I can't wait til Uncle sees this!
Uncle just returned from a vacation in the EU. I hope you don't give me credit for knowing how PF put these together. Bertone was just as difficult to understand and Zagato even more accute in how they addressed their construction techniques. For one thing the parts manual doesn't differentiate between a V and an N. The front hole on the normales I have seen has a metal cover screwed on to close it as it was not necessary. I have seen on one car .. can't remember.. either an SZ or SS or Giulia Spider I owned where a crescent shape piece of metal was used to screw on and make the hole more circular on the RIGHT side of the engine bay. Lest I remind Giulia Spider Veloce owners ..one solution to the hole not fitting the hose tight enough was to fabricate a very expensive metal shroud over the junction that not all GV's had. That for another day but clearly a point of visitation by Alfa and PF to solve the hose/hole fit problem.
I don't have any recall on my old car now owned by a BBer #02516 how that hole was fabricated but I do know there wasn't anything unusual or modified about it, but then It was never taken down to bare metal.
I will speculate in my musing however why it is as it is on the subject car and gives further evidence why it was modified and should further support why it was done for a Veloce and the correct routing of the hose duct..
1. The Normale cockpit fresh air duct on the left side was routed through this hole and it was ovalized to accept the hose from the firewall which would require a very tight bend in the hose twice or a tight "S". By elongating the hole it was a less radical bend in the hose duct. I am not claiming all were like that but some must have been that way, possibly a memo from Alfa to PF to modify the hole after Alfa line workers complained it was time consuming to install the hose with these two tight bends.
2. The Veloce was introduced shortly after and the hole in question was too oval to make a tight fit on the air hose coming directly off the air filter canister and it was almost at a 90 degree entry and gives further credence to the cold air feed to the carbs was this hose and this hole...
I think the modification seen in the post is every bit as made by the PF factory and part of a solution which probably evolved into something unnecessary on future build orders as Alfa and PF learned to make that fender skirt more specific to the spec of a Normale or Veloce..
The question could be further reversed by some interpretation of what might have happened between PF and Alfa. There could be a thought that the hole was originally round ... then Alfa requested it oval for the early Normale production which PF obliged to by hand fabricating the change after the part had been machine stamped round... Then lo and behold Alfa could have asked it to be round again for Veloces and PF had to hand fab it back to round from stock already prepped for Normale's...
All this is best settled over beer and cigars .but no one will be sure who is right or wrong in their assumptions unless you were there in Portello in the 50's.