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Member Since 07 May 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 12:58 AM

Topics I've Started

'8-Ball' 1961 FIAT 500D - Development of Whaletail Wing

15 February 2018 - 12:29 PM

I've always considered myself lucky to have so many projects from widely varied subjects, that I'll never get my head above water, let alone get them all finished. One that I've munched around on in my mind for the past twenty five years is a mini whale tail spoiler/wing for our 1961 FIAT 500D. The 500 and 600 based FIAT sedans were extensively raced in the 50's -70's and many propped up the rear engine cover to a basically horizontal position to effect a rear wing that would aid in parting the drag causing air at the back of the car and to exhaust heat from the engineroom. Photos can be found online of a few with beautiful purposely styled little wings. The wings on many 70's - 80's Porsche 911 based cars that were referred to as 'whale Tails' and always grabbed my attention. About a month ago I finally bit-the-bullet and dove off into initiating a new project. Here's our FIAT, AKA 'The 8-Ball' This car will fit in the bed of a long-bed full size pickup.




I started developing a basic design on another 500 that's stored so as not to screw up the paint on 8-Ball. cut out a header board to fit in the cavity below the air intake above the engineroom and worked out a wireframe outline for starters.




With the dimensions worked out and contours at the body junction and around the periphery worked out next step was to fabricate a 'buck' from wood that I will lay up a clamshell fiberglass mold to lay up the actual wing in. I bandsawed out a series of slats to fill the envelope working off centerline and progressing from front to rear. I alternated the grain on each slat to help stabilize the buck over it's development. Here's the slats just prior to glue-up.




Here's the raw buck right out of the clamps and propped up pretty close to where it will be on the FIAT. Header board that mates it to the body is not part of the buck yet. It's laying on the pop keg at lower left of this photo.




From here it went to the milling machine to establish upper and lower parallel surfaces to work everything from and machine the proper angle at front to mount the header board. Here's a pic taken about a week later with the header glued in, outline rough sawn at rear center and about five inches back from body junction and the lower and upper contours roughed in within 1/8". Rear corners are not contoured and retain raw material to facilitate clamping and holding for working contours and to allow mounting of jigs that will show up later. 




To be continued.

1978 Air Cleaner Snorkel Bellows Available ???

29 January 2018 - 03:34 PM

Does anyone know if the bellows that connects the air cleaner snorkel to the radiator header panel is available from the dealer or elsewhere as a reproduction?? Anything that might be available at a salvage or in someone's parts stash would probably crumble into dust taking it off the donor vehicle or shelf. The pickup is a 1978 and here's a a pic of what I'm looking for: