Posts tagged “FIAT

Sunday Drive: Retro Ragtops Star in FIAT vs BMW


After a long day brainstorming business ideas, the call of the road became too great to resist.  By mid afternoon my associates and I gave into temptation and took to the streets a pair of retro ragtops.

There’s only so much inspiration you can gather in front of a computer, after all.

I sniped mum’s DSLR on the way out and got a few good images of my father’s FIAT Spider 2000 dueling with my good friend Ben’s E30 convertible around Cape Ann.

If you didn’t get a chance to hit the tarmac this weekend, we hope these frames will inspire you to get that winter project wrapped up and get on the road!

Even an E30 looks big parked next to Pininfarina’s tiny Italian.

Italian Car Day 2010 (Video)

348 GTS

August 8th, 2010 was this years “Tutto Italiano” (Italian Car Day) at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.

And after having our FIAT held hostage by our mechanic for two months, my father and I were pretty excited to clean it up and park it between some other showpieces.

Apparently we weren’t the only ones with that idea, because the Spider representation was better than ever.

Other highlights of the field included Alfa Romeo GTVs, a Ferrari 512BB, and some very cool vintage motorcycles.

Naturally we bumped into our mechanic Nino, who was decked-out in Ferrari regalia.  He had ridden his Vespa to the show all the way from Gloucester… following his friend in a Ferrari Testarossa.  Like, for real.

If you didn’t make it out to Brookline this year, get your s**t together, gas up your Vespa and get that out there for 2011.

As usual, there was a Ferrari on a lift… so we could see the glorious underbody.  Smoother than a baby’s butt.

Even the visitor parking lot was stacked with exotics… museum staff had another impromptu car show on their hands.

FIAT’s Back, and Beautiful


After a long two months of great convertible weather passed, Nino finally relinquished dad’s FIAT Spider 2000.

While it still may not be perfect, it sure looks good.

We decided to immortalize it while we could, before some jackass in the Crosby’s parking lot opens the door of their QX56 too close and squashes it.

These photos were taken at Castle Hill in Ipswich, MA.  If only my camera were a bit sharper…

It sure looks like 1980 around here!

Couldn't let the GS get too jealous.

Where is the FIAT?

no chrome FIAT

“De kahr e dun” was the message my father received from our wacky FIAT-obsessed Italian mechanic.

Interpreting that as “The car is done” we grabbed the checkbook and drove out to Kettle Cove industrial park to pick up our newly-restored ’79 Spider.

But as soon as we rolled up we knew something had been lost in translation… because the car we were looking at did have a fabulous black paint job on it, but it did not have a roof, heater, air intake, cooling fan, chrome trim, bumpers, or working lights.

But did I mention the paint looked good?

Apparently the spray-job was what Nino DeMayo was referring to when he said “dun.”  We got a tour of the undercarriage which we were pleased to see had been coated with anti-rust spray, and the inside edges of the wheels were gleaming with new brake components.

Our convertible’s still got a long way to go, but at least it’s better off than this old 190E it was sharing a parking lot with:

No seats, but it’s bringing a new meaning to the term “green transportation” …yes, those plants in the bottom left are indeed growing from the carpet.  And this car is parked on pavement, not in some field where it might be reclaimed by vines.  Never seen anything quite like it.

Anyway, Nino says the car will be done for real on Monday.

“Ness tiime, all dun”

Sure hope so, the nights are still long and the sun has been shining… I hate to think of the precious few convertible months going to waste.  I almost forget what it feels like to be behind the wheel of that thing.

Meanwhile, the tach on my motorcycle decided to stop working this morning… godamit.

Connections in the Car Industry

Automaker Web

When you buy a Lincoln Navigator, you’re getting a Ford Expedition with a nicer interior and a body kit.  Same goes for a a Cadillac Escalade and its dad the Chevy Tahoe.  Even a Lamborghini Gallardo has a lot of carry-over from an Audi.

These automaker alliances are well known and pretty easy to spot just by parking the cars in question next to each other.  But just how many connections exist between competing car companies around the world?  Turns out, a lot more than even I would have thought.

While browsing the Fast Company Magazine website the other day I discovered a really cool interactive “web of auto alliances.”  I learned a lot in just a few seconds… which is of course the best kind of learning.

Take a look:

FC Infographic of the day; Financial Times’ Car Alliance Web

Click on the link, then you can move the mouse over your favorite automaker and see who they’re working with.

FIAT Spider Restoration: Stage 1


The family’s beloved roadster, the 1979 FIAT Spider 2000 that raised me is finally getting the treatment it deserves- an almost full restoration back to its original glory with a working roof, heater, and an absence of rust.

Dad dropped it off at our mechanic’s, an animated Italian fellow named Nino DeMayo (for real) who happens to have worked on FIATs since the days when they were still sold new here in the U.S.

Spiders are his passion, and he’s progressing nicely on ours.

Bumpers have been removed (for now), and a lot of rust has been cut out already.

By the end of the month, we’re expecting a new roof, functional heater (did I already mention that?), working tail lights, a fresh coat of paint and who knows- maybe even an inspection sticker.

It doesn’t look… too bad… as is, but I’m pretty excited to see how it turns out.  Stay posted.


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