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Old 05-04-2014   #1
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'87 126 Aircooled

Hi all,
Here's my '87 Aircooled 126 with 33k.

Bought basically as a rolling shell, 2 engines supplied (neither fitted) 2 gearboxes, loads and loads of spares, but everything that was attached to the car, had been removed and placed in boxes by a previous owner. It became a fullsize jigsaw! Multiple shades of tired white paint, but underneath - a REALLY solid shell...


One engine was electronic ignition, the other one (that was dismantled and in boxes and bags) was good ol' fashioned dizzy cap ignition. Realised quickly that the fully assembled engine was not the original (wiring completely different) - but hell, what's the worst that could happen! Was the quickest option to get an idea of what I had to work with...

Engine in :


Good start! Noisy, unpredictable - but working.
Would later spend ALOT of time making the little 650cc run sweet (more of that to come)

Had a small patch of welding done in the standard passenger footwell area but other than that - panels in great nick, structurally strong and rust free

Due next was a respray...


And with an interior that started like this...

... A full interior update was definately needed!
So over the winter months, borrowed an old sewing machine (figuring it can't be that hard to use... erm ) Retrimmed the original seats in leather (Lets call it a... Learning experience ) and after many nights of wasted material, cursing and near crying - I ended up with some nice, original looking seats (completed photos below)

Paint - sorted. Engine - sorted. Interior - sorted.
Next job - Prep for MOT!

Knowing that this car hadn't had an MOT in 5 years, was expecting the worst.
But no, he (for he is a He) came through strong. New kingpins were needed and track rod ends. The wiring caused me some headaches, mainly because the previous owner had dismantled everything and it was a case of tracking everything back to find it's original home. The headlamps didn't work, the horn didn't work, the fuse box was all wrong... Many weeks of checking, changing, fixing and sorting left me thinking that the only thing that could possibly be left to change was the indicator stalks themselves. Bought new ones from Nathan @ Fiat500Classic - and bang, we have light!

So MOT day came. Again, expecting the worst.
What felt like hours and hours passed (really - about 2 hours tops!) And the phone call came through. Passed! With only one advisory. "General Underbody Corrosion" - OK, I can live / deal with that! First MOT in five years and passed first time - he's a winner in my book.

So as the little 126 stands today :





The blood sweat n tears that are my own retrimmed leather seats,
new red carpet, snazzy red seat belts...


Hope you like and looking forward to getting involved in the forum
Dan
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Old 05-04-2014   #2
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Re: '87 126 Aircooled

looks great, good work - cars in pieces can so often just get scrapped cause noone wants to take on the headache, so top marks to you
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Old 05-04-2014   #3
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Re: '87 126 Aircooled

Too true.
Would love to have known what the previous guy was planning... Complete strip down, engine out... sounds like it could've gone either way - big project or, like you say scrappies and ebay parts.
Who knows!
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Old 05-04-2014   #4
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Re: '87 126 Aircooled

ah, so many things are started with the best of intentions - i myself have started such a project which ended in car going to scrappies, i have never forgiven myself for it!
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Old 05-04-2014   #5
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Re: '87 126 Aircooled

Quote Originally Posted by blu73 View Post
ah, so many things are started with the best of intentions - i myself have started such a project which ended in car going to scrappies, i have never forgiven myself for it!
Yep me too it's never an easy decision to make but sometimes you just have to admit defeat
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Old 05-04-2014   #6
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Re: '87 126 Aircooled

I just started something i just didn't have the skill or knowledge to complete at the time - something i prob could have done in a weekend these days - think thats why i'm so hard on myself about it cause now it just don't seem like a big deal at all Live and learn i guess.
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Old 05-04-2014   #7
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Re: '87 126 Aircooled

Mine was timing and cost - basically it was cheaper to buy a roadworthy one and be able to drive it there and then than to spend double the amount on it and still do two years more work on it. Sometimes it's the only way to learn
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