oldcar

1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

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Thank You Frank

As they say in the classics"You ain't seen nufin' yet"

 

Bj.

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On 07/04/2018 at 8:38 PM, FiatGuy said:

Hi Bj,

I found this thread last night and couldn't resist the urge to sign-up and say g'day!

I'm nearing the end of a 10 year restoration of a 1923 501c, and seeing your photos brings back many memories. I bought mine as a resto project when I was 15, and have thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of becoming a backyard mechanic, panel beater and motor trimmer along the way. I've attached some photos below showing the restored running chassis and the current state of the vehicle as it sits now. The hood and rear seat is all that is needed to say this car is finally "finished". If you're ever in need of any detailed photos or answers to questions let me know and I'd be happy to help.

 

By the looks of things you're based in Victoria, Australia, like myself. If you find yourself at a loose end tomorrow there is an Italian car show called Autobella at Como Park North, South Yarra. In previous years theres been a few 501/3s so I'd suspect a similar turn out this year if you'd like to have a look at one in the flesh. My 501 is still in Adelaide at my parents house, but I'll be attending as a spectator in my 124 spider.

 

Keep up the good work! 

 

Cheers, Brodie 

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Hi Brodie, I spent some time on your YouTube channel, great work. I love your 501, I'd now like one myself!

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I have just returned from buying a Radiator Badge from a fellow Fiat enthusiast. While I may have spent a little more than I would have liked, I am delighted with my purchase. At the same time I bought a Black Faced oil pressure gauge to match my amp meter. Both things that do not turn up every day. All I need to do now is to exchange a Silver faced Smiths 0 to 60 mph Speedo. On my way hone I discovered a very nice polished timber bed- head put out with some garbage. I could not fit it into the Peugeot without removing the "legs" so I may have to go back armed with a screw driver and perhaps a hammer.

 

Why do I need a timber bed-head, if you don't know and cannot guess, you will have to wait and see.

 

I have now returned again this time with the polished "Manogany" bedhead.

I have already stripped the much curilqued timber mouldings off and put them away for safe keeping. The overall width at the widest point is 1.100 mm which should be ideal to cut a dashboard to suit the Fiat. 

 

Bj

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Everyone talks of 'recycling' and 'repurposing' as if it's something new.........but you Bernie have been practicing it for years. Great find!

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Thank you Paul

I do not know about the USA but here in Australia it is becoming more difficult with the passing of each year to obtain suitable pieces of "timber" that is not Veneered Particle Board. To find something that is also finished with a "polish" that is not simply a tacky coat of Polyurethane is indeed worth stopping the car and at least looking at it. When it is "free for the taking" makes it even more worth the stop.

 

Bj.

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Be careful Bernie, or the men in blue may come for you. Stuff put out for a hard waste collection belongs to the contracted waste collector as soon as its out of the owners property. Does look nice though, and should make a good dash!

jp 26 Rover 9

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Hello jp

It is now quite a few years since I was taught to be cautious.

First I went in a borrowed vehicle,

I made sure that it was at a time of day when passing traffic was at a minimum.  

Not one car or other person passed during the minute or two It took to load that "bedhead" into the rear seat of the car. 

However IF I am unlucky enough to be arrested and dragged off to the local "Office of Civil Compliance", can I give them your contact details as a character reference .  

Meanwhile I am sure/hope that my secret is safe.  

As an extra precaution, should I perhaps, return the the scene of my crime and tape an envelope containing a Fifty Dollar note to the Lamp-post adjoining the site.  

Naturally I would have to do this anonymously.

While I am there would you advise that I check and if there is a survelience camera hidden anywhere nearby, should I destroy it and along with any other CCVT that may or may not have captured my horrendous crime.

Now I am so upset, it is will very likely I will not sleep a wink for weeks and weeks.

While there is no longer a DEATH PENALTY in Australia, given my great age, if I am sent to prison for an extended period I may easily die before I serve out my term,  especially as this may be for 20 years or more. 

What should I do? 

Who will take over the Fiat and finish it?

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Now having spent the night worrying about this, I still do not know what is the best thing to do,

If I take it back someone may see me and report me to those dreaded "men in blue" for "dumping rubbish".

The only thing I can think of, is for me to cut it up into pieces small enough for me to put it into our "bin" one piece at a time. One bit per week so it cannot be easily detected.  But that would take weeks and weeks to get rid of it.
What would you suggest?

The only other thing I can think of is  for me to cut it into the shape of a dash-board and disguise it by fitting some instruments, for instance an oil pressure gauge, an amp meter and a speedo, I could even throw in some switches and other controls.

Then no one would really know that it was really a bedhead.

Perhaps I will do that. 

Will you promise not to tell anyone what I have done?

Bj 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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I wouldnt worry about it quite that much Bernie! If there was no 'booked hard waste' hivis orange sticker, forget it altogether! My remark was mostly tongue in cheek. If they come, pretend deafness, or not speaking English. I am sorely tempted to do as you have quite frequently, except SWMBO gets very cranky at me.

jp 26 Rover 9

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2 hours ago, oldcar said:

The only other thing I can think of is  for me to cut it into the shape of a dash-board and disguise it by fitting some instruments, for instance an oil pressure gauge, an amp meter and a speedo, I could even throw in some switches and other controls.

Then no one would really know that it was really a bedhead.

Bj 

 

That sounds like the best idea Bernie.........the "officials" would never guess it was disguised as part of a century-old car. :D:lol::o

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PGW..thumb.jpeg.87887d5b638e6734db4140cd512bcaf1.jpegJP & Paul,

Neither of you, I am afraid, have acquired a truly "vintage sense of the ridiculous" . You need to find some old copies of my favourite author, P.G Wodehouse and spend some time studying them. Not just the Bertie and Wooster but some of his Pre-1930 stories. These were written at a time when our cars were new. I have almost 100 of his books, most if not all first editions or early printings, I am currently re-reading them, some for the third or fourth time. The main message from them is that "Life was never meant to be taken seriously". You mention having your "Tongue in your cheek". Once you are over 80 (OBE) you will learn that it is the only way to be.

Paul,

Many of PGW's earliest books were written while he was living in the USA.

 

All I can say is "Don't worry so much, it will never happen!"

 

Bj.

.  

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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For all those born after 1985, that strange contraption PGW is sitting at is what used to be known as a typewriter. As you pressed on one of a number of "keys" it printed a letter of the alphabet onto a sheet of paper. By pressing the keys in a predetirmined order you could spell out a word, that is of course you knew how the word was spelt. This was known a typing. By pressing on a greater number of "keys" you could could even "type" a complete series of words to create a sentence. If you wanted to comunicate with another person you could go further and create several words to "type" a message commonly known as a "Letter". I know this may be confusing for some of you as these "letters" were actually composed by using (sometimes) a great number of individual letters. I believe that this has something to do with using English as a convenient but not universal language.

This (letter) could then be placed in an envelope with the other person's Name and Address written on the front. Then by going to the "post office" you could purchase a postage stamp which had a form of dried adhesive on the reverse side. By making this moist by licking the "postage stamp" with your tongue ( I know this sounds revolting but it was something you "had to do") you could make it adhere to the top right hand corner on the front of the envelope. By placing your message inside the envelop then placing the envelope into a "Post box", usualy found mounted on an outside wall of the Post-office. Eventually one of the employees of the Postal service would arrange for your "letter"to be delivered to the address you had written on the front of the envelope. This could take anything up to a week, ten days or for somewhere further away perhaps up to a month. Letters going to an overseas destination may take anything up to three or four months. Since the advent of reliable aeroplanes, by sending your "letter"  by "air mail' or if you are living in France "Par Avion". you could reduce the time taken to deliver your letter to a matter of days. 

Now people who are educated and competent at using an electronic devise, which has almost superseded the typewriter, called a "computer" you can now send a "letter" to people living in almost any corner of the earth (which actually being a sphere, Earth does not have corners) in a matter of minutes or if you are very smart perhaps seconds.

 

Bj.

 

Could someone please tell that small child to stop crying that they are not really in trouble but children under the age of about two or three years should not play by banging the "keys" of the computer, It is not their fault that it has started to smoke.  Daddy will make it all better by buying the nasty old man a new (secondhand) computer.

 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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13 hours ago, oldcar said:

Now having spent the night worrying about this, I still do not know what is the best thing to do,

If I take it back someone may see me and report me to those dreaded "men in blue" for "dumping rubbish".

The only thing I can think of, is for me to cut it up into pieces small enough for me to put it into our "bin" one piece at a time. One bit per week so it cannot be easily detected.  But that would take weeks and weeks to get rid of it.
What would you suggest?

The only other thing I can think of is  for me to cut it into the shape of a dash-board and disguise it by fitting some instruments, for instance an oil pressure gauge, an amp meter and a speedo, I could even throw in some switches and other controls.

Then no one would really know that it was really a bedhead.

Perhaps I will do that. 

Will you promise not to tell anyone what I have done?

Bj 

Ahhhhhhh.  The trials and tribulations of the impecunious enthusiast!  ;)

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Hello Frank,

Not only IMPECUNIOUS but also an OBE to compound the problem. 

In case the definition of the highly significant British decoration has bypassed Davidsonville there are not one but two definitions The most commonly used version is the "Order of the British Empire" awarded to people of British heritage for some outstanding service to Her Majesty the Queen. The other, which in fact is the case before us. Is awarded for pure bloody minded tenacity in holding on to life above and beyond the official "Three score years plus ten"! Indeed if you have not heard of this award it may be that the fault lies in the company you keep.

It is usually awarded to silly old buggers who live to be OVER BLOODY EIGHTY!  With luck I should be receiving my second "star" later this year.

 

Bj.

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Despite being very wet and windy yesterday I managed to make the two plates to locate the four bolts that secure the front springs onto the axle. This may not sound such a big deal but my starting point was the cut the required piece of steel out of a length of 4inch by six inch channel section. This came to me some years ago and I am slowly cutting it up every time I need a small(ish)  piece of 1/4 inch plate. Having cut out the two rectangula pieces I then could mark their location and drill the five holes in each. The fifth hole? This goes over the centre bolt through the spring. These have now been cleaned up and painted Deep Indian Red and are hanging out to dry. 

On Friday I received in the mail a laser cut base-plate from one of my new Fiat Club friends.  This is to be the starting point for three branch exhaust system. I cannot make a start on this until I have the motor sitting in the chassis. The centre port is to serve both number two and three cylinders. This is/was common practice with small four cylinder engines.

 

Bj.

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Bernie, I had to laugh when you related that you have a big piece of channel that you cut on to get 1/4" plate. I do the same thing.........years ago, when they would let us purchase scrap metal at work, I'd look in the scrap bin every day for things like that. Still using some of it. :)

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Hello Paul

I used to have an old neighbour, now long departed, he was the ultimate scavenger who would often visit building sites after the workers had gone home, I often used to wonder if some of the stuff he used to drag home was not something the workers would be searching for the next day.

These days all building sites have eight foot high fences and gates that are locked every afternoon when the workers go home. It must save building firms thousands of dollars.

This piece of channel started out at about six to eight feet in length, I have used about half of it so I think that it will "see me out". I dread to think how many "cut off disks" I have used up cutting bits off it....

Bj.

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Hi Bernie, after reading about 501 Fiats, it appears the diff is a weakness and the solution is to fit a 503 unit. I hope you have one.

 

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Good morning

I have two diff assemblies that I have not even looked at as yet. Given my thoughts on how much/far these cars are driven by the new generation of enthusiastic "collectors" I doubt that it should be of too much concern. It seems to me that it is more important for it to fit in with the rest of the decor in their "man-cave".

I seem to remember my father talking about this (Fiat diffs) in 1946 but his main concern then was how far he could drive on an impossibly small petrol ration. 

 

Looking back I note that I started this "thread" on January 17th 2018. Just three months ago!

I actually bought this Fiat almost a month later on February 12th.

The gestation period for a human baby is nine months so I think that I am making reasonable progress.

 

Bernie j.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hi Bernie,

 

Diff's are a sour talking point for most 501 owners. OnSafari is correct in saying they're the weakest link, being made of cast aluminium certainly doesn't fair well against abuse! Thankfully us enthusiasts are much more gentle when it comes to driving them, but I've heard horror stories of people Blowing the diff just by leaving the handbrake on and trying to drive off!! 

 

Mine was in several pieces when i bought the car, both the pinion, ring gear and both halves of the diff assembly. Not sure which gave way first, but the resultant mess is the same either way... I installed a 503 unit to be sure, which bumps the thickness of the weakest point from 5mm to 10mm or thereabouts. You can also drill and tap the torque tube housing amd install grub screws that secure the aluminium housing where the pinion bearing lies. This relieves some of the torsional stress sent through the housing.

 

Cheers,

Brodie

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For those that may have missed the point;  my target  is to have the Fiat restored and SOLD by this time next year.

It will only be by selling the car that Helen and I will be able to have one last trip to France.

Looking back over the past thirty five years ALL our Overseas holidays have been financed the same way. Restoring and selling a car every five years. This will almost certainly be my last restoration and our last visit to Europe.

 

Bernie j.

an impecunious enthusiast.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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If anyone does not understand the meaning of the word "IMPECUNIOUS" may I suggest that you look it up in any worthwile dictionary.

Bj.

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Anyone who finds this idea repugnant and/or thinks they can do a better job of restoring the car is welcome to put their money up now.

Bj.

 

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No not all, it's sensible to use original serviceable parts. Plus the vintage market is softening, so one doesn't want to over capitalise. As u mentioned earlier, your direction with this project is most appropriate. Look forward to seeing the results.

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