Strada Abarth
sporting fiats club Friday, September 22, 2017

Introduction

Strada History

125TC

130TC

125TC Spec

130TC Spec

Buying Guide

FAQs

SFC Gallery

Stories

 

Links

Register Interest


 
130TC Abarth/125TC Abarth

Shaken and stirred!
When talking Strada, SFC pride of place must go to the 130TC Abarth... Fiat’s second attempt to respond to the success of the Golf GTi in one of their traditionally strong model areas. Fiat initially responded to the Golf with a range of performance options in the Strada 105TC. In 1983 the first of the later new body shape 2 litre Stradas arrived in the UK.
In performance terms this 130TC Abarth immediately became the hottest of the hot hatches. But could you live with it? And could your local Fiat dealer keep up with it? The 130TC is the only eighties hot hatch not to opt for fuel injection with their new engine management systems. So more effort was always needed to keep them well tuned. Your family relations were equally as unlikely to like the harsh ride - or lateral ‘g’ forces fast driving could generate. This car could only become ‘cult’ to a performance crowd, and never a shopping crowd.
But you’d expect to be both shaken and stirred by a performance car wouldn’t you?
It can carry the Abarth badges with pride – a true descendant of the Abarth philosophy. In Europe its ‘cousin’ was the 125TC never officially marketed in the UK. Here we take a closer look at the two Abarths – the 125TC Ritmo Abarth and the 130TC Strada Abarth.
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125TC and 130TC History
Ritmo 125TC Abarth
During 1978 and ‘79, Abarth developed a class winning Ritmo for the Tour of Italy. Using these as prototypes Abarth then modified the Ritmo rear suspension, and uprated brake designs that were transferred into the 125TC. Production began in the last months of 1981 and ceased in 1983. But the car was not to be officially imported into the UK - so we can't call it a Strada!
Documentation for the 125TC suggests that right hand drive versions were prototyped with the intention of export. But the standard Strada had been criticised by the UK motoring press - being dubbed ‘un-Italian’. Its softer ride and heavy, chunky body did not find favour. And reports at the time suggested Fiat UK chose to wait for the new shaped ‘Super Strada’ hot hatch - the 130TC.

Whatever the reason, the 125TC was not officially imported into the UK and the 125TCs in the UK are all left-hand drive (as far as we know). The 3-door hatchback had a 1995 cc twin cam engine (type AR1.000), Abarth badged Pirelli ‘One to One’ wheels (used on all the Abarth road salloons then) and a mid-hatch rear spoiler. Its body shell was substantially stiffened from standard and the interior was well equipped.

Here's a summary of the 125 TC spec:
125TC Spec

Engine 138 AR1.000 Twin Cam belt driven
4 cylinder in line, 1995cc, 9.45:1 compression
84mm bore x 90mm stroke
Output 125bhp DIN @ 5800rpm 124 ft/lbs @3600
Lubrication: rotary pump sump cap. 4.1kg radiator cooled
Coolant: pump, thermostat & electric booster fan cap 7.5li
Carburation 1x Weber 34 DMTR 51/250
Ignition Electronic
Fuel Tank capacity 11 gals, electronic pump
Gearbox: 5 speed ZF all synchro, clutch: single dry plate
Final Drive Cylindrical screw, 14/50 ratio
Suspension Front: McPherson strut type, coil springs, with lower wishbones, longitudinal tie rods
Rear: independent wishbones with transverse leaf spring & telescopic shock absorbers
Brakes Front: disc, single piston & swing arm caliper
Rear: drum
Weight 980kg unladen
Wheels/tyres 14ins 185/60 HR Pirelli
Pirelli Plus One/Abarth badge wheels


Strada 130TC Abarth
It must have stung Fiat, so long the practiced manufacturer at putting lots of power into a small car, when Volkswagen invented the Golf GTi. Here was the one market segment they seemed to have so many alternative models for (like the 127 GT, 128 Sport, 128 3P). Yet there was to be no access to the huge numbers of Golf GTi's sold for Fiat.
The 1600cc 105TC was imported late into the UK, it simply lacked the Golf’s’ pulling power – in all senses. So when Volkswagen gave their updated second series Golf GTi more options and comforts, Fiat went for all out performance and driveability. And we got the 130TC.
It was sold here between 1983 & ‘87. Just over 700 were officially imported. The Abarth logo and rarity guaranteed this car’s classic status from the outset. It was also the last production FIAT to be assembled on a separate Abarth production line – the last of the true Abarths. (Abarth were then to FIAT what Advanced Vehicle Operations were to Ford UK, wholly owned but distinct).
Slightly lighter than the 125TC that it replaced, the 130TC also had a stronger clutch and improved cam profiles giving it both better performance, greater fuel economy and a significantly flatter torque curve.
Externally it is distinguished by expanses of black plastic trim, bumpers with front driving lights and black wheel arch extensions. (All these items are now in short supply.)
It is also the only performance Strada with transparent wind deflectors on the front and tops of its door windows. These cut out wind whistle from the front gutters at high speed. (The Strada ES – that’s Energy Saving – also had ’anti drag’ deflectors but they are a different shape.)
As with most Fiats the model number represents the power output - and TC as always stands for ‘Twin Cam’.
The 130TC suspension is very similar to the 125TC - a heavy-duty version of the standard Strada. I’d only note that the rear transverse leaf arrangement works but consumes Koni Sport shock absorbers (in my case) faster than any other car I’ve known. The rear lower wishbone bushes also need to be regularly replaced for safety and enjoyment (every 60k miles?).
Early 130TC imports had either two Weber or Solex side draught twin carbs, later cars were exclusively Solex. Visually the main external differences between the carbs are the red plastic trumpets of the Solex (Weber having steel). If the air/fuel mixture remains poorly adjusted or crank case pressures increase from worn piston rings and bores, you may find the Solex trumpets blackened, blistered and even melted! Weber carbs were offered on the Fiat spares list.
Some of the series 2 130TCs in SFC were retro fitted with the Weber carbs (costing about £650). Solex steel trumpets were offered by some carb specialists but exact copies have not been readily available for some time. The spares situation with Weber carbs has always been better and I would personally prefer them if only for the spares and larger pool of tuning knowledge available.
Of course it’s the engine that makes the 130TC. Its 2-litre twin cam represents the zenith of 20 years development by Fiat. Its cams are the best production compromise between economy torque and power of all the carbed twinks, its bottom end is as strong and robust as they ever made.
The main problem is that, in my experience, the 130TC was beyond many UK Fiat dealerships to maintain and keep well tuned. Likewise subsequent generations of Injection & Engine Management nurtured enthusiasts are unused and unwilling to invest the effort and money to keep these cars in full tune. The 130TC needs a rolling road/ Weber specialist if you were to avoid flatspots in the rev range and experience your 10-15% performance advantage over the Golf rapidly becoming negative!
The mark 2 or series 2 as some prefer from 1985 was a cosmetic update with different wheels and interior cloth (now black with a red 5 bar Fiat insignia pattern). The grill used was now the standard twin headlight version of the Super Strada – (with a smooth plastic grill outside of the headlights).

Series 2 Strada Abarth 130TC - as imported to UK - colours red, black or this metalic gun metal grey

Here’s a summary of the 130TC spec…
130TC Spec
Engine 138 AR2.000 Twin cam belt driven
4 cylinder in line, 1995cc, 9.4:1 compression
84mm bore x 90mm stroke
Output 130bhp DIN @ 5900rpm 130 ft/lbs @3600
Carburation 2x Weber 40 DCOE or Solex C40 ADDHE
Ignition Electronic Digiplex/ Marelli
Fuel Tank capacity 12.1 gals, electronic pump
Gearbox 5 speed ZF all sinchro, clutch: single dry plate
Final Drive Cylindrical helicoidal pair, 15/51 ratio
Suspension Front: McPherson strut type, coil springs, with lower arm, anti roll bar & angled tie rods
Rear: independent strut type with transverse leaf spring & wishbone lower arms
Brakes Front: disc, single piston & swing arm caliper
Rear: drum
Weight 950kg unladen
Wheels/tyres 14ins 185/60 Pirelli P6/P60
Series 1 Pirelli Plus One/Abarth badge wheels
Series 2 Cromadora/Abarth badge slotted alloy



130TC Buying Guide
Made without galvanised panels the Strada body shells are prone to rust and flexing. Unlike the Unos, there were never large numbers of potential low mileage donors around. Even by 1990 it was difficult to locate new shells from anywhere in the world.
While a very good 130TC will fetch £4-5000, and really excellent examples near their original list price, there are few left that approach this sort of quality. Add to this their rather angular shape, and almost total lack of external distinguishing features from the standard Stradas – and the result is an underestimated, under-valued, rare classic.
At this age you should be budgeting for a rolling restoration. I’d advise not to buy on a whim, or for a season. Panels are available through the club and specialists – but you are unlikely to see any large financial gains afterwards. They do make a good DIY restoration project for their driving pleasure and performance, providing you check the insurance premiums first and can arrange for the bodywork and general maintenance. If this is your first restoration project, they are a bit of a handful. (I'd recommend re -shelling an Uno Turbo as an easier warm up exercise!)
Future increases in value will depend upon a change of heart within the Abarth buying classic communities – who looked upon the numbers of Abarths produced in this period with alarm and prejudice. Whether the 130TC is perceived as an Abarth as opposed to whether it factually is one is important. Time, I hope, will moderate the perceptions that the only real Abarths were made before 1971 - before Fiat bought out the original company. The 130TC is almost unheard of in the States too – and that doesn’t help.

Despite this the Strada is in every way a thoroughbred Abarth.
Body Notes
Body – look at the car’s stance it should not be low at the rear (sagging rear leaf spring). A full seam inspection is needed from below – so get it on a professional garage ramp.
If the structural seams are rusting (lifting the under seal along the seam) then the panels need replacing even if they are solid elsewhere. Take someone who can cost this along. Here’s the Strada top ten rust areas:
- anywhere under external plastic trim
- fuel tank, boot floor and seams
- outer panel at window above rear wheel arch (then suspect the rear suspension turrets too)
- front inner wings, esp. below battery box & front turrets
- A posts/B posts especially around floor & inner sills
- Engine sub frame
- Windscreen scuttle (stone chips & clumsy screen changes)
- Floor at gear box & seat mounts
- Door frames - especially the rear hatch
- Sun roof surround (if fitted)
Interior – if it gets damp long enough, the roof lining will part company from its backing, check this hasn’t begun… difficult to glue back. Sit in the back seats and check for bulging & partial detachment of the roof lining.
- Front seats & door cards the Recaro’s can look warn after 40k, the material is difficult to source, especially the later black with red Fiat insignia cloth.
- Check to ensure plastic push fit parts are present.
- Check switch gear, switches and dash warning lights.
- Rev counter is electronically fed from the Engine Control Unit suspect the Digiplex unit if its jumping around (non trivial and expensive a good ECU box costs up to £300.) Don't let water get behind the Digiplex unit - corrosion on the terminals is a common failure point.
- Check all electrics operation, dash warning lights & suspect the earth points & loom
- Column controls and plastic items are difficult to source.
Mechanicals
- Don’t expect main dealers to help or care. Budget for a rolling road session annually with a Weber/ Solex specialist to get the best performance. The accelerator cable is prone to stretching so check that with the pedal pressed to the floor, the carb butterfly valves are fully open.
- Check for induction and exhaust leaks. Carbs are mounted on composite blocks and the rubber cracks (every 30-40k miles). Replace with all aluminum mounts and MISAB plates (don’t use the plastic spacer and ‘o’ rings they always end up leaking). The vacuum servo take off hose from the induction manifold needs to be good quality preferably Fiat too.
- Carb jet & gasket kits are still around but scarce
- The oil breather pipe blocks up every 80k (mesh filter) but much quicker if the crank case is over pressurising. Check in the carb air box for oil residue.
- Budget to replace all the suspension bushes – it’s only half the car without new ones.
- Bushes need to be press fitted to the rear suspensions arms – the arms can be badly weakened through corrosion too. Check bushes carefully for seizures. Don’t rely on a MoT inspection spotting this one.
- Shock absorbers - Konis work well on this car if no Fiat shocker available and they can be rebuilt by one of the UK Koni specialists. Leda no longer list shock absorbers so they’ll be expensive. Rear shockers play a big part in the dynamics of the rear suspension, as there are no coil springs – check for wear, adjustables are a good idea.
- Rear leaf spring can be re-tempered, remember it is acting like a beam axle and springs in other makes of hatchback so be careful to stay close its original flex characteristics if re tempering. Note by how much the spring has sagged, I'd suggest lowering the front coil springs by the same amount (When new there was about 30mm clearance between the top of the rear wheel arch and the top of the rear tyre.)
- Budget to replace the electrical ancillaries every 70,000 miles or 6 years of life.
Brakes – are basic but competent. Heavy use appears to deform the alloy caliper bodies around their steel swing arm or piston bore. There are three different variants of the front caliper, they all mount the same bolt holes but their brake pads are different. take a photocopy of the back plate with you … because the others don’t fit yours! Bendix and Girling supplied calipers for Fiat. They are expensive and rare enough to consider upgrading if you aren't looking for a concours car. This design of calipers was also put on the rear of the Renault 25 Turbo.
Engine/ Box and Transmission
We’ve already discussed the likelihood of abuse to these cars as they are cheap to buy, and quick yet expensive in time and money to maintain well. The engine generates high torque – so it will keep on going with some fairly major problems. Lumpy tickover can occur for trivial and serious reasons. They DON’T do it if everything is right! Test drive the car through all the gears past 5,600 rpm. At around 4,700 revs all four trumpets on the carbs will ‘sing’ or ‘whistle’ - and together on the same note only when it’s in proper tune.
Engines will happily run to 160,000 to 180,000 miles before re build providing they are well maintained. Then top & bottom-of-bore wear and piston ring breakage is usually involved. Before then the head and valve seats will need overhaul, and before the head, the carburation and fuel system, and oil cooler circuit. Check all of these.
The valves’ high lift comes very close to piston crowns, especially on worn engines. So over revving or old cam belts will result in bent valves. The sodium filled inlet valves are expensive too…
- Inspect the cams, cam box and oil filler cap. Black deposits on all of them mean the oil has not been changed regularly enough - bad news.
- Check the air box. Extensive oil deposits in here means oil driven up the breather pipe...
- Compression test for both bore and valve leakage. Anything below 180 psi across all four cylinders is doubtful below 170 psi there’s a problem. A good engine will give 190 – 210 psi. The cylinders should of course give similar pressures. A full engine re build will cost from £1000 upwards – finding oversize pistons & rings can be a challenge now.
- Fiat say change the cambelt at 35000mls, change it at 24 to 28000 instead, and don’t buy a cheaper one from the motor factors. Use the Fiat cambelt.

Check inside the yellow belt cover, there should be no signs of belt particles when you inspect. Change the cam belt as soon as you buy anyway.
- Don’t skimp on the head gasket either – cheap motor factor ones won’t last. If the gasket blows have the head checked – if skimmed flat make sure the chambers are the right volume too and don’t have too much removed (re: piston/valve clearance)
The ZF gearbox is strong and well up to its task throughout the life of the engine BUT every 70k miles the seals need replacing. If this is not done and the box looses oil then expensive problems result. It is known for the selector shafts to stick and select two gears at once.
Also the weakest part of the gearbox is probably its synchros. Check if over-keen drivers have tried to force changes and beat the synchro in third and fourth. Box re builds would start at £600 and go to around £1200
The transmission is robust so there should be a supply of good second hand ones still around if needed. Clutches are ok and fairly cheap. Clutch cable problems are most likely due to hot spots by the engine or a distorted attachment fork at the top of the pedal. It is less common in the 130TC than with other Fiats.


Driving the 130TC
The 130TC gave the least amount of understeer I’ve experienced from any production hatchback during the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. It’s setup when new could best be described as on the understeer side of neutral. The nearest comparison would be my 205 GTi, but this was a much lighter and smaller car.
Tyre choice is critical. The slip angle and side wall performance from the standard Pirelli P6/P60s seemed to give the car most of its understeer – until it ‘cocked up’ its inside rear wheel at ‘the limit’. I liked the feel of those tyres and their directional responsiveness, but disliked their tendency to surrender loads of sidewall support at around half tread life. The later Yoko 500 series gave less feel but more grip and consistency throughout their tread life for me. The car felt less ‘together’ with their extra grip though. The main point is the 130TC’s impression is of rock-like solidity while its tyres actually did most of the ’giving’. Choose tyres carefully to eliminate understeer and retain feel. It doesn’t suit wide wheels/tyres either.
The 130TC shoud have NO play on its steering when new or renewed (like a Caterham 7). It’s bushes have little give anywhere. The brakes really do stop if they are working well and a good one NEVER pulls to either side on the flat under braking, turning or acceleration. (I’ve heard some really guff excuses from mechanics, sellers and owners alike). If it pulls wobbles or twitches then have it fixed!
The driving position is high and hard in the racing Recaros. The seat has massive adjustment so long as you can sacrifice the rest of the backseat leg room. Pedals are aligned for heal-toe action and you might miss the slight seat offset from central straight ahead position.
All the car wants you to do is GO YES and YES AGAIN and MORE and YES and YES MORE. Feedback is immense. Noises magnificent and informative. Smile and Warp factors score 10 for the driver – but your elderly back seat passenger will hate it for all the same reasons.
Whoever did this at Abarth is a master of his trade, a Mozart. His work spoke to me from the very first instant I drove it. He talks to me down the years still.

Through the rev range130TC has three distinct stages of torque and does not need to be 'red lined' to achieve its best acceleration figures - the last 700 revs don't appear to make much difference so I'd change up then.

I bought mine for £8k new. Since then I’ve driven rally cars with four times the power costing ten times as much and not once approached this sort of experience. The computer designed and tested Japanese fire breathers of today just don’t appear to have the right program for it. Driver feedback is superb but without ‘500 megawatts per channel’ of an all out competition car. Try one of these twice and you’ll end up hooked or hating it. As for the GTi lovers, sorry, no contest.

Hot Hatch Comparison Specs for ‘83/’84 - UK versions

130TC
105TC

Golf

GTi

 Escort

XR3i

Astra

GTE

 Maestro

MG

1995
1585
1781
1597
1796
1898
engine capacity (cc)
130
105
117
105
115
103
max power (DIN)
5900
6100
5400
6000
5800
5900
@ (RPM)
130
98
109
101
111
99
max torque (lbs/ft)

2094

950

1995

905

1896

860

1973

895

2160

980

2127

965

weight (lbs)

& (kg)

118
112
113
116
116
111
max speed (mph)
7.7
9.5
9.2
9.7
9.5
9.6
0-60 time (secs)

So we are looking at the models just before the arrival of hot hatch turbo-charging in the mid eighties. The 130TC's 2 litre engine delivers a lot more performance than the others. The 130TC is let down by its weight. One of the areas where the 130TC can be much improved is in weight saving  but this is expensive as the additional weight is in the main components - notably the body shell, gearbox, drive train and suspension. The table shows the Golf GTi has a 90kg advantage over the 130TC. The 130TC is also 45kg heavier than the 105TC.

Whether in a straight line or round corners, the fastest of the rest - the Golf GTi - is significantly slower.


Numbers of UK Registrations

   
 '82
 '83
 '84
 '85
 '86
 '87
 '88
Totals
105TC Series 1
694
474
1168 Series 1
Series 2
142
268
  57
156

  623 Series 2

    1791 105TC
130TC Series 1
156
188
  204 Series 1
Series 2
  69
146
116
50

  381 Series 2

      585 130TC


FAQs
What makes the Abarths different? The independent and world class Italian tuners Abarth were purchased by Fiat Group in 1971. They were very successful at creating their own brand of fast competition machinery from small engined small cars - very often Fiats. When Fiat took them over, they still ran as a distinct factory and car preparation premises into the mid 1980’s. In fact with Fiat's rally investment in the 1970's, The Ritmo/ Strada Abarths were the last Fiats to be designed and prepared in this way by Abarth. After this point Abarth existed increasingly in name only with badged products as Fiat Group rationalised their production and competition operations.
Why isn’t the 105TC on this page? It wasn’t an Abarth – see the Strada Ritmo model page. The cars also differ mechanically. I know the distinction is a small one but I’ll include the UK figures for both the UK Strada cars (105TC and 130TC) on both pages.

SFC Gallery

1981 Ritmo/ Strada 130TC Publicity Image (Courtesy of Fiat SpA)

1981 Publicity image of the Ritmo 125TC (Courtesy of Fiat SpA)

Stories
It was late at night on the very twisty Fort William to Mallaig road. It flashed past us with no hesitation. I think my father was more surprised than I was – as he thought that this Colt Mirage Turbo was quicker than most. Feelings of sympathy passed through me for my Mirage as I tried to catch up with this thing. Straining the last gasp of boost from the turbo I managed to get near enough to catch a glimpse of the badges on its tail. Fiat Strada something. The shape entered my long term car memory. I knew at that moment I had to have one. And seven years later I did.

Eye contact was made. Each immediately knew the other’s intent. 18 miles of A road lay ahead to Aberdeen. A slight depression came over me as I contemplated having to deal with thick traffic. More depression as I wondered if my ’85 130tc could hold its own against a ’91 1.9 205 GTi. They were supposed to be very quick weren’t they?
He exited the roundabout with his foot welded to the floor. I worked the car to stay in touch. The first few miles were fairly traffic free and the Strada still kept him in its sights. We began to work as one. The gear lever and clutch became one fluid rapid action. The 130tc was beginning to enjoy the task, stirred to action by this city run-about with the big engine… into 3rd on towards maximum revs, the “whistle” could be heard clearly, quick change into 4th, “whistle”. The 205 was getting bigger! I was feeling elated, listening to the Twin Cam having probably more fun than I was, if that was possible. I was impressed with his over-taking calculations. Like me he was safe. Will you get by with certainty? Yes, do it… No. don’t.
12 miles gone, and the 130tc was now fully heated up. This is easy work we thought. Might have crawled by on a race track, or if my girlfriend’s 8.5 stone wasn’t adding to the weight the Abarth engine had to propel, but on this occasion I remained permanently in his rear view mirror all the way to the city. Love that car!
Shaun C

Page Links
Clubs and Advice

As the Fiat Twin Cam Register we have often been guests of the Fiat Ritmo TC Register of Holland and look forward to meeting them again soon!

Martin Willems has been providing enthusiastic spares sales and advice from Emmer in Holland for longer than this clubs existed! Rare Abarth Fiat and Lancia parts may just be available - including some second hand items.

Parts
Desira Parts Force quote your membership number for the club discount. Body panels, suspension and mechanical items have been supplied to the club over many years. Based in Norfolk, you are after the Fiat obsolete parts section. Try the general parts guys on 01379 650131.

Located within the M25 (just) Recambio can often help with OEM suppliers.

In London R Proietti Ltd and associated parts and advice .

Middle Barton Garage at Chipping Norton near Oxford. Abarth and 500/600 specialist with modifications and Abarth parts galore. Very much in the Abarth tradition very capable. Also do a large catalogue for the 500/600 range.

Guy Moerenhout 'does' Abarths in a big way. And his 500/ 600 offerings are extensive!

Deep in the heart of Detmold Germany is part of the Holtmann Niedergerke Group. For the 500 and 600 they can be very useful indeed! There are second hand spares available sometimes too. They should be on your shopping list. H&N Online Shop they are in the process of extending the online spares list here. Local retail outlet is Gettingman & Niedergerke on +49 (0)5231/6179-0.

Retail outlets for H&N products also include Gettingman & Niedergerke a Detmold Company (D 32758)

Bielstein also supply tuning and performance items for these cars. The Bielstein brothers can still be seen occasionally 'pedaling' their race cars around - including a 125! Bielstein products include very nice supportive reclining and traditional seats worth a look. Website is www.bielstein.com

Bielstein are part of the Recambi Group - who are wholesale suppliers. Recambi will probably only supply you direct with Abarth parts. You will need to find the Bielstein part of the organisation - and the brothers who started this excellent business. Telephone +49 (0)5066/3074. Email bielstein@bielstein.com

Also Betacar

And Walkers can provide advice and parts for the Stradas.

Shockers & Suspension

Full servicing advice for Koni is now available near Silverstone (Glebe Farm), and are your best bet for re building Koni shockers. Sportsline Suspension is on The Konis suit this car but rears should be up rated to sports spec level to help cope with the rear spring. They are now the only Koni agent in the UK and are basically over run with work, so completion times will be long.

Superflex can be given a drawing/dimensions of the required bush and will make it for you. The front and rear lower arm bushes, and the engine stabiliser bushes need to retain some flexibility, and this can also be selected. Expect an 8 - 10 week delay when ordering specials.
Bendix are now Australian based

Solex are now Australian based but modern kits are stocked by Webcon agents in the UK, and....

Weber - Webcon have now relaunched in the UK

Brake calipers - especially the front ones can distort. Fortunately Girling and Lockheed made patterns under license. There are three types of front caliper, (Girling Lockheed and Bendix in the UK) and early and late versions of these too. So make sure you photocopy the pad back plate and get the right ones.

GGB engineering have moved to Bradford, but they are still a good starting point for brakes, pipes, stays struts and bushes - and they are still specialist Fiat and Alfa motor factors. I'll have to check if their outlet in White Hart Lane still exists. Used to stock a range of tuning parts too.

Brakes International in Rochdale (for on line ordering) and Brakes Int Ltd (for a closer look at their range) are a good bet for eighties and nineties brakes - if Girling or Lockheed were involved in making the original calipers. They provide an exchange service for many types of Fiat calipers.

Wheel refurbishment

BJV Engineering for wheel refurbishing prices start at about £30 per rim - North of M25 J21 on M1.

Shadow Wheels in Reading

Parts and Kits

Dalhems after market parts supplier
Sachs BOGE suspension site
HR Springs handling components
Power Alfa After market parts supplier
Body kits from Autotint Design

Forza Tuning body kit retailers including Cadamuro and Novitech
Power Fiat after market parts

Longlife offer tailored stainless steel exhausts

Forum Discussions

On Cam Timing:

http://www.sfconline.org.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=883

On Suspension:

http://www.sfconline.org.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=878

    anti roll bar bushes........ http://www.sfconline.org.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=447

    and improved handling.....

http://www.sfconline.org.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=564

On Carbs:

http://www.sfconline.org.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=287