1960 FIAT Abarth Monomille Duck Tail‏ Restoration

This Fiat Abarth Monomille Duck Tail is the subject of an on-going restoration thread on affbb.com by it’s owner, forum member Andrew Schank. He took on the “resurrection” project for a client, starting with a rough car that had been sitting for the past 33 years. It’s always a crime to witness these rare vintage cars left outside to rot, and we can’t help but wonder if it had been rescued even 10 years earlier if some of that cool patina could have been savable. Sympathetic restorations are always favorable over full nut and bolts when possible, but this one was too far gone by that point, unfortunately. It’s previous owner had purchased it second hand in the early 70’s, and luckily it appeared to remain 100% complete with it’s original Abarth 1000 CC engine included as well as a set of rare magnesium Campagnolo “Electron” 13X4 wheels that it was still wearing. Original Campy wheels + roll bar + Abarth badges = always the right mix of ingredients when authentic. In theory it appears to be such a simple formula, but in reality it is oh so very elusive.


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Although the structure’s steel was not in very good shape due to poor storage (tragedy), the alloy body was still found to be in decent shape with signs of only some minor previous repairs and a few spots of corrosion.
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Further investigation to this particular car’s pedigree found that it’s serial number was the highest known for any Abarth Monomille, after an inquiry was made to the proprietor of the German Abarth website.
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Beginning the journey back to it’s former glory, the body was first fully stripped and then it was taken to a soda blaster.  Afterwards, the car was power washed with a commercial salt remover “Holdtight 102” in order to help prevent any future flash rusting.
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The magnesium Campagnolo rims were in excellent original shape with no hint of any stress cracks found, so they were refurbished with a period correct rough finish and then wrapped in 175/60 HR 13 tires.
It’s Zagato style door handles were restored next, which are a cool retro design that resembles those which are featured on today’s current Aston Martin DB-7 series, with a push button that brings the door lever out.
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After quite a bit of searching floors were found to be temporarily out of production, so some custom fabrication was the next order of business. Approximately 20 hours were spent sanding, fitting it’s doors and lids then welding in order to bring the chassis up to the same standard as the rest of the car’s restoration.
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Once it was ready for paint, Rosso Alfa AR 501 was chosen using a 15 to 30% flattener added to the clear coat to give it the appropriate vintage look since modern urethane paints have a wet look that don’t appear period correct.
The original steering wheel’s alloy  spokes were then polished and repainted, with a new horn button attached and it’s chrome ring was plated using Motochrome paint. The “paint on chrome” spray was used on the front grille too since it is an ideal product to use on parts that happen to be too delicate to send to the chrome platers.
The bumpers and other assorted parts were sent out to be re chromed, which was pricey but the final results justified the extra cost. The future plan for this Abarth is for it to head to Conrad Stevensen’s shop to finish the mechanical sorting and to install it’s glass. In addition, the transmission, axles, gauges and brake calipers will be sent out to specialists for rebuilding, as well. Since the engine has already been rebuilt some time ago, it will be re-opened for new seals and gaskets installation before being put back into the car.
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Follow along during the final build moments of this rare 1,100 pound Fiat Abarth Monomille’s resurrection thread HERE.
Before pictures HERE.

2 Comments on 1960 FIAT Abarth Monomille Duck Tail‏ Restoration

  1. Is Campagnolo that makes these Abarth rims the same as the Italian bike component manufacturer?

  2. Yes, they are one and the same.

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