Obviously it’s been a long time since my last post so I’ll do away with apologies and excuses and skip straight to the good stuff.
The catalyst for writing a new BP post is that my Volvo 122s has finally sold, and it sold sight-unseen to a guy up in Washington state. I’m usually on the other end of this kind of transaction, so I was both impressed and nervous about it, knowing that a car shows better in photos and in fantasies than it ever can in person. Still, the buyer knew what he wanted and somehow between CA and WA mine was the only 4-door automatic that he could find in his months of searching. As I write this, he’s hopefully arrived in Redding without any incident. I’m a tiny bit sad that California is losing a genuine black plate survivor, but the new owner has promised to send me the plates (such as they are) when he gets home, so maybe they’ll still see some use.
As for the other horses in the stable, here’s a quick summary:
- The Giulia TI has had some suspension and tuning work done courtesy of Jaan at Eddins Moto. With its 2L engine, C&B cams and much better carb jetting, it’s now officially a screamer, but an issue with the front left brake caliper is keeping me from using it as a daily driver. More on that soon, hopefully.Less happy news is that the paint job is not holding up well. Lots of weird bumps and irregularities have surfaced now that the paint is fully dry and has seen some heat cycles. I’ll at least take it back to the paint shop and ask them to address the crappiness, but a follow-up wet-sand and polish is definitely in order.
- The Sprint is very close to being a stand-by option for daily driver status. Jaan did a bunch of dirty work clearing out the brake lines and installing new rubber brakes hoses. This made the car generally safe, but with a lot left to tend to still. The adjustment process of the 3-shoe front brakes has proven to be just as hard as everyone says it is, and is far from done. As above, more on this soon, hopefully. Also happened or happening:
- had the wheels blasted and powder coated. Unfortunately when I said “silver” they heard “grey” so the tone is not quite right, but it’s still a vast improvement over corroded and rusty, especially with some nice hubcaps that I got on eBay:
- installed a set of Konis on the rear wheels – not a fun job but very necessary to replace the rock hard Monroes that were on the car.
- working on a patch for the only rust the car has: a gaping hole in the trunk where the battery tray is supposed to reside.
- rerouted the headlight wires to bypass a short at the high/low beam switch.
- installed a (correct) steering wheel from Larry Jr. at Alfa Parts Exchange, which has made a big difference in overall drivability.
- scored a Pianola AM/FM radio from an early 70s GTV, to replace the burnt out but so cool AM/FM/SW Blaupunkt that was in the car when I got it.
- The Giulia Super endured a lot of daily driver use and abuse this winter, so I treated it to a long overdue driveshaft rebuild, again at Jaan’s. There is some lingering shifter rattle and minor drivetrain vibration at certain speeds, so I’m thinking there was more going on than just worn out U-joints and a busted up donut, but it’s still been a great improvement. The Super really is a super car — given the condition of the cars I’ve owned in the past few years, if I didn’t have the Super, I’d probably own a Honda by now.
And that’s the update. Hopefully this post will jump-start my blogging engine and there will be more posts in the near future. Thanks to all of you who have written and visited and sent notes of encouragement.