Fiat Restoration Project


My first car was a silver 1979 Fiat Spider 2000 Pininfarina with red interior.  I drove that fun little convertible all through High School and into my first year of college before it just became too impractical.  Reminiscing about all those good times with that Fiat, in 2008 I decided to purchase another one of those fun little sports cars.  So, I located a 1980 version that was originally silver and had it transported to Oklahoma (much to my wife’s chagrin).  Boy did I underestimate the process of restoration!

The first two (2) photographs are of my original 1979 spider.  The next eleven (11) photographs are what the black 1980 spider looked like before I began restoration.  The remaining photographs show the 1980 spider in chronological order during the restoration process that took over two (2) years to complete.  The final pictures at the very bottom of this page are what the fully restored Fiat Spider looks like today.  It’s  never been rained on and only gets driven on selective days when the top is perfect to come down.  Each drive presents a trip down memory lane. 

Special thanks to many along the way including S&S Transmission, Vintage AutoHaus, Sew Fine, Koko’s Paint & Body, Custom Exhaust Systems, and Vick’s Autosports.  All of the mechanical work was done by our good family friend Son at S&S Transmission in Amarillo, Texas.  Son has the car running perfectly after pulling the engine out, rebuilding it and all other mechanical components like the clutch, brakes, and transmission.  It purrs!  This Spider also received all new wiring from Vintage AutoHaus in Amarillo, Texas.  After the wiring was done, it was transported to Carol, Mike & Ryan at Sew Fine who did all of the the custom red leather interior and carpeting.  Sew Fine also stripped the car down in an organized fashion to get it “paint ready.”  In doing so, the old paint was soda blasted for removal.  Unfortunately, after the soda blast the true condition of the body came to life.  The body was heavily rusted and in terrible shape so I bought a red 1980 Spider “donor car” to use for parts.  The “rust bucket” or “POS” as my ex-wife called it, was then transported to Koko’s Paint & Body in Dallas, Texas, on July 20, 2009.  Koko was kind enough to provide periodic photos seen below depicting the body work and fabrication he did to rid my Spider of all its rust and blemishes.  The week of March 15, 2010, Koko painted the car “Blade Silver Metallic” which is a new 2010 General Motors silver being used on the ZR1 Corvettes.  On April 16, 2010, my Spider returned to Sew Fine in Amarillo for the red interior and re-assembly.  Ninety Percent (90%) of all replacement parts came from Jerry at Vick’s Auto Sports who was a tremendous help all along the way.  Lucky for me Vick’s is a national Fiat parts company who just happens to be located in Fort Worth, Texas.  Once all the re-assembly and interior was completed, I spent 48 hours in Amarillo letting S&S Transmission look it all over one more time and also had Custom Exhaust Systems install custom exhaust pipes from the header straight back. 

Finally, on July 18, 2010, I held a BBQ Party to celebrate the arrival of my new/old car which Sew Fine was kind enough to transport to me.  It was a fitting end to a long process with the unveiling shared by family and driends.  I am happy it’s over and grateful for the friends made along the way.  Many thanks to everyone who followed along and participated in my project.

1980 Fiat Spider 2000 Pininfarina                ** COMPLETE 07/18/10 **