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WHAT IS A NECKAR?

Neckar (formerly NSU/Fiat) was the german distributor for Fiat from 1929-1970. Apart from standard Fiat cars, the company also produced some small series cars unique to Neckar. The Weinsberg was Neckar´s version of the Fiat 500D, available both as a saloon and a coupe. About 5000 were produced of both versions, and fewer than 50 are known to survive.

OUR NECKAR WIENSBERG

This car is one of only 5 RHD coupés known to exist. It isn´t actually known who sold these cars in UK, or how many, but we suppose almost none. This car was originally sold in Jersey, and at some point was embargoed by Spanish customs in Alicante. It was sold at auction to well-known Alicante collector, Eugenio Martin Rubio, who had a talent for finding unusual cars. Eugenio never restored the car, and sold it on in 2009.

The restoration took 18 months, 2014-5. Mechanically, most parts are Fiat 500, and everything was replaced or rebuilt in the process. Other parts, such as the stainless trim, rear windscreen, and sunroof are unique to the car and had to made by hand.

THE WORK DONE

Although mainly complete and low mileage, the Neckar had not been used for over 40 years (when it had been seized by Spanish customs). It had subsequently been flooded in a previous storage location, so the only option was to go right back to the beginning and strip the car down completely. The main points of the body work are as follows:

  • Body stripped and repaired on a rotisserie.
  • Floors replaced with new parts.
  • New metal let in to the sills and bottoms of the wings.
  • Paintwork in Lancia Ivory/Fiat metallic Bordeaux.
  • Refabrication of rear screen.
  • New rubbers and weather strips.
  • Refabrication of aluminium body trim.
  • New bumpers were fitted.

The car retained its original flood damaged interior to use as a pattern. A local craftsman re-trimmed the seats, re-fabricated the door cards and the bespoke headlining. At the same time the sunroof was recovered with a high quality mohair fabric, which perfectly matched the Bordeaux paintwork.

The steering wheel and the instruments were restored to factory and matching fitted carpets were installed.

Fortunately, the Neckar Weinsberg is a german variation on the Fiat 500D, so all mechanical parts were available (imported from Germany). The original engine and gearbox were rebuilt with new parts as required. The carburetor was rebuilt and new ignition and exhaust systems were fitted.

Suspension and steering parts were dismantled, blasted and repainted, to be reassembled with all new consumables. The steering box was rebuilt with new parts. The brakes were similarly treated to a complete overhaul with new parts.

Wheels were replaced with new items, fitted with new tyres and painted and detailed according to the owner´s vision of the car.

We have never had a car in Italclassic which has attracted so much interest and sympathetic feeling! It really was a pleasure to restore the little Neckar to life and it now lives with a collector in Switzerland.

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