Attack from behind

Only had a few hours tinkering on the car this weekend, but managed to get a fair bit done.

My main priority was to remove all of the seat belts, as I couldn’t really clean them properly whilst fitted to the car. Removing the rear seat belts with the rear seats fitted would be almost impossible, so these had to also come out. I very quickly discovered that the four bolts (two on each side) that bolt upright section of the rear seats to the car were seized solid, and to make matters worse it appears Im not the first person to try to remove these bolts, as one of the bolt heads had been sheered off already, great…

After a good dose in Plusgas the bolts decided to cooperate, and came out with no issue at all. The remaining bolts all got the same treatment, and rather unusually all came out without any fuss, nice !

After a very short period of time the Cinq was looking a little sorry for itself.

Interior stripped

Stripped !

I had removed the rear lights and also started removing the rear bumper, but unfortunately some of the bolts were really seized and will need to be left a few days to soak in Plusgas.

I then turned my attention to the seat belts, which were very grubby ! After left to soak overnight in a bowl of stain remover  they were still looking a bit grim, so I left them to soak another night. They still looked a bit rough so I went at them with some upholstery stain remover and a nylon brush. The amount of dirt which came out was unbelievable, the water turned dark brown ! They are still not perfect and will need another going over, as the mould has left a fair amount of dark spots.

They look better in the photo than they really are, but still a million times better than they started.

Seat belts

Hopefully I can get the bumper off next weekend, and try to gauge exactly how much rust is lurking under there…

Sun, Seats and Sunroof

The first job today was to give the seats a final wipe over with some Autoglym interior shampoo, this was purely to remove any remaining water marks and stubborn stains. For the time being I have put the seats back in the car as garage space is in short supply, they will have to come out again when I do the welding. Looking good though, I’m very happy with the outcome.

Drivers seat

Passengers seat

The dash got a clean, as well as the carpet followed by a quick hoover.


I do want to replace the dashboard as the passenger side shelf area has it’s fair share of scratches. Also the steering wheel is going to be replaced with a nice genuine Fiat one. I will also get a nice head unit at some point but this is quite a low priority.

I get the impression that the sunroof leaks as there was a load of tape covering the edge stopping it from opening. The majority of the tape came off when I cleaned the car, but I do need to get something which can remove the sticky mess left on the paint. It appears the car was parked under a tree for a while as the amount of little leaves, dirt and grime under the sun roof was unreal ! This is how it was after I removed the sunroof.

Dirty sun roof

Close up of the dirty sun roof

After a bit of elbow grease it came up looking good as new !

Good as new

Close up of the clean sun roof

I discovered why it would have been leaking as well. All four drain holes were completely blocked ! A few minutes later with a long piece of flexible cable and all the holes were clear and draining away nicely.

Was a bit fiddly getting the sun roof back in, but got there in the end. If I get some spare time tomorrow I will have another little tinker with the Cinquecento, or I might wash Minty (the green one) as she is currently filthy from last weeks commute.

Mould 1 Kevin 0

After cleaning the front seats with a proper wet and dry vacuum cleaner, I though the mould was gone and the seats good as new(ish). How wrong could I be ! After sitting in my spare bed room for a couple of days drying out, the mould started to re appear again mainly on the seat base.

Mould has returned !

After doing a bit of research I found a product on a car detailing forum, which had good reviews when it came to removing mould. The product contains an enzyme which breaks down organic matter, which should hopefully kill the mould for good. It is also supposed to remove bad smells as well.

Odour Eater

I can confirm that it does smell very nice, and has certainly got rid of the mouldy smell. The mould also has appeared to stop growing, but has left some staining which I have yet to attack properly with a more intense upholstery cleaner. This is how the seats are looking now.

Clean(ish) seats

Rear seats after a quick wipe over.

Wiped over

Rear seats after one go over with the wet and dry along with the mould killer.

After a wet and dry clean

Once I give the seats another clean with some harder cleaner, hopefully they will be ready to be refitted and the stains and mould gone for good.

One thing I became aware of whilst sitting in the car cleaning the seats, is that one of the driver seats mounts has snapped off the floor and will need welding back in place. How on earth it got snapped off in the first place is beyond me. There is a bit of surface rust but nothing that I would expect to weaken the metal.

Broken seat mount

It should look like this.

Passenger side mount

The door pockets appeared to have a few years worth of dirt, paper and other general sticky grimyness stuck in them. The only way to clean them properly was to remove the pockets from the doors. It didn’t take too much effort to get the inside of the doors looking good again.

Inner drivers door

I actually forgot to take a before photo… and a photo of the cleaned pocket… maybe next time.

One thing that was bugging me a bit was the damage to the inside door handles. Now I know I could probably pick up a good tidy set for about a fiver, but I wondered if it would be possible to refurbish these ones. This is how they started.

Inside door handle

Zoomed in inside door handle

The method I took in trying to fix them was as follows. Sand with wet and dry 120 grit followed by 400 grit, then 1200 grit. Followed by a going over with some cutting compound and a quick buffering with a soft polishing wheel fitted to an electric drill. They came out pretty good, but you will have to take my work for it as I didn’t take a photo… will add one in my next post….

Ended up leaving all the car doors and windows open to help get some air flow, and let the rear seats dry out fully.

Drying out

It’s a good job these cars are small, as I would never get in the garage with a bigger car.


It’s alive

This afternoon I thought I would see if the car would start, and also wanted to give the seats a clean.

The first task was to push the car out of the garage and in to the sun shine, unfortunately one of the rear drum brakes had decided to seize, and no amount of pushing was going to move it. I then remembered that the battery had been on charge for a couple of days now, and that if the car starts I could drive it out the garage. But even after a few days charging the battery appears to be well and truly dead and hadn’t taken any charge at all, bugger!

Plan B. This involved borrowing the decent battery from my green Cinq, and throwing the dead battery in the bin. After a couple of minutes of faffing about the battery was out and promptly fitted in to the yellow one. Stuck the key in the ignition and the lights on the dash came on,  I then attempted to start it, and much to my disbelieve it fired in to live instantly ! I stuck it in gear and slowly drove it out on to the drive, I could really feel the brakes binding and expect I will have to do this every time I want to get it out the garage, well until I service the brakes anyway.

It was then promptly turned off and I checked the fluids to find no coolant, not a problem as I know the head gasket has gone anyway. The oil was a bit low so that got topped up, along with filling the cooling system with water. The car was started again and left to idle for a few minutes, followed by a good few revs to clear out any crap in the system. It’s safe to say the engine runs nice and the exhaust has a good throaty noise, without sounding chavtastic. It did sound like something was squeaking, I expect it to be the timing belt which is going to be changed anyway along with the tensioner, water pump etc.

Now to crack on with cleaning the mould off the seats. It made sense to remove them rather than struggle cleaning them in situ, as it’s only four bolts holding each one in place. Now just for reference this is how they looked before I did any cleaning.

Mouldtastic !

I borrowed a proper wet and dry carpet cleaner from my mum to clean the seats with. This is how they came out after about 15 minutes worth of work, they are 95% perfect and I think a round with some hardcore stain remove and they will be good as new, result !

Much better

As you can see they came up pretty good.

Last job was to put the battery back in the green one, so that I can get to work in the morning.

Next weekend I will attack the rear seats.

Home Sweet Home

Today the car was collected from Andres lockup and brought back to mine.

The day started at about 9:30am when I met Andre at his shop in Stevenage old town. It wasnt long before I got a call from the compnay transporting the car to say they was just outside. Andre promptly opened the lockup, giving me the first glimps of the car in a couple of weeks.


Fortunately Andre had recently pumped the tyres up, so it wasn’t to much trouble pushing the car out to the closely awaiting truck. It wasn’t long before the car was loaded on to the truck and tied down.

Loading the Cinquecento on to the truck.

Up she goes

Last couple of straps to stop it rolling off.

Strapping the Cinquecento down

The delivery driver promptly jumped in his truck and went on his merry way. After chatting with Andre for a few minutes and sorting out the paper work, I was then to head back home and try and beat the truck. Even with a bit of spirited driving he still beat me by a few minutes, fortunately traffic was clear, I hate traffic.

We managed to get the truck around to my garage, which is always a challenge as people seem to park their cars in all sorts of odd places around here. Got a quick snap with it on the truck.

You have reached your destination

The car was promptly off loaded, and sat safe and sound on my drive way.


Home Sweet Home

It turns out I got a bit of a deal with my transport costs, it was the guys wife that quoted me for transport on shiply. It turns out that she though Stevenage was just outside Aylesbury, so quoted me £42 to move the car, thinking it would be a nice easy little earner ! The driver said it should have been £80, he was good about it though and didn’t try to charge me any more. Result !

These are the main issues the car has:

  1. Head Gasket has gone
  2. There are a couple of rust holes in the boot
  3. It has had a bump at some point, so has a bit of a dent in the rear wheel arch.
  4. Where the car has been sat for a while, the interior is a tiny bit mouldy..

I grabbed a few shots of these main problem areas.

2. Rust !

Nice hole in the boot

As you can see tape was stuck over the hole, not sure if that would go down well at an MOT !

Lesser patch appearing in the wheel arch

Smaller bit of rust forming on the inner wheel arch.

3. The slight bump

Nothing a bit of T-cut wont fix

Ouch !

This is one issue I will get done by a professional, as panel beating and painting is a bit of a black art. Ideally I want the exterior to look as good as new once it’s finished.

4. The tiny bit of mould…

Yummy !

Different vew of the mould

Task number one for today is to give the exterior of the car a good wash. It has a thick layer of dirt and dust from where it has been sitting for the last year. I generally use the two bucket method. It came out really nice !

Clean as a whistle

Front perspective

Back view

The observant of you might have noticed the nice shiny tail pipe, that’s because this car has a Supersprint performance back box fitted. It should give it a bit more power and a nice sporty sound.

Supersprint backbox

I struggled to resist giving the car a polish, as it will sit in the garage for a while it will only end up dusty again. It did get a quick once over with some Autoglym SRP.


I was really impressed with how well the paint looked, it still has a nice deep shine !

Minty was getting jealous that she wasn’t getting all of the attention, so I grabbed a couple of quick shots of the pair of them together. Now Fiat, Minty is clearly green, why you think she is a shade of Yellow I have no idea !

They make a cute couple

Both from the front

By now it was starting to get dark, I can’t wait for the summer and the long warm evenings !

The yellow one has been named “Francesca” or “Fran” for short.

Fran was then pushed back in to the garage, and tucked up for the night.

Night Night

I plan to hopefully give the interior a good clean on Sunday, so check back here soon .

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

This is a ride report from Summer 2008 with CCM Riders and a few pic’s.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Photo of when me and RedR30 meet at our selected services , Oh and as you can see my bike was clean when i left

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Photo of the view from the bunkhouse featuring Fronty’s 644.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
The few who made it out on the Thursday

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Was a nice sunset on the Thursday so i though i would try and get an ‘artistic’ photo of it .

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
More Sunset

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Photo of Keith’s lovely DS , taken when we stopped to look at jacko’s 404

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
How many people does it take to locate the missing oil??

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Photo of the Resevoir

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Photo of the Resevoir

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
The hairy bikers mighty BMW’s

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
The Hairy Bikes – Simon King and Dave Myers

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
CCM’s at the dam

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
And Again


This is where things got ‘interesting’. After splitting off with the others me,redR30,644Supermoto and KeithM went ovf to find some nice ‘scenic’ roads , so redR30 worked his magic with the sanav and off we went in to the wilderness. After riding some really nice roads we can to a dirt track sign posted ‘BYWAY’ , The byway appeared to be a nice flat straight dirt road so after telling KeithM who at this point was an offroad virgin that its a walk in the park riding down this dirt road we set off , The BYWAY was a nice gentle uphill wit a few bumps thrown in which kept you on your toes , i spotted to the left this fun little 4×4 playground.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Now me having my rather worn knobblies i though it would be a great idea to ride through it, so off i went i rode over the nice rocks straight in to the lovely clay tacky mud bog which was far deeper than it looks though i made it through without to much trouble, somebody then said oh do it again and i will video it  well i thought yeh sod it why not , this time thought just a i got in to the bog the bike jumps in to neutral and i stop dead , bugger so i whack it in first give it the berries and crawl out whilst launching half of the peaks clay out back in my massive roost  .

After making it out i noticed my no. plate decided it was having more fun in the mud than on the bike and jumped ship!! So i wander back in the mud and eventually find it and cable tie it back in place.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Not so shiny now

We the continued down the lane where we came to a gate and the start of ‘ The Roman Road’
CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Taken just after the gate.

Now the lane started to get a bit rockier but KeithM decided he was happy to keep on going rather than turn round , So on we plod…

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Looking forward down the Roman Road , cable ties not holding my No. plate on to well.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Looking back over the moors

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
The locals came out to say Hi

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Nice wide open countryside

Now the lane took a turn for the worse , note we met a bloke who said you could get a family car down this lane oh and it was RedR30’S SatNav that bought us down here in the first place.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Trouble lays ahead.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Note i was the only one on knobbies , every one else was on road wheels >

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
A family car yeah

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
But do we let it stop us , Nope !!

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
As if a few rock’s will stop our beastly CCM’s

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
At the bottom of the worst part of the lane

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Who needs a fancy KTM when you can do it on an R30

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
KeithM no longer an offroad virgin

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Looking back from where we came.

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
More to come

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
KeithM plans his route like a true Trials rider.

When then made it to the bottom where RedR30 plans the route back to the barn and me and 644supermoto go herding the locals

Here are a few random pic’s from the weekend…

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
After the cat and fiddle

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
Matlock Bath

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
A bit more Greenlaning

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
I think she’s pulled

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008
More of Matlock Bath

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

CCM Riders Summer Meet 2008

The Begining – Cinquecento Sporting

Hi all, I thought it was time to let you know of a project I am going to undertake.

It all started at the last Clubcento meet at the motorcycle museum in Birmingham, I was chatting with Andre and Rob about a Yellow Sporting Andre has sat in a lockup. which he was going to break for parts. Just out of curiosity I asked Andre if he would let it go as a complete car as I have been after a new project for a while and this cinq sounded like a perfect candidate ! Andre was more than happy for me to take it off him, as the car has a huge amount of history with the club and would be a massive shame to end up broken for parts.

Two weeks later I find myself at the lockup with Kelly Andre and Rob in what felt like -10c ! I gave the car a good inspection and felt it was a great candidate for being fixed up and put back on the road, the main issues being the rusty holes in the boot and inner rear arches, along with a tired engine with a blown HG. It has also had a nasty bump at some point causing the o/s/r outer arch a bit of damage. Here is a little sneaky peak of the car from the viewing day…

Sneak peak in the lockup

I’m currently in the process of arranging for the car to be moved from Andres lockup to my garage, so will take some more snaps of it as is.

The plan is to weld up the boot/arches myself, the biggest issue being I’m not a welder, but we have a welder in the family who isn’t aware yet but is going to teach me and help weld up the car…  I think it would also make sense to drop the standard engine and pop a 1242 8v in, so plenty of questions will be in order. The bumpers have the odd scuff and crack so they will get fixed / replaced, a standard steering wheel is needed along with a standard gear knob. The seats are in a sorry state but I think a day with an upholstery cleaner would do wonders. Possibly get the wheels refurbished back to new condition.

It’s a fair project and wont happen over night, but once finished this will be a great tidy Cinquecento, and will attend some meets and show. Andre tells me this was a show winning car in it’s day !

Plenty of photos to follow along with a full restoration write up