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Old 08-02-09, 04:21 PM   #1
pohlf
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(Italian) motorheads only - my '65 Alfa lives!

I had to clear a huge section of the garage for some serious sewer pipe replacement work. The one silver lining: the unregistered (and waiting for a time/money convergence) '65 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT would need to be moved - hee, hee! It's only been dormant for ..mumble, mumble.. years. I actually have been doing prep work on it for some time, now, so it actually all went according to plan, except.. the battery wouldn't come back to life. By chance, my Spider was conveniently closeby (it's usually about 100 miles away), so after a quick battery replacement exercise, the coupe came to life and was driven around the neighborhood for a few minutes, frightening a few children and animals before being stored out of the way for a week.

After the new pipe was in place in the garage and after another blast around the neighborhood, I wiped her off and took a few pics before putting her back to bed.

I really did not plan it, but given the size of the garage, I suppose it was inevitable that a bike appears somewhere in the background of every pic. Further trivia: if Bay Area locals recognize the company that's advertised in the poster in the last pic, I used to work there in the 80's.

Enjoy!

-Frank

'65 AR Giulia Sprint GT
'74 AR Spider
'93 AR 164 L







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Old 08-02-09, 05:26 PM   #2
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sweet ride
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Old 08-02-09, 05:38 PM   #3
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I've always loved those Alfas.
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Old 08-02-09, 06:23 PM   #4
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Wow, when reading the story, I thought I was going to scroll down to find a basket case project in need of a full restoration, but it looks great. Very cool!
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Old 08-02-09, 06:25 PM   #5
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nice Alfa! How much rust does it have?
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Old 08-02-09, 06:41 PM   #6
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Nice.
And by nice, I mean real nice.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:26 PM   #7
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You need to take that for a fun ride in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I really think it needs to run in the Alps, but that won't happen. Nice car as long as you don't have to buy parts.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:28 PM   #8
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Wow, when reading the story, I thought I was going to scroll down to find a basket case project in need of a full restoration, but it looks great. Very cool!
+1 I was expecting a primer gray paint job.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:31 PM   #9
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Gorgeous car Frank! Tell us about your spider as well...

(I haven't had any Alfas - yet - but have had 8 different Fiats over the years: from 64' cabriolets, to dinos, to 131s, to 238 campervans, to my current '69 124 spider that I drive as my dailydriver).
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Old 08-02-09, 09:34 PM   #10
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Sweet.
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Old 08-03-09, 06:28 AM   #11
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Show us pictures of your Spider too
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Old 08-03-09, 10:47 AM   #12
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Thanks for the interest! The Spider pics I have online are pretty feeble. I'll need to take a few fresh ones.

Shifty - funny #1: the Sierras - the last real trip this car made was in '94: SF to Tahoe to Reno and back. It performed nicely (and in some pretty serious rain on the return trip down the mountain). I remember after a reasonably swift traversing of the twisties on 80, the storm broke and I stopped in Applejack to call home,. The car was idling, with that distinctive "puhh, puhh, puhh" in the crisp winter air - an incredibly tranquil memory that I recall as one of a handful of "perfect moments". Upon returning home, I laid it up. I actually heard some bottom end knock (I think) when climbing to Reno while pacing (at about 85) a co-worker's rental. I knew the motor (actually the entire drivetrain) was worn out when I bought it.

funny #2: the Alps - the car was picked up at the factory by an SF resident that then drove it around around Europe for 2 months. The first stamp in the "service coupon" book is from a dealership in Roma(!). The Alps *may* have been on the route - not sure. I actually spoke to the orig. owner shortly after I got it. I found a business card under the rear seat cushion - I kid you not - which matched the name on some paperwork I had, and he was still listed in the SF phone directory. We had a really nice chat - he was very pleased that the car was still going. His story justified my getting the Italian "Temporary Tourist" front license plate that it wears. The orig. California black/yellow plate from '65 is on the rear.

gnome - believe it or not - no rust, save for some at the battery tray. The real rust was in my old '73 AR Berlina (RIP) - my first Alfa, and the one I sorely miss. If I could have any of them in *as new* condition, as an everyday driver, I'd want a Giulia Super 4 door sedan - sublime in all road-related respects and one of the most practical cars ever made. The body, of course, is definitely an acquired taste - (see the police cars in the orig. Italian Job). I tried to talk my wife into getting one, but she wanted a Spider. As proof of her being a real sports car girl, when we test-drove some later models (with catalytic converters, etc.) she kept asking "why they sounded like Toyotas". When we drove the SPICA/injected cars she said "that's more like it."

pacificaslim - a 60's 124 Spider! - a true classic and favorite (esp. of my wife's, who keeps pointing them out, saying, "Those are prettier than the Alfa.").. and as an everyday driver? You're *my* hero.

My intro to Alfa Romeo was unusual - the first one I ever worked on was a neighbor/friend's Giulia TZ (Tubolare Zagato). About 80 were made, a (gorgeous) aluminum body over a tubular chassis. This one, in fact:





One teaser of the Spider. I'll get some better ones, pronto.



Thanks again for all the nice comments - they made my day!

-Frank

Last edited by pohlf; 08-03-09 at 02:10 PM. Reason: tiepoes
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Old 08-03-09, 07:21 PM   #13
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Frank, funny your wife thinks the fiats are prettier because I've always thought the Alfas looked much better! I resisted getting a 124 spider for a long time because I didn't really like the look - I've gotten used it though. The sneak peak of your spider looks great!
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Old 08-03-09, 10:40 PM   #14
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Very nice early GTV you have there. Hope you don't mind me sharing mine... I lucked out big time and found a RHD model with 41k miles. The car was delivered to Cypress originally in 1973 and driven around the island by an F-16 pilot till it was imported to California around 1998. Handles really well and is a lot of fun on a track even with 110hp. Interesting to see the design cues taken and modified thru the years.

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Old 08-04-09, 06:03 AM   #15
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Very nice early GTV you have there. Hope you don't mind me sharing mine... I lucked out big time and found a RHD model with 41k miles. The car was delivered to Cypress originally in 1973 and driven around the island by an F-16 pilot till it was imported to California around 1998. Handles really well and is a lot of fun on a track even with 110hp. Interesting to see the design cues taken and modified thru the years.

Do those rims say "Campagnolo" on them?

Campagnolo made rims for Ferrari for awhile and I think they did for AR too.

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Old 08-04-09, 10:50 PM   #16
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Lotus67 - that's sweet. The late model Juniors are very desirable, and it sounds like you got a really good one. They kept the weight down, fixed some of the design flaws from the earlier models and are definitely safer. I was going to make mine a vintage racer (it qualifies for a historic category), but have come to the conclusion that both my current lifestyle and the condition of the coupe are better off being preserved as is. It will, one day, get out on the track, though.

If you have a Lotus, you'd better show it! If I wasn't into Alfas, it would be Loti.

Spider pics:

I tried the "standard" shot, but the garage door wasn't wide enough(!), so you get a neighbor's driveway - I wish it was ours:



RichinPeoria - my Spider has Campagnolo's - AR referred to this style as "Turbina". And they are real mags - as in magnesium:



We're currently in Kelseyville, above Konocti Resort, by Clear Lake - car is in its element:

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Old 08-05-09, 12:04 AM   #17
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Nice Giulia Sprint, my brother has a '67, originally sold in France. My dad has a handfull of alfas in his shop.. the newest being a '74, the rarest being a little rarer than that beautiful TZ. Great cars.

Whats with the mismatched interior and god awful stereo in the giulia though?
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Old 08-05-09, 02:08 AM   #18
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i wonder why vintage cars as they old would appreciate and men don't.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:37 AM   #19
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mcoine - I was wondering if anyone was going to mention the coupe's radio. A few rationalizations: I am normally a purist, except when it comes to practicality/safety. For example, I left the "third light" brake light that a previous owner installed. I couldn't bring myself to remove a safety device. Upgrading radios to newer ones never bothers me, mainly because so many older car radios are cr*p. I know we could debate the merits of a Becker Europa all day, and if it came with one, I'd have probably left it, but.. give me some credit for getting the last model of Blaupunkt push-button(!) AM/FM-only radio for it, which I felt kept some of the spirit of the original item/period. I think I paid about $40 as a leftover/in-box/NOS from some funky Palo Alto stereo shop in about '90. I am most proud of the installation of the 6x9 tri-ax Jensens in the rear deck: jig-sawed plywood adapter, epoxied wire-screen protector, and the acoustically-transparent "carpet" (Corvette(!) OEM it was claimed) for a perfect stealth look. But.. agreed - aesthetically, the radio is not the right unit. I've considered adapting chrome knobs and faceplate, but I'd bet I'll just end up leaving it.

Interior and carpet colors could be ordered individually back then. It originally had the orangeish-tan vinyl (never a favorite of mine) w/ black carpets - totally trashed, turned your stomach to look at the interior. I had to have it redone. I chose burgundy (technically a post '66 color - so it'll never win a concours, which is fine by me) vinyl and charcoal carpets. I just love the look with the dolphin grey exterior. It reminds me of some of the 60's Ferraris I've seen.

One old 164 pic

At Bonneville for Speed Week '05 - "Bonnie", a 222 MPH '91(?) AR Spider on right (she lost her rear wheel covers on her previous "run"). Speed Week was a most amazing experience. Like the old race car events of the 70's when everyone helped everyone else, and the big egos and bucks were kept in check. If you've ever thought of going - DO IT!!

(In fact, I just checked the conditions (http://www.scta-bni.org/whats_new.html). They say the salt is perfect this year - and Speed Week starts in 3 days...) I don't know if Bonnie will be there, though. More on Bonnie: http://www.nextautos.com/world%E2%80...ack-bonneville , http://www.international-auto.com/close.cfm

So many of today's car/race gatherings have evolved into over-priced, over-hyped, over-restored-million-dollar-plus-car circuses that have nothing to offer but attitude - see Monterey Historics (sorry, Steve Earle).


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Old 08-05-09, 10:53 AM   #20
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One of my old friends had an old alfa - his though was a "convertible" - and old and sooooo cool looking. You haz a nice car!!!!
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Old 08-05-09, 10:56 AM   #21
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RichinPeoria - my Spider has Campagnolo's - AR referred to this style as "Turbina". And they are real mags - as in magnesium
My Lotus Europa has Dunlop mags. $300 option on a $3000 car lol. You can just barely tell on this yellowed 32 year old photo with it's non-original paint.
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Old 08-05-09, 07:23 PM   #22
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Lotus67 - that's sweet. The late model Juniors are very desirable, and it sounds like you got a really good one. They kept the weight down, fixed some of the design flaws from the earlier models and are definitely safer. I was going to make mine a vintage racer (it qualifies for a historic category), but have come to the conclusion that both my current lifestyle and the condition of the coupe are better off being preserved as is. It will, one day, get out on the track, though.

If you have a Lotus, you'd better show it! If I wasn't into Alfas, it would be Loti.

Spider pics:

I tried the "standard" shot, but the garage door wasn't wide enough(!), so you get a neighbor's driveway - I wish it was ours:



RichinPeoria - my Spider has Campagnolo's - AR referred to this style as "Turbina". And they are real mags - as in magnesium:



We're currently in Kelseyville, above Konocti Resort, by Clear Lake - car is in its element:

Very nice...I wanted one of those back in the 80s ... a red one.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:44 PM   #23
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Love your Spider!!!

A good friend in Colorado has one like it, only red. He is 6' 7" tall so he can't have the top up when he drives. He drives all winter to work at 6500 ft elevation with the top down and his head partially above the wind screen But he loves the car and won't drive anything else. He admits to being a little bit crazy!
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Old 08-06-09, 10:50 AM   #24
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My Lotus Europa has Dunlop mags. $300 option on a $3000 car lol. You can just barely tell on this yellowed 32 year old photo with it's non-original paint.
Scorpio516 - I esp. like these, partly because of their unique lines but mostly because a friend lent me his Europa S for some months in the late 80's to "hook me" into buying it. He actually stiffened the factory suspension (he was a Formula Ford racer and wanted the same handling everyday). The car was amazing - like a go-kart for the street. The friends that I took for rides were left slack-jawed. I had to drive in my socks - shoes wouldn't fit in the footwell.. completely impractical, but an absolute blast to drive (with a vague gearshift, as I recall). I wonder if he still has his.

Dunlop made the 4-wheel disc brakes on the '65 coupe. They are supposed to be OK (but single circuit(!)) and I would think rebuild kits are hard to come by. One unusual feature of the car, that recalls the days when engineers ruled the world: left-hand threaded wheel studs on the left side of the car. Yeah, Big-O tires is defnitely off-limits.

Shifty - that's quite a commitment at those altitudes/temperatures. The "Italian" steering wheel and pedal position (commonly referred to as: long-of-arm - short-of-leg) seems to suit many tall folks that splay their legs and find the infinite head space of the open-top cars the clincher.

Tude - Thanks. Your friend may have had a Giulietta, the older and more distinguished-looking (to most) convertible. One of these:



Alfa Spider at Bonneville - I emailed some of the Bonneville folks to check on Bonnie's attendance at the Salt Flats for Speed Week, starting in a few days. She is slated to participate and will attempt to regain the G/BFMS (Blown Fuel Modified Sports) record with a confirmed speed in excess of 222MPH. Wish her luck! Results will be posted here: http://www.scta-bni.org/Bonneville/S...9/results.html

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Old 08-06-09, 10:58 AM   #25
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I had a 69 Spider I was restoring as a kid, stolen from our driveway. I'm still a little bitter.
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