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Old 20th October 2012, 15:42   #1
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Default Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Dear Team-BHP,

[LONG post with LOTS of pictures!] - PART 1 of 2

With immense joy, I would like to share with you all an experience that is very close to my heart.

From when I was a little boy, I remember being fascinated with houses and cars from the era gone by. I would always love to see vintage and classic cars on the roads of Bangalore and would imagine what the city might have been like 50-75 years ago, old houses and these beautiful automobiles plying on the very same roads.

When I was in college (early 2000) I developed this burning desire to own a classic automobile and started looking for one. My very dear friend and myself thought of doing a joint venture and buying one as neither of us had enough money to buy one ourselves! Being a native of Bangalore and Ramanagaram being the birthplace of my Mother, I knew that there were a lot of these old American cars still doing the rounds in Ramanagaram. So my friend and I drove to Ramanagaram and saw a couple of Dodge Kingsway cars. Most of them were in deplorable condition but one was exquisitely maintained but was way out of our collective budget! Disappointed we dropped our car buying plans.

In 2008 I again started to look around and came across a Morris Minor, beautifully restored. Again, way out of my, by then, fairly healthier budget (keeping in mind that I was working).

Then, I came across Vinty, a 1960 Fiat Select 1100. It was in fairly good nick and in running condition, still with the first owner. I finally bought her in December 2010 and drove her from Chandra Layout to my home in Basavanagudi, filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment. This was the beginning of realising my childhood dream!

Vinty was in pretty good shape when I bought her.

- The side beadings, front and rear glass beadings (metal), front bonnet and grille Fiat monograms were all intact.
- The front (small round) indicators were almost opaque with age, side indicators were NOT the original Fish Eye type and the rear tail lamps were from a later model (with a square reflector).
- She was running quite well, except for a few timing issues, transmission noise and needed some work on the suspension, steering and brakes.
- Interiors were redone by the previous owner
- The car had NO spare wheel. Three of the 4 wheel rims were the original ones. The 4th was from a later model of Fiat.
- The body lines were quite good. Body work needed some tinkering to removed minor bumps and misalignments.
- The original Dynamo was removed and replaced with an Alternator by the previous owner.
- Brakes were a little iffy.

Here's what she looked like when I bought her!

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_7510.jpg

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Then began the restoration job.

The restoration was initially started by a mechanic close to my house. I was not at all happy with the output and then shifted over to Kannan and thanked my lucky stars for that!

Anyway, off she went for Tinkering to a garage in Wilson Garden. Spent a few weeks there with work being done on the body.

- Running boards had to be replaced.
- Floor boards were in remarkably good shape.
- General body work

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8685.jpg

In the meantime, all the chrome bits were removed and sent to Vijayalakshmi Enterprises for Electroplating. The parts returned and were individually photo-catalogued. Here is a snap of all the parts, still covered in news paper, just back from electroplating.

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8715.jpg

We were able to get the following original parts for Vinty.
- Rear tail lamps (WITHOUT the reflector in the middle)
- Aluminium boot hinge covers
- Fish Eye turn-indicators for the side
- Round turn-indicators for the front.
- Front and rear glass - the original ones that came with the car had too many scratches on it which made driving at night a bit of a problem.

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8717.jpg

With the seats removed, the car was then off to the painter, Mr. Anantharaj V. His garage is located near the Infant Jesus Church in Vivek Nagar.

Vinty went through a complete rub-down before a couple of coats of Duco Black.

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8709.jpg

Here is what she looked like at this stage with Duco Black and the floor boards painted aluminium.

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8748.jpg

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8750.jpg

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8752.jpg

Now, we took the car back to the garage for some mechanical work and to fix the chrome parts and the front and rear glass. The car would then get a final coat of glossy black paint and 3M polish.

The challenge here was, the car had NO seats and NO fuel tank (this was sent for cleaning). So the mechanic sat himself down on a small stool and kept a 5 Ltr can of fuel next to him with a pipe connecting it straight through the dashboard and into the bonnet! This was the makeshift fuel tank!

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8768.jpg

It was quite a sight to see a Fiat, in this shape, driving through the streets of Bangalore!

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8772.jpg

In the meantime, the seats were given to Mr. Seena of Royal Auto Works, in VV Puram (near JC Road). He did a brilliant job with the interiors.

Once the car was fitted with the chrome parts, front and rear glass and got the final coat of paint and polish, we then took it to Royal Auto Works to get the interiors fitted. This included the seats, side boards, roof lining and the dash.

The car was, according to the mechanic, done. But I was not very happy.

- Engine, though tuned, was not running well
- Carburettor needed replacement
- Differential rod was making a lot of noise
- Clutch release was not very smooth
- Brakes were TERRIBLE
- Steering was tight
- When the car went on a speed bump, the front left wheel was touching the wheel arch
- Speedo was not working. The car had too many custom fitted dials for Fuel, Temperature, etc
- No Fiat 1100 Monogram on the boot lid
- No spare wheel
- Tyres were not original
- 3 original wheels and 1 from a later model
- Paint work was showing a crack on the bonnet and some bubbles on the roof
- Electricals were iffy.
- No handbrake assembly.
- The front and rear metal beadings (windshield) were misplaced

Quite unhappy with things, the car was kept in my Garage at home for many months. Then a friend of mine introduced me to Mr. Venkatesh, son of Kannan. I then was asked to take the car to LCK Garage and thats when I met Kannan in person. Such a nice person!

He looked at the car and said… "Sir, first lets fix this mechanically. Then we can work on the cosmetic bits" and started the mechanical work.

- The suspension needed work, the front spring was broken and needed replacement.

- We had a peculiar problem, that was possibly an after effect of some shoddy work by the tinker. The distance between the left front and rear wheels was 1.75 inches MORE than the distance between the right front and rear wheels! This caused the front left wheel to hit the wheel arch when the car went on a speed bump. Kannan came up with an ingenious solution to fix this. I have a hand-drawing that kannan made with a chalk piece on a blackboard at his Garage to explain what he did. I will upload that as soon as I find it from my archives.

- The steering column needed adjustments to remove hardness

- The engine had some shockingly SEVERE misalignment in the timing chain and this was set right.

- The old brake system was giving way. So Kannan suggested replacing the old brake system with the latest brake system. This finally gave the car some predictable braking!

- New battery was fitted.

- Kannan got a Fiat 1100 Monogram custom made in brass and fitted it to the car.

- Kannan asked me to give him photographs of the dashboard from a stock Fiat 1100. I knew a car in Mysore which was in factory condition and I got some photographs from that car and gave it to Kannan to give him a clear idea of what the original dash looked like.

- The original Tape speedo, fuel and temperature gauges were fixed. The extra custom gauges were removed.

- Turn indicators and high beam lamp on the dashboard were made functional.

- Only the handbrake lever was on the car, no other mechanical parts were to be found! Kannan sourced these parts and got the handbrake functional.

- Set of 5 new stock MRF tyres were sourced.

- As I had mentioned earlier, one of the 4 wheels were from a newer model fiat. This was put in the trunk as the spare wheel. Kannan sourced one original Select wheel rim for the 4th wheel.

- Kannan sourced the original rear view mirror (with a small light in it), got it painted, got a new mirror cut and fitted, and the entire assembly painted.

- Electricals were re-wired and everything was fixed.

- Plywood cover for the spare wheel with a screw and a mat for the boot.

- Original Jack for the Fiat was sourced and nicely painted.

- Sun visor was sourced and upholstered to match the roof lining.


Continued in PART 2 of 2

Cheers,
Praveen
Attached Thumbnails
Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8714.jpg  

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Old 20th October 2012, 15:51   #2
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Default Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100! [PART 2 of 2]

PART 2 of 2

With all this done and with a coat of polish, I was happy to know that my childhood dream was complete! Vinty was ready to hit the roads of Bangalore! Here she is just rolled out of LCK Garage!

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dscn2763.jpg

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Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-20120923_173646.jpg

Boy was I proud of the way Vinty turned out to be! I could never thank Kannan enough! Apart from being indebted to him for the most fantastic work he has done on the car, I developed immense respect and attachment towards him. I drop by once a week to sit and have a heartfelt chat with him.

This is the story of the restoration of Vinty! Hope this was an interesting read.

Work pending on the car:

- Air pump assembly that used to be on this car needs to be fitted. This includes moving the battery from its original location in the bonnet and replacing it with a fan that pumps air into the dash.
- Cleaning up of the engine bay, organising the wires.
- Installing the 4 switches under the dash. 1. Choke, 2. Windshield sprinkler, 3. Vent (for the air pump), 4 - NOT SURE WHAT THIS WAS. NEED SOME HELP!
- Wheel caps needed
- Horn cap with FIAT needed. Currently has a PAL horn cap.
- Front and rear windshield metal beadings needed
- Drivers side door handle with lock needed. Mine's a little iffy. The previous owner had therefore drilled a hole in the door and fitted a Godrej lock in the door from inside. I've left it as it is.

As of now, I am enjoying driving Vinty almost 3 days a week! I am thankful to have had such an experience and once again thank Kannan for his attention to detail and dedication.

Looking forward to meeting other Fiat owners from Bangalore. Hope to be active on Team-BHP!

Cheers,
Praveen
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Old 20th October 2012, 16:27   #3
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Praveen! Finally you posted the thread. Enjoyed reading the story and your love for old cars.

Just list down the parts you need, we will help you for sure!
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Old 20th October 2012, 16:38   #4
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

That, Sir, is gorgeous.

Am sure she's a head turner wherever she goes. Kudos on a job very well done.
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Old 20th October 2012, 17:29   #5
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

That is really a great job. You must be so proud of the car! Nothing like a Jet black absolutely shiny Fiat. Do try and add white walls if you can find them they will lift your car to a another level. Even if you cant there are good rubberized paints available on the internet which will do the job just as good.
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Old 20th October 2012, 17:49   #6
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Smile Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Praveen : That was a very good write up on the restoration of the "Vinty". The pictures are equally good! What I liked best was the way the car was maintained by the previous owner. Looks like it was in regular use. You are very very lucky to get a car like this! I know the feeling since we have a 118 NE and a Viceroy. We got the rare Viceroy in March 2011 and it was also maintained very well by it's previous owner. Do check out the below thread.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...t-118ne-3.html (Premier 118NE 'VICEROY' - A RARE variant of 118NE.)

One question. You had mentioned that the car was initially given two coats of Duco Black. Was the final gloss black also Duco?

A suggestion if you don't mind: Please keep the jack that you have purely as a collector's item. I have read somewhere on this forum that this jack can cause some problems to the car's body when used. (Experts, please do correct me if I am wrong.) Do keep a regular jack for changing tyres, etc.

Wishing you many happy (s)miles in the "Vinty".

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.

PS : I may be able to procure a Fiat horn cap. Will keep you posted in case if it is possible.
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Old 20th October 2012, 20:06   #7
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik1100 View Post
Praveen! Finally you posted the thread. Enjoyed reading the story and your love for old cars.

Just list down the parts you need, we will help you for sure!
Thank you, Karthik!

A few parts that I am desperately looking for include:

- Wheel caps
- Horn cap with "Fiat"
- Front and rear glass beading (metal)

Thanks again for your kind words.

Cheers,
Praveen


Quote:
Originally Posted by G_AmbyMad View Post
That, Sir, is gorgeous.

Am sure she's a head turner wherever she goes. Kudos on a job very well done.
Thanks a lot, Sir! She sure does attract a fair amount of attention whenever she goes out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the mole View Post
That is really a great job. You must be so proud of the car! Nothing like a Jet black absolutely shiny Fiat. Do try and add white walls if you can find them they will lift your car to a another level. Even if you cant there are good rubberized paints available on the internet which will do the job just as good.
Thank you very much indeed!! Yes, I am immensely proud of Vinty and love every moment of driving it! Yes, white wall tyres do add a LOT of class to the car, taking it to a whole new level. Trying to find a good set of 4 WWs. Will surely upgrade to them the moment I find a good set. I will also look at some of the rubberized paints you have mentioned. Thanks again for your kind words!

Cheers,
Praveen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet_Rider View Post
Praveen : That was a very good write up on the restoration of the "Vinty". The pictures are equally good! What I liked best was the way the car was maintained by the previous owner. Looks like it was in regular use. You are very very lucky to get a car like this! I know the feeling since we have a 118 NE and a Viceroy. We got the rare Viceroy in March 2011 and it was also maintained very well by it's previous owner. Do check out the below thread.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...t-118ne-3.html (Premier 118NE 'VICEROY' - A RARE variant of 118NE.)

One question. You had mentioned that the car was initially given two coats of Duco Black. Was the final gloss black also Duco?

A suggestion if you don't mind: Please keep the jack that you have purely as a collector's item. I have read somewhere on this forum that this jack can cause some problems to the car's body when used. (Experts, please do correct me if I am wrong.) Do keep a regular jack for changing tyres, etc.

Wishing you many happy (s)miles in the "Vinty".

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.

PS : I may be able to procure a Fiat horn cap. Will keep you posted in case if it is possible.
Dear Rahul,

Thanks a lot for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed reading the post as much as I enjoyed writing it! True, I am indeed very lucky that the car was maintained so very well by the previous owner. It was used quite regularly till about a year before I bought it. However, when I took delivery of it, all we had to do was carry a battery and some fuel and she roared to life with the first crank!

WOW! I have read on some website about the very rare "Viceroy". I am very eager to look at the thread on this, will do it now!

Vinty got two coats of Duco Black and the final coat of DuPont. This was the glossy black color followed by a coat of 3M polish.

Regarding the Jack, I agree with you. I also remember seeing a post on another thread here in Team-BHP advising people to refrain from using the original jack as it may damage the running board. I will keep this in mind and get myself a regular jack. Thanks very much for this tip.

Thanks once again for your response.

CHeers,
Praveen
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Old 20th October 2012, 20:32   #8
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Praveen,

You car is looking too fab, I am loving her, Seems like Mr. Kanna decided to do her up like a Super Select (going by moustach on the grill ,the covered fuel filler cap, the fiat logo on the grill and the parcel tray beneath the dash board).

But what ever be the case, yours look so damn exciting and hot. Kudos to you. I have just one question for you, do you have the plastic parcel try with you as highlighted on your picture below - I am in dire need of that tray to replicate for my car.

Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!-dsc_8752.jpg
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Old 20th October 2012, 20:36   #9
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Great way to fulfill your dream, enjoyed the writeup & those lovely pics. Must say Vinty (please share the reason behind this name) looks absolutely stunning in black. Every cosmetic bit is being highlighted to the full, due to that shade.
I really like the way its originality is preserved such as those polished aluminum tail lamp fittings, period interiors, fish type side repeaters & all.
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Old 20th October 2012, 21:14   #10
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Quote:
Originally Posted by manishalive View Post
Praveen,

You car is looking too fab, I am loving her, Seems like Mr. Kanna decided to do her up like a Super Select (going by moustach on the grill ,the covered fuel filler cap, the fiat logo on the grill and the parcel tray beneath the dash board).

But what ever be the case, yours look so damn exciting and hot. Kudos to you. I have just one question for you, do you have the plastic parcel try with you as highlighted on your picture below - I am in dire need of that tray to replicate for my car.

Attachment 1002973
Dear Manish,

Thanks for your kind words!

The covered filler cap, the fiat logo and the parcel tray were on the car when I bought it from the earlier owner!

Two questions:
1. Didnt the Select come with the covered filler cap? Did it come with a regular metal round filled cap with a lock directly fitted into it?
2. Moustach on the grill - what were you referring to?

Regarding the parcel tray, only after you pointed out did I realize that its missing in my car now :( Not sure if the earlier mechanic took it off or if it was removed during the upholstery work. But, its GONE now :( I will check with the guy and ask him about it! :/ Will keep you posted on this.

Cheers,
Praveen
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Old 21st October 2012, 06:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAC444

Dear Manish,

Thanks for your kind words!

The covered filler cap, the fiat logo and the parcel tray were on the car when I bought it from the earlier owner!

Two questions:
1. Didnt the Select come with the covered filler cap? Did it come with a regular metal round filled cap with a lock directly fitted into it?
2. Moustach on the grill - what were you referring to?

Regarding the parcel tray, only after you pointed out did I realize that its missing in my car now :( Not sure if the earlier mechanic took it off or if it was removed during the upholstery work. But, its GONE now :( I will check with the guy and ask him about it! :/ Will keep you posted on this.

Cheers,
Praveen
As far as I know fiat till 1960 came with external fuel pipe. But might be the last lot had covered ones. As for the moustache, the thick trim that covers your grill all around. And yes please do ask about the missing tray.
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Old 21st October 2012, 07:20   #12
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Lucky that your Dream and Mission accomplished. You can be proud to have got it.It is all the more important that the car was with the first owner for quite long. Take good care of her.
Try to remove certain additional items and also source original components so that 444 would be an ideal possession.
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Old 21st October 2012, 08:55   #13
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Fabulous work on the interiors. What was the total damage to the pocket on the interiors ?

Paint job too is pretty good.

Congratulations !!
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Old 21st October 2012, 09:02   #14
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Fabulous work on the interiors. What was the total damage to the pocket on the interiors ?

Paint job too is pretty good.

Congratulations !!
Thank you F150! Yes, I am quite pleased with the way the interiors turned out. It cost me a total of 13k including seats, door panels, roof lining, dash board tray and rear wheel arch linings.

Cheers,
Praveen

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Lucky that your Dream and Mission accomplished. You can be proud to have got it.It is all the more important that the car was with the first owner for quite long. Take good care of her.
Try to remove certain additional items and also source original components so that 444 would be an ideal possession.
Hi Rajeev,

Thanks very much indeed. You are very right, the fact that the car was so well maintained by the previous owner is the most critical piece of the puzzle. I will take good care of her, thank you!

From the photographs, can you please point out some of the additional items that need to go?

Also, as and when I time and money permit, I do try and source original components to enhance the stock condition of Vinty. That will be a long-term activity!

Thanks again,
Praveen
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Old 21st October 2012, 09:14   #15
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Default Re: Restoration of "Vinty", a 1960 Fiat Select 1100!

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Originally Posted by CAC444 View Post
From the photographs, can you please point out some of the additional items that need to go?
I meant the interior lights on the B and C pillars and importantly, the PAL monogram on the horn button of the steering. BTB is the steering original?
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