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1972 Fiat 500L

Repainting the engine

Mechanically, our lovely little 1972 Fiat 500L is spot on but as with everything in life that has been used and enjoyed, the engine could

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Reaching 46,000 thanks to the Instagram love at Olympia

We’ve had an amazing weekend at Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction.

With our 1956 Jensen 541 taking pride of place beside the auction area, our 1972 Jaguar E-Type V12 attracting the largest crowd, our 1972 Fiat 500L seemed to get the most photographic attention and our 1959 Austin Healey Sprite getting the best feedback from auctioneer Guy, the weekend couldn’t have been better for Bridge Classic Cars.

Not only did we receive fantastic feedback over the weekend but a quick search on Instagram showed that our cars were potentially seen by over 46000 Instagram followers. We can not thank the visitors of Olympia and the Instagram members enough for their amazing photos.

It’s lovely to see our cars being photographed and enjoyed by many others…

A special thank you to:

@kateenters – 475 followers

@dbizzle_ – 4542 followers

@irelo89 – 248 followers

@pistonheads_speedmatters – 24500 followers

@itslenf – 15900 followers

@fsalusbury – 113 followers

@jeebc – 189 followers

@mailhp – 42 followers

@annaambroz – 113 followers

Off to Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction

Apologies to anyone on Norwich Road in Ipswich this morning as we unexpectedly slowed down the traffic whilst loading our fantastic classics ready for the trip to Olympia, Kensington for this weekend’s Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction.

It was lovely to see so many people come out of their homes to take a look at the cars being loaded…hopefully it wasn’t to shout at us for causing disruption.

Here we have our Jaguar E-Type V12 and Jensen 541 waiting patiently for the sign from Robin at Russell’s Transport to load on. As you can see the Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite and the Fiat 500L got the top bunk.

Hopefully we’ll see some of you this weekend at Olympia, we’ll probably be somewhere around the The Whisky Exchange Masterclasses.

Thanks again if you were along Norwich Road today. If you were late for work, just blame Bridge Classic Cars.

Fiat 500L Seats Re-Covered

It’s a real pity that both the driver and passenger’s front seat has small rips in them when we picked the car up.

We contemplated repairing the existing holes but in the end we thought it was best to strip and recover the seats with new seat covers and it was very much the right decision once we had completed the task.

The rear seats have now been fitted back in to position but as we have Paul Johnson Valeting coming on Monday to give the car a full valet we thought it was best to leave the front seats out until after Monday.

Repainting the engine

Mechanically, our lovely little 1972 Fiat 500L is spot on but as with everything in life that has been used and enjoyed, the engine could benefit from a little attention…cosmetically that is!

Lauren has spent the day cleaning, polishing and repainting the engine to freshen up the look.

We’ve kept to the existing colours but after a thorough clean we’ve added a couple of new coats to bring back the shine.

Refurbishing the existing fuel tank

To ensure we keep some of the originality of the car we decided to freshen up the look of the existing fuel tank.

From new back in the 70’s, and also if you were to purchase a new tank today, it would be finished in black so we decided to clean up our red tank and give it a coating of satin black before re-fitting with some new bolts.

Not only did we refurbish the fuel tank but whilst we were tidying the boot area we re-lined the entire area with brand new black carpet. Lauren has done an incredible job, not only is all of the wiring neatened up underneath but they are all hidden away to give a really clean and uninterrupted look.

As you can see, the originality remains the same, we have not tried to hide the imperfections, we have simply tidied and made a more appealing finish to the overall look.

Work commences on our 1972 Fiat 500L

The new rear bumper bars have now been fitted.

…as have the new rear lights. It’s amazing what a huge difference small changes can make to the look of the car.

The front bumper bars made the car look tired but now with the brand new bars fitted it has completely transformed the look.

Although our model is the 500L it came into our workshops with a metal 500 badge fitted which we found a little strange.

As we weren’t 100% whether the badge should be 500 or 500L we got onto the guys at Ricambio who advised us that it should be a metal 500L badge so that’s what we’ve done.

Before work commences on our 1972 Fiat 500L

Under the bonnet is looking a little tired so we have decided to remove the leads, tidy the bonnet area and refit the wires in a much neater and presentable fashion.

We’ve gently removed the debris and grit that has built up over many years on the engine. Lauren has applied one coat of red engine paint as a base already but we’ll need to apply 2 or 3 further coats to give it an even finish.

As you can see, the front and rear bumpers are in fantastic condition however, the bumper bars are starting to corrode. Rather than re-chroming we have decided to buy a brand new set from internationally renowned Fiat specialists Ricambio International

The tank was originally finished in black and if you were to buy a brand new tank now it would also be black.

When we accepted delivery of our little Fiat 500L we made the decision to keep the car original.

As you can see, it is a brilliant little car that clearly enjoys being on the road. It’s not concours, it’s an everyday usable example of this iconic classic so although we felt we could tidy her up in places we never intended on carrying out huge jobs that would spoil the ‘patina’ of the car.

We wanted the tank returned to black so instead of replacing with a brand new one we kept it original and cleaned it up before giving it a new black finish.

The interior window trim has started to come away so we need to refit and secure into position.

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New Arrival – Fiat 500L

We have just taken delivery of our newest project, our 1972 Fiat 500L.

This beautiful little machine is already good to go and, as it was so rightly explained to us before we collected, it is very much a usable classic.

As with a lot of the cars that come through the doors at Bridge Classic Cars this one could benefit from a little TLC in places but certainly nothing too major and certainly no mechanical issues. It’s what we say here at Bridge Classic Cars, it just needs a bit of ‘beautifying’.

Here we are this morning on our way back from Colchester, Essex.

Having fully assessed her in our Ipswich workshops the next stage is to type up a job sheet for the technician allocated to working on the car.

The job sheet is a detailed list of tasks that need to be carried out, a tick list basically. On the job sheet we can all leave notes for each other as well as listing the parts and hours involved in the project.

Every project that we undertake at Bridge Classic Cars has it’s own job sheet. This means we can ensure every aspect of the journey is completed accurately, on time and more importantly for our customers, within budget.

Although our 1972 Fiat 500L is a stock vehicle which means it belongs to us rather than a customer it is still treated the very same way.

We do not normally post the job sheet online because, let’s face it, who wants to sit and read it? But here is an example for anyone who does…

1972 - Fiat 500L - MPF 500L

  • Remove and replace the corroded front and rear bumper bars with new.
  • Remove and replace door rubbers all round with new.
  • Remove, clean and repaint the door rubber retainers. (upon removing these we have established that a brand new set is more cost effective than hours to work on the existing ones)
  • Weld engine mount point where starting to corrode.
  • Re-tape and neaten wiring under the bonnet.
  • Clean and repaint the fuel tank.
  • Re-cut and fit carpet to the bonnet area and inner arches.
  • Replace O/S or N/S light assembly with new.
  • Remove and shampoo carpets.
  • Rear seat is loose, re-positon and tighten.
  • Clean engine and engine bay.
  • Tidy wiring in the engine bay.
  • Replace rear lights (faded) with new.
  • Check operation of electrics, lights etc.
  • Service vehicle.
  • Fit a battery cut off.