Reader’s Rocket: 1969 Fiat Abarth 595

Dallas Bright's pocket-rocket ’69 Fiat Abarth 595 was transformed from a rusty wreck

Photographers: Chris Thorogood, Michelle Porobic

“Here is my 1969 Fiat Abarth 595. I watched this car come into our shop as a rusty wreck 16 years ago, when it was owned by my old boss, Joe, at Hamilton Road Smash Repairs.

My initial thought was, ‘What are going to do with that junk?’ There was more rust than metal, but once the quarters, floors, front guards and apron were all cut off and new panels welded on, it started to look like a nice car.

It was then painted in Ferrari Grigio grey with a red Abarth stripe, and given a brand-new red Abarth interior. The leaf springs were thrown out and replaced by a control-arm front end with adjustable coil-overs and slotted disc brakes.

The motor is a 650cc Fiat Niki with a Fiat Panda head, oversized valves and porting work by ProFlo, a big cam, 38mm Solex carb, and Abarth race exhaust.

Fast-forward 13 years, and when I sold my RX-3, I asked Joe if he would sell me the Fiat; he said yes! It’s only had 400km on it in the past 13 years.”

Send high-resolution photos of your car (at least 2MB each) and a few details of what went into the build to [email protected].