Fusi has limitations. Storico ditto.
Don. One of the difficulties of car sold by Alfa Romeo prior to 1960 (especially on two liter, of which I am most experienced), is that many times the numbers of the motors, rather than Chassis numbers, ended up on records as the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). And I am convinced that Storico uses the VIN numbers rather than chassis numbers so might have either. How can anyone expect consistency when things were never consistent in the first place. On Spiders Touring would made the bodies and a motor would be fitted. Remember the first 432 (or some number like that) were blocks identical to the late 1900 series. So, sometimes the number used in the reference is the chassis and for the very next car sold the engine number is used. REMEMBER THAT WHEN SELLING THE CAR THE DEALER WANTED TO SHOW IT AS THE NEWEST, NOT THE OLDEST. It always seemed strange to me after reading FUSI that my favorite spider has chassis AR 10204*00126 and engine AR 00204*00071 but was supposedly sold as a 1961. A car I once owned, but now in Sweden or Denmark was an early car with chassis No. AR 10204*000081 but was titled under the engine number 0020400450 (without either AR or asterick) as a 1959. I had to do a series of sworn documents to allow the car to be shipped into England, showing the the chassis number in relationship to the motor. Luckily both numbers were on the firewall plate. But the only rule is that THERE IS NO CONSISTENCY. I could give several more examples. Mrs. Hazel Rochestor thought she got from her friend, Hoffmann, of Hoffmann motors the very first two liter that came into the US. It was Chassis No. AR 10204*00017 (I still have the plate as well as the engine somewhere, but seem to recall the engine number as #47). Fusi has always been confusing because he always suggested that the first 15 numbers of two liters were reserved for special builders, and so I always thought the factory demonstrator I drove in 1960 had to be #16, but now I'm not so sure. Numbers were not important to me then and I never checked. Moreover, in the last ten years Drew Dawson of Friday Harbor, who buys and sells Alfa cars worldwide, had AR 10204*00012 for sale (he had to show me photos). I understand now that Alfa might complete some cars with higher numbers first and then as long as a couple years later start filling in between the numbers with later cars. Luckily, once the US in 1960 decided to use chassis number as the VIN, the numbering plates no longer were stamped with engine number -- just chassis number. From then on one can use whatever two liter engine for whatever car (at least if one keeps models consistent so as not to use spider engines in sedans or sprints or vice versa). Only those supposedly sold in 1959 or before have both engine number and chassis number on the plate on the firewall. OOPS, I guess I have to alert people as to numbers on Two liter Sprint. Fusi says the first year (1960) only ten were made -- AR 10205*00001 to AR 10205*00010. But that's just baloney. My sprint was the first car rushed close enough to completion on December 24, 1960 to be taken to Brussels for the January 19, 1961 Motor show. And the Chassis No is AR 10205*00019. The Vin, however, used the motor number AR 00205*00008 and the sales document says it was sold in 1962. I have read that quite commonly the Alfa factory would lay down a whole bunch of cars and work on them all at the same time, but not assign numbers in sequence. In fact with Giulietta spiders the first car is #15 (followed by #17 and #19). One more factoid, Adrian Ratcliff used to race "Piggy" a light blue two liter sprint AR 10205*00015 fitted with a 2600 engine that was specially sent to Vancouver by the Alfa factory because the doctor who ordered the car would not take delivery of it unless it had the newer and more powerful engine installed. No one knows where that two liter sprint engine went, nor does anyone know the number. And, finally, the engine of the only other two liter sprint still existing in the US is the one you and Bob Kabine, and Bob Thorne, et al saw and touched in Katy Texas near Austin. It does not have a sprint engine because someone took it (and its transmission) and fitted it to a white series three 1900 Touring Sprint a long time ago before anyone was the least interested it that car. I was informed that someone took the engine and transmission to put in a spider, but that's not so. I have just recently seen that white 1956 1900 sprint couple advertised for sale in Astoria New York (it did not sell), and more recently found on my email history from years and years ago that I also had received a PM from the previous owner who was wondering why he could not stop the oil leak at the rear of the top of the block. Same picture; same car. He was going to put on yet another head gasket, and I suggested he try laying down a silicon bead around the rear holes on the top of the block where the oil from the head passes back into the crankcase. No head gasket has metal crush inserts for there, and I know of no other way to stop that leak. Sorry to ramble, but didn't you say you have the leak problem. Try that when you replace the head gasket. It works. But don't fret Storico and Fusi. I have yet a third source, a massive two volume set by Stefano d'Amioco and Maurizio Tabucchi called "La vetture di produzione dal 1910 (ALFA ROMEO - Production carsa from 1910) which seems to bear hardly any resemblance to car numbers I have seen through the years although it does give numbers made over the years showing (1) hardly any consistent sequences, and (2) NO ACKNOWLEDGMENT of the fact that the chassis number and the motor numbers were always different and that the factory sometimes used one for VIN and sometimes the other. Frankly, if anyone ever shows up with both chassis number and engine number identical you know that can only be attributed to the skill of the uninformed using numbering tools. I have no idea why there is such consistently incorrect claim of "matching numbers" can come from. And I can't find either my chassis number or my motor number in the newest expensive book. Seems two liter cars were never all that great as to be kept track of. The books seems to suggest there was a big shake up in the management of Alfa in January 1959 and one of the famous engine designers left. Yet, it is so frustrating. In this book the authors claim that they have the original books showing who the cars were sold to and the numbers under which they were sold. Beware, once again, that one day the VIN used the car's chassis number, and the next day someone used motor number of the next one sold. I can think of no other explanation. Jay
[B]JAY NUXOLL [/B][EMAIL="
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"], seriously Alfa diseased and ancient OLD Two Liter Lover, put together Seattle area's Northwest Alfa Romeo Club in 1965, and still feebly tries to tend a teeny sacred flame to his serpent mistress in the [B]ALFA G'RAJ MAHAL[/B], a home garage temple with more Alfa cars and parts than he dare list because of the disapproval of his shamed and chagrined family. (425) 641-2600.