Doug's Fiats

Well, this was my friend Doug's X1/9....

Doug's X1/9
It all started on an "S" shaped intersection on the crest of a hill in sunny suburbia. So far, so good. Then out of nowhere came a speeding dog! Veering right to miss it (more from instinct than forethought) he found himself facing a head on with a family car. Oh No!!! Swerve back to the left... Ooops! Who parked that glass delivery truck there at the kerb?(thinking quickly).. Ah, the footpath! Up over the gutter & onto the grass strip to relative safety at last! Just a bit of a scrape down the left hand side as he took out a brick front fence & it's a simple thing to launch it back onto the black stuff again... X1/9... You're standing in it!
...Except that every 30 metres or so stands a proud & unmoving telegraph pole.

It's testament to the strength of the X1/9 that Doug walked away, completely unhurt & even the doors still opened & closed!

Doug's First 850

Here's another of Doug's little misadventures. This 850 Sports was his first car and it was in great condition - until he tried his hand at a car club lap dash at Oran Park.

It was meant to be a fun day. I was there with Fang the Fearless Fiat and Doug & I were sharing a helmet for this, our first go at club motor sport. As I came back from a run, I swapped the helmet for his camera that I was to mind for him. I recall saying something about "Don't worry, I'll take a photo of you when you roll!" as he walked off...

Doug's 850 at Oran Park...Ooops!
The double roll over was spectacular. When turning hard left at the end of the main straight, the front wheel clipped the ripple strip, unsettling the car, which in turn made the back of the car skip sideways, now going into oversteer. In true 850 fashion, the rear wheels tucked under and over it went.

The first roll did a fair bit of damage as almost every panel came in contact with the track before the car righted itself and went for the big one. That damn car just leapt clear up in the air and did a somersault! Whilst the car was upside down this second time, the only parts that touched the ground were just the corners of the front boot as it flew open! A perfect landing back on all fours completed the routine. Degree of difficulty...10.

It was a sad, sad, day, but again, Doug was totally unhurt. After scrounging up some spare wheels (as all the rims on the car were now bent) I ended up driving this car back home followed by a convoy of eight Fiats like mourners going to a funeral. It was the last time this car went anywhere under it's own power. It's spirit lives on though, as my CAR.850 still has this one's gearbox & steering wheel and column.


Another Doug 850...

Here's a cute one. Another one of Doug's ex car's - but this one got away with it's life!

Several years after Doug sold this car, I had CAR.850 in an Historic Car Show at Eastern Creek. Late in the day a young guy who had been admiring my car walked up to me, saying he had one just like it. After chatting for a while and comparing notes, he went and brought the car in alongside mine (the show was now packing up for the day).

As soon as I saw the number plates, I knew! Ah the stories I could tell about that car! Where it's been, what it's done. I didn't tell him everything of course, but the guy was wrapped that I knew the car and some of it's history.

Many months later, Doug was 'round at my house when I got a call from said young guy... His 850 had broken down and he was wondering if I could help him get it going again. Of course we went and helped him and Doug was reunited with his old car - briefly.

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