1972 Fiat 124 Special T 1000 miles now and nothing has fallen off!

1972 Fiat 124 Special T 1000 miles now and nothing has fallen off!

The 124 has covered over 1000 miles now and nothing has fallen off! Testament to the guys at Middle Barton Garage for bolting it all together properly and to Barkaways Ferrari for building me a superb engine – Guy Croft would be pleased.

The Special T has had its first service and major spanner check at Alfaworks in Hertfordshire where a small water leak was found, the carbs were tweaked slightly and the rear ride height was adjusted. The GAZ shock absorbers were softened off all round which, together with the higher rear end, has totally transformed the driving experience. It’s still firm but the wheels stay on the ground and you don’t wince or lose teeth over potholes.

The previous mild steel exhaust system has been removed from the downpipe back and a bespoke stainless system fabricated and fitted by STS in Bedford. The 124 is so much quieter and the system follows the same route as the original exhaust so it no longer scrapes on speed bumps and the like. It still makes the right noises, though.

Next job is to tackle the exhaust manifold. Not as easy as it sounds as there is nothing available ‘off the shelf’ for a right-hand drive, rear-wheel drive, twin-cam Fiat. I have had quotes from quite a few well-known stainless steel experts ranging from £750 to £1500, with huge lead times too. At this time I simply can’t justify that kind of money, so I am looking at other options.

My 124 has been shown at various local car meets and has generated much interest and encouragement but none more so than our own Italian Car Day at Brooklands last October. The only good thing about moving the date from earlier in the year was the car was actually ready!

My 124 was part of the Guy Croft tribute display and didn’t look out of place. It attracted much praise and conversation, rubbing shoulders with other twin-cam engined classics. Apologies for not taking it on track or up the hill – maybe next time!

Thanks to Middle Barton Garage, Barkaways and Alfaworks for their help, patience and encouragement

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