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Old 15th September 2015, 19:58   #1
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Default Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

It's been a good year with regards to restoration projects, and here are my experiences with restoration on a 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select.

A short timeline on models offered - after the initial Millecento (in 1953/54?) came the facelifted Elegant (1956/57), a heavier facelift in the form of the Select (1958/62, early models also called the Millecento) and finally a light upgrade in the Super Select from 1962/64.

Changes for the Super Select included a new front grille, quarter windows for the front doors, new side and bonnet trims, deleted roof trims, concealed boot hinges, a concealed petrol flap (though perhaps some earlier models had this too) and reflectors on the taillights. On the inside I think an under dash shelf was new - I can't think of much else. Some models featured the side indicator mounted higher, cutting into the side trim on the fender, like the 1100 Export. What made this car different from the 1100 Export was the continued use of the one piece bench front seat (the Export got a split folding one), and older bumper and hubcap designs.


The car was soon replaced by the all new Delight.

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Here is an owners manual cover - luckily I have a copy.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-01.jpg

Note the car illustration shows the side indicator cut into the trim - like the export models, though very few of them were sold this way in India.
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Incidentally our late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri also owned a Super Select, bought on loan, and after his demise the family continued to clear the payments. Can't think of that happening today can we. The car is preserved and on display at the Shastri memorial in Delhi. Pictures courtesy Prabal.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-shastri01.jpg
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-shastri02.jpg

Now to the car in question. Its pretty special to me.

Many years back I had spotted this light grey ( a typical period colour) 1963 Super Select close to home, with the driver waiting outside a shop for memsaab. It was a sight to see - completely original and very well maintained. I distinctly remember seeing the original keys hanging from the ignition. On further snooping I was told the car belonged to Inspector E S Modak - an extremely decorated Police officer. Apparently a keen writer too - here is a little about him that I found regarding books he wrote

http://www.lppindia.com/servlet/lppgetbiblio?bno=000372

Quote:
Modak was recruited to the Indian police in 1941 as Assistant Superintendent. After his training, he was posted as ASP to the district of Satara in Bombay Province. At that time, Satara was in the grip of the underground movement against the British, which the saboteurs called 'the Patri Sarkar', the Government of the Bastinado. For his work there, Modak was awarded the Indian Police Medal for moritorious service. He is till today, the youngest officers in the Indian Police to have got this award. He was also awarded the Police Medal and the Presidents' Police Medal for distinguished service.
Modak served in several districts as Superintendent of police, and as deputy inspector general. he was director of the anti-corruption bureau, the first commissioner of police of Poona, commissioner of police of Bombay, Inspector General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir (on deputation), and Inspector General of Police of Maharashtra.
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Sometime later as the Fiat Club movement started, I knocked on his door to invite him to attend an event. It was an honour to have his wife and him (a most charming couple) join us on a couple of occassions. He purchased the car brand new, and told me he saw his car being built on the line at Kurla, and noticed the engine in a crate with Italian lettering. He used the car extensively, taking it with him to all postings across India including Kashmir, where he proudly mentioned the tough passes proved no problem for his trusted Fiat.

Here is a photo of Mrs. Modak attending our Republic Day celebrations in 2006.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-modak02.jpg

Sadly both of them passed away a few years later, and I had always wondered what became of the car. Luckily enough last December his son contacted us when wanting to dispose of the car. Of course it was a no-brainer, I didn't even take a test drive, and bought the car on the 6th of December last year. Here are some photos.

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Driving home. Note the flag post on the bonnet.
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The car was in great overall condition, very original with almost no alterations. Rust had begun to set in, and so copious amounts of Rustoleum was applied to arrest it, hence you can see 50 shades of grey Luckily the rust was limited to the usual problems - door bottoms and running boards, and a little bit of the front floor. Most else was still original sheetmetal. A couple of knobs were missing, but all other original bits were in place, including an unused spare key! I would have thought that all Super Selects would be fitted with aluminium tail and number plate lights, though my car had Altissimmo Italian chromed units. I have seen 2 other cars with them, possibly a few were fitted with them or they were retrofitted in period when these items were available.

Original Marelli coil (probably will switch to Lucas though - and figure out how to disguise it!).
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-b01.jpg

Original brake fluid container
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Original courtesy lights in the engine bay
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Samples of original paint under the dash
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Original dealer plate, I assume Bombay Cycle
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Everything working, so I assume mileage is 1,33,000 kms, which seems plausible.
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Super rare driver's door lock in aluminium. Big relief here.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-b07.jpg

Covers fitted to seats since new, wonder what the condition of the seats underneath are.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-b08.jpg

The car drove very well, having benefited from a recent service, and I remember collecting the car on Saturday evening, and leaving for Bombay the next morning for a Fiat Club meet - after having driven the car not more than 2 kms The drive was perfect, the car running super - no heating issues, good brakes, great power and all gauges were working. The plan was not to start restoration soon, but since the car was so good, we decided to start work soon enough. The job is entrusted to Kaizad at Niki Garage, who did a super job on my Herald previously. I thought of perhaps just patching up the rusty bits and touching up the paint, or perhaps an overcoat, but eventually we decided to do a complete strip down.

13th March 2015

The teardown begins. We found so many traces of originality, like original upholstery samples, and the original clips for the trim that are riveted (later cars had wire clips).

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-c01.jpg
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-c02.jpg

17th March 2015

The body is in greatshape, with all glass frames and other vital parts being completely free of rust.

Removed the steering wheel first things first, to avoid damage while work commences.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-d01.jpg
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-d02.jpg
Original foot rest for the rear floor - often deleted over the years.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-d03.jpg

24th March 2015

The car is slowly scraped down to bare metal.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-e01.jpg
Attachment 1416467
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-e03.jpg
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Last edited by karlosdeville : 19th September 2015 at 12:50.
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Old 19th September 2015, 11:17   #2
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

30th March 2015

A temporary coat of protective primer is sprayed while bodywork proceeds. More traces of original paint on the inside of the roof

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-1.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-2.jpg

30th April 2015

Tinwork proceeds. Door bottoms, running boards, corners etc.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-3.jpg

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14th May 2015

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-5.jpg

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30th July 2015

With the tinwork now complete, the first coat of epoxy primer goes on

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-9.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-8.jpg

6th August 2015

Lambi work in progress

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-10.jpg

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14th August 2015

Final primer coat - the lines are looking great.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-12.jpg

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14th August 2015

Mock fitting of all body parts to test final fit - no surprises.

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8th September 2015

Original paint sample below the steering box fitting - nice accessible location to match it.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-18.jpg

Epoxy sprayed to the engine bay, insides and undersides.
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Wheel wells nice and clean even though usually not visible, a pet peeve I've picked up from the gurus.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-23.jpg

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Chassis needed one arm to be repaired, rest in good shape.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-25.jpg

Engine out for detailing - its in great shape so we aren't touching what is unnecessary.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-26.jpg

Suspension and brakes opened for overhaul and detailing.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-27.jpg

Gearbox opened for detailing.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-28.jpg

Last edited by karlosdeville : 19th September 2015 at 11:40.
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Old 19th September 2015, 11:53   #3
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

8th September 2015

As we did with the Herald, all hidden surfaces were sprayed with a Wurth stone chip compound for added protection. This time we also sprayed the insides of the doors, which we missed last time (though primered). Thanks to bulldogji for the pointer.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-29.jpg

This is the side well of the boot, to the right of the spare wheel. Usually these rust the first, I'm amazed in our car it is untouched. Photo for reference of the leak hole.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-30.jpg

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10th September 2015

Misc bits getting primered for paint
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11th September 2015

Years back I remember asking Behram about the ulta and saadha threading on the wheel bolts of earlier Fiats. Of course not only did Behram confirm it, but went on to say " check the head of the passenger side bolts, if original it was have "S" stamped on it, and the driver side will have "D" stamped on it. In Italian Sinistra is left and Destra is right". Only from Behram can we get such a clear answer

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-38.jpg

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Most of the bolts too still have FIAT embossed on them.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-40.jpg

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Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-43.jpg

13th September 2015

In the left side corner of the engine bay is this Bakelite plate - we found the clearest sample underneath it, so the colour was finally matched to this
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-42.jpg

Original colour in the centre
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-44.jpg

Original colour still in the centre, but engine bay now finally painted. I think its a great match. I wonder what the colour was called.
Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-45.jpg

14th September 2015

Finally the car is on all four wheels, and underside assembly begins

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-46.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-47.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-48.jpg

Last edited by karlosdeville : 19th September 2015 at 12:16.
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Old 19th September 2015, 14:11   #4
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19th September 2015

Today at last she moves to paint.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-1.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-2.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-3.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-4.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-5.jpg
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Old 19th September 2015, 14:44   #5
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

Dear Sir,

Many thanks for sharing and Congratulations on this lovely car! These restoration stories not only serve as an inspiration, but also show newbies how it needs to be done. Thanks again for that.

Although I am on the forum from 2011, I really feel I am home in this post-war forum
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Old 19th September 2015, 14:51   #6
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

You are lucky to have found such an original car. Congratulations!

Being a FIAT fan, I'm glued to this thread.
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Old 19th September 2015, 17:16   #7
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
It's been a good year with regards to restoration projects, and here are my experiences with restoration on a 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select.
This is a highly commendable effort karlosdeville and Iam short of words to appreciate your passion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
The car was in great overall condition, very original with almost no alterations. Rust had begun to set in, and so copious amounts of Rustoleum was applied to arrest it
Kindly let us know the exact product of rustoleum used in this case. A friend of mine has been looking for information around it and we were only able to find some spray's on amazon. Please advice if these spray's are equally effective and if they can arrest the rust effectively.

Cheers
pdma.
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Old 19th September 2015, 22:51   #8
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdma View Post
Kindly let us know the exact product of rustoleum used in this case. A friend of mine has been looking for information around it and we were only able to find some spray's on amazon. Please advice if these spray's are equally effective and if they can arrest the rust effectively
The Rustoleum was applied by the previous owner some years ago, I have no experience with the product. For my cars we have followed regular processes of the correct primer and paint applications, and for extra precautions copious amounts of Wurth stone guard on areas exposes to possible abrasion.


On another note, I recently picked up this cool period Magneti Marelli horn. I'm not sure what type of horn was fitted to the Super Select, so will fit this.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-magnet.jpg

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Old 19th September 2015, 23:31   #9
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19th September 2015

Final coat applied. I'm very happy with the colour - it is a bit boring, but very period.

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-1.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-3.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-4.jpg

Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select-0-5.jpg
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Old 20th September 2015, 06:25   #10
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

Most of the super selects i saw had rust especially on the door, bumber and grill.But this one was much better. You have a fantastic car. All the best for the restoration.
The colour differs from the original one but looks good.
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Old 20th September 2015, 07:41   #11
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

Great eye for detail, as usual Karl

What an original car and quality of restoration is outstanding.

Looks like you are planning some long drives in this car

Cheers

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Old 20th September 2015, 10:47   #12
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Final coat applied. I'm very happy with the colour - it is a bit boring, but very period.
Yes, was so even for Heralds!
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Old 20th September 2015, 11:01   #13
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The colour differs from the original one but looks good.
Its actually exactly like the original! No idea what it was called though. For now its Super Select grey
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Old 20th September 2015, 15:38   #14
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Default re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdma View Post
Kindly let us know the exact product of rustoleum used in this case. A friend of mine has been looking for information around it and we were only able to find some spray's on amazon. Please advice if these spray's are equally effective and if they can arrest the rust effectively.

Cheers
pdma.
Dear pdma,

OFF TOPIC: Rustoleum is an age old American brand. They have solutions for metal, wood etc. from aesthetics to preservation. In the can form, its basically primer+paint in one, so you don't need to prime the surfaces. Also, you can directly spray on rusted parts (ensure full coverage) and then further rusting is prevented. Be aware that not all Rustoleum cans are paint + primer though.

All said and done, Rustoleum is available in select shades, so you may struggle when it comes to touching up the top coat. You can definitely use it to prevent / delay rust formation and progression.
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Old 21st September 2015, 10:06   #15
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Default Re: Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select

Karl,
Great going ! It would be great if you could share or give an idea on the cost of such a restoration, so that enthusiasts have a fair Idea of what they are getting into.
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