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Old 01-06-2015   #1
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Bluebell the 900e Amigo

We have just taken on the ownership of this camper from Kelly and Karl and hope to have it on the road within the next six months.
DSC_6177 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
Not only is it a really lovely vehicle, it was also a pleasure to buy it from such a genuine and really nice couple. There was a huge amount of interest in the sale and I am really appreciative that I was favoured to be the buyer ; so many thanks Karl.
DSC_6176 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
There is a certain amount of essential welding to do underneath, which will add to the welding that has been done in the past. It is currently pretty solid underneath but not as pretty as it could be. I hope to tidy as I go and then work around the bodywork. This has signs of a lot of filler and there is rust poking through in places, but it looks like we will be able to get using it soon.
There are a number of mechanical issue but nothing too onerous and it starts and runs really well.
So a rolling restoration to usable standards.
I just need to get the roof open now!
Watch this space as I document my progress.
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Last edited by fiat500; 01-06-2015 at 11:58.
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Old 01-06-2015   #2
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

When I was at Radbourne Racing only the 850cc version was available, and performance was, to put it kindly, lethargic. I remember tuning up a couple of them and I had to deliver 1 of those to it's new owner. It may have looked standard, but it was quite a bit quicker! to the point that 1 could have a lot of fun with Imps, who were somewhat baffled that this boxy looking device was not only able to hold them at the 'traffic light grand-prix', but actually pull away from them! good times; good memories.
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Old 02-06-2015   #3
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I doubt that the extra 53cc this thing has got over the 850 version will make much difference.
Today I opened the top and here are the images I took.
DSC_6264 by Peter Thompson, on FlickrDSC_6265 by Peter Thompson, on FlickrDSC_6268 by Peter Thompson, on FlickrDSC_6271 by Peter Thompson, on FlickrDSC_6272 by Peter Thompson, on FlickrDSC_6274 by Peter Thompson, on FlickrDSC_6275 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
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Old 02-06-2015   #4
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Ooh it's a bit of a Tardis with the roof open, looks very cosy and well laid out for something so small.

So is that one double and a single up in the canopy?
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Old 02-06-2015   #5
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
So is that one double and a single up in the canopy?
Yes, the double is transverse across the cab roof and that's the single at the side.
I need to find out more about alternative arrangements as some have double downstairs, which fills the cab but would feel less wobbly. Karl said this "Sleeping Giant" is the rarest, end-of-the-line version of the Amigo.
I think there is potential to re-arrange things downstairs a little, if you get my drift There is currently no fridge but there is a toilet!
I will have an enjoyable internet search.
Another thing that intrigues me is that Wikipedia (not faultless of course) seems to be saying that the Amigo was a Fiat creation when I always thought it was adapted by a British company.
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Last edited by fiat500; 02-06-2015 at 20:53.
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Old 02-06-2015   #6
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
Yes, the double is transverse across the cab roof and that's the single at the side.
I need to find out more about alternative arrangements as some have double downstairs, which fills the cab but would feel less wobbly. Karl said this "Sleeping Giant" is the rarest, end-of-the-line version of the Amigo.
I think there is potential to re-arrange things downstairs a little, if you get my drift There is currently no fridge but there is a toilet!
I will have an enjoyable internet search.
Another thing that intrigues me is that Wikipedia (not faultless of course) seems to be saying that the Amigo was a Fiat creation when I always thought it was adapted by a British company.
The only thing that I can see that looks remotely like a toilet is possibly that little cabinet with a bolt on it? Please tell me that is not the case? You would be sitting about 3ft away from the cooker when you are having a poo!!!!!!! and it's hardly private!!!!!!!
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Old 02-06-2015   #7
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I found this thread on an ongoing restoration on a 900T van it may have some thing useful on it if you haven't seen it already.

http://auto****e.com/topic/9153-my-1...pdated-010615/
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Old 02-06-2015   #8
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

The toilet is going to bog-off.
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Old 03-06-2015   #9
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I have been inspired by that Blog Tony, but you have to replace the asterisks on the link with the letters "autoshtie", but not in that order
Today I had a short drive in and a brief foray under the car. The drive showed me that it is a nice thing to operate but that it could be A LOT BETTER!!!
The steering is very vague, brakes useless, there is a lot of strange rumbling and low mechanical vibration and it generally doesn't feel very safe; so a lot to do there.
Using only my bare hands I wrenched off pieces of the inner front valance and caused collateral damage to the short pieces of forward, front sill on each side.
DSC_6285 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
DSC_6277 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
Another obvious problem area is the rear nearside of the engine compartment.
DSC_6290 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
There will be more to follow and there is nothing that wasn't declared upfront when I bought it.
So I now have the start of a shopping list. The trouble is that I am used to the 500 for which you can get nearly every panel above AND below. This car will be more of a handmade job.
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Old 04-06-2015   #10
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I have been looking at the panels which are available and it seems to be less of a problem than I first thought. I doubt I will find much to help with chassis repairs but I have found several sources for bodywork; mainly original Fiat panels. I expect an expensive order to be made before the weekend.
Here's an image of the engine bay to illustrate (particularly to 500 owners) the excellent access you get for such a well tucked away motor.
DSC_6289 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
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Old 05-06-2015   #11
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I came across a supplier in Italy who had a really useful range of panels which I definitely need and a few which I didn't expect to find but will make the job so much easier.
So I have paid for a package which includes a used but nearly perfect driver's and passenger door, a brand-new side door, a pair of genuine sills, a pair of short sills for the front sides and the complex, curved, bottom door reveal.
These are just the start and no doubt I will find problems with adjoining panels. But by spending a lot I was offered some significant discount and with the door at least, I have good head start to the restoration. Just a shame that all my hard-earned Ebay "winnings" of the past few weeks have been blown in one go.
The problem is that, not being Robert de Niro I find it hard talking Italian and the names of some of those pieces are outrageous, eg:
SOTTOPORTA DESTRO SINISTRO FIAT 850 900 T E PULMINO FAMILIARE MODELLO LISCIO
ARCO GIRO RUOTA DESTRO FIAT 600 850 900 T E FAMILIARE PULMINO ORIGINALE
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Old 12-06-2015   #12
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

This could be an interesting thread Peter.
You do like a bit of rust don't you!


Good luck with your latest project.
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Old 12-06-2015   #13
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Franko500 View Post
This could be an interesting thread Peter.
You do like a bit of rust don't you!


Good luck with your latest project.
Luck has sort of been with me so far with finding panels so quickly.
The great thing about the design is that most of the structural strength is in the re-inforced floor so you don't have to tackle every bit of rot at once.
There have been a lot of bodges which I can't live with so some un-picking will have to be done.
I start cutting it out next week even though I yet have to make it a little hut for it to live in.
For now it keeps the grandkids entertained as as temporary garden house.
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Old 14-06-2015   #14
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
Another thing that intrigues me is that Wikipedia (not faultless of course) seems to be saying that the Amigo was a Fiat creation when I always thought it was adapted by a British company.
The Amigo was a camper version created by 'Motor Caravan Conversions' of Berkhamstead. The company was set up by a chap called Bill Rix. The first Amigo was built on the 850T chassis. They also offered the 'Fiesta' and the 'Fargo' versions as well...

They continued offering the Amigo on the 900T chassis, until for reasons I'm not sure of, Fiat took over when the 900E chassis was introduced and the Amigo became an official Fiat conversion available through Fiat dealers...

I have a reference book by Alessandro Sannia of conversions done on 600 multipla, 850T, 900T and 900E, but it is all in Italian...

I have no idea which aftermarket converter did the 'Sleeping Giant' conversion, although it is one of the last conversions. I do know that the 'Pandora' was converted by 'Caravans International' of Newmarket...

I hope that is of some use...
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Old 14-06-2015   #15
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

That's very interesting Vin. thanks for the information.
I suspect that MCC built the late ones in any case as I can see some similarities in trim and in the roof mechanism.
It does seem strange how scarce the information about these conversions appears to be.....matches the scarcity of the vans themselves I suppose.
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