A Sestriere Story: Part 1
Fiat Abarth 750 Sestriere
The story of my Sestriere starts in 1987, my first car was a Fiat 500L in which I learnt to drive. I put an Abarth engine in it, bought the Pat Braden, Greg Schmidt Osprey book and have hankered after a Zagato bodied Abarth 750 ever since.
Many years and a few old cars later I bought my Sestriere from Stolze Classic Cars in Holland. We drove to his large showroom, at the time I think he had 4 Fiat Abarths, two 750 GTs, a Monomille and a project Sestriere. All were working and all were out of my reach pricewise except the Sestriere. On the 4hr journey home I fluctuated between thinking that this project is beyond me (having never restored a car), to I should do it because if I don’t I probably never will.
The car was mostly complete but a basket case as it had been flood damaged.
The car had been repainted in a very orange colour. It had a standard Fiat 600D cylinder head, inlet manifold and carburettor. The car had an Abarth 4-2-1 sport exhaust and silencer, the valence that the exhaust passes through had not been enlarged to take a two-pipe race system so it must be an original fitment. It was missing all badges except the Abarth shield on the dash and flanks. The fuel tank had mostly disintegrated but was ok for a pattern. The gauges had water lines visible from the flood. The wiring loom was missing behind the dash. Headlights were damaged and missing the chrome surrounds, rear lights were broken, no brakes as you can imagine. The shock absorbers were solid. The interior was a mess. The carpets had disintegrated as had the sponge foam in the seats. The door cards had warped. The original red headlining was still in place but had a few holes. Lots of rust bubbles on body and the bumpers were inside the car.
I asked Stolze Classic Cars to remove the sump so I could check and see if it still had an Abarth crankshaft (it did) but they reported to me that 2 pistons were seized solid. The engine number matched the one on the chassis plate.
In the end my heart ruled my head and I purchased the car and had it trailered to my house.
Sestriere in foreground whilst at Stolze Classic Cars in good company!
Sestriere arriving on transporter.
Off loaded at my house.
Interior with water marks on gauges
Engine bay enough said!