Stephen's Restoration - Initial Pics/Disassembly - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Stephen's Restoration - Initial Pics/Disassembly

Hello Everyone,

Well, I've done it. After 26 years working overseas, I've retired, returned to the States, and have undertaken the restoration of a 1969 Alfa 1750 GTV. It is a North American version with the SPICA injection unit; and it is all complete except for what the rust goblin has eaten away. Everyone except one friend wants to have me committed or to at least see a psychiatrist. One person thought I should be declared mentally incompetent.


I have been reading as many posts as I'm able to learn about these cars, and have come to two conclusions - first, rust loves Italian steel, and second, PO's are nearly as bad as the rust. Interestingly, while overseas I was actually looking to restore an S1 E-Type which rusts from the inside out. When I could not find one, a "friend" put me onto this GTV....more about that later. Anyway, since you cannot really be a gearhead if you haven't owned an Alfa (thank you, Jeremy Clarkson, so bloody much), I bought this car to undertake a full restoration, which will be catalogued here (unless my relatives have me committed first).

My story will develop, but I understand that this forum requires copious photos and I don't wish for anyone to be bored with text. But I do have some questions you more experienced folks can probably answer.

1. I don't want to be upside down financially in this car, but I intend to do things properly. That means originality is a priority. The time spent on engine/gearbox/body will not count in the cost.

2. Originality, however, is not my religion. I've already seen where certain hidden improvements can be made. But surely I haven't seen them all.....what do you suggest?

3. The PO who had this car was a moron, as will become evident. And that's being gentle. I'm trying to reconstruct why this car went off the road (it was found in a field in Texas) in the first place. Any hints as to what to look for?

4. What do you think a fully, properly restored 1750 is worth at the end of the day? See question #1.

There will be many more questions, but let's get started....

Stephen.
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post #2 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Here she is....a bit tatty, but gorgeous lines....

As will become apparent, this Alfa endured the '70s....the disco era. It's current colour is 'disco gold,' covering its original deep green.

Incidentally, I'm a bit new to these boards, and so am a novice at posting photos. Please be patient...but I'm completely open to suggestions.
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Stephen K.
Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #3 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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According to the license plate, the car was last on the road (registered) in November of 1981. The seller, an Alfa owner, found the car in a field near Waco, Texas. Apparently, it was in a barn for a number of years on a ranch, and when the PO suddenly passed away, his @#$% heirs were cleaning out the barns and ignorantly just dragged the Alfa out in the adjacent field, to be found many years later. Worse, at least one window was down, so the interior was exposed to the elements as well.

While in the barn, it apparently got hit several times as the rancher moved around various equipment.


My friend that found the car towed it to Dallas, where it sat for several more years in a warehouse. He needed to free up space, and I bought the car from him. It is basically complete, in the widest sense of that term.


Stephen.
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Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #4 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:05 PM
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Good luck with the project! It'll be interesting to see what's underneath. Is TX dry or humid where the car was?

I love Bavarias, and you don't see many Europas around anymore!

1967 1600 Spider
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post #5 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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When I was overseas contemplating a full restoration of an E-Type, one respected restorer said that whenever he looks at an E-Type, he disregards everything he sees from 18-inches to the ground, because he assumes it is all rusted. I looked at this Alfa in the same way. Well, maybe 24 inches in this case...

The good news is that

1. The car is basically complete; and the only major missing panel is the boot lid.
2. I took a magnet to every centimeter, and there are only a few areas where I suspect copious amounts of bondo.
3. The glass is all original.
4. The engine turns by hand. I pulled the plugs, soaked the piston tops with Marvel Mystery Oil for several days, and then was able to put the car in 5th gear and rock it forward, with a friend noting the turning of the fan. I'll try this again when I pull the engine.



The bad news is that

1. The PO that painted this car was an utter jerk, and the shop that painted it was in dire need of a work ethic and talent.

2. The disassembly is proceeding slowly because every bolt/screw is rusted fast, or so it seems... Question: Does the hardware seem soft to anyone? I've cut off more bolts or had them shear right off than I can count.
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Stephen K.
Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #6 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:11 PM
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Stephen,

Open "Bring A Trailer" https://bringatrailer.com/ enter Alfa Romeo under "Search", then click on "Alfa Romeo 105/115 Series coupe" with results of 159 auctions from 2014 and ranging from literally nothing to just under $80,000. Scrolling further down you can see the descriptions and pictures of each car.

Hope this helps...

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....4. What do you think a fully, properly restored 1750 is worth at the end of the day?.....
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George Schweikle

1976 Spider (Dedicated Autocrosser, "SPICA, No Carbs")
1991 Spider Veloce (Retirement cruiser)
Scuderia Non Originale
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post #7 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:12 PM
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Watching with enthusiasm

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'71 1750 Series 2 GTV:
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156 Series 1 v6 ... and remember it's all just opinions
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post #8 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Vivace,

North Central Texas is around 700 feet above sea level, so yes, it can be humid in the summer months. But it also is quite removed from the salt air of the Gulf of Mexico, where Rust reigns supreme. I am just assuming that everything south of 24 inches is hosed as far as rust is concerned. We shall see....

Stephen.

Stephen K.
Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #9 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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It's interesting that you mentioned the two cars I most regret selling.

The Bavaria was a beautiful car from nearly every angle, and its six cylinder engine was one of the best.

The Europa TC Special was pure Colin Chapman, only eclipsed by the Elan and the Seven, in my opinion. I have an Elise at the moment, and feel that Chapman's spirit still resides in that car (except that it is reliable).

Stephen.

Stephen K.
Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #10 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, George,

I actually did that before I decided to undertake this project....well, and I wanted to annoy my relatives.

The best one on BAT was apparently not judged by AROC, which I plan to have done. What I am shooting for is an example that is correct enough to be used by other restorers, not overdoing things but having an honest example for reference. I think it important to preserve these cars as they left the factory, just for the history of Alfa. I guess I'm just getting old...when I was racing, there was no hesitation in gutting a car mercilessly to shed weight. With this project, I'm willing to add weight to put everything right. Something is definitely wrong with me.


Stephen.

Stephen K.
Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #11 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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OK, before proceeding further, I must introduce you to my supervisor. He's Polish, so he is suspicious of any German or Russian. He inspects my work with interest, but is easily distracted by treats and toys. However, he returns to view my work with skepticism. I worry that he is smarter than me....

He's a working line GSD....

So, he investigates everything he might disapprove of. Mostly, that means that it I'm on a creeper under the car, it is his duty to come over and lick my face whilst I'm trying to get a socket on a (rusted) bolt!
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Stephen K.
Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #12 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the license plate. The car was on the road for a maximum of twelve years before its 'retirement.' One of the aspects of the disassembly will be the detective work to try to determine why the car left the road. Given the paintwork, it could really be anything.

The second photo is of the interior, which will be completely redone.

The steering wheel looks original. I'm perplexed by owners changing this out for a Nardi or equivalent. Does this not really matter? The rim is Bakelite, which can be restored. Is it worth doing?

Stephen.
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post #13 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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OK, the first photo is obviously the engine bay. The SPICA unit is visible (the airbox is removed). The Federal stickers are on the underside of the bonnet, warning of drivers who drive at high sustained speeds and the adjustments that the factory recommends. The last photo is of the "flying buttress" seats which some say are unique to this year.

Returning to the first photo, in the upper left the twin brake boosters are visible, which also was a single year "innovation" for some reason I have not figured out yet. Once restored and on the road, I'm worried about how this will work. Maybe some of you who have the 1750 can enlighten me...

Stephen.
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post #14 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Started on the interior. And here is where the detective work really begins. The LHS door card is hosed. This side received the majority of nature's wrath over the years. I pulled the door card off and there was no protective plastic covering, so some PO had been in here at some point. The RHS looks in decidedly better nick.
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Prior Street Cars: BMW Bavaria, 3.0 Cs, 320iS, M5; Lotus Europa Twin Cam
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post #15 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 03:45 PM
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You will likely need this thread: 105 series (sill/rocker) chassis components in DETAIL

Pete

'71 1750 Series 2 GTV:
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