Meet Pandora.

She’s not really a Pandora, she’s an Amigo.  The FIAT Amigo is a camper conversion based on a 1970’s FIAT 900T van.

The Amigo was a continuation of a long line of FIAT van based camper conversions which started with the FIAT 600 and ended with the Pandora. It’s probably the FIAT 850T based conversions like the Fargo that have the most in common, including a large number of parts.

We bought Pandora, or to be more precise my wife bought her with the intention of using her for camping at the Goodwood Revival.  I insisted that she get one with MOT because I already have a major restoration project on with her Spider and wanted to know that we would be able to use the camper straight out of the box.  Inevitably this has not been the case and I’ve had some remedial work to do before we venture off on a 600 mile round trip!

Have a look at some of the work I’ve done so far..

  1. Well worth it in the end though. Cracking job mate.

  2. pam gregory says:

    just clicked on and I am well impressed with your skills .well done for rescuing pandora,I have an amigo 1978 her name is katy and I love her dearly.I hope yours does what you want her for ok and gives you much good camping and driving.

  3. spannerdude says:

    Thank you Pam, I appreciate your encouragement. I am (or at least was) an experienced mechanic. The metalshaping and bodywork is a new skill that I’m still very much learning.

    What has struck me in the brief time that I’ve been working on Pandora is the effort and dedication that must be expended by owners who don’t have my abilities, to keep these rare gems on the road.

    Even when buying service parts, if I can’t give my local factors the part numbers I’m just met with a blank stare! It’s not an easy ride and I hope you are able to keep Katy in fine fettle for many years to come.

    BTW. Ice Cold in Alex reference?

  4. Andy Payne says:

    I have a similar Fiat Pandora which I am currently endeavouring to restore. Any help and advice would be useful – I have photos on facebook – Andy Payne

    • spannerdude says:

      So there’s still a few of us around then Andy, they haven’t locked us all up yet 😉
      I’d be interested to see how you get on. How much work have you got to do?

  5. simon pattenden says:

    hi just stumbled across your site and i must say your panel making ability is amazing!! ive just started a restoration of a 1971 850t camper van, and as you know panels are almost impossible to get hold of, im ok at welding but a complete novice at actually making panels. good luck with your future projects.

    • spannerdude says:

      Hi Simon,
      thanks for the words of encouragement. I’d love an 850T, iconic styling!
      The panel making is a new skill I’m developing. I’ve generally only fitted ready made repair sections or crude patches before. It’s very satisfying, give it a whirl. If you need pointing in the right direction let me know.

  6. lovejoy says:

    Spannerdude ! finally found how to see ALL your pages of Scud Obs – I have a Pandora (with the wrong roof, much like the blue one in your photo – that’s an Amigo or Caravelle…) which I use every year for the past 12 years, only in the “summer” months, it is locked away otherwise else it will dissolve the italian pasta that is left of it.
    Before that, I had a V -reg Amigo on 12″-ers, which is what got me hooked,along with 7 Fiat 500’s.
    What chance you could reproduce – in quantity please! – the offside rear outer panel,near the battery cage, on your English Scuderio Wheel ??? I have a n.o.s nearside panel, just needs a mirror image copy made from it – everyone will want one – you can become rich beyond all imagination !!!!!
    p.s. My fiat (AMY) resides in deepest dorset,and knows Pam Gregorie’s “Katy” -they have met !

    cheers from Lovejoy (Antiques)

  7. spannerdude says:

    Haha! I don’t think there are enough left for me to ever get rich making parts for them! Although, as you say every one that’s left will need them.
    I am tempted to make a few bits for sale but I’m put off by one factor. There is so much variation in hand assembled vehicles that panels made from patterns taken from mine might not fit exactly on another. I don’t want a lot of complaints that panels don’t fit perfectly on a vehicle I’ve never even seen.

  8. lovejoy says:

    Grazzi for your prompt response, ‘dude! It seems that I must make you an offer you can’t refuse…
    The italian Mafia use these vans in Sicily to transport their sacks of Lira to safety,so they would be paying for your finest quality reproductions ! seriously though, could you create a copy from a correct, “new-old-stock” fFat nearside panel that I bought from the late, dreparted Malcolm Fancy (he escaped to Corfu from his Fiat Garages in darkest deepest dorset a few years back)… ?

  9. spannerdude says:

    Malcolm Fancy is a name that crops up regularly. I’ve bought a few bits from Jeanette Fancy from your neck of the woods too.
    Are you talking about the rear quarter panel, with the louvre in it? I’ve been looking at this panel for a while myself. I don’t have the tooling needed to make louvres, so I’ve got to patch my own up.

  10. lovejoy says:

    No, I am talking about the small panel BELOW the louvred one, it’s a simple, compoung curve panel, abot 12 ” long by 6″ high, gets all the muck off tyhe rear tyres.
    It goes round the rear corner just a few inches. I have a N.O.S. nearside panel in primer, as a pattern, but need an offside one !
    You could make 24 of them in a few hours, I will sell them for you !!!

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