My name is Brian I'm originally from NY and I live in Florida. I've had/built cars since I was 13. I've been through a few '55-'57 Chevy's, a '47 Dodge, '49 Austin A40, '51 Henry J, '69 Coronet, another Austin A40 and a few other cars I'm sure I'm not remembering. Last year I accidentally found a Fiberfab Aztec GT II on Craigslist and sold the second A40 to buy the Aztec. It's a fliptop car on a VW chassis. It's in great shape and will go anywhere you wan it to, but could probably use a little restoration which will wait until it just doesn't run anymore.
In the process of trying to sell the Austin,which took a lot longer than I thought it would, I found a Fiberfab Bonito in Tampa. So far, I've found 2 Bonitos in the U.S.. One is mine and one is in Georgia, (If I remember correctly.). I tried to buy the Bonito last year but couldn't agree on the price with the owner. Earlier this year, I was just looking around on the same website where I'd seen the Bonito originally and it was back after the ad had been removed months earlier. It turns out the relisted only 2 days earlier. So I went to look at it again and this time the owner and I were able to agree on a price.
The Bonito has been sitting in my shop since then. I've gone through several ideas about how to build it - except for the VW chassis. I love the Aztec, but I'd also like to be able to pass someone on the highway if necessary. I have a '65 Corvair that isn't worth rebuilding, but would make a good base for the Bonito. I also considered both C3 and C4 Corvettes. And of course the Fiero.
A few days ago a nice '85 GT 4 speed car on Craiglist and - after checking here to find out what to look for when buying a Fiero - I bought it.
I've liked the idea of building the Bonito as a mid-engined car and both Corvette options put the engine up front and the Corvair is very incomplete, just a shell, and would've required a lot more parts buying and money.
Plans are to get the Bonito body on the Fiero. Either as one piece, which it is now, or by splitting it up and using the front end and rear end and maybe using the Fiero roof. The width of the Fiero is the biggest obstacle, but I have done a few photoshop images of the Bonito widened, and lengthened for the Corvette, and it looks good wider and/or longer.
The Fiero is a running, drivable car. NO rust. The engine will stay stock for now. I love the idea of a V12 longitudinally, but that will have to wait. I will avoid Chevy engines at all costs. There's enough of that going on out there.
Question: Where are the threads that tell you how to take the body panels off your Fiero? I mean one thread that shows all the panels being removed. I've searched 20 different search phrases and I can't find them. Can someone post a link?
Looks like a pretty cool project. Is the wheelbase about the same as the fiero? As far as a thread on removing body panels goes I haven't seen one but I have removed every panel on a fiero besides the roof and rear upper clip.most everything is pretty self explanatory when you look it over. I know the roof panel and rear upper clip have bolts in the roof structure. Headliner has to come out to access those. Also there is some very hard to remove sealing goop between the clip and the roof panel. The a pillar parts are hard to remove without breaking them and ive seen several threads where the glass got broken trying to remove the roof panel.
donnie072003, the measurements are really close. The wheelbase is off by about an inch. The Fiero is shorter. The Fiero I have is lowered so the height is 43". The way the Bonito is sitting on the homemade dolly, it's just happens to also be 43" tall. If you line the 2 cars up with the tires on the Fiero as close to centered in the wheelwells of the Bonito as possible, the front of the dash to the back of the interior of the Fiero is the same length as the front of the dash to the front of the rear window on the Bonito. In other words, the interiors are the same length. The rears of both cars line up and the Bonito is nose is longer.
The Bonito is 65" at the front fenders. It's 64 1/2" at center of the rear wheelwells. The Fiero is 6" wider. That's the big difference.
I need to get some good side view pictures of the Fiero so I can try superimposing the Bonito over it as well as cutting the Bonito picture up and seeing if just using the front end and rear end, kind of like some of the GT40's are done, will work. OR I have to try fitting the whole body down over the Fiero chassis, which means cutting off the windshield pillars and roof.
After I get the pictures I'm going to start taking the body panels off the Fiero.
I've been involved in kits and replicas for a long time and have never seen a Bonito before, looks really cool, What windshield does it use and how hard are they to come by? I ask because some of the stuff out of the '60s used some pretty exotic glass, that can cost more than the rest of the car these days.
I just put a Kelmark body on a Fiero, you have your work cut out for you. It's not an easy fit. The PO on mine did a butcher job that took the first year to undo. Check the kit car thread I just posted a pic there.
Joe, the Bonito was made in Germany by a company that bought the rights to use the Fiberfab name over there. They made them from '69 to '79. There are a lot of pictures of them from Europe if you Google "Bonito". The rights to the body have changed hands a few times and I think there's a British company that used to make them and will still make one if you special order, but they're not in the kit car business primarily anymore. The windshield is from the Ford Taunus 12m P6. The rear-window is Opel Rekord Coupé (late 60-s). Both of them are nearly impossible to get. I don't think either of them was ever available in the U.S. My car will probably end up with some sort of Fiero windshield, or Corvair. The rear window is flat, so that's no big deal.
tebailey, the Fiero was definitely not the easiest choice of the cars I had in mind as donors. The C3 Vette was probably the easiest because I was just going to use a shortened rolling chassis and make a new floor. But I want that "engine under glass" look and I couldn't do that with the Vette. Well, sort of, the engine would've been so far back it would've been under the windshield. Wrong glass.
This orange car is kind of interesting because they've closed in the cockpit/fastback and have an engine cover that's looks very Fiero-ish. (Can't post. PIP can't find the server. Maybe later. Yay! 500th try was successful!)
Your car looks good. You need to post bigger pictures!
[This message has been edited by benabelly (edited 12-22-2013).]
Wow! It took a while before someone figured out what it was.
I'm downloading those pictures, if you don't mind.
Everyone else, I just got done getting all the panels off. It's stripped. I'll post pictures later. I have to get cleaned up for dinner now.
It was pretty easy. I have a set of links from this site about panel removal that helped. I'm going to post them here later. It might make it easier for other people to find them all if they're listed in one place.
Tomorrow, measuring and - probably - slicing up the Bonito.
I have some of the front, but they're still on my phone. I'll post them later. Helpful links when removing body panels for body panel removal or removing fender or removing rear clip or removing sail panels and so on.... Body Panel Removal Link 1
I ran out of Sawzall blades or I'd have both sides done. I hope Home Depot is open tomorrow.
The gap between the Bonito roof and the Fiero b-pillar:
After trimming the original wheelwell out and also some of the door jamb. The Bonito panel is too short. The rocker is in the way of the door. I'm going to cut the bottom of the quarter off just at the point where the wheelwell lip ends and eventually extend it downward. There's going to be some cutting of the current 1 piece quarter/roof panel.
That would be good, my Kelmark body gave good access for a VW drive line. Access for the Fiero is a whole nother story. As long as I don't need to change my rear struts, I can at least get to most of the stuff on the ole duke.
Ahh, the Bonito,,,, I lived in Britain and it was the first Kit Car I fell in love with back in 1982 when I picked up my first magazine. I didn't like the VW idea but a few years later when I was ready to build it, it had changed hands and a new company called it the Seraph. This car was a basic spaceframe (I believe) and used Ford Cortina (Mustang II) suspension and Pinto engine up front. I think it had a Capri windshield, but I like your idea of staying with the Fiero "A" pillars etc. Good Luck with your project, I will be watching intently.
jwct, the company that renamed it Seraph is in England, I think. The last I read on their site, they'll still make you one.
I'd like to make the front end flip up too.
I got more Sawzall blades earlier. I'm going out to the shop tonight to cut up the right side quarter panel, so I'll have pics of both panels on the car later. Maybe I'll get to the structure under the front section too. I'm not sure, but I think that might slip down over the Fiero once it's cleaned up underneath. So maybe picture of that too. The front of the Bonito was wider than the rear, not as wide as the Fiero, but it should lay over the Fiero once it's cleaned up inside.
Thanks for all the interest and encouragement, everyone.
I got the second quarter panel setup and started cutting the guts out of the front end. There's a lot more to cut out there, but it got late and I was worried about the neighbors being bothered by the noise, so I stopped. The rocker panels have to come off too.
The front will be on the car tomorrow.
Both quarter panels on the car:
The underside of the front end. ALL the insides need to come out. I tried leaving the wheelwells, but they have to go:
Some gutting, but not enough:
The original Fiberfab label! Wow!
All filled in and done! (Not really, but it looks that way, doesn't it?)
I was sweating last night. I made the mistake of taking off the long sleeve shirt I had on to keep the fiberglass off me. But don't forget, I'm from N.Y.C., I know cold weather. Plus the temps have gotten into the 20's at night a few times since we moved here 3.5 years ago. I didn't like that.
QUESTION:I marked up the picture below. The front fenders won't go in towards the center of the car because the Bonito headlight buckets are hitting what I guess is the front bumper frame of the Fiero. I can cut out the headlight buckets on the Bonito, but then I have almost no way of putting any kind of headlights on/in the Bonito fenders. I'd have to have the Fiero headlight popup. I don't want that.
Here's the actual question: What's in that pop up headlight area besides the headlights and just in front of them, the bumper? Can I cut the end of the bumper frame off outside of what appears to be the front frame rails (Red line)? Can I remove everything that's on the Fiero in the area covered in red?
If I can eliminate a length of the bumper outside the frame rails and remove the Fiero headlight assemblies and any sheetmetal that's under them, the Bonito fenders will slide towards the center of the Fiero. There are other issues with the fenders not fitting at the back, but that's what's wrong up front.
4 nuts hold the headlights in. either 11 or 13mm size. My memory is there is a main frame brace at the inside edge of each headlight that is most of the front bumper support on each side. You might check out threads for Norm's front end. My memory thinks that some of the metal there might be removed to fit it.
The front bumper is actually attached to the ends of the lower frame rail, not the upper one. Many folks do just what you are suggesting: remove the headlight assemblies and cut out the front corners of the upper frame rails to install various kit car bodies, though it weakens the chassis in front quarter collisions.