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Which means "Evil Twin". Lets see your projects where you change boring into fun or create the fun from scratch.
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 Post subject: The Fiadillac
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:47 pm
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Some of you must be wondering what came before the FrankenFerrari???? Where did it all begin?

The Fiadillac! - A 1980 Fiat x1/9 with a Cadillac 500ci V8.

In the mid 80s I bought myself a 1980 fiat x1/9 mostly because I couldn't find a decent mg midget at the moment I was car shopping. My very first Italian sports car!...and it proved to be a fun reliable car.

It broke a timing belt one day (who knew you were supposed to change those???) but it didn't matter because unlike the 1979 and earlier with a 1.3L interference engine that broke EVERYTHING when a timing belt went, the 1980 and newer had the 1.5L with a clearance engine so just put a new belt on and off you go.

Parts were getting a little scarce but the Yugo solved that once I realized a Yugo was a fiat 128. They bought the whole factory when Fiat shut it down and put it back into production as the yugo so many yugo parts fit my x1/9.....but this was also a bit of my undoing. when my carb started acting up I did what any responsible person who needed a reliable car would do...I bought a set of chrome yugo headers from JC whitney and a second hand dual side draft weber setup that just happened to be sitting at the parts store.

Oh yes, I once owed a car with webers on it! Now at that point in my life I didn't know much about them. I now know the chokes were much too big so nothing I did would ever get them working right until I fixed that so the engine just never ran very well down low. I also had to cut a hole into the trunk to make them right since they were intended for a different model fiat. but I had dual webers, header and glass packs and the car sounded great!...but it sure wan't very fast.

Before the fiat I had a 1965 & a 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 and they were much faster and how I though a sports car should be. I'd also just sold a 1965 corvette (it was VERY rough) and WAY faster than the healeys and couldn't be mentioned in the same breathe as the fiat if you were talking acceleration that is....the fiat was way more fun to drive.

If only there was a way to get the acceleration of the vette into the fiat......that would be the best of both worlds! But there's just not enough room or structure in the fiat for a small block chevy.......

OH :idea: The fiat uses a FWD powertrain, I need to find a V8 FWD to swap in and just use the whole subframe to get the structure! ..... but this was about 1987/88 and the options were pretty limited.....but a Cadillac Eldorado has all that and there's a broken down one sitting on "death row" on my neighbors farm. The Fiadillac was born.

The engine didn't really fit was I just cut off the back of the car. The sub frame was a problem because it had torsion bar....so I flipped it around backwards so the torsion bars went forward, then cut out and swapped the engine/trans cross members so the engine pointed frontwards again. Then kind of welded the body back on around the engine and gave it TR style inlets on the side mostly because I needed to widen the car 13" and didn't know what else to do...it ended up 6" longer too. My very first set of custom make headers! a cam and single plain intake from a 1976 Caddy that I modified to accept a 750 vacuum secondary Holley (I wanted solid low end after the 1.5 weber mistake!)

But now I had it! An Italian sports car with 500hp! Wow!

....and it was basically undriveable. The eldorado engine/trans sits about 2/3 BEHIND the axle so when I added weight to the car and the front was sitting UP and down by a couple inches I should have realized something was headed in a bad direction...but I didn't, I just figured it was the heavy bumper I removed. The front was so light car would't turn if you even looked at the throttle...very unsafe and un-fun to drive.

I got $600 for it. Some years later I got a link to an ebay auction from a buddy...and there was the fiadillac for sale looking exactly the way it looked when I'd sold it 10+ years earlier and the add listed it as "drag race ONLY. No you may NOT test drive it! I have a 10 sec vette so I'm used to fast cars but this car scares me!"

I think he got 600 or 800 for it too.

But now I now WAY better than to try to stuff all that power into a little Italian sports car ;)


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 Post subject: Re: The Fiadillac
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:09 am
Posts: 242
WOW! :shock:
You have been sick for a long time.
I like it.

_________________
Wade Williams
Master Ferrari Tech
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 Post subject: Re: The Fiadillac
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:17 pm
Posts: 17
Mark,
Loved it !!!
I'm about 2 lessons away from something similar a truly undriveable engineered marvel.
But the X1/9 were special. A cousin closest in age to me and about as eccentric as anyone you will ever meet was gifted 2 Bertones from a defunct dealership about 10 years ago. They had 0 miles and were still on MSO, never having been registered. One even factory AC.He passed unexpectedly and I have never been able to determine where those 2 cars went. Results of a Dysfunctional family...but imagine a 0 mile version.
And your Post demonstrates "Lessons Learned/Maybe"


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 Post subject: Re: The Fiadillac
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:47 pm
Posts: 12
What a great project Mark. Thanks for writing it up.
This brings back fond memories of my '74 Fiat X19. I learned a lot about body and mechanical with that car.
I recall needing the wire spring that centers the shifting mechanism inside the transaxle. (don't drive like Jim Rockford and reverse slam forward shift while sliding 180) I found a used one at the local foreign car garage and offered $5 for it.
The Italian guy, Joe, looks me over and says. You driva a Fiat? OK, I sella to you for 5 bucks, cause I know, I gonna see you again..

I was fortunate to be warped and molded at an early age by a truly great custom painter, hack mechanic, creative genius, Dave Dunnit, AKA Dave Marfia. (6 cars on the cover of Hot Rod magazine last I knew)
I helped Dave punch out a few projects like the Fiadillac.
There was; Rust never sleeps (Car craft 10 best wild things, 1988?), the Mafiat, Itsaabitch, the 4 front wheel steering Subaru dune buggy, etc...
I gave him a key to my garage/body shop, and I let him use it for free just to be part of the madness.
Those were great times.... Sigh...

Thanks for the continued inspiration in any case. Love the v-12 project BTW. f'ing fantastic!!!


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