|1968 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe (AC)
Owned by Steve Schmidt (Warragul, Victoria, Australia)
Purchased in 1998 from the previous owner in Adelaide, South Australia. The aim was to rebuild the car as a Tarmac Special Stage Rally Car for use in Historic Rally events like the Targa Tasmania. The car had been set up in the 80’s as a club racer and was fitted with a modified 1800 engine from the CC coupe, alloy half cage, 7” alloy wheels and some minor suspension mods. It was however, in a very sorry state having been stored for the previous 8 years in an earth floor shed. It suffered from rust in all the usual sections and the interior had become home to both possums and rats, which rendered nothing of the trim in a state worth saving.
Once the car arrived home the shell was stripped bare of all components. New steel rust–replacement sections were fabricated and welded in where structural integrity was required, while fibreglass was used to repair cosmetic sections. The 1800 engine was cannibalised for its cams, baffled sump, oil cooler, electronic ignition, twin Webers and extractors, which went into a 1600cc engine to comply with the pre-1970 model, run on rules. The Koni Shockers were reconditioned, all the suspension rubbers replaced with nylothane bushes and another complete interior sourced. The process took about 6 months of evening and weekend work but finally the car was roadworthy, raceworthy, dyno-tuned, registered and insured for an overall total cost of just $7000 which included the purchase price.
Since completion of the car in December '98 it has competed in 9 Lactos Heritage / Rally Tasmania events placing as high as 8th outright and 3rd in class. It has also competed at numerous race meetings, hillclimb events and local rallies.
Engine: Fiat 1600cc twin cam, race cams, twin 45 DCOE Weber Carburetors, extractors and light flywheel. Develops approximately 125 bhp at 6500 rpm on pump fuel.
Gearbox: Standard Fiat 5 speed all syncro.
Brakes: Alfa ventilated front discs with Renault calipers, standard Fiat 124 rear discs, split system with competition linings
Front: Standard double wishbone front end with anti-sway bar. Fitted with Fiat 132 uprights, stiffer swaybar, lowered coil springs and adjustable Koni shock absorbers.
Rear: Standard coil sprung live axle with torque tube, trailing links, swaybar and Panhard rod. Fitted with Limited Slip Differential, lowered springs and Bilstein shock absorbers.
Wheels and tyres: 13 x 7 alloy rims fitted with 205/60 x 13 Yokahama 032R or equivalent tyres.
Other modifications: Full alloy roll cage, battery relocated to boot, hydraulic handbrake & electronic ignition.