8/18/2003: Exposing more..

Today I removed the rubber mat that covers the cross-member support that runs under the seats. This is tricky because it’s both screwed and glued on. I managed to get it off without adding too many new tears.

The metal underneath is (fortunately) in decent condition, with some rust where it meets the floor.

I also decided to (gulp) poke at the rockers and see how bad things were.

Here’s the pile of rust I poked out of the passenger’s side:

Oh dear.

Well, it turns out that there is still an inner rocker panel on the passenger’s side, but it’s not in particularly great shape.

On the driver’s side, though, there’s a portion of it in the front that is totally gone.

Without cutting off the outer rocker panels (or at least opening the holes more), I can’t be sure how bad things really are back there. I plan on getting advice from an expert before I dig any deeper.

On that note I decided to shift my attention to sorting through the last batch of parts I brought over from the barn.

I found a few used parts, some of which had been repainted. I also found a number of small NOS parts, still in their FIAT bags.

There’s an interesting story behind a lot of these parts. They came with the rusty parts car I mentioned before. Its owner (an old friend of my father’s, from what I can recall) had been restoring it. He’d purchased many parts and refinished much of the car’s mechanicals. Unfortunately, he went and had kids, and suddenly there was no time for the FIAT. It sat for years, eventually rusting so badly that it was essentially broken in half. When my father and I went to pick up some parts, the owner’s wife insisted that if we wanted the parts, we also had to remove the rusted shell from the patio behind the house. No problem! So now I have a large cache of parts (including some rare ones, like a factory hard-top), and two halves of a car in a barn. I’ll snap some pictures of it next time i’m there. It’s pretty amusing.