solfly Dork
10/18/20 10:01 a.m.

We dragged this out of my grandmother's back yard ten or 15 years ago. Supposedly my uncle brought it back from overseas at some point. It's beat up and rusty. The body isn't terrible but the back of the floor is rotted out enough that there's nothing left for the trailing arm to attach to.

I have no idea what we will do or when but here's a spot for info and suggestions.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/18/20 10:06 a.m.

Those are pretty rare and IMHO worth preserving/restoring. IIRC those are Fiat 500 underneath so it should be fairly easy to get some repair panels for the underside.

EV conversion afterwards?

TurnerX19 SuperDork
10/18/20 10:52 a.m.

Tim is correct. It is entirely Fiat 500 underneath. Might be possible to source new or used floor sections, but none of it would be difficult to create from any flat sheet steel. These cars were marketed in the USA as "Fiat Bianchina" and there were a few sold in the NY metro area. 

californiamilleghia SuperDork
10/18/20 11:16 a.m.

the trans is a crashbox  , and motor is 500cc , 

a Polish fiat 126 has the same design but a synchromesh  trans and 650cc

They are cool little cars if all you are  driving is  to 7-11 etc , but they are  real slow ,  and not much of a match to  a SUV with the driver texting !

I had a Citroen 2CV a couple years ago ,  which was a little bigger and just as slow , 

it was scary to drive  because of all the other cars on the main roads , but it was fun to take to the store on the backstreets !

I also have a 1959 Fiat 500 .

I would inspect it  for rust and see how far up you need to replace metal  , and hopefully it did not get into the suspension mounting areas.

Chris Obert is a Fiat parts guy and loves these things , he is in Santa Cruz , California ,

here is a nice write-up about him anf Fiats in Hemmings

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/18/20 12:17 p.m.

I passed on one about five years ago due to the Italian tin worm. Was BAD. Wanted to adapt smart fortwo drivetrain.

Trent (Generally supportive dude)
Trent (Generally supportive dude) PowerDork
10/18/20 12:41 p.m.


I did a lot of the mechanical work on Amy's Autobianchi in the vid. I adore these cars.  Amy is tiny and the car fits her perfectly. 


As for parts I have had a few too many interactions with Obert to recommend Fiatplus. 

I put in the complete "abarth spec" engine and trans from When we are charging by the hour it was cheaper than rebuilding what was there and sourcing a synchromesh 126 transaxle.  

We tend to order body panels and most mechanical parts out of Europe for fiats. Mrfiat in Atlanta isn't inexpensive but you get what you ask for from them.  For rubber bits for italian cars i go straight to Cicognani.  The quality is stellar. 

As far as "upgrading " the drivetrain i struggle to think of anything that would fit and add in the issue of where to put a cooling system in this aircooled bay without changing the awesome look these cars have and it gets tougher. 


solfly Dork
10/18/20 12:50 p.m.

I'm thinking we're past restoration and probably looking at tube chassis and bike engine or electric. The rust is bad enough tha there's nothing for one of the rear trailing arms to attach to.

I did know it's about the Fiat 500 base.

I think I've verified that it's not a "special" which would be worth quite a bit I guess?

I think we'd exceed the value trying to restore but I need to get a look at things. It's been inside but I haven't looked at it closely in 10+ years.

solfly Dork
10/24/20 1:55 p.m.

Any side by sides with a 72 inch wheelbase. Anyone who can overlay pics?

notsafeforwork Reader
10/24/20 1:59 p.m.

How about a shortened VW pan? That's what I'm doing with my Fiat 600 project. I was looking far and wide for a sand rail tube frame when I "discovered" that my shortened Dune Buggy pan was a perfect fit at a 79 inch wheel base. Leaving the track where it is and fitting some 916 style"flairs" left over from a 914 project.

solfly Dork
10/24/20 2:56 p.m.

I should stop brainstorming until I've looked closer.

notsafeforwork Reader
11/10/20 11:01 p.m.

Todd and I stumbled across an Autobianchi in our local junkyard a handful of years ago, complete except for the rear deck lid, since I was already deep into a Fiat 600 project and he, a TR7/8 race car, we didn't grab it up . . . DAMNED fools ! ! ! ! 

Really looking forward to seeing this project get started ! 

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/10/20 11:24 p.m.

If you don't do some crazy silly bike engine, I vote "Gasser."

Ben_Modified HalfDork
11/11/20 9:01 a.m.

Looking forward to this!

OjaiM5 Reader
11/12/20 10:30 p.m.

I don't know where I was going with this but WTF, it got a little weird.

Can't wait to see how this build turns out.

*edit, that grill was too strange 

brad131a4 (Forum Supporter)
brad131a4 (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/12/20 10:47 p.m.

I like that.

914Driver MegaDork
11/13/20 12:04 p.m.
solfly Dork
11/13/20 12:52 p.m.

Definitely not pebble beach ha ha!

OjaiM5 Reader
11/14/20 2:04 p.m.

Saw this today and thought it was good inspiration for this project

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