FCA announces Reloaded by Creators restoration program

by Ben Hsu

The company will find classics, restore them, and sell them to customers.

FCA has announced a new factory restoration program, one that will buy classics, restore them, and sell them to collectors.

Christened with a name reminiscent of The Matrix sequel, Reloaded by Creators for now is limited to cars from the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Abarth, and Lancia brands. The sale of the cars will be used to raise money to buy more cars, some of which are destined for the FCA historic collection. Head of FCA design Roberto Giolito made the announcement at the Retromobile show in Paris, offering five cars already restored and ready for new owners.

The first, a 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider IV serie, was part of the FCA collection and used as a test vehicle. Its green paint was part of a custom color test, making the car a one-of-a-kind car.

The next is a 1973 Lancia Fulvia Coupe Montecarlo, created to commemorate the company's victory at the 1972 Montecarlo Rally. It still has its original 1.3-liter, 90-horsepower engine and black registration plates from 1973.

The 1981 Spidereuropa Pininfarina, described as the "final act" of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider. Though it was produced from 1966 to 1985, it was sold only in the US from 1975 until the early 80s. The specific example offered was among the first to sold once European sales resumed, and has only about 6,200 miles on its 105 horsepower, 2.0-liter engine.

A 1981 Alfa Romeo SZ represents one of only 1,000 made, each hand-built at Zagato and wearing a thermo-plastic injection-molded composite body. The specific example offered was an early production test vehicle used at the Balocco circuit.

Last but not least was a 1959 Lancia Appia 2+2. Its distinctive two-tone coloring and V-shaped C-pillar were designed by Pininfarina, and the car was custom-built on a Lancia chassis.

Many automakers are focusing on heritage these days — Mazda has begun a roadster restoration program for the first-gen Miata, Nissan is reproducing parts for the Skyline GT-R — though this is one of the most ambitious. It's reminiscent of Nissan's program to sell restored 240Z sports cars at dealerships in the 1990s. Each FCA Reloaded by Creators will come with a certificate of authenticity and be featured on the FCA website.