I have wanted to build the Fiat Topolino from the AMT Double Dragster kit with fenders for a very long time. After recently seeing a few completed Fiat Altered model, I got the urge again, so I attached the rotary saw to my Dremel and got to work. Fenders from a Revell 37 Ford Truck had already been set aside so it was just a matter of getting them attached which was surprisingly straight forward. My original idea was to extend the hood for a longer wheelbase, but I decided to retain the compact dimensions. I always planned to power this creation with some sort of V-8 so I used the hood sides from the 37 Ford which have V-8 emblems. Once the fenders were attached the wheelbase and track were established so next on the agenda was to come up with a chassis. Many alternatives were considered but some how I got the brainwave to see how the dimensions compared with those of a 289 Cobra. As it turned out very closely. The complete Cobra chassis, running gear and interior fit with the removal of some material here and there. The firewall had to be recessed to accommodate the Weber equipped 289 V-8. I think the twin tip exhausts look very Italian.
I began to picture this car as a compact version of the pre-WWII Alfa Romeo Coupes, so I made a few other modifications. The nose was cut open so the grill could be mounted from underneath. There was already an opening in the hood so rather than filling it: to keep with the sporty theme I attached the Cobra hood scoop. There was a square opening in the roof but to have a full sunroof I cut the roof out to below the rear window. The folded back sunroof is two layers of masking tape. Early Topolinos had suicide so I removed the forward door hinges. Tamiya TS-11 Maroon was chosen for the paint job as that seemed to be the most popular colour of Topolinos when new, usually with black fenders. Even the Walt’s Puffer Altered is maroon on the AMT Double Dragster re-issue tin box. The taillights are from the ’34 Ford Pickup.