1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

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atruscott
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First Name: Andy

1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:25 am

Hi All,

In case it’s of interest to anyone, here’s a few pictures, and a description of ongoing work on my Wagon.

Acquired a couple of years ago from California, external paint is Light Blue (480) and a wonderful red interior with hardly any wear on the rear seat.

I bought her sight unseen (!), and as you’d expect/fear there was quite a lot of hidden bodywork issues, in addition to those you could see.

A list of the major issues:

- drivers floor rotten, missing front vertical to firewall due to rust (could stop the car flintstone style!)
- passenger floor rust perforated
- both inner sills rotten
- apparently sound outer sills 20% bondo
- driver side front impact at some point in the past had left the front wing with a poor paint job, and some rippling covered with bondo
- driver side inner wing had been cut and a braised 1.5” strip added to remove crumpling. Braised! Really!?
- front driver side frame leg bent
- front scuttle panel with a horizontal ripple behind the bumper
- passenger side wing with top end rot from plugged windscreen drain hole
- hood warped
- trunk frame lower lip rusted out
- front edge of rear wheel arch driver side full of bondo
- other age related lumps and bumps

The motor was in pretty good shape. The 1592 TC was a one year only deal on the wagon, 1974, and once the emissions gear had been removed (she’s from California), it ran pretty strong. Closer inspection yielded a head fitted to a Scorpion in (I think) 1976 with larger valves than was original, and a “performance” intake cam that is stamped 11B, and is potentially a Pittatore 43/83... and she does have a certain lope. In addition there’s a crane electronic ignition. Transmission was the GM sourced TH180 automatic.

My conclusion being that she was cared for at some point in her life!

... and there began a restoration, which is distinctly suffering from scope creep! An initial “make good” mentality, has crept into a “while I’m here”, with decisions to retro the bumpers and side markers (as the front wings were being replaced anyway), and finally into a “as the motors out” decision to install a built motor and 131 transmission.

I’m terrible at keeping these threads updated, so apologies. Photos below.

Andy
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
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atruscott
Posts: 597
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:40 pm
Last Name: Truscott
First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:36 am

Here’s some more photos from the “process”.

Taking her apart yielded some additional opportunities to get busy with a grinder.
Attachments
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3512EFFB-0CE9-4AF6-AFB2-3BB7FDF82E88.jpeg (455 KiB) Viewed 892 times
1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
User avatar
atruscott
Posts: 597
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:40 pm
Last Name: Truscott
First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:38 am

I forgot above that the lower corners of the windscreen were also replaced. Thank goodness that Lada still have all the right parts in production (a thought that has repeated itself several times!)
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
User avatar
atruscott
Posts: 597
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:40 pm
Last Name: Truscott
First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:43 am

Replacing the front floors with a combination of new metal parts sourced through the amazing guys at AutoRicambi.us, and some fabrication work on the vertical piece. Also, new inner and outer sills - again from AR.
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
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friedman
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Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by friedman » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:45 am

So much for buying California cars to avoid rust. Time to get out your welder.
You could leave the auto box in and get an auto rear from a spider for decent gearing.
Carl in Virginia
75 spider
83 Bertone
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atruscott
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First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:48 am

Getting to grips with the front end part one!

I’m very fortunate in that in addition to sharing a pretty well sorted workshop with a good friend, fellow fiat enthusiast, and certified “carburetor-whisperer”, Jeff, I have a very good traditional body shop near me. I moved the car down there, where she’s sat in a quiet corner... I get to visit and work on her under the supervision of Albert - someone who knows what they’re doing, and can work on the hard bits..... the front end categorically counts as a hard bit!
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
User avatar
atruscott
Posts: 597
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:40 pm
Last Name: Truscott
First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:50 am

Taking a time out from head scratching on the front end - the discovery of bondo in the rear wheel arches meant cutting some donor metal from the old front wings (which were replaced) to match the radius and shape of the old.
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
User avatar
atruscott
Posts: 597
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:40 pm
Last Name: Truscott
First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:52 am

Front end part two. Removal of the motor and transmission had yielded up that the front frame leg really was bent, and frankly , if I’m going to the hassle of this work - might as well fix that inner wing...
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
User avatar
atruscott
Posts: 597
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:40 pm
Last Name: Truscott
First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:59 am

This is about the time the final scope creep came about. One of my other cars yielded up a cracked transmission housing on the TH180..... given I’d removed the transmission from the wagon, I rebuilt it completely (great kits available from the Holden guys in Australia for pretty reasonable prices), and installed it in the suffering spider.

This preempted the “lets put a stick shift in the wagon” moment, and (to Carl’s point above), “let’s make it a 131 to begin to compensate for the shorter rear end in the wagon”. This ended up with “well, as it’s a 131, may as well have a motor that can exploit it a little”.... so the motor is going to be a built 1995, with high compression, aggressive streetable cams, 44 IDFs on a genuine 132 code waffle top intake.

.... and I want this to be a sleeper, so those Rota Shatokan wheels will have to go.... I think Biturbo will work nicely.

This period also featured a “let’s get the bumpers working” time too.
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
User avatar
atruscott
Posts: 597
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:40 pm
Last Name: Truscott
First Name: Andy

Re: 1974 124 Wagon TC Restoration

Post by atruscott » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:06 am

There’s a very satisfactory moment when welding, grinding, swearing, random ignition of things that shouldn’t burn, is over - and skimming, blocking, and sanding can start. The car starts to look like there might be an end in sight (at least for the body!)
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1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile
1970 238 Camper OHV
1974 124 Wagon TC
1974 124 Special TC
1975 124 Sport Coupe
1976 124 Sport Spider (The Racer)
1981 Spider 2000 (The Resurrected)
1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
2017 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione
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