operation ahead....
My winter project for this year is a new engine for the Fiat 850. The current engine has only made a few meters but I was lucky enough to buy the block of an Autobianchi A112 Elite with a good crankshaft and connecting rods, an oil cooler and a few more things. With that block I'll start off with 965cc and have it drilled to 67.8mm, resulting in 982cc. As soon as the new engine is ready (it's already at the overhauling workshop for drilling and cleaning) the current, also new, block will be for sale.
A lot of other parts are needed and then Google is your friend, at least mine.
While looking for a gasket for the 4-hole water pump, I ended up at Riauto in Switzerland and there is an enormous amount of material to be found, not only for the Fiat 850 models, but for almost all current Fiats and a lot of Lancias. Reasonable prices (in Swiss francs) and almost everything is in stock. My order has already been placed!
Then did some shopping at Abarth-online because I needed pistons and a camshaft and some cosmetic stuff. And Martin Willems supplies all bearings.