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Andrew 04-16-2012 07:57 PM

Super getting some localized bodywork
4 Attachment(s)
When I got my Super 15 years ago, it was nasty looking with dents, some bondo, a really nasty RR door, and poor paint, but luckily not much rust. I had the body done by a place in San Rafael in 2003 (now out of business, as seems to be the case with most body shops). They stripped it to bare metal, replaced the RR door with one I found in LA, sorted the brazing/bondo in the LF fender, dealt with the local rust, and painted it. Looked great. I saw it in bare metal and saw the rust repair areas, so I know they weren't just bondoed over. However, within 6-8 months the rust spots were bubbling back. Was I happy? No, but the shop disclaimed responsibility, and in fairness they had low-bid the job. Then they went under. They only way I'd have gotten satisfaction would have been to sue them, which I was not willing to do.

Fast forward to the present. About two months ago some kindly person keyed the trunk, all the way across on my Super, and then two days later a dog hit me (I didn't hit it, it ran into me on the mean streets of Emeryville). It was a pit bull with a head and chest made of steel, and put a dent in the hood and LF fender. So with all that piled up, and 8 years' advancing of the rust spots (no they haven't gotten better on their own), it's time to do some bodywork.

See pics of affected areas. I have pulled most of the trim off the areas that'll need work, and I'm hoping to get away with localized painting, but we'll see how it goes with the bodywork. The roof rust is nasty, and a very hard place to get at. I have the headliner pulled down, but it may have to come farther.

Conrad Stevenson is going to do the cutting and welding, and then most likely Andy Schank or D&M in Albany will do the paint. Conrad did basically this work x100 on his Colli wagon some years ago, and there's another Super in ahead of me for similar work right now. So he's kinda in the groove on this. I got a settlement check from the insurance company for the key damage, which will cover probably 20% of the whole job if I'm lucky.

At the same time, planning some project creep in advance. Will put in a new windshield as mine is nicely pitted from age and I have a few new ones. My 50+ eyes don't like the glare much at night, so new glass should be a good improvement. Also, the driver's seat is wearing through after 15 years, so I'll get its base redone. Might sort out some better door panels at the same time, we'll see.

Driving the pre-turbo Berlina in the interim (see its own thread), which is not a hardship, but it's not as fun. It's fast; it's got a good 2000, headers, and the Spica is working well. Plus it has brakes and wipers now, more than I can say when I drove it home.


1750 blue 04-17-2012 07:39 AM

Sorry about the key and the pit bull. Hope it did not get too aggressive after hitting your car!

Andrew 04-17-2012 08:02 AM

The dog took off down the street with his canine pal, leaving fur and other fauna parts on the car, but I don't think the dog was seriously hurt. Couldn't find him, no owner, so I'm eating those dents.

alfa2go 04-17-2012 02:58 PM

That roof rust looks interesting. Never seen it like that before. Maybe sat under a tree sometime in its past?

Andrew 04-17-2012 03:02 PM

The roof rust is not that uncommon, usually on the passenger's side. I've had three Giulias that bubbled up that way, and Conrad's Colli was a veritable iron oxide forest there. Don't know what leads to. This car was not well treated before my time, but it has been a Bay Area car since new, lived outside most of that time. Not under a tree though. The Berlina I had 10 years ago from Oakland did spend a decade under a tree, but didn't rust there, just everywhere else.

Andrew 05-16-2012 08:21 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Work is in progress. I did all the trim, etc. removal, and it's in the shop, well along with the cutting and welding. See pics.
It appears the quality bodywork 8 years ago was quality bondo, not quality cutting and welding.

Andrew 05-17-2012 07:46 PM

Right side is all done, left rocker is done, just LR fender to go. Once Conrad got inside the right rocker, he took about two feet off, and there was a foot-long rust hole in the inner fender. Clearly not fixed right back in 2004, in fact not really fixed at all. Sigh.
Will post some pics when I get them. Hoping to be done this week, then will change the windshield, which is very pitted, then talking to Andy Schank about paint. Then reupholstering the base of the driver's seat.

Andrew 05-17-2012 07:47 PM

Oops, in second line above "inner fender" should be "inner rocker."

Super1600 05-17-2012 11:05 PM

Looking good Andrew, hmn yes I too know of the phrase "quality bondo rather than quality cutting and welding". Still I am sure you will be happy to have it fixed properly this time. My brother once bought a cut and shut wrecked Super for spares, only to find lumps of wood jamed like a tongue in the cills and C piller to help hold it together. That car, was pretty much completely made of bondo !

Like Derek, I can't say I have ever seen either a Giulia or Berlina rust on the roof. So new to me. My Berlina had rust on the lip on the rear window, but that was from the inside of the cabin outwards, where the rubber window seals against the shell of the car.

Andrew 05-19-2012 07:08 AM

This is my second Giulia with roof rust in this exact spot, the first a 65 Giulia TI I bought from Rich Ott in 1985 that had lived in Monterey, near the coast, for many years. Conrad's Colli had roof rust like you wouldn't believe, but the wagons have their own issues, depending on how the conversion was done.

Andrew 05-23-2012 07:58 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Car is back from Conrad's, going to Frank's of Berkeley for new windshield Friday. Then to Andy Schank for blocking and blend-painting next week. I'm hoping it doesn't develop into a complete paint job.

Andrew 05-25-2012 06:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Phase 1, Conrad, done.
Phase 2, Frank's of Berkeley, done. Changes the windshield today. I have a variety of windshields around, chose one that seemed the closest fit in size. The glass in the car is original Alfa, perhaps original to the car, but pitted and sand-blasted, thus making glare at night. Frank's changed this gasket 15ish years ago; the one in the car when I bought it had air visible around it. In the ensuing years, this gasket got old and stiff enough that they asked me to find a new one. So got one from Jon Norman and Frank's was done by 3:00pm. Now that's service. They do the best glass around. Kept the old one as a spare.
This isn't cheap. I had the glass already, but retail value is $445. Gasket is about $150 (cheaper from Centerline) and $180 labor. Glue-in is even more, because the labor, done right, take hours. I did the removal of interior trim, etc. to save a bit of labor.
Phase 3, Andy Schank, paint.
Phase 4, reupholster front seat bottom.

Andrew 06-03-2012 01:19 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Got the car back from Andy Schank yesterday after the Berlina tour. He ended up having to blend larger areas than we expected, which in itself should not be unexpected, and painted most of the rear of the car. Got a good paint match from Finish Master in Oakland on their scanner, with a PPG base coat (this is two-stage), Andy has the clear coats, bondo, waxes, sealers, etc. in stock. Took about five days, car looks great. There's a bit of waviness in one rear door and one rear fender along the ridge, but it wasn't perfect before, and it's not perfect now, but it's fine. If I'd wanted to spend an extra $5000 on prep time I could have had it perfect. That doesn't make sense for how I use the car.

Andy parked it inside a couple days, I brought it home, kicked the Giulietta outside, and will leave it inside for a few more days and then will start to reassemble. Andy says this kind of urethane is dry in like two days, so there shouldn't be any issues. He buffed the whole car (I am not good about washing and waxing), and is happy with the result, as am I.

I had basically all this same work done back in spring/summer 2004, took 4.5 months to do, and rust started popping back out within months. Having seen Conrad and Andy's work in progress this time, and knowing their reputations, I'm thinking I'll get a better long-term result.


fangio8c 06-03-2012 04:51 PM

Looks great! Congrats and enjoy!

climbernyc 06-03-2012 05:47 PM

Very Nice Andrew!

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