Fabio Luigi Rapi isn't a name that most people recognize, but he may be one of the most influential designers to have worked at Fiat. He was one of the designers behind the beautiful Fiat 8V and he also penned this interesting little spider. This garage find is a 1956 Fiat 1100 TV Spider and it is in need of some major attention. The owner started restoring this rare Fiat, but then decided it needed a new home where it can be finished. This car can be found in Long Beach, California or here on eBay with a starting bid of $4,500.
This Fiat is rough and is going to need some elbow grease. These cars suffer from severe rust problems and this one has its fair share. Someone started the restoration process at some point by replacing the rusty sheet metal in the floors, but there is still plenty of rust to be removed. Thankfully most of the interior is still with the car, but the carpets are missing. The seller has a lot of extra parts for the car and is including them in the sale.
Not only did the seller start the restoration process of the exterior and interior of the car, but also of the engine. The original 1100 cc four cylinder block is still in the car and the top of the block looks good. The head is off the car and has already been rebuilt; we just hope the engine hasn't set too long with the head off. This 4 cylinder isn't very powerful, but its 52 horsepower is plenty for some spirited open top driving.
The Mille Miglia is the premier vintage rally and is reserved for only the finest automobiles. Every year some of the highest dollar vintage cars take the challenge of completing this Italian rally. This Fiat is one of the more affordable cars on the short list of cars eligible to run the rally, even after a complete restoration. This photo is of a beautiful black 1100 TV spider that ran in the Mille a few years back.
While this Fiat is in need of some intense restoration, we think it will be worth all the work. There weren't many of these little spiders built and even fewer left on the road. We just hope that the missing pieces can be found easily and affordably, or this project could get real expensive real quick. We sure would love to take this little Fiat to the Mille Miglia once someone has invested the time and money.