Fiat 1200

“Can you fix my car?”

“Maybe. Let’s have a look”.

Behold a 1962 Fiat convertible. It’s not in terrible shape, but it’s been ‘restored’ previously, and not with any particular skill. Off the road for many years, it needs the usual brake hydraulic parts, a water pump, and a bunch of body work. the rockers, or more accurately,the frame channels, have mostly evaporated.


A previous repair involved tack brazing a rocker skin over the damaged original. This ski was not painted or primed on the inside.


View from the back end. This reminds me of seaweed hanging off dock pilings at low tide.

As Gertrude Stein might say “There is no there, there”.


As seen from below.

This car is not as popular as some of  the later Fiats, and so one cannot simply pick up the phone and purchase new body panels.

To the good, the rest of the floor sections are in good shape, with plenty of structural integrity.

Given that some of the original metal is nowhere to be seen, the best available option is to purchase something that, at the very least, is pattern worthy.

We found a usable tub in California. It wasn’t exactly cheap, but under the circumstances, it will do.


This is the right side rocker, cleaned of extraneous tabs and other junk metal. Some of the inner panel is still solid. Most of the rustier metal will be replaced.


These are the two inner panel patch sections, waiting to be trimmed to size and contour.


A simple patch tab.


And what it replaced. Thin and perforated.

Each frame sections is comprised of three long panels, and three inner panel baffles.


This panel was carefully extracted to be used as a pattern. After taking relevant measurements, I flattened it.


Outline traced onto manila folder.


With relevant notes.


Preliminary bends. This is a test piece. The finals will not have holes punched in the tabs.


The press form.


Begin the bend.


Full bend.


More or less finished. I have to punch a large pass through hole through the center of each side to permit inner panel sealing.


Partially inserted into the channel.

The plan is to rebuild the inner half of the frame section, and the rebuild the exterior skin prior to fitment to the chassis.