1928 Fiat needs its restoration completed

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The 1929 Fiat as it appeared when David LeBlanc purchased the car in 2013

Pick of the Day is a 1928 Fiat 509A Torpedo on which the restoration had been started but halted when the car’s owner died. The price — $8,900 — could be very right for someone who wants to complete the restoration of a vintage vehicle with interesting history.

Fiat introduced its 509 model at the Paris Salon in the fall of 1924. It was considered a compact economy car and was powered by a 22-horsepower, 990cc four-cylinder engine. Specifications were updated for the 509A in 1925, and there were sports models, taxicabs and commercial-vehicle versions built until production ended in 1929.

The car in a period photo
The car as it was in 2013

The 509A being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a specialist dealership in Candia, New Hampshire, originally was sold in Algiers to David Mize, who was working in Egypt. The car remained in the Middle East until it was purchased in the early 1960s by an American physician, Terry Bennett, who was working in that region and brought it home to New Hampshire.

Bennett sold the car in 1968 to Klaus Steinbrueck, who put it into storage, where it remained until 2013 when it was purchased, still in original condition, by David LeBlanc.

LeBlanc’s plan was to do a complete restoration, which he started. The car is being sold by the LeBlanc family.

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Frame has been restored and wheels and tires are installed

According to the advertisement, the engine rebuild is nearly complete except for some head and valve work. The frame has been restored and wheels painted and wrapped with correct vintage-style tires. All parts yet to be re-assembled are bagged and labeled.

“What remains (to be completed) is partial wood work with all original pieces intact to use as templates, sand blasting of fenders and body tub, which are very solid,” according to the seller. 

“Then, paint, interior and soft-top fabrication and wiring. 

“With nearly $20,000 invested thus far, the family realizes that a realistic sale price of the car will bring significantly less then what has been invested so far.  It is however very important to them that the car be placed in the hands of someone who is both enthusiastic and capable of completing the restoration of this unique automobile. 

“Receipts, documents and service manuals included in the sale.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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