We were super excited to learn of the restoration of the Duckhams supported, Wally Pratt owned, Fiat 600. Wally Pratt featured in one of our adverts during the 1970s and was a renowned trials driver and economy run winner in his little Fiat thanks to his hand built engine, protected by Duckhams oils.
Whilst using Duckhams he won the B.A.R.C National Sprint Championship, ACSMC Sprint Championship and the Fiat Motor Club GB economy run for three years running! Quite a run of successes, all on a hand-built engine put together in a garden shed!
University student, Tristan Brunt who now owns the car and is undertaking its restoration says;
“The car has been in my family for 25 years. It entered the family as a wedding gift from my Dad to my Mum. The previous owner was a family friend who knew Wally. He and Wally worked together on this car, installing the original hand built racing engine from his old Fiat and getting it running.”
The car has soldiered on for years in regular use, with filler and basic welding getting it through years of MOT tests. Tristan’s father had used the car in London as daily transport to work. Then, it lived outside in Southend-on-Sea where the salty air rusted it away.
The Fiat 600 was then barn stored for several years and before Tristan enquired as to its whereabouts and set about getting it roadworthy again.
Tristan Brunt continues;
“Although shiny looking- the Fiat 600 was in a bad way. It scraped through its MOT’s each year with more problems surfacing. But regardless of this, the Fiat 600 became my first car. Learning to drive in such a fun car was an excellent experience. The extent of my car knowledge was changing spark plugs and setting points when I decided that the car deserved more and begun stripping out the interior after the car failed an MOT on rust on the floor. “
The Fiat 600 was the Italian carmaker’s first rear engine vehicle. Made between 1955 and 1969 it was designed in the shadow of the fiercely successful VW Beetle, Morris Minor and Renault 4CV of the same period. It was tremendously successful and the basic desing was licensed around the world to the likes of SEAT and Zastava in Yugoslavia.
We are looking forward to seeing the restoration project unfold as Tristan begins the strip down and rebuild of this iconic little Italian car. We will post regular updates on his progress via the pages of www.duckhams.com.