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Old 26th November 2020, 07:07   #1
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Default My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

I am starting this thread since there was a lot of interest in knowing more about my 1964 Fiat 1100D. Let me share some initial information and I can then answer more questions.

I always wanted to own a Premier Padmini when I was growing up. We were lower middle class and could not afford a car. I did my engineering in 1999 and started working as a Software Engineer, in 2003, I could finally afford a car. I stuck to Fiat and bought a Palio. However, the urge to own the Padmini never went away. Fast forward 15 more years. I thought I should do something about that itch. I researched a lot first to buy a Padmini in India and get it shipped to USA (where I am settled now). The condition of cars was not worth restoring. I did find one in Punjab which was in pretty good shape but getting it here was a logistical nightmare.

Then I turned to the country of origin for this car - Italy - I came across this site https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/ which has listing from all over Europe. I found a bunch of Fiat 1100Ds. Finally found the one I was looking for, a 1964 1100D, single owner, 94000 KM but well maintained. No rust, original engine, stamped VIN number (very important if you want to get a car imported in USA). The car was also with a dealer who had shipped cars to USA and had some experience. I had done enough research on how to import classic cars and worked with a shipping company which pretty much did all the work for me including customs clearance and delivered the car to my doorstep. The car cost me about 6500 Euros and another 2.5k USD for customs and shipping.

Did I tell you about my dentist? He is the one who actually opened me up this possibility. He has Premier Padminis, 1100Ds, 1100s, Oxford Morris, Lamretta, Yezdi, Radoot and a Bullet. He had done a lot of importing and knows the ropes. He also has a mechanic who knows really well about Fiats.

Once the car was here, it took another 6 months to get it registered. It starts with CHP (California Highway Patrol) inspection, then the car has to be bonded (since the papers from Italy are not acceptable), titled and then registered.

After that the dismantling began. The mechanic did most of the work and I did some on the weekends. We stripped the car bare and send it for paint. The seats were sent for upholstery. Once the car was painted, the seats were fitted and the interior uphostery was done. Including brand new carpet including in the boot. The headliner was also replaced.

California has banned chrome plating businesses due to the pollution. My mechanic used to live in Las Vegas that time, so he took the car (sans the engine) and the chrome parts to Vegas. He got the parts chromed. The grill is new and rechromed.

I was all along getting all the parts. I replaced pretty much everything except the starter motor, engine, carburetor, transmission, radiator and heater core.

The starter motor was rewound. I disassembled, cleaned and replaced internal parts of the carburetor myself. The engine was overhauled in California. I had to buy a new crankshaft which I got from India, found a brand new one - very lucky. The transmission was overhauled by my mechanic. The radiator and Heater core were redone by a local radiator guy.

The tires were replaced with tubeless tires. I bought the white wall inserts on Amazon. The hub caps were a pain to get, they are so expensive. The red logo is my personal touch on the hub caps.

The front and rear windshield had a lot of scratches. I could not find replacement so had to polish them from a really good window glass guy here. He also offered to build all door glasses and I took up the offer. He did an excellent job with the glass. The window glass is all new.

The steering was repainted, I found a instrument cluster on a Facebook group and bought it. The horn button, horn and the ring are all bought on Facebook group.

I built the center console, shelf (with speakers) myself and installed a retro music system. It looks retro but supports bluetooth. There is also a subwoofer in the trunk.

I am sure I have missed a lot of details. So feel free to ask more questions. Happy to answer them. Here are some sites to look for parts

www.mrfiat.com
www.fiatplus.com
http://www.historic-cars.net/

Some facebook groups if you are intersted
https://www.facebook.com/groups/AllThingsFiat
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1100fiat/

Here is the google album with pictures from restoration - https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZUgHr9QemRNLor7a7
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Old 26th November 2020, 08:42   #2
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Default re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Awesome!!

Probably the only engine bay of a 1100/Padmini I have ever seen with an Optima battery!!

Since you mentioned that you are not a stickler for originality, ever think about putting a PAL grille badge?

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers.
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Old 26th November 2020, 08:42   #3
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Default re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

WOW!!! The car is just amazing. Owning and restoring a Fiat in India is one thing, but owning and restoring a Fiat in U.S. is completely a next level thing!
Your car looks super clean including the engine bay. That is one HOT looking Fiat, I'm sure many Hollywood directors will hire this car for their shoots

Few questions, How did this car pass inspection test without wipers? Or did you remove wipers during restoration?

Can you also post a couple of pictures of under body, chassis and rear suspension? Did you install any PPF or ceramic coating? Car looks brand new, the denting and painting work is very professional.
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Old 26th November 2020, 08:46   #4
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Default re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

A first class restoration I say. Beautiful. I could feast my eyes on it all day. Hearty congratulations to you and your mechanic and restoration team. That peach red colour is quite alluring.
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Old 26th November 2020, 08:56   #5
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Default re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Quote:
Originally Posted by passanha View Post
I am starting this thread since there was a lot of interest in knowing more about my 1964 Fiat 1100D. Let me share some initial information and I can then answer more questions.
My Dadís first vehicle was this one. Brings back a lot of nostalgic memories.

There are some of us mere mortals who plan and plan such things but when it comes to executing it never happens.That too you doing it with all additional hassles in US.

Very nicely restored. Expecting frequent updates about this beauty on this thread
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Old 26th November 2020, 09:06   #6
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Default re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

What a restoration!. fantastic. If there was an academy handing out awards for restoration of old cars you should figure on their list.

Shall definitely try and see your car in person when i next travel to the USA.
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Old 26th November 2020, 09:33   #7
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Beauty

What kind of speeds can you do on this on the freeways there knowing it is a stock 1100 engine. Also, does it meet the emissions and standards in California?

Being in India which was a country that made these cars, I find it difficult to get good parts and here you are in US getting a top notch restoration.
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Old 26th November 2020, 09:41   #8
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

My jaw fell so heavy on the floor that it hurts. Man, I can't stop drooling over your FIAT. Look at the dashboard, the rear seats, the headlights. Looks like they have been handcrafted with the blessings of the angels sent by Giovanni Agnelli himself. Lovely colour combo. Tastefully done up chrome.

I shared this thread with a family member who used to own a FIAT 1100D back in the days. Seeing your car, he repents having sold it off.

Last edited by sub.g84 : 26th November 2020 at 10:03.
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Old 26th November 2020, 10:06   #9
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Very nice restoration. This shows that the person who did the restoration and the owner, both, know their job well. Please keep the car clean like we see in the pictures as that is also an important part, although it is easier there to keep it like this then India.
Can you specify the tyre make and size?
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Old 26th November 2020, 10:49   #10
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang View Post
Awesome!!

Probably the only engine bay of a 1100/Padmini I have ever seen with an Optima battery!!

Since you mentioned that you are not a stickler for originality, ever think about putting a PAL grille badge?

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers.
I will consider putting the badge just for the kicks
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Old 26th November 2020, 10:57   #11
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Awesome car. Personally love the colour combo and the look of the car. Hats off to the effort you put in to realise your passion and dream.

Only one thing I would change is the position of the Autobot Logo as well as the Fiat Model logo. They look a bit out of place (I don't know if the logo occupied the same place on the original car) and makes the rear look a little bit busy compared to the otherwise clean and chic aesthetic.
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Old 26th November 2020, 11:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteSierra View Post
WOW!!! The car is just amazing. Owning and restoring a Fiat in India is one thing, but owning and restoring a Fiat in U.S. is completely a next level thing!
Your car looks super clean including the engine bay. That is one HOT looking Fiat, I'm sure many Hollywood directors will hire this car for their shoots

Few questions, How did this car pass inspection test without wipers? Or did you remove wipers during restoration?

Can you also post a couple of pictures of under body, chassis and rear suspension? Did you install any PPF or ceramic coating? Car looks brand new, the denting and painting work is very professional.
Thank you, you are right. the car had wipers when I went for inspection. I need to put them back, just waiting to get them cleaned up. I did not do ceramic coating but it has a clear coat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
Beauty

What kind of speeds can you do on this on the freeways there knowing it is a stock 1100 engine. Also, does it meet the emissions and standards in California?

Being in India which was a country that made these cars, I find it difficult to get good parts and here you are in US getting a top notch restoration.
Thank you. I haven't taken it on freeway. I once clocked 50 mph on local roads. I believe it will go faster but I am not pushing it yet. The engine is still breaking in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sub.g84 View Post
My jaw fell so heavy on the floor that it hurts. Man, I can't stop drooling over your FIAT. Look at the dashboard, the rear seats, the headlights. Looks like they have been handcrafted with the blessings of the angels sent by Giovanni Agnelli himself. Lovely colour combo. Tastefully done up chrome.

I shared this thread with a family member who used to own a FIAT 1100D back in the days. Seeing your car, he repents having sold it off.
Haha, your reply made my day. Thank you. It is so easy to get this back in India. Hope this inspires them to get the car back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Very nice restoration. This shows that the person who did the restoration and the owner, both, know their job well. Please keep the car clean like we see in the pictures as that is also an important part, although it is easier there to keep it like this then India.
Can you specify the tyre make and size?
Thank you. I forgot the make (I am not at home at the moment) the size is P185/70R14.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
Awesome car. Personally love the colour combo and the look of the car. Hats off to the effort you put in to realise your passion and dream.

Only one thing I would change is the position of the Autobot Logo as well as the Fiat Model logo. They look a bit out of place (I don't know if the logo occupied the same place on the original car) and makes the rear look a little bit busy compared to the otherwise clean and chic aesthetic.
If you see the original car, it had a 1100 logo and the holes were drilled at the wrong place. I got this original logo later and the paint was already done. I did not want to drill more holes. Good eye though, you spotted the issue. I will move it once things open here and the paint shop can do the work for me.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 26th November 2020 at 11:12. Reason: Back to back posts merged. Thanks.
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Old 26th November 2020, 11:03   #13
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

One word.. Awesome. The quality of work and amount of detailing you guys have done is superb. I think the best 1100 I have ever come across. Kudos to you and your mech.

ps: if you can add the pics from the album here and in order and with some narrative, it will be very nice.
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Old 26th November 2020, 11:28   #14
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Fantastic to read this story on your FIAT. Very well restored and congratulation on this wonderful work. Great commitment to brand associated to motoring in India. Happy that the Indian in you, has manifested in this car!

You did the right thing of getting an original car from Italy.

Happy motoring.

Cheers

KPS

Last edited by KPS : 26th November 2020 at 11:34.
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Old 26th November 2020, 11:32   #15
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Default Re: My 1964 Fiat 1100D in California

Respect is all I can say. Outstanding achievement, what a beautiful car. Hats off to your vision, passion, patience and effort.
People who ride the kali-peeles in Bombay can never imagine what a beautiful car the original is. I hesitated to mention it here, as this post of yours is like a white clean linen and the kali-peele is a black spot of grease. Extremes of a spectrum.
The wiper washer blue tank in the engine bay, is that an addition, do not remember washer as a feature in those year models. Or possibly India cars did not have the feature.
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