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Racerbvd's Avatar
Very cool find, looking forward hearing more about it.

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Old 12-20-2020, 04:35 PM
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Congrats Wayne - another one to add to an already incredible collection
Old 12-21-2020, 03:46 PM
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That's one car I'd drive a distance to see.
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Old 12-21-2020, 03:52 PM
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How many MPG do ya get in that rig.
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Old 12-21-2020, 04:04 PM
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Coming soon. . . 101 Projects for your FIAT-Daniela 750 Testa D'Oro
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Old 12-23-2020, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 304065 View Post
Coming soon. . . 101 Projects for your FIAT-Daniela 750 Testa D'Oro
That car has 1,001 projects or more. Best to leave it as is.
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Old 12-23-2020, 07:26 AM
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Old 12-23-2020, 07:31 AM
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How many MPG do ya get in that rig.
At race speeds and being a 4 banger I'd wager 8. I might be long though.
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:45 AM
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Thanks for all the kind comments everyone. Sorry I've been away from the Internet lately - in addition to completing the deal for this car, we had three other large transactions close last week. Then we took off for the snow, and I'm finally catching up now.

So, here's the story on the car from my point of view. Last year (2019), I saw this little car come up for auction, and I thought to myself that it would be *perfect* for our “Dempsey Motorsports Collection / Inventory”, as we really like unusual things over here. For those not familiar (see Dempsey Motorsports – Historic race cars sales and service ), we have a solar car, fire truck, tank (amoured car), rally car, BMW 700 hotrod, Mercedes 190 “speedster”, and an Adams Probe 16, amongst other things. So, I thought this little FIAT race car would be perfect for the collection. Street legal, and with a ton of cool history, it seemed like a really neat piece. With an estimate of $35K or so, I thought it would be an excellent addition.

So, the day of the auction, I was thinking it might go above the reserve, so I was prepared to bid about $60-$70K for it. The car hadn’t run in 35 or so years, and thus needed pretty much everything. Plus, it was located at the auction in Pennsylvania, so I couldn’t really get a chance to check it out beforehand. Well, the day of the auction, I was very surprised when I got outbid very quickly. Actually I didn’t even get a chance to bid, the bidding went very high, very quickly. I don’t mind paying for unique cars that I can’t find anywhere else, but when the bidding went up over $100K (with commission), I didn’t really want to spend that kind of dough without actually seeing the car in person. Also, I figured it would probably take $100K or so (if sent to a shop) to restore it.

Having been sufficiently irritated by losing the auction, I immediately set out to find another one. Or something similar. Or something remotely similar. Strike one, two and three. There’s very little out there that is similar to this. There are a few “etceterini” cars here and there, but not much out there with this history, coolness and street drive-ability. So, I basically resigned myself to forget about it, and moved on. Then we picked up the Probe, and I started to work on that, and I thought to myself, I wonder what ever happened to the FIAT I lost out on. Turns out, the winning bidder was located here in Southern California and was working on restoring it. So, I reached out and congratulated him for outbidding me (grumble grumble). I mentioned to keep me in mind if he ever wanted to sell the car as I would love to have a ‘mulligan’ on this one.

So, as a side note, it turns out there are three basic types of car collectors (this is my own scale). Type A – the type of people who buy something, and then never sell it. They did sell something 10 years ago, and regretted it. They only buy what they really want, they do a ton of research, and once under their roof, the car is like a family member. I’m squarely in this category.

Type B – these people buy five cars a year and sell five cars a year. They like to try new things, and never really hang on to any one car for a long time. People with wholesale dealer licenses for reselling cars fit squarely into this category. They may pick one or two cars to be their “Type A” car, but for the most part, they churn a lot of cars.

Type C – these are the people who love projects. Bringing back something that was once lost and now is found. For them, the joy is the project, the journey, the restoration. They restore the cars and then say “okay, I’m done”, and sell them and move on to the next project. I would think that these people are the market that 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles are aimed at. They put together the puzzle and then say done! Then they have a glass of wine (or beer) and take the puzzle apart and put it back in the box.

I think all three types of collectors have a bit of trouble understanding the other types. In this case, the owner of this little FIAT was type C – project time, and then move on. It’s a perfect fit for a Type A collector, because for me, the restoration isn’t always the most fun job. Don’t get me wrong, I like working on the cars too, but sometimes when something is just so big, I feel like I just want to take it for a drive, and can’t (like the Probe 16).

Anyways, back to the FIAT. So, the previous owner took it apart and *mechanically* restored just about everything in the car, focusing specifically on safety elements. Keeping the body and the “battle scars” from racing in place was very important to him (and I agreed). Right now, the car has great patina and is in nearly brand new mechanical condition. The brakes are all restored (nearly all new components including brake lines), the engine and tranny have been gone through, the fuel system renewed (with an electric pump – I actually think the electric pump may have been added years ago). You get the point – a car that has been sitting for 37 years is now renewed and ready to drive.

It’s a bit ironic, because I’m going through the same issues with the Probe that this former owner of the FIAT had. Both cars hadn’t been driven in about 37 years (quite odd that the number was almost exactly the same!). Both are “bitsa” cars, which means they were constructed with parts from many different cars at the time. We traded stories about removing parts and then trying to figure out what they were. He has a signifianctly sized box of parts that he ordered trying to find a match. I have a similar box (not quite as big) for the Probe where I thought I had it right, but didn't quite nail it.

Both cars have great history and good patina that we want to keep in place. Yet, both have some safety issues and need / needed to be gone through top-to-bottom, with an emphasis on safety and reliability, but also with an emphasis on reusing as many original parts, seals, fasteners, as possible. The result is the FIAT that we picked up last week - *and* the Probe 16 that will hopefully be running by the spring.

The only issue I have with the FIAT is the fact that I don’t really fit in it. We need to adjust the pedals, and modify the steering column to add in a quick-release steering wheel adapter, and perhaps go to a different period-correct smaller sized wheel (it’s about 15 1/2 inches in diameter right now, I’m thinking a 13” wheel would help). It’s seriously tight. The 962 cars are tight. The Probe 16 is tighter. This thing is in a whole different league – to test drive it I had to take off my shoes to get that extra 1” or so of room to operate the clutch. But we took a look at the setup and it seems that there is extra room to be had potentially in a few places (quick-release, pedal adjustment, and perhaps removing padding out of the seat). I’m confident that we’ll get it to work – just ordered a new steering wheel column piece from Italy last night!

So, there you have it! A long explanation, and I will provide more details when I have them. For now, the car is parked with the rest of them in Los Angeles and I’m out of town with the family - more to come…

Thx,

Wayne

Last edited by Wayne 962; 12-23-2020 at 04:52 PM..
Old 12-23-2020, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dad911 View Post
I think you should restore it to before this dash badge was added, and I'll take it off your hands!



My favorite track, the year I was born.
The badges are indeed, really, really cool!

-Wayne
Old 12-24-2020, 06:54 PM
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I am a type A person

I have never pushed 100k across the table for a purchase. I am not in that league. I have been associated with people who have massive dollar collections. Some of those collections are unique historically.

Glenwood Swanson had the definative Custer 7th Cav Battle of the Little Bighorn collection. Where he had 11 guns that were forensically proven to.have been there. A winchester 66 went for 675K at auction in 98. He also had Trumpeter Martinis Trapdoor Carbine..he was the last Trooper to see Custer alive...he carried the famous last Custer message to Benteen. I met Glenwood because i came by a Big Springfield Trapdoor that belonged to.Saddeler Otto.Voit who.was awarded the Medal of Honor for valor at the Little Bighorn defensive fight. UUnfortunately my rifle couldnt be proven to have been there? It was is possibly Captain Frenchs historically famous Big Springfield

Last edited by tabs; 12-25-2020 at 04:00 AM..
Old 12-25-2020, 02:50 AM
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Did anyone else read Wayne's long post and realize that he never said anything about how he came to get the car from the winning bidder? While reading I was starting to get the idea he traded the Probe for it but he said "both" will be running come Spring '21.
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Old 12-25-2020, 06:40 AM
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Well, it sounds like the guy that won the car at the auction and some mechanical work on it, got his fix by tinkering with it and subsequently sold it to Wayne.

Maybe we will get more details after Wayne and his family finish their holiday travel.
Old 12-25-2020, 09:43 AM
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Wayne mentioned the too-tight fit of the car. Wayne's also a pretty tall guy (over 6 feet). But I'm not. So Wayne, if you need a test pilot to fit into the thing, I'm game. Promise not to crash it or blow anything up.
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:20 AM
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Has anyone suggested the obvious? Let’s put a smallblock in it!
Old 12-25-2020, 10:36 AM
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Has anyone suggested the obvious? Let’s put a smallblock in it!

That's kinda funny. However there are some turbo V6's that put it out.
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Old 12-25-2020, 12:25 PM
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Been reading through the information file today. I dropped the former owner's grandmother off at his house today after I confirmed all of the paperwork was in order. I never like to keep people's grandmothers kidnapped for more than a week - they get kindof cranky.

Seriously, I emailed the guy and let him know if he ever wanted to sell the car to please let me know. We kept chatting for a while, and then he reached out to me a few weeks ago, and said, "time for the next jigsaw puzzle". I asked him what he wanted for the car, and I thought it was reasonable, and I said "okay". No haggling or anything like that - he had the decency to give me a call and offer it to me, I'm a fairly easy person to deal with, I wired the money, and picked up the car the next day. I have a dealer license, so things like titles and paperwork are fairly easy.

-Wayne
Old 12-25-2020, 04:53 PM
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Good story!
Old 12-25-2020, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sooner or later View Post
Good story!
It's against my nature not to haggle, not to bargain, and the fellow even said his price and said, "but I'm flexible". Even though I could have needled the price down a bit, you rarely get a second bite at the apple, and I also thought that his price was more than fair. I think he was happy with the deal, and I'm ecstatic, as this project probably would have been too much to deal with, keeping in mind all of the other projects that I have on my plate. The fact that it's fully mechanically restored is fantastic and the only thing I need to do is adjust / alter the steering wheel so that I can enter/exit quickly. I've already got a steering column on order from Italy, so hopefully that will work (I'll post progress).

Just got done reviewing the file on the car today - quite a bit of information on this! I'll be scanning and posting some soon.

-Wayne
Old 12-25-2020, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for sharing ... you should write a book! If I walk across the country in a pair of draggin' azz jeans... can I drive the tank ?

Old 12-26-2020, 02:37 AM
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