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Author Topic: Zagato restoration  (Read 5345 times)
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« on: 14 October, 2009, 07:36:23 PM »

As the restoration of my Series 2 Zagato is reaching a bit of a milestone with the shell now complete and painted I though I would share the trials and tribulations of a 16 year, self taught epic!! It all started with the purchase of a fairly derilict Zagato from a chap in Chelmsford, he had a field of exotics from Astons to Citroen SM's there was even an Aluminium S1 but it had a substantial bush in the middle of it so I shied away from that one!. I managed to trade a stripped, incomplete S3 coupe and £250 for my first Zagato, boy was I chuffed. Getting it back home gave me chance to really look it over and enthisiastically start stripping the trim, pretty much everything was there except for the rear valance. The tailgate and bonnet were clearly shot through though. Still it was mine! at this moment in time I had no real plan on how to go about restoring it though, still having cosmetically restored a few Alfasuds and rebuilt several engines I was confident it would not take too long.........

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Rebel Poster
Posts: 980

« Reply #1 on: 14 October, 2009, 08:17:51 PM »

I was confident it would not take too long.........

1969 Fanalone, Mazda RX-8, Fiat Multipla
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« Reply #2 on: 14 October, 2009, 10:04:09 PM »

I was confident it would not take too long.........

Amazing what you can see through rose tinted spectacles Roll Eyes

8227 Cool

Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
Dedra Technical Adviser
« Reply #3 on: 31 October, 2009, 12:12:33 PM »

So having stripped the shell I started examining the structure more closely. The inner sills and floor pans were in very good condition, the outer sills and sub frame boxes though were rotted through. The resultant flexing of the shell had cracked the front wheel arches midway along the arch. Being worried about the car flexing I braced the door frames (A & B posts) with 2” tube and set the car up level before cutting away the rusted lower panel sections and corroded sill sections. To improve the finished cars structural strength I welded in an 18 SWG membrane before moving on to the sub frame mounts.

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Senior Member
Posts: 198

Looking a lot better

« Reply #4 on: 30 November, 2009, 01:50:30 AM »

Hi Phil

Looks like you know what you are doing when it comes to restoration, think your Zagato was worse than mine.

Need your advice, what would be the best way to tackle the back part of my car, apart from ringing the scrap man?.  I am having the rear valence made but what should I do about the rusty areas around the spare wheel hatch?

I won’t be starting the restoration until next year when I have sold my series 1 Fulvia.


Series 1, 1.3 Fulvia Zagato 1969
« Reply #5 on: 02 December, 2009, 01:44:08 PM »

It is difficult without seeing more images of your car Paul, but heres what I did;

The centre part of the valence from the number plate recess down and under and from a point roughly in line with the rear lights had been cut away, presumably for another car. The vertical panel that connects the valence to the rearmost stiffener in the boot floor was also rotted or cut away. I had a new valence piece made up by Bill Lewis ( the master of Zagato panels!) and then trimmed both it and my car to match. The biggest difficulty is maintaining the correct curvature, I started by tacking the new piece in place along the top and then manipulated it to match the corner curvature. If I did it again I would consider a simple strap tacked from both floor to the corner of the body work to maintain the curvature of the existing metalwork and then cut it off later. Once I had the valence positioned and tacked I then tacked the corners in, you will need to panel beat it a bit at the joints I expect. I then filled in the tacks with short beads and then ground these flush. the joints were then leaded and a skim of filler to finish. You will then need to rebuild the vertical diaphragm that links the forward edge of the valence under the car to the stiffener in the boot floor. Looking at the Series one though you look like you need to repair and replace a lot of the boot lid frame. I would see if you can get the correct section fabricated and repair that first to maintain the cars shape. The very first thing though to repair I think is the missing piece in the top middle so you can maintain the upper swage line.
« Last Edit: 03 January, 2010, 09:08:56 PM by Philm » Logged
« Reply #6 on: 03 January, 2010, 07:00:49 PM »

At some time in the past the car had suffered at least two unfortunate incidents; the rear valance was cut off and there was some sort of incident on the LH rear quarter which was then hammered out stretching and tearing the metal. I decided that repairing the damaged panel was not feasible so I started looking for a replacement panel. Eventually one turned up- attached to a derelict Sport Shocked seeing that it had a very good tailgate I bought the whole car for the princely sum of £250 (a lot of money when I bought it!) I then cut the panel off my car and the joggled the replacement in. It is very important to spend the time ensuring the horizontal swage is correct. I used the spring loaded aircraft panel pins to hold the panel in place whilst I spot welded it and then seam welded in short strips to minimise distortion, even so there was a fair bit of beating to get the joint nice. I then leaded the joint and used a thin skim of filler to finish. I then etch primed and applied 3 coats of high build primer. The primer coat was then guide coated with black to highlight the replacement panels defects which were beaten out and filled as required.

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« Reply #7 on: 03 January, 2010, 07:13:48 PM »

Got the "before" for that wing?  I can't make out the joins.

To me the scary "before" picture was that door pillar.


David Laver, Lewisham.
« Reply #8 on: 03 January, 2010, 07:39:56 PM »

Hi David, I will look for the before picture. Trouble is that was repaired whilst I was using a conventional film camera and I am having trouble with finding the pictures. You are dead right about the door pillar, it is rarely mentioned in buying guides but from my experience it is a much harder repair than sills or wing sections.
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