We Cannot Save Them All
The Terminal 1959 Fiat 1200 Cabriolet
One spring day, Whitney dragged home this wonderfully Italian drop top. Pretty girls get lots of free things, in this case, one was given this crusty old cabrio.
The FIAT 1200 Cabriolet was introduced in 1959 to replace the 1200 Spyder. The styling was updated with a body penned by Pininfarina and kept economical by using the underpinnings of the FIAT Nuova 1100, a small family car in FIAT's lineup. This was another example where one could enjoy glamour for a modest investment. I am always a sucker for a pig wearing lipstick.
Unfortunately, there was no hope for this sad little Piedmont. It had been so eaten by tin worm that the only way to keep if from breaking in twain was keeping the doors closed. The bottom half of the car was nearly gone and previous repairs of screws, plywood, plastic filler, and house insulation had only exacerbated the corrosion. It looked like it had been used as a boat, a poor one at that. As such, Whitney and I came to the heartrending decision to put the car down and harvest its organs in hopes that others could continue.
We assembled a team to meticulously dismantle the car and tag each usable item to pass on to others in need of vital parts. I shed a tear as each piece was pulled from this once elegant conveyance.
We had my sister working under the hood, Whitney's father at the rear, our friends Brittany and Cory on the left and the right, with me in the middle, and Whitney squirreling away our automotive inventory.
The view from the driver seat was bitter sweet. Although it was dirty, much of the inputs were still serviceable. This would be a car I could never experience along a twisty scenic drive. Yet I rejoiced in those that could be kept going in the sports car's sacrifice. It died in the drive so that others may live.
With the doors off, the true extent of the affliction was revealed as the little FIAT bifurcated with a final groan. I so very much wanted to be able to save this car. The time and the money that would have to of been spent to restore the splendor were insurmountable.
To date, we have been able to net nearly a $2000 in profit selling off the parts we saved. We still have many in stock for those reading who may be in need. By giving it's life, Whitney and I have been able to use the 1200's parts to help get a few other Cabriolets back on the road. It is an inconvenient truth, be we cannot save them all.