1963 Fiat 1200 Convertible

The Fiat 1200 series was a spiritual predecessor to the popular Fiat 124, which enjoyed great success and was built under license in several countries after Fiat ceased production. Available in sedan, coupe and convertible body styles, these cars were powered by a 1.2 liter, 55 horsepower inline four cylinder engine. This example for sale, while a little rough, is fairly complete. In white, it's a nice departure from the classic red which you usually see these convertibles painted.

1963 Fiat 1200 Convertible

For sale is a 1963 Fiat 1200 Cabriolet. This car is a nearly complete running and driving project car that has had some partial restoration work done to it previously. Nearly everything functions on this car. It is believed this car spent its entire life in California. Based on the bright work and the presence of the emblem (which is in poor condition), it is highly likely that this car was a coach built Veturre Speciali.

This is a good candidate to be completely restored and is being offered at a price that will allow the buyer to do so and still maintain their investment in a vehicle that is becoming increasingly rare and quickly rising in value. Many of these cars languish in garages due to rust, lack of trim pieces, or completely destroyed mechanicals. This car does need work, but it is miles ahead of a majority of the projects available. It has been gone over and inspected and every attempt is made to list both the good and bad points about this car.

Exterior:

It has fair to good quality paint, uniform with no evidence of rust or perforation anywhere on the body exterior. The right front, the rear valence, and lower left rear of the rocker have undergone amateur dent repair. The sheet metal is not stretched or grossly misshapen. No evidence of rust in these areas. The top is of average quality, in fairly good condition and functions correctly except that it is torn behind the driver window on the side and has a small tear behind the passenger window. It will need to be replaced.

The bright work on the car is in relatively good condition and intact. The bumpers need to be replaced or re-chromed with some repair to the metal. These are readily available new. The following items do need to be re-chromed: outer door handles, rear trunk handle, rear deck strips, windshield frame and mirrors. The stainless on the grille surround should be professionally straightened. Hub caps are present and in good condition.

Mechanical:

The engine has low compression and blow-by. It idles fairly well and starts with the turn of a key. The valve train appears to be in good condition, but it smokes and lacks power. It either needs rings, pistons or both. The engine does not knock or overheat. The correct carburetor is freshly rebuilt and functions as it should. It has the correct air cleaner and accessories on the engine. The mechanical fuel pump failed and it has a new electric pump installed. It has an aftermarket electronic ignition. Exhaust is complete and intact. The plastic fan blade is missing one blade.

All of the gears in the Transmission function and engage. There is a rattle in the clutch area. There is no noise from the rear differential. The clutch operates as would be expected as well as the brakes. There is a slight squeak from the left front when applying the brakes at low speed. The car stops straight. The handbrake functions, but the actuator in the handle needs to be repaired. Tires are in good condition.

Interior:

The interior is in good condition. The seats are retrofitted from quite possibly an 1100 of the same era, but they function as expected and are of the correct color and upholstered in cloth centers with vinyl bolsters. The carpet is not original as well as the door seals. The door panels are recovered in black vinyl and lack armrests and the proper interior trim rings. Interior floor pans are solid, but do have some surface rust that should be cleaned and treated. There is no perforation and the sheet metal is good.

Electrical:

All of the electrical items function including the under hood lights and trunk light. The heater fan is slow as well as the wiper motor. The passenger door jamb switch needs to be replaced. The column switch should be rebuilt or replaced. Lenses are in very good condition and all of the lights work correctly. The fuel sender needs to be repaired or replaced, the gauge has been tested and functions. The charging system is functional.

Bringing such a vehicle back to concours condition would be a tedious undertaking, given the availability of certain parts and trim. This example would lend itself well to a nice freshening up to bring it back to a drivable condition, enabling you to show it at club and classic car events on occasion. If this Fiat could be bought for around $5,000 to $7,000, it would make a less expensive, and interesting, alternative to the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.

-Paul

5 thoughts on “1963 Fiat 1200 Convertible”

  1. The eBay auction has ended for this vehicle and it appears to have been sold. We are not the owners of the vehicle, as we post ads from third party sellers. If you are interested in seeing if the car is still for sale, I would suggest contacting the seller via eBay.

    Regards,

    Paul

  2. This car was sold. We do have another 1200 coming available in much better condition than this. It has fresh baby blue paint and correct sheet metal work completed. The car will be completed in about a month. It has to undergo mechanical and electrical inspection and corrections. We also have a red one that will be ready soon, but it has had some sheet metal modifications. It will definitely be a driver, not a show car.

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