It’s dezag-vu again
1972 Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato Owned by Ross Alkureishi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Time owned 4.5 years Miles this month 32 (by trailer) Costs this month £0 Previously Readying for Le Mans Classic (2016!)
The rumours of the Zagato’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. OK, the last time it was seen darkening these pages was back in 2016 being prepped for that year’s Le Mans Classic. Much to my chagrin I ended up going with Charlie Magee in his early two-door Range Rover. The Zag stayed in my garage.
Since then much love has been furnished on the Renault 5 Turbo I run with fellow old metal fanatic Richard Head; all the while my quirky Italian gathered dust, settled into its role as a curiosity. Well, no more. It’s time to get cracking.
The underside of the body requires the removal of some surface rust, and the offside subframe/body mounting point is looking a bit crusty. Having re-located north(ish) since my last update, I need to find a local bodywork specialist to carry out the work.
I turned to amateur wheelman, Damon Milnes. I’ve known him for many years through Cheshire Classic Cars. His response was, ‘Give me a couple of weeks. I may be able to help.’ It transpired that what he meant was to give me the opportunity to work on my Zagato at the Knutsford premises of his new employer Trevor Farrington (trevorfarrington.co.uk).
Yes, you read that right; I’ll be overcoming my metalwork reticence, but it’ll be with the gents at restoration and race-car prep specialist TF on hand to mentor and guide me through the process. Already they’ve welcomed me like a brother from another panel-beating mother, lent me a trailer to get the Zag in situ and assisted as I separated the subframe from the body.
Wielding a scraper and wire brush to get the underseal off has revealed an engine bay that’s pleasantly solid, with just a smattering of surface rust. Likewise, removing the interior trim from the sills has revealed a similar state of affairs. However, it’s the inner wheelarch that can hide a multitude of sins, and there’s only one way to check – it sounds drastic, but it’s time to cut off the lower front wings.
Editor Bell suggested I’d made a rudimentary error in 2016 by committing to a date. If I’d simply stated the Zag was being readied for Le Mans, I may have got away with missing that particular iteration. I wouldn’t dream of resorting to such duplicitous means. See you at Le Mans.
Ross separates Zagato subframe from body with a little help from his new best friends