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post #16 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 01:12 PM
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color

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Originally Posted by 1,6 HF View Post
Nik, here's a version of your photo with some color correction:

Attachment 106795
All, Looking at the Abarth 205A in the picture, am i wrong to note that the car appears to have a two-tone color scheme (red body/black roof)?

Reason im focusing on the color is that , there appear to have been 3 Abarth 205 ever manufactured, one long nose (chassis"101')' -later regular nose- that raced in silver (then in red), another which was raced in silver (chassis '102') now called the "fisher green star", largely with very incorrect bodywork and another car (chassis '103') which carried a two tone red/black scheme.
Common wisdom assumes that only the first two raced in the MM...

If we can positively decipher the color scheme, we might have the answer.

Help.
thoughts?

rgds
Elad
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post #17 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 207A10 View Post
All, Looking at the Abarth 205A in the picture, am i wrong to note that the car appears to have a two-tone color scheme (red body/black roof)?

Reason im focusing on the color is that , there appear to have been 3 Abarth 205 ever manufactured, one long nose (chassis"101')' -later regular nose- that raced in silver (then in red), another which was raced in silver (chassis '102') now called the "fisher green star", largely with very incorrect bodywork and another car (chassis '103') which carried a two tone red/black scheme.
Common wisdom assumes that only the first two raced in the MM...

If we can positively decipher the color scheme, we might have the answer.

Help.
thoughts?

rgds
Elad
IMO the car in the photo is red with a black roof, and that there was only one car painted that way. I believe that there were 3 cars, but I'm not sure if two of them weren't 204 coupes and not 205s. I think the 204s had tube chassis, and the 205 had a platform chassis, like a 207..

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post #18 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 03:10 PM
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i think the subject of the abarth 204/5 has been pretty extensivly dealt with here and on atlasf1.. do a search on abarth 205.. mostly on atlasf1 I believe..


short recap here..

red car is 205101 a 205A
green car (I am not sure this is a real car though) 205102 a 205A
red and black car is the car mentioned in the pictures here earliuer is 205103 another 205A
no trace of the 204 though


Nik
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Ferrari 330GT2+2 series 1, Fiat 1100SMM Pinin Farina,

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post #19 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by biz5300 View Post
i think the subject of the abarth 204/5 has been pretty extensivly dealt with here and on atlasf1.. do a search on abarth 205.. mostly on atlasf1 I believe..


short recap here..

red car is 205101 a 205A
green car (I am not sure this is a real car though) 205102 a 205A
red and black car is the car mentioned in the pictures here earliuer is 205103 another 205A
no trace of the 204 though


Nik
Thanks Stu and Biz5300,

I was aware of the F1 bb discussion. I was specifically referring to the picture above. Moreover, as #101 and #102 are assumed to have MM history and 103 was assumed to have not, if we agree that the picture above is a red/black roofed car, then we have a real proof of period participation.

I was hoping someone with access to a photoshop could help positively identify the colors as the black and red car rather then a possible reflection of sunlight on a full red car.

Why do i care this much?

I just purchased chassis #103 and in the process of restoring it. This MM link could be significant in understanding the car's history. That is if we can positively 100% confirm the color in the picture.


rgds
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post #20 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by iicarJohn View Post
Just back from a month in Italy where I was unable to do the research I'd hoped but managed in any case to get a head full of new and old data. Saw some old cars that are fine as they are. Some awaiting work. Some old cars being made "new" and some new cars being made "old" or waiting to be "old". Some future "barn finds" await us and it will be of interest to see what is made of an 8C "Alfa" partially built in the 1980's that is not yet finished and perhaps never will be?

An impromptu visit to Essen's "Techno Classica" gave credence to an Italian friend's proclamation that it was and is the biggest event of its kind in the world. There were Italian vendors there who had good stuff for sale that the same vendors did not show the week before at Reggio Emilia. Some of the Italian vendors at Essen were not even at Reggio Emilia which I've always found to be amongst the most productive meets to go to. At Essen, there were more Alfa Romeo parts than could be found at most meets in Italy. I'll look for an appropriate thread to share more.

Turning to the subject at hand ... which is also drifting quite far from the topic "S.I.R.C.A." ...

The Abarth 204/A was derived from the Cisitalia 204. It had a tubular chassis in the Cisitalia and, since most of the "Abarth" 204/A were actually born as "Cisitalia", the Abarth 204/A also had the same tubular chassis with suspension elements coming from the Porsche agreement. There were variations among the cars themselves but the type numbers remained constant. The Cisitalia 204 was always a "204". When Abarth took them over, most of them became "204/A" almost immediately and perhaps a car or two were finished that had never been "Cisitalia". In any case, the "A" differentiated them from the Cisitalia 204, a couple of which had been sold off previously to private owners and remained "Cisitalia".

When the 205 was shown or leaked to the press, it seems that not much information was given at first. And it also seems that perhaps not all the information was precisely correct or was in agreement? Some faulty details may have come from various sources? It may be that some details were not yet finalized? It may be that some motivations might have been quite clever or may have been accidental but the result was that the press ran stories with very little substance and a fair bit of fantasy based on extrapolating from what they had seen previously and what they knew of the Cisitalia/Abarth accord. Some of these early inaccuracies continue to make their way into more recent research and writing.

The berlinetta Vignale version of the 205, which we have to acknowledge as the definitive version, was never actually a 204/A in that it did not have a tubular chassis. It was a platform chassis constructed of sheet steel formed in distinctive ways and welded together. In fact, it is the first true "Abarth" creation even though we have to acknowledge some Abarth input into the Cisitalia 204 which had come from a contract between Cisitalia and Porsche, seemingly the whole reason that Abarth had been at Cisitalia in the first place.

The fact that press statements and photo captions call the 205, "204/A" on occasion make no difference. It never was a 204/A. It seems that the press also fancifully tacked the "A" suffix onto this car as well at times, making it a "205/A", but the fact is that there was no need since there had never been a "Cisitalia 205". It may be that Abarth himself was unsure at first as to what he would call this model so there may have been some confusion inherent from the start? I should also note that Abarth called his first true "production" model "207A" or "207/A" even though there was no Cisitalia donor. It seems likely that this was mere marketing ... and perhaps not for the first time? But, this was a series planned for the USA, ordered by Gino Valenzano and Tony Pompeo ... who together also planned a "207/B" that was to be fitted with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta engine ... never realised. But, the plan of the "207/B" might have been a reason for calling the earlier version "207/A"? We might never be sure as to the why of certain details. Sometimes I think we try to hard to make sense of certain capricious details?

To recap the "205" cars individually:

205-101: This car, after making some Italian history that has yet to be established with certainty, was painted white and green and was sold late 1953 to the USA where it was repainted red (once again?). It was fitted briefly with a McCulloch 1500cc air-cooled 2-stroke engine that overheated in racing so the original engine was refitted but it seems to have raced no more after that. It was painted red with a black roof for a time, seemingly after having been damaged during a major fire in a museum that involved another car falling on it from an upper level. Some 25 years ago, I suggested to the owner that he look for traces of the holes that had carried the aerodynamic extensions as used at the Mille Miglia. He found them and this was exciting news. Curiously, however, subsequent photos have turned up that show some significant detail differences between door fit details of the cars. Either 205101 was changed significantly during its life or there were two cars that carried the aerodynamic panels ... or I am simply confused!

205-102: This car was sold from Italy to Austria after making its Italian history, which is also yet to be established. In Austria, it was fitted with a V6 engine, the body modified (not necesarily in that order) and painted green, becoming known as the "Fischer Green Star".

205-103: This car was originally red with a black roof so there is the possibility of confusing it with 205101 during a portion of the two cars' lives when they lived not all that far apart. After making some Italian history that has yet to be established with certainty, this car also came to the USA early on and made a bit of history here in California.

205-104: This is the truly odd one out. It is bodied by Ghia and was presented 1953 by Abarth as "Abarth 103" during Fiat's presentation of the Fiat 1100/103 to the Italian market at the Salone Internzionale dell'Automobile Torino in April of that year. The chassis, although differing a bit in detail from one of the earlier Vignale cars (perhaps they all differed a bit?) is clearly marked "TEL 205-104" where "TEL" certainly means "Telaio". There is a possibility that this chassis carried a different body (perhaps Vignale?) earlier in its life and this might change some assumptions that have been made about some of the earlier cars. One rather vague argument in favor of this is (was) the existence of the next car. Perhaps?

205-105: This has been reported as a Vignale spyder that has subsequently been destroyed. Unfortunately, there is scant evidence that it even existed, much less detail that is known about its origins. But, if it was built at roughly the same time as the earliest cars, then it would tend to support the possibility that 205-104 might have had an earlier body and an earlier life. If this spyder was born only in 1953/54, then it would tend to imply that the Ghia body on 205-104 might be the first body fitted to that chassis. And, using the same thinking about this car that applies to 205-104, there is a vague possibility that the spyder Vignale configuration might not have been original either?

I have gathered a significant amount of Italian history about the Abarth 205 cars but there are some puzzling discrepancies regarding claims made and characteristics (build details) that appear in photos of various cars. So, I am reluctant to place any specific history with any specific car until a thorough review can be made of all the information that can be found. Obviously, additional detail is sought about each and every one of these cars!

Regardless of the marketing monikers, these are all very interesting cars in their own right and each warrants study that is not based on assumption and assigning false importance to certain characteristics. We must maintain an open mind about everything at this point! That said ...

As I mentioned earlier in this thread. S.I.R.C.A. was merely a sales entity and built no cars themselves. There were a few occasions where a relationship existed that allowed Sirca to claim exclusive Italian marketing rights of certain models, particularly from Ghia, but I'm not convinced that this makes them a "name" worthy of assigning too much importance. The creative forces were elsewhere. Which does not mean we should completely negate the importance of marketing. But it is rare that marketing actually creates something.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
WOW!! Thanks John I especially find it interesting that there may have been 2 cars that had the aerodynamic nose at some point in their lives. I also thought the green car had an Alfa giulietta motor in it. I have seen an entry list for the 1951 MM that lists race number 231 as simply a Fiat Sirca/DNS, with no mention of Abarth??

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post #21 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 207A10 View Post
Thanks Stu and Biz5300,

I was aware of the F1 bb discussion. I was specifically referring to the picture above. Moreover, as #101 and #102 are assumed to have MM history and 103 was assumed to have not, if we agree that the picture above is a red/black roofed car, then we have a real proof of period participation.

I was hoping someone with access to a photoshop could help positively identify the colors as the black and red car rather then a possible reflection of sunlight on a full red car.

Why do i care this much?

I just purchased chassis #103 and in the process of restoring it. This MM link could be significant in understanding the car's history. That is if we can positively 100% confirm the color in the picture.


rgds
Congratulations on the purchase!
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post #22 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 06:01 PM
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Abarth 205

John et all...

Regarding some of the possible facts that john has presented:
101 /102 could have shared many of the characteristics of the aerodynamic racing cars, but the curved door lines give them away as distinct from 103 which had a non-kinked door lines. 103 had some chrome pieces both at the 1951 Turin show and presently that are not shared with the other 2. Which car 101/102? was at a specific race is beyond my capability to ascertain but:
Its unlikely that any 204 had a coupe body and we know beyond 103/104 the bodies were somewhat different (in the case of 104 very different), AND we know that we are working with a finite number of 205 chassis, thus we are still working with few possible permutations. While i understand the confusion, its fairly certain that 101 raced in the races mentioned (1950/1951), while 102 can be also reasonably assumed to have lived similar early life! To confuse maters more, the back of one car (non - streamlined) in a period MM picture appears very different then 101 or 103. Thus, one can assume its 102, but given the shape of the body today and its lack of originality, its a conjecture rather positive proof that we will have to live with...

101 has a fairly complete history, 102 is a bit of an unknown, particularly confusing given the "virtually" new body on it.
103 (the car im currently restoring) has a very well documented history, that so far has seen debut it in the 1951 Turin show (as a more luxury version of the line) with some chrome pieces, and a fully trimmed interior AND bumpers!!. The car then underwent some subtle modifications as it went on the show circuit in Italy (culminating in the 1952 Villa d"este concourse), then circa 1955/56 was exported to the USA (I have a picture of the cars on the docks - red/black colors!). It changed hands once in 1972 then stayed with the same owner for over 35 years. When we got the car it had original the (still does) interior, tires, engine (Cisitalia 204 stamping) etc, on it. It even carried the old but proper 2 tone paint. It would have been great to try and preserve the car, but sadly the condition was on the other side of salvageable.

A point of interest - but im not sure it has much significance - is that when we went ahead and striped the old original paint, we discovered a layer of silver paint underneath the red/black. Now we know both 101/102 raced in silver, and that silver was Abarth's racing color in the 204/205 series... Anyhow, its just another confusing fact.

One can distinguish my car form the other two in most pictures by two specific traits: the doors are straight cut rather then kinked on 101/102, there is an additional trim piece on 103 on the B pillar, the two other cars don't have these features.

If i have more ill revert, but my logic would say that, while 205 101/102 were reasonably successful race cars, by the time Vignale started working on chassis 103, Abarth was moving on from racing (for that period - and wont return for at least 4 years) and thus 103 was build more like a road sports version. 104, probably was constructed later from the chassis that was left post 103 going on the show circuit, no proof exists that it had a 1951 body! It is certainly not uncommon or unreasonable for Abarth to stop spending big bucks on Vignale bodywork, and to shelf the chassis, until the car was unveiled as the Abarth 203 car. We know for a fact that 1951/1952 were financially challenging years for Abarth & co.
While i have heard about the 205 "spider" no picture of it ever surfaced, so it could still be "folk tale".

Going back to the picture at the start of the MM, can someone with photoshop synthetically decompose the colors, im very eager to find out if the car we are looking at is two tone...

rgds
elad

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post #23 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 207A10 View Post
John et all...

Regarding some of the possible facts that john has presented:
101 /102 could have shared many of the characteristics of the aerodynamic racing cars, but the curved door lines give them away as distinct from 103 which had a non-kinked door lines. 103 had some chrome pieces both at the 1951 Turin show and presently that are not shared with the other 2. Which car 101/102? was at a specific race is beyond my capability to ascertain but:
Its unlikely that any 204 had a coupe body and we know beyond 103/104 the bodies were somewhat different (in the case of 104 very different), AND we know that we are working with a finite number of 205 chassis, thus we are still working with few possible permutations. While i understand the confusion, its fairly certain that 101 raced in the races mentioned (1950/1951), while 102 can be also reasonably assumed to have lived similar early life! To confuse maters more, the back of one car (non - streamlined) in a period MM picture appears very different then 101 or 103. Thus, one can assume its 102, but given the shape of the body today and its lack of originality, its a conjecture rather positive proof that we will have to live with...

101 has a fairly complete history, 102 is a bit of an unknown, particularly confusing given the "virtually" new body on it.
103 (the car im currently restoring) has a very well documented history, that so far has seen debut it in the 1951 Turin show (as a more luxury version of the line) with some chrome pieces, and a fully trimmed interior AND bumpers!!. The car then underwent some subtle modifications as it went on the show circuit in Italy (culminating in the 1952 Villa d"este concourse), then circa 1955/56 was exported to the USA (I have a picture of the cars on the docks - red/black colors!). It changed hands once in 1972 then stayed with the same owner for over 35 years. When we got the car it had original the (still does) interior, tires, engine (Cisitalia 204 stamping) etc, on it. It even carried the old but proper 2 tone paint. It would have been great to try and preserve the car, but sadly the condition was on the other side of salvageable.

A point of interest - but im not sure it has much significance - is that when we went ahead and striped the old original paint, we discovered a layer of silver paint underneath the red/black. Now we know both 101/102 raced in silver, and that silver was Abarth's racing color in the 204/205 series... Anyhow, its just another confusing fact.

One can distinguish my car form the other two in most pictures by two specific traits: the doors are straight cut rather then kinked on 101/102, there is an additional trim piece on 103 on the B pillar, the two other cars don't have these features.

If i have more ill revert, but my logic would say that, while 205 101/102 were reasonably successful race cars, by the time Vignale started working on chassis 103, Abarth was moving on from racing (for that period - and wont return for at least 4 years) and thus 103 was build more like a road sports version. 104, probably was constructed later from the chassis that was left post 103 going on the show circuit, no proof exists that it had a 1951 body! It is certainly not uncommon or unreasonable for Abarth to stop spending big bucks on Vignale bodywork, and to shelf the chassis, until the car was unveiled as the Abarth 203 car. We know for a fact that 1951/1952 were financially challenging years for Abarth & co.
While i have heard about the 205 "spider" no picture of it ever surfaced, so it could still be "folk tale".

Going back to the picture at the start of the MM, can someone with photoshop synthetically decompose the colors, im very eager to find out if the car we are looking at is two tone...

rgds
elad

It's very clear to me that race #231 from the 1951 MM is black over deep red. Unfortunately, from that picture, you can not see the B pillar or the door shape.
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post #24 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Where Is The Position Of The Generator In The 205?. Is It Similar To Cisitalia
204?.
Can You Show Photo Of It?.
Regards,
Sergio Lugo.
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post #25 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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Who wants to know about history? (Hmm. Just a few hands in the air?)

Clearly, there is a lot that we know about each of the cars that I did not put into the brief synopsis above. This does not change the fact that we do not yet have quite enough information to arrive at definitive conclusions about some things. We know more about some things than we used to but we do not know if the body of 205-101 was changed during its life. We do not know enough about the early configuration of 205-102. We do not know if 205-103 also had some changes made at certain times. We do not know if the Ghia body on 205-104 is the original body. (Note that I have no reason to think that it is not the original body, but we simply do not know!) We do not know much at all about 205-105. Although we can be quite sure(?) that there were not twenty of the 205 built, we do not know if there was also a 205-106 or 205-107. Some owners of these cars have been very secretive about them and this has not helped in the study. I have spent hundreds of hours studying just these five(?) cars simply because I like them and because they give some insight into the early history of Abarth as a company that I thought might have implications to other work that came later. Some of this work has been interesting and fun and some has resulted in experiences that were very unpleasant. Unpleasant enough to cause me to walk away from the study for a time now and again. But, the cars themselves and the desire to know more have always called me back.

I wrote a story precisely 25 years ago for the Abarth Register USA's "Stinger" that sought to present much of what I thought we knew at that time about a couple of these cars. The editor decided it was "too long" (at 20 pages) and it was never published. In that story, much of what has been presented in recent times as "News" about these cars was already well established. I have learned quite a number of things since then as well. One of them is to assume less! But, I am not writing in an absolute vacuum of knowledge.

My earlier statements (just a few facts) and proposed possibilities were perhaps were too obtuse? Elad, you are not the only person to ask me to keep something confidential, even if only for a time. There are other tidbits gathered that I also do not feel free to share with the general public. They are not "mine" to share. Sometimes I do not trust certain pieces of information or believe them to be misleading without additional context that needs study before presentation. I am not alone in this among the students of history. We sometimes walk a fine line between what we know, what we think we know and what we believe. And there is the world of "Could be?" that can also distract and even attract. I urge everyone to look at what they think they know in the light of what they actually know instead of what they think or want to believe. Then, maybe, we will arrive at true history rather than, "Maybe this ..." and "Maybe that ...". There is no rush to a conclusion, no matter how important it seems to get your promotional piece done for the next auction catalogue ... or Pebble Beach Concours program ... which oftentimes amounts to about the same thing.

John
I'm not sure exactly how to respond to this one. The scientific method shows that sometimes the truth can be found by simply throwing theories out there. I agree that there are some that are simply interested in promoting what they own for financial benefit; truth be damned. I love these cars and would like to find out the truths about them, but as many are aware, patience is not one of my virtues...
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post #26 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 09:25 AM
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Where Is The Position Of The Generator In The 205?. Is It Similar To Cisitalia
204?.
Can You Show Photo Of It?.
Regards,
Sergio Lugo.
hope this helps:
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post #27 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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207a10:
Many Thanks For Your Photo And Great Help.
Now, I Understand The Following: The 205 Abarth Has The Magneto Marelli In The Front Like The Monoposto Cisitalia D 46.
The 204 Spyder Sport Has The Magneto In The Place Of The Ignition Distributor And The Generator In The Front.
Regards,
Sergio Lugo.
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post #28 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 03:12 PM
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May I offer a bit of a caution?

As most should be aware, not all engines were the same and not all were prepared in the same way even from event to event. We should not expect that any two cars were necessarily the same in this area at the time of build and they certainly will have changed over time. There may, in particular, be changes from the 204/A to the 205 in general and there may be unique changes to this particular 205?

There may be a problem of space in the Abarth 205 but I have to say that the technical "solution" of driving the generator from the distributor drive is not very clever for an engine that is to run a lot of miles. The drive gears will almost certainly wear out very quickly and it will also be very hard on the drive gears (or less likely ... timing chain) for the cam up front as well.

No problem, however, driving over the ramp at a concours, which may be what 205-103 was intended to do ... and little more? At least, in this current configuration. If I were to wish to drive it, I would not maintain the current generator location and drive configuration!

John
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post #29 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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John: I Understand The Technical Problem Aspect Of The Generator In The Place Of The Ignition Distributor. But I Have Original Photos From Abarth With It. The Weight Of The Marelli Mve 4 And The Cemsa Generator Is Similar.
Both Of Them Have A Special Support With 2 Screws In The Cylinder Block And 2 Screws In The Cylinder Head. My 204 Has The Generator In Front Housing With The Water Pump And The Marelli Magneto In The Place Of The Distributor.
Un Abrazo, Sergio.
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post #30 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 04:28 PM
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Masses of the parts

Hi Sergio,

I am aware that there is no problem simply mounting the generator. It will certainly work for a time. But, the mass of the armature of the generator is quite a bit greater than that of the Marelli MVE4 and that rotational inertia is going to wear heavily on the small drive gears that were intended to drive only a distributor. Think of blipping the throttle (as many like to do) and letting the engine come back to an idle. You are accelerating and decelerating the mass of the armature and then adding the load of actually generating some current when the regulator kicks in. There is the question of the actual power being generated (consumed) by a magneto versus the power draw of a generator that is charging a system that perhaps has the headlights and other accessories in use. It is perhaps fine for an engine that is going to race short distances in the daylight and then the cam and drive gear replaced after each event, or when the parts to show wear ... back when these parts were easily obtained ... but today? Again, I would happily mount the generator "for show" in this fashion but not for use on the road. I am not rich enough to set myself up to have to change the cam simply because the drive gear is worn out when the rest of the cam has plenty of life!

Un abrazo de aqui tambien,

John
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