1 2
vwcorvette
vwcorvette Dork
9/4/12 7:24 p.m.

Friend has one is Grassroots Condition. Pulled from salvage yard for $300. Needs much work, but wife really likes the way it looks (she drives a smart fortwo).

I would like to get it, hide it from her, and restore it over the next year to give to her for her birthday/anniversary/special occasion.

Good idea?

Needs windshield ($500), some rear quarter repair, as well as interior and surface rust issues. Uses Fiat 500 and 600 parts.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette Dork
9/4/12 7:27 p.m.

Note title should read Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado PowerDork
9/4/12 7:28 p.m.

Whoa, would have to see pix of the one you found..but if the thing's solid enough, aren't Fiat 500/600 the Italian VW Beetle? Should be tons of parts out there, even if you have to make UPS/FedEx your new friend.

Is there an "I'm an enabler" thing on the GRM Memes thread yet?

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
9/4/12 7:29 p.m.
vwcorvette wrote: Note title should read Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile

thank you for beating me to that.

They are cool little cars.. the mechanical parts are easy. But how much is shared between the original Fiat and the Autobianchi?

petegossett
petegossett UltraDork
9/4/12 7:29 p.m.

Transformabile, so what does it transform into???

I assume it's as tiny as it looks? You must buy it for her!

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltraDork
9/4/12 7:31 p.m.

My old boss has one. They use the same underpinnings as the 500, so mechanically, it should be pretty easy to get parts for. Body wise however, is much harder to acquire.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette Dork
9/4/12 7:34 p.m.

Parts available here at Mr Fiat.

The transformabile part is the canvas roof.

2 cylinder air cooled Fiat motor.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltraDork
9/4/12 7:47 p.m.

Oh I like your plan too btw.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette Dork
9/4/12 7:55 p.m.

She would finally have to learn stick!

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Dork
9/4/12 9:02 p.m.

That is super cool. I would love to have that.

Treb
Treb Reader
9/4/12 9:29 p.m.

Bodywork -- and especially chrome -- is tough to find. But as mentioned, mechanically they're 500s, so parts aren't terrible to find.

Would love to do the same thing -- I've been looking for a good/cheap 500 for years.

Good luck -- and pics/build thread!

Matt

JohnInKansas
JohnInKansas HalfDork
9/4/12 10:04 p.m.

Do it.

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
9/4/12 10:11 p.m.

Fiat 126 motors are popular imports for the 500 crowd and the 40% horsepower increase plus synchro gearbox goes a long way to making them more usable. Still don't expect it to hit the freeway. 55 is pretty much the upper limit for these.

Mechanically they are as complicated as a stone. Incredibly simple and almost robust because of it. Semi trailing arm rear suspension and a transverse leaf up front. No surprises anywhere. The small nature of everything makes it fun to tear them apart. Removing the engine is done without even a jack under it. Just brace it against the tranny with your knee. Undo the bolts and tug it out with your hands.

Don't expect any "features" A low fuel light would be a luxury item.

Get it! So awesome. Just think of it as a four passenger moped, not a car.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltraDork
9/4/12 10:17 p.m.

In reply to ditchdigger:

4-Passenger is kind of being optimistic don't you think?

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
9/4/12 11:12 p.m.

well.. european passengers are smaller than american.. probably because they are metric

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/5/12 12:24 a.m.

That is possibly one of the best vehicle names ever. Love it.

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
9/5/12 9:47 a.m.
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: In reply to ditchdigger: 4-Passenger is kind of being optimistic don't you think?

Bah! Totally doable

Everytime I think of these cars the one from the movie "Hudson Hawk" pops into my head.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury UltimaDork
9/5/12 10:44 a.m.
friedgreencorrado wrote: Whoa, would have to see pix of the one you found..but if the thing's solid enough, aren't Fiat 500/600 the Italian VW Beetle? Should be tons of parts out there, even if you have to make UPS/FedEx your new friend. Is there an "I'm an enabler" thing on the GRM Memes thread yet?

there is now

vwcorvette
vwcorvette Dork
9/5/12 6:56 p.m.

Talked to the wife again and when she asked, "why would I need another car?" I said, "cause you would have a fun open top car for the summer!" She said, "really, you think so? I do like it. Can we do this?"

Going to look at it again with a better eye and the assistance of a body man.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette Dork
9/8/12 9:06 p.m.

Had a friend who's done a few restorations from a 59 Formula Junior to currently a 68 Camaro Convertible. He says let it go. Too much rust in structural areas. This is why you have friends with more skill and knowledge! Too bad it would have been perfect for her.

EvanB
EvanB UberDork
9/8/12 9:19 p.m.

Tube frame!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UberDork
9/8/12 11:09 p.m.
vwcorvette wrote: Had a friend who's done a few restorations from a 59 Formula Junior to currently a 68 Camaro Convertible. He says let it go. Too much rust in structural areas. This is why you have friends with more skill and knowledge! Too bad it would have been perfect for her.

TBH there is a good chance that "too much rust in structural areas" applies to all unrestored ones. How's your welding?

petegossett
petegossett UltraDork
9/9/12 6:28 a.m.

In reply to vwcorvette:

Any chance you'd pass along the info? I have a friend who's been checking out the Subaru microcar that was posted in the $2012 classifieds, but the seller is being a bit flakey. He might go nuts for this.

Ojala
Ojala Reader
9/9/12 10:32 a.m.

There are a few of those Autobianchis that are perpetually for sale around the dfw. Only one has the top and all of them are missing significant amounts of chrome.

There is a guy around here that has a Subaru 360 frame and tired drivetrain too.

TeamEvil
TeamEvil Reader
9/9/12 4:15 p.m.

Todd found one of those in the local junk yard a few years ago, I was a FOOL not to buy it back then, been after one ever since.

You HAVE to buy it, even if you just pick it up and hold it for me 'till I get there and grab it from you.

Seriously cool little cars ! ! ! ! ! !

T

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
bEkAQsFnCFJJfdNaZx8wNBRp7ymos3039uxTzwfPq7Xzd2ZO3YcRmX0k8ct3YUrc