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Old 1st April 2019, 12:13   #1
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Default Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

The interest started after I drove a few Fiats belonging to friends over the years. From John Milne's 1960 1100 Select with the Lusso trim to Premier Padmini's, I started getting more hooked. Here was a model that was easy to drive, critical spare parts were still available in India, and they looked cute! They were also easy cars to drive through regular traffic in Calcutta, being quite narrow & the fun factor-they are nippy, agile cars blessed with decent handling. Then of course came Karl Bhote's excellent restoration thread of his Super Select. I had shared my desire to buy an early with a few friends.

March 2018: A good friend called me one day & said that there's a 1960s Fiat that belongs to a family friend, single owner car & that I should seriously consider buying it. I wasted no time, my friend promptly sent me a few photos of the car. She was garaged well since 2013 when her first owner had passed away. Thereafter his son used to start the Fiat once in a while. These are the first photos I received:

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180411wa0005.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180411wa0006.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180411wa0008.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180411wa0010.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180411wa0011.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180411wa0032.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180411wa0034.jpg

I liked what I saw in the photos but wanted to think about it a little before I took the plunge. So I asked for a few days to do some research & then take a call. The very next day I was told by my friend who gave me the lead, that the family was being approached by another person who was keen on the car. My friend also said that even if I did not buy it, I should go and buy the car for his daughter, since he was out of town. That was all the prompting I needed. I coaxed 2 of my close car buddies to come along with me and the 3 of us went to have a look at the Fiat.

After exchanging pleasantries with the current owner and his sister (the son & daughter of the first owner), they opened the garage. There she was! A fairly solid looking 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select. I was immediately smitten & both my friends thought the car looked good. In our excitement we tried to start the car, the engine did crank but she would not start. The owner, growing more apprehensive by the minute, kept telling us to let her be, she's not been on the roads for atleast 4 years, her brakes were weak, a tyre had very little air, & it was his father's car! He grew more wary when one of us suggested we should take her for a spin

Anyway, long story short, I had the money with me & we went into the house & sealed the deal. The Fiat was fondly referred to just as '202' by her first family, after her registration number. After concluding the deal, we organised a flat-bed truck to take 202 but I didn't know where to keep her. My parents may have thrown a fit so my house was out of the question. One of my friends very kindly offered his place to the park 202 for a few days till I made up my mind on how I wanted to tackle getting her reliable for driving.

As soon as the flat-bed arrived, I could see the look of sadness that both the brother & sister, who had seen the car since new, had on their faces. It's hard, seeing the car that you grew up with, leaving you & going away to a stranger who you may never see again, worse, you may never see your old car again. A car you've seen for 55 years. I tried to reassure them that I would take good care of the car, & when she was again on the roads in good nick, would come back to their house & show them the Fiat they loved so much. The gentleman took great pains to explain to me what work his father had done for the general maintenance of the car, pointers on how to treat the car & handed me some odds & ends for the car that had been used in the past.

202 was pushed out of her garage of 55 years and carefully loaded onto the flat-bed. While my friends & I were thrilled with my new Fiat, the gent & his sister were genuinely sad & bid adieu to their beloved '202'.

A few photos of 202 leaving her first owner's house in the light of the setting sun:



Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_174724.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_174751.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_174806.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_174658.jpg


We followed the flat-bed to my friend's house & to my annoyance, it started to rain. By the time we got her of & into my friend's garage, I was wet, tired but extremely happy with 202. We're absolutely nuts about classic cars & started checking out different areas of 202 immediately:

Engine bay was a mess with years of gunk & muck. I was happy to see that the steering box, inlet manifold with the pre-heating system, Magneti Marelli ignition coil, bonnet inspection lamps, original brake fluid container & factory fitted Solex carb & correct wheels were present. Not so happy about the missing jack.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_191159.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_191205.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_191225.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_191231.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_191404.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_191408.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_232542.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180519_173932.jpg


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180412_235056.jpg


After drying 202, i covered her for the night & left my friend's place.

Last edited by mbz180 : 1st April 2019 at 12:17. Reason: Spelling errors
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Old 1st April 2019, 16:15   #2
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Default re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

I pondered over the next 10 days on what the next course of action for 202. She seemed to be a fairly solid car, thankfully with difficult trims like the aluminium side trims, aluminium door handles, headlamp bezels, bumper units etc. present. The body lines looked good, I couldn't see any signs of rust under the wheel arches & other usual areas. I had a few options:

1) My friends suggested I should clean her up, sort her out mechanically & use her. I could always go in for more extensive work later.

2) I could have her mechanically sorted out with an overcoat of black & a bit of interior work & use her.

3) I could go for a full blown restoration.

What concerned me was the floor boards. While not too bad, I could see there were tiny holes in it, not good.

Anyway, I chose option 2, mechanicals, overcoat & freshen up the interiors.

A few days later 202 was again on a flatbed, on her way to Mr. Rahul Sircar's workshop.

Over the next few days, the fuel pump, carb, etc. were taken apart, serviced & fitted back. The brakes were checked, the old Fiat API system was in place. I was told that it will be changed to a Girling system; API parts were now of doubtful quality & the shape of the wheel cylinder buckets were notorious for leaking braking fluid.

The tyres were just about okay to do a few short runs to check the fitness of the drive-train. On my routine Saturday visit to the workshop, I was surprised to hear the familiar sound of a Fiat engine, my Fiat's engine idling smoothly! By then the bonnet hood had been taken of to do a trial overcoat & we decided to drive 202 for the first time. Mr. Sircar himself initially drove the car, quite happy with the lack of whine from the transmission & differential & the steering feel but the brakes & gearshift were pretty poor. Another friend & I took 202 for a short spin later, encountering no problems.

202 on the road sans bonnet.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180428_163430.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180428_163503.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180428_163554.jpg


In the meantime, the bonnet was painted as a test panel.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180428_174214.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180512_125918.jpg

The previous owner gave me 3 of the hubcaps which the car had since new, the 4th was lost in the 1980s on the way to Howrah Station; weak spring clips (which I later learnt were notorious for losing tension) lead to the cap flying off. Sadly for me, the 3 remaining caps had been drilled with a hole in the centre to bolt on so that they didn't fly off in the future

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180425_220406.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180428_175518.jpg


I found a headlamp lying on the rear seat with a cracked lense with no script; just an anchor logo. I was told that that was the Carello logo.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180428_180006.jpg
Being quite happy with the way things were progressing, I started buying spares for the suspension, filters, cooling system, etc. locally.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180416_121524.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180416_121605.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180416_133810.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180416_133828.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180416_133855.jpg


Then things changed course very quickly. When other areas of the car were being prepped for the over coat, rusty areas started appearing. We didn't know when the engine had last been rebuilt but it was silent. It took one fast & extremely thrilling drive in my friend's hands (well he is a former INRC driver) to reveal the engine's weaknesses. Her plugs were getting fouled by engine oil while rattles also appeared.

Rust spots & weak piston rings didn't make sense to me. I wanted a car that not only looked good but also drove good. It was at this point that I decided that there's no joy in getting stuck on the road while driving & we might as well go in for a full blown restoration!
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Old 1st April 2019, 20:19   #3
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Default re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
we might as well go in for a full blown restoration!
Delighted to see the thread on 'Bella' Prithvi. After seeing her full restored am eagerly waiting to read the full story, glued to this thread.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 11:16   #4
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Great acquisition. I had a 1962 Super Select and loved driving it. Sadly, I didn't have the time required to look after it and eventually passed her on to another BHPian.

It's good you went for option 2 to start with. Later on, I suggest you go in for a full restoration. It will take time and cause a lot of pain. But, the car looks in a fairly good shape and the final result will make the effort worthwhile. Nothing like seeing one of these in its original shape.

From what I recall, most of the cars I have seen have had their wheel caps with central bolts. Flying wheel caps were a problem in the Fiat / Ambassador days. We lost quite a few on highway drives.

Try to source whitewall tyres. They just make the car look complete.
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Old 3rd April 2019, 13:16   #5
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post

It's good you went for option 2 to start with. Later on, I suggest you go in for a full restoration. It will take time and cause a lot of pain.
Hi Aditya, thanks for your kind words. After option 2, I quickly went to option 3, as you will see in the posts to follow

The Restoration

Mechanicals:

The last coil on the front right coil was broken, it was simply resting because of the weight of the car. Both springs were replaced.

Rubber bushes were mostly all shot. All the suspensions rubber components were replaced with VIR brand pieces.

The left side lower wishbone was longer than the right side wishbone. Both lower wishbones were replaced.

Rear leaf springs were opened & re-cambered.

The shocks were in good order & were cleaned & painted.

Propshaft: The front flex coupling was changed. While scraping the panel above the transmission hump, evidence of a rip in the sheet metal was found. At some point in the past, the propshaft coupling must've come loose at high speed & ripped through the panel!

Differential: Though the gears etc. inside were in good shape, the flange connecting to the propshaft has worn out. This was attended to.

Transmission: The gearbox itself was sound so it was cleaned & all the seals/gaskets were replaced.

Wheel bearings were in bad shape & were all changed.

Steering assembly: 202 retained her original Italian steering box. It was just cleaned & buffed. But I do no that some shaft was changed (I forget the exact name).

Brakes: The old API-Lockheed system was discarded. New TVS Girling wheel cylinders on all 4 wheels were installed. We went in for a dual circuit braking system on the advise of the restorer to make the front & rear circuit independent of each other. This necessitated a second brake fluid can along with a dual piston TVS Girling master cylinder. The aluminium drums were cleaned & buffed & all the flex hoses, shoes etc etc were replaced. The brake pipes through were of course all replaced.

Clutch: The clutch assembly had to be replaced along with the throw out bearing & fork.

All the heavy metal components were stripped, cleaned, & coated in epoxy based primers & paints.

Some photos of the above components before & after being rebuilt/cleaned/replaced:

Engine area before cleaning. The amount of muck was unbelievable

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180508wa0052.jpg


Brake drum when taken out. The locally made bracket for the hubcap bolt can be seen.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_151104.jpg


Brake drum after cleaning & buffing

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180721_122021.jpg


Brake anchor plates finished with new hoses. Was happy to see Fiat bolts all round.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180519_151044.jpg


New TVS Girling wheel brake cylinders go on

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180519_150957.jpg


TVS Girling double piston master cylinder for dual circuit brake set-up

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180519_152251.jpg


Miscellaneous new oil seals

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_151124.jpg


Re-assembled rear axle

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_151348.jpg


Leaf spring shackles & other parts taken of for cleaning

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_155948.jpg


New clutch unit

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_171057.jpg


Clutch assembly being assembled/adjusted

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_171415.jpg


Differential rebuilt

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_174610.jpg


Diff completed

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_174558.jpg


Transmission unit only required a good clean-up & change of seals

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180609_182129.jpg


Steering assembly was cleaned

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180609_182245.jpg


Lower wishbones on right & left were unequal lengths!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180714_150246.jpg


Although you can't make out in this photo, the last coil on this spring is actually broken

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180714_174019_hdr.jpg


VIR make components, which I am told are OEM quality (bushes mostly) were used throughout

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180811_124647.jpg


Rear axle & suspension re-assembled & fitted

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180707_160630.jpg



THE BIG CLEAN

We don't know how 202 came to be covered in oil caked grime on her under-sides, engine area etc. Maybe it was decades of servicing with diesel for protection against rust coupled with road dust & dirt & more layers of oil. While the grime did protect several areas of 202 from rust, it was one hell of an arduous & long task to take all the much of as the pics will show:

The filth in the wheel well areas


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_145954.jpg


The black stuff on the ground is only a part of the muck that has been scraped of. I estimate that the half inch thick layer all throughout the underside of the car would have weighted around 5 to 7 kilos!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180609_162141.jpg


This pic gives a good idea of the extent of the grime. The underside of the trunk & rear axle area have been scraped clean while the rest of the underside if yet to be cleaned

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180609_162054.jpg


Original paint shade seems to have been a light yellow or cream


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180428_133625.jpg


Cleaning of the engine bay in progress


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_152858.jpg


I was curious to know the chassis number & what it looked like

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_154726.jpg


Even the grille panel had a lot of grime

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180609_155855.jpg


Under-carriage near the rear axle area-this seemed to be the original factory paint as it appeared everywhere when the car was scraped


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180609_162103.jpg


Insides too had substantial grime


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180714_150034.jpg
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Old 3rd April 2019, 20:10   #6
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

This thread is pure nostalgia for me!

Wish you all the best for restoring this beauty.

I guess you are from Kolkata and once the restoration is done, i will love to see this car physically.

A 1960 Fiat 1100 super select was our family's first car. The car was sold in 1993. The day our car was sold, i was eight years old and i was in tears. A spanking white Padmini replaced this car but still the 1100 super select was special to me.

A pic of my dad in our 1100 super select from 1983. This pic was clicked by my mom a couple of years before i was born!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-559990_448108038594428_537860282_n.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 3rd April 2019 at 20:14.
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Old 4th April 2019, 11:26   #7
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Very interesting thread and I am totally gripped on to your updates. Really happy to see a five decades old car being under one hand, awesome buy that is. We had Fiat 1983 for a couple of years and that was our first car, it had a modified silencer too and it was such a pleasure to listen to it move.

Awaiting eagerly for your restoration. All the best.
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Old 4th April 2019, 16:05   #8
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
A 1960 Fiat 1100 super select ........
Thanks Samba for sharing your nostalgia with us. The car is actually a Select, as absence of Quarter Windows makes the identification very easy.

Karl, has explained on Super Selects as below

Quote:
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.

Please see here (Restoration - 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select) for more details
Cheers

KPS

Last edited by KPS : 4th April 2019 at 16:06.
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Old 5th April 2019, 18:50   #9
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
This thread is pure nostalgia for me!

Wish you all the best for restoring this beauty.

I guess you are from Kolkata and once the restoration is done, i will love to see this car physically.

A pic of my dad in our 1100 super select from 1983. This pic was clicked by my mom a couple of years before i was born!

Attachment 1865392
Hi Samba, thank you for your wishes! I can appreciate the hurt that you went through, I've had 2 cars towed away to the scrappers when I was a kid & I was in tears. I do live in Kolkata. I shall PM you my number & we can connect. You're most welcome to see my Fiat & drive her if you want

Lovely pic, as KPS has already said, the car is a Select. The smaller tail lamps again a Select feature.

BODY WORK

So 202 turned out to be a 20 or 10 footer at best. From that distance, the body looked pretty decent. But once stripping to bare metal started, we truly saw the extent of work required. The engine bay required only the battery tray to be re-made since the earlier one was anyway fabricated & was over-sized. Front fenders, rear fenders, corner sections of some wheel arches, inner wheel well areas & the entire floor board had to replaced. We couldn't find good replacement panels in Calcutta for the floor so they were made out of one sheet of steel. The lower portion of the trunk lid was rusty & weak, and replaced. Lower sections of the front doors were replaced. One of the rear passenger foot rests was in bad shaped and was made & replaced. We decided to relocate the handbrake assembly from the left of the transmission tunnel to the right, making it practical to use.

Apart from all this, an immense amount of tinkering went into the doors, fenders, bonnet & trunk lid. We then realised that the lines between the door sill (rocker) panel & door bottom edges were not as straight as they should be. Patchwork done in earlier years had messed up these lines. While a right side rocker panel was available locally, its quality wasn't very good. In stepped in one of our Fiat friends from the South who took the trouble of arranging & shipping a set of door panels!

Some photos of the works in progress:

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180623_144939.jpg


Bare metal scraping starts


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180712wa0005.jpg


Some views of 202 during the scraping phase

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180623_144918.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180908_161651.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180623_144952.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_145956.jpg


I found this number stamped on the top of the grille panel before it was stripped

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_172504.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180623_172243.jpg

Engine area in primer

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180609_160958.jpg

A bad patch of the floorboard

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180721_132204.jpg


Rusty lower section of the trunk lid

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180811_170300.jpg

Lower door sections being attended to

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180915_160141_hht.jpg

We ensured that the drain holes at the bottom of the doors remained open

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181208_154951.jpg


The cabin being scraped

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180714_150106.jpg

One side of the floor board replaced. The window glasses are on since the monsoons had started & we didn't want water to get into the cabin. 202 had so much muck that the cleaning & stripping had to be done outdoors.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_110832.jpg

The other side replaced

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_111306.jpg

Lower bulkhead

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_151130.jpg

Undercarriage finished in epoxy primers/paints

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180630_171509_hht.jpg

Cabin areas completed

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180804_151724.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180804_151746.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180804_161422.jpg

When the sub-frame was taken of, I was told that in all likelihood it was the original unit (Italian).

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180721_123908.jpg


The front cross however had been replaced in the past & was rotten. It was replaced with a fresh piece.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_121156.jpg


Once the sub-frame was cleaned thoroughly, I was happy to see the factory spot welds!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_121129.jpg

Also found this number stamped on the frame along with the letters 'NF'

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_121118.jpg

In primer before paint

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180728_165958.jpg

The arrows point to the old rocker panels which were not even with the door bottoms

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181030_163537.jpg

A set of fresh rocker panels arrive courtesy a Fiatian from the South!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181108_144109.jpg
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Old 8th April 2019, 17:05   #10
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Engine works

Once we had decided on rebuilding the Fiat's engine, we began to gather parts quickly. New pistons, rings, cam bushes, crank bearings, gudgeon pins, new valves, timing chain, gaskets etc etc. were all obtained. The old oil pump however was not in good nick & had to be replaced with a good, used unit.

The aluminium cylinder head was decked slightly. The main oil filter, which sits inside the oil sump has a brass net filter screen which had disintegrated over the years. We found similar fine brash mesh & rebuilt the old filter.

During this time, the bypass oil filter unit, air cleaner (from a later Padmini) , was refinished. A friend in Calcutta arranged for an NOS Italian fuel pump & a single choke Weber carburetor to replace the original Solex. While the carb was NOS, it came sans jets. It took a little while & help from a bhpian to figure out what the correct missing jet sizes were. I must commend Weber of UK, they provided very helpful illustrated exploded views of the carburetor & guided me on which jets would be required specific to the carb. So a new set of jets arrived from the UK to complete the carb.

The engine bloc, oil chamber etc was cleaned, primered & painted while the valve cover, which was sightly wavy, was repaired & refinished.

Engine mounts needed to be replaced-they were not available in Cal. In steps in another bhpian who was a huge help throughout the car's resto. He took the time off to measure the height of the mounts & only then had them shipped to us.

The cooling water hoses included the carb pre-heating unit hoses were bought from Italy as they are high quality EPDM. Whatever is available in Cal is old stock & poor quality.

Once the engine was re-assembled, a small wooden cradle was made for the engine to sit so as to not damage the oil chamber & the new paint. Once the engine area was completed and the new clutch assembly fitted, the engine was gently guided into the engine bay & fitted.

A few pics showing various stages of engine related works



Engine out - as expected a lot of grime all round



Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180508wa0051.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180508wa0047.jpg


Pistons were standard size & were replaced with second over-size pistons

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181201_174833.jpg

The old rings had scored the cylinder walls through which oil was travelling up

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181201_174714.jpg


Crank bearings had been over-tightened in the past when fitted - the scoring on the bearings are visible

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181201_174755.jpg

The old oil pump came up short with very little pressure being developed

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181201_175313.jpg


We went in for a good, used oil pump to replace the old one

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20181218wa0052.jpg

The cylinder head after decking

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181215_171436.jpg


The main oil filter's fine brass screen was found to have been disintegrated when it was opened - it was rebuilt with similar, fine brass mesh

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20181220wa0022.jpg


Engine unit in primer after re-building

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180512wa0003.jpg


A close-up of the engine number stamped on the block

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180512_104554.jpg


Side-covers were thoroughly cleaned

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180512_132113.jpg


Valve cover had dings & dents which were smoothed out

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190114_165833.jpg


Prepping the valve cover

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190115_1643171.jpg


Engine cosmetically completed

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-save_20190130_114819.jpeg


Engine mounts were sent from a Bhpian in Bangalore & measured before sending to get the correct units

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img20180818wa0037.jpg


A small wooden cradle was made for the engine to sit on before it was re-installed

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190114_123835.jpg


In the meantime, the engine bay was completed to receive the engine

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180804_151157.jpg


A later air filter unit with a top similar to the original's was sourced & painted in the correct colours

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_151756.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_151607.jpg


By pass oil filter painted. I know the Super Select had the cover in red but I chose black since I was going to use a decal on it!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180602_152221.jpg


The engine on a hoist being guided & dropped inside the engine bay

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190114_144612.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190114_144908.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190114_145843.jpg


Engine's finally in!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20180818_142959.jpg


I forgot to mentioned earlier, when the sub-frame was taken out, a pair of Magneti Marelli keys made in India under license by Globe Auto was found lying on the gearbox cradle The previous owners had wondered where the keys had disappeared. One possibility is that the speedo to gearbox area cover was open for repairs & someone leaned down with the keys in their shirt pocket when it fell & remained safely till we found it!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20180521_215256collage.jpg

The unused Weber carb with missing jets

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181115_235513.jpg


Top view showing the 7 jets that were required

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181117_143929_hdr.jpg


New jets from Weber UK! The Weber went on to replace the factory fitted Solex

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181203_003430.jpg


A correct NOS Italian fuel pump was arranged by the same friend who sourced the carb

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181229_164921.jpg


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Old 8th April 2019, 22:26   #11
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This is simply amazing. It brings back memories of our own Premier Padmini 1963 model. I had worked on a similar restoration for it back in the day. Not as extensive as yours but I do seem to connect to every single component. I even recalled the fuel pump and we had the same and it used to overheat and stop pumping. In those days a wet cloth used to be placed in the fuel pump to make it work again . It used to be a real adventure those days and you had to be mechanically inclined to truly be a good driver.

Your restoration efforts are par excellence. Waiting to see the finished product eagerly. All the best.
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Old 10th April 2019, 08:23   #12
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
This is simply amazing. It brings back memories of our own Premier Padmini 1963 model. I had worked on a similar restoration for it back in the day. Not as extensive as yours but I do seem to connect to every single component. I even recalled the fuel pump and we had the same and it used to overheat and stop pumping. In those days a wet cloth used to be placed in the fuel pump to make it work again . It used to be a real adventure those days and you had to be mechanically inclined to truly be a good driver.

Your restoration efforts are par excellence. Waiting to see the finished product eagerly. All the best.
If it is 1963 it would be a Super Select as premier Padmini was produced much later in the 70s.
After Super Select , it was Delight , President and then Padmini.
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Old 17th April 2019, 21:37   #13
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Electrical items, trims & other goodies

Thankfully 202 had her original and now uber rare pull knobs for the fresh air duct, hand throttle & choke functions. She also had all 4 aluminium outer door handles.

However several other parts were replaced with later, Indian made fittings like:

Interior lamps
Parking lamps
Tail lamps
Toggle switches for the main lights & instrument cluster
License plate lamps
Wiper arms & blades
Ignition switch
Headlamp units
Rear view mirror
Instrument cluster
Some of the inside door lock handles & window winders were local steel items

Many other items small items too had been replaced over the course of 50 years. So while the workshop was concentrating on the car itself, I decided to do what I am best at, research & import parts

My web searches resulted in buying things from mainland Italy, Sicily, France, Germany, Latvia, UK, USA & Australia!

Some pics of the parts I collected & some other before after pics of individual items:


At one point of time, one room in my house had an entire side filled with parts boxes!


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181124_125929.jpg


Assorted parts: Trunk seals (Indian seals were useless I found), add-on brake & reverse lamps, a pull strap, air filter element, spare tail lamp lense, rubber stops, license plate SS frame, a parking lamp, an NOS unit for the lamp & turn signal combi switch etc.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190117_231000.jpg


EPDM hoses, a new Magneti Marelli ignition coil, green colour coded ignition leads, new parking lamp seals, windscreen washer nozzles, toggle switches & escutcheons, etc.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181013_132043_1.jpg


Grille emblem (check out the cool detailing), warning lamp (jewel lamp), trunk lock unit, interior lamps


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181556collage.jpg


202 was missing her washer bag. After a lot of hunting I found this correct CAVIS washer bag in decent used condition.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_180437collage.jpg


The ignition switch when I bought the car & an NOS Sipea unit to replace it with the key. I also bought 2 key blanks.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181013collage.jpg


Top: how the pull knobs under the dash looked when I bought the car.

Bottom: How they turned out after some careful & patient cleaning.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181105collage.jpg


NOS horn button unit - I like to take things apart, clean & study them (and put them back together!)


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181218collage.jpg


Old & new push button trunk opener

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181342collage.jpg


A prized purchase, an NOS in box Magneti Marelli horn. Boy is she loud!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181509collage.jpg


I purchased a new set of spring clamps for the hub caps from Bangalore. They were useless. Thankfully I found an Italian vendor selling spring clamps for our cars. I am using them & have yet to lose a hubcap in over 1600 kms of driving.

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20190121_223354.jpg


Carello headlamp bulb holders. Note that all the electrical connections were redone in the original style with brass 'bullet' connectors soldered to the wires; a very time consuming process.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181745collage.jpg


And NOS Carello headlamp units to go with the bulb holders! I was dreading opening the box in case they had broken; it was such a relief to see them intact. On the side an NOS pair of Giuntini turn signal units.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181642collage.jpg


One of the NOS pull straps. You can only pull down the strap towards you so the units are side specific. However, we found after disassembling the spring mechanism inside, it's possible to re-orient the spring so that a left side unit can work on the right & vice versa

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181949collage.jpg


Although the outside door handles were original & aluminium (with the drivers door lock functional but with worn out tumblers), I had to separately collected missing aluminium lock & window handles for the inside. I was surprised to see how well they brightened up after buffing! Also bought the trunk lid catch & a wrong set of wiper arms - for a Fiat 500!


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181008_204945.jpg

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_181830collage.jpg


A new radiator cap


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_182122collage.jpg


And a period NOS cap for special occasions


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_183836collage.jpg


Fuel filler cap


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_182153collage.jpg

Engine oil filler cap


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_182221collage.jpg


Italian parking lamp units. 1 was unused the other in good used condition. Again, I took them apart, cleaned them & replaced the old seals with the new ones. They had Fiat marked bulbs.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_180834collage.jpg


Tail lamps were carried by hand by a friend who lives in France. The reflectors, lenses & bulbs were dusty but after a bit of TLC, they cleaned up real good. Check out the 'Fiat' marked bulb!



Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_190532collage.jpg

License plate bulb units

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_180756collage.jpg


A friend who's been a huge help (& fellow bhpian) sent me his spare under dash plate with the ultra rare SS strips. Mine were totally gone, both strip & panel. They really completed the dash area when fitted.


[center]
Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_183244collage.jpg


Had to have these '103' (signifying the model 1100/103) pedal covers!


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181117_140543_hht.jpg


I was told in advance that the original vent window lock would be unusable since we were replacing all the window glasses. So I brought in a pair of NOS units (these are the ones prior to the push button style)


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_183356collage.jpg


202 did not have her original rear view mirror. I couldn't find a good piece in India at a decent price. I was surprised to see that the Italian units are made of Bakelite & are overall of better quality, especially the frosted glass where the lamp is. Note the sticker from 1956; I wanted to retain it after refurbishing & to my delight, the workshop did retain it!

Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_183753collage.jpg


Another prized buy, a used leather & enamel key fob with great patina from the 1960s for Fiat's. It came with a very nice letter.


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-20190417_183941collage.jpg


NOS Carello Trico wiper arms & blades


Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"-img_20181001_200401.jpg



Will post more later...!
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Old 17th April 2019, 22:37   #14
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

Great thread and love the detailed description, the amount of work you have put in this car is commendable and inspirational.

Can totally connect with you regarding research and buying parts from abroad, though its hard on the pocket but joy of opening a package of goodies is just amazing.

Look forward to your posts.
Cheers
Kartik
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Old 18th April 2019, 14:05   #15
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Default Re: Indo-Italian PAL: 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select "Bella"

What a wonderful thread, am glued on. Rated 5 stars!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
[center][b]
My web searches resulted in buying things from mainland Italy, Sicily, France, Germany, Latvia, UK, USA & Australia!

Some pics of the parts I collected & some other before after pics of individual items:
Pardon my ignorance, So when you order parts from abroad, do they ship them to your doorstep, or do you have "customs" to deal with?
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