That which nature abhors…
Whatever perceived vacuum existed in my palette of Alfa colors has been filled two-fold in the past couple of weeks. I’ve waited to post on this in order to be sure that both and not just one of the deals would go through, and over the weekend the final movements of this rather loud symphony were played by a small fleet of tow trucks and assistants.
Prior to now–and with a Duetto being a possibly valid exception–I’ve never owned an Alfa coupe. For most alfisti, the gateway drug to the world of Alfas is either the GT/V or Spider. As I said, I’ve had a Spider, but for a long time now I’ve been sitting upright and opening and closing four doors on my Alfas. And while I’ve had opportunities to get into a GT, I’ve never pulled the trigger (or else the car in question was bid out of my reach by guys with deeper pockets). But I now find myself with not one but two coupes, and a very real surplus of cars in my possession. The icing on this cake is that both cars still sport their black plates. (Well, each car only has one of its original plates, but still….)
Coupe #1 is a 1966 GT, previously owned by partner-in-Alfa-crimes Luigi. He’d been sitting on it for a few years, debating whether to fix up and drive, fix up and sell, leave alone and sell, etc., etc., and had gotten as far as bringing it down to his shop space in West Oakland and stripping off some of the paint in order to make a solid case for it on eBay.
Then a couple of weeks ago, Luigi found out about Matt’s sort-of-for-sale Giulietta Spider (Matt is the wizard behind giuliettas.com), and the three of us worked out slightly confusing but mutually satisfying deal wherein I ended up with a GT, Luigi with a Spider, and Matt with some actual US dollars.
The GT needs a motor and trans, but is set up for a 2-liter already with a hydraulic clutch system fitting rather nicely on either side of the pedal box. It’d be nice to run something closer to original (ie, a 1600), but there’s a lot of fun to be had with the extra horses the 2-liter should afford.
Obviously this is a ‘complete’ restoration kind of project, though I’m really happy with its basic originality and completeness. There’s very little to repair on it, just a lot of things to build (or rebuild) and clean up.
No lightning struck, it must not be that sacrilegious a statement. Oh, and I have already found a nice steering wheel for this car.
But wait, you’re thinking, didn’t he say TWO coupes? I could spent a lot more time talking about the GT (and will, eventually), but it is about time to turn to the other, which is a 1962 (titled as a ’64) Giulia Sprint ‘normale’ 1600 — the immediate predecessor to the car above.
This car turned up on the AlfaBB, somewhat buried in the middle of someone else’s post about wanting a 101 Sprint. The now-previous owner and his wife had owned the car for some 30+ years. (In fact the pink slip I have now is dated 6/28/1978, coincidentally also my mom’s birthday. Um, not birthDATE, birthDAY.)
For the past 20 years the car has sat in a garage in San Francisco. It’s truly a ‘ran-when-parked’ time warp of a car. There is zero rust. The only part of the body that needs immediate attention is the battery tray, which suffered from the usual bout of battery acid corrosion.
The engine compartment also shows a tremendous amount of originality. The only apparent change is the Weber DGV downdraft that replaced what would have likely been a Solex. Look ma, no battery!
There’s a lot to do on both cars, but with the TI getting paint and awaiting only some reassembly of the interior, I feel good taking on a couple of new projects. If I’m lucky, they’ll both be drivers before the end of the year.
The Sprint is now happily ensconced amid a dozen or so other vintage Eurotrash cars, including no shortage of Alfas, at Matt’s warehouse down in San Leandro — arguably the perfect location in which to bring this car back to life.
The short to-do list on the Sprint includes unlocking any and all stuck wheels, and very likely a whole lot of wheel cylinder fixing. Yum. Engine condition is unknown. I couldn’t move it by hand pulling on a fan blade. We’ll see if other methods are more effective. *IF* it turns over, the fuel system and carb will need a thorough cleansing, and then it’s a matter of checking compression and spark, and … who knows, it might be a runner!
The sad part of all of this is that I’ll likely have to sell something I love – either the TI or the Super, and currently the Super is a more likely choice. It will be difficult, but Sprints don’t come along every day and I feel pretty good about this one, so the sacrifice is bearable.