The Dionisio Project—A Roadster Salon build in real time

We have been asked repeatedly about chronologically following a full restoration in real time on our blog. Several weeks ago, we were contacted by a customer in Switzerland and his son in California about helping them realize their vision of a custom spider, based on our Spider Tributo model. This design would incorporate cosmetic elements of our Spider America (CE), such as the revised proprietary body panels, but would retain the stock Fiat drive line. A computer rendering of their vision was provided, and shown below.

We spoke for several weeks about chassis selection, custom features, build process, scheduling, and time line. In early December, we settled on a 1983 Pininfarina from our inventory with 50K original miles as the basis for their project. We selected this chassis for its rarity, rust free tub, original paint, documented low miles, and overall value. Custom builds like the Dionisio Project typically undergo multiple revisions during the restoration process. However, it’s important that a build sheet finalizing the general restoration parameters, options and pricing are agreed upon before work actually begins. It’s a flexible blueprint that can always be changed, but keeps everyone’s eyes on the same target.

The chassis selection, initial build sheet and deposit was finalized several days ago, and the Spider was moved from “cold storage” to our active build area for disassembly. The chassis will be taken down to the bare tub, including removal of all mechanical and electrical components. It will then be media blasted down to bare metal and sealed before body work is started by our technicians. We will be sending our customer 3 spray-outs of color options they selected on metal thin sheets, as well as leather options for the interior.

During the course of this build, which we estimate to take from 6-9 months—Roadster will be updating our readers periodically as the Dionisio Project passes through its respective phases. We’ll be checking in with photos and commentary on our Blog so our readers can follow along with the twists and turns as they occur in real time. We are very excited to share this process in a more up close and personal way than we have in the past.