1966 Duetto Spider Re-recommissioning - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow 1966 Duetto Spider Re-recommissioning

In the late 70's, while in college I met a good buddy Alex Bardi, mainly because we had nearly identical MGB convertibles. Alex was born in Trieste Italy and liked Italian cars. We both liked cars and fishing and became fast friends. One night while we were fishing Alex said he was going to sell his MGB; I bought it and then had two MG's. The next time Alex came over to go fishing, he was driving a 1971 1750 Spider. I really liked that car and soon sold both MGB's and bought a 74 Spider and then a 75 Spider. What I really wanted was a Duetto but they were very difficult to find back then.

Finally in about 1983, I located a decent Duetto and within a year, traded my nice '75 Spider for it. The next couple of years were spent redoing everything on the Duetto. Parts availability was much more difficult in 1980. An Italian metallurgist that I used to work with picked up a lot of parts for me from AFRA when he made a trip to "the old country".

Alex helped me install the rebuilt engine in 1984.
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Several years ago after a 'two minute drive', the engine stalled and refused to start. Long story short, while turning over the engine, I put the distributor cap on crooked. The rotor hit a lug, breaking the cap and rotor. By the time I got the parts to fix the car, the engine had locked up, just sitting in the garage! I tried everything to free it up, Engine Release, Marvel Mystery Oil, Evapo-Rust and an impact wrench on the crank nut. Nothing worked so when the schedule allowed; I pulled the engine and rebuilt it with all new wearing parts: Pistons, Liners, Chains, Bearings, Cams, Valves, Springs, Water pump...cylinder number one and two piston rings were stuck to the liners. The (80mm) pistons and liners were fine, they are going in a friends race car engine.
Alex and I are still best friends and enjoy fishing together often. He came over last weekend to help me install the re-rebuilt engine.
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Mark
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Last edited by IRONBLOCK; 09-17-2019 at 01:23 PM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Most of the work has been done to recommission the car.
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I took the original rear drape and convertible top boot cover (not tonneau cover) to the upholstery shop a few weeks ago to have the necessary repairs made. I intend to reuse the original drape instead of using the carpet kit that I bought from International Auto Parts in ~1984 again.
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Now I am stuck trying to decide how to attach the rear drape and the boot to the metal hoop frames. I know they each need to be attached with contact cement. I replaced all the missing 'captive nuts' in the body with Rivnuts.



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Also, I had a piece of vinyl added to the boot cover to protect the paint from the metal joint in the two pieces.

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Would anyone have suggestions that would help attach the drape to the hoop? Should I make slits in the fabric that was just sewn on the top of the drape and boot?

Mark
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Last edited by IRONBLOCK; 09-17-2019 at 06:56 PM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 02:49 PM
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awesome story and beautiful car and friendship!!!
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 05:28 PM
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Mark, this is such a great story.

As for the drape, Wille Roos posted some pictures and schematics a number of years ago. The drape and the top are attached to the whoop pretty much at the same time.

Please reach out to Wille. He'll have those pictures handy.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Goats and Osso., I guess that I am just more comfortable with all things mechanical instead of upholstery. I saw a diagram on Willie's site that showed how the rear drape gets contact cemented on the hoop first, then the hoop goes into the pocket sewed into the rear of the top.

The fabric material (Sunbrella) sewed to the three drape pieces seems a bit stiff to make the bend around the hoop. I thought perpendicular relief slits might help...What did the factory do?

Also, the side panels of the rear drape have to allow the top to go down. Should they be glued onto the hoop first and then have the Velcro for the top glued on top of the drape fabric on the hoop?

Mark
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:22 PM
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Hi, Mark. It’s good to see the Duetto getting some love. Didn’t know the engine seized (or that you’ve had that thing four years longer than I’ve had the Giulietta!).

Best, Mike

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Mike! Good to hear from you, it is. Yes both are true; the Duetto locked up, just sitting in the garage, after our club trip to Wolfe Mountain Winery. My daughter (Jessie) and I made the 4 hour drive and the car didn't skip a beat. The very next weekend Levi and I made it about 300 yards before it stalled and I broke the rotor and cap... Levi towed it back to the garage with me steering the Duetto.

I remember seeing your Giulietta when Albert had it at AutoDelta. I think Charlie Grant did most of the restoration work and sold it to Albert. If I recall correctly Albert was getting the car ready to sell when I saw it. I already had an ancient 18 year old car (the Duetto) and couldn't imagine having an older car (LOL). Jimmy Grant (Jim G) was working with Albert back then and I bought several Duetto parts from he and Albert. I just replaced the original plastic fan with the one I bought from Jimmy way back then.

Mark

Last edited by IRONBLOCK; 09-18-2019 at 06:20 AM.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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The diagram that shows how the rear drape and then the top attach to the metal hoop are shown in post 12 of the following thread:

https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spi...ear-drape.html

Mark
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 05:15 PM
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What a beautiful story. La dolce vita. You and Alex are both lucky

Current: '69 Spider under reconstruction. Former: 56 Giulietta Spider, 61 Giulietta SS, another '69 Spider, 2600 Coupe paperweight, two GTV-6, 164L, 164S
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRONBLOCK View Post

I remember seeing your Giulietta when Albert had it at AutoDelta. I think Charlie Grant did most of the restoration work and sold it to Albert. If I recall correctly Albert was getting the car ready to sell when I saw it. I already had an ancient 18 year old car (the Duetto) and couldn't imagine having an older car (LOL). Jimmy Grant (Jim G) was working with Albert back then and I bought several Duetto parts from he and Albert. I just replaced the original plastic fan with the one I bought from Jimmy way back then.

Mark

Mikes Giulietta is the one Albert wished he had never sold.

The one my brother restored is the one Albert bought later and I sold it to W.L. for Albert's family.
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1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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I just got 2 more. Now I have a Matta. I must be crazy.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 10:01 PM
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I love this story and the pictures of you and your buddy then and now. I wish I could help, but my '69 is at Convertibles Only having the new top put on and drape redone. Unfortunately, they are doing it all so I have no insight to give. Good luck. Car looks great.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the kind comments. I thought for sure that someone would comment that after 35 years the car had held up much better than either of us! Just a few details left to do; stainless steel door gasket sill protectors, battery hold down, rear muffler hits undercarriage, tune up and drive...and yes, still the boot cover needs work.

Here's the old car outside finally (remember they always look better in photographs):
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Convertible top up
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Interior back in
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 06:33 AM
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It looks fantastic, Mark. The only thing that I see is a crooked right rear bumper over-rider.

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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I should have mentioned the 'Stay-fast material' top is about 35 years older too. That is why the inside has faded some.

Yesterday, I relocated the wiper pump/floor switch to the left about 3/8" and up about 1/4" so that the floor mat would fit properly. This is something that has bugged me for about the last 15 years or so -that and the fact that there were no snaps holding the newer floor mats in place! The original snap mounting holes were still there on the floor panels, sealed with silicone.

After seeing how easy it was for the upholstery shop to install snaps on the rear drape, I bought an inexpensive kit on eBay so that I could add snaps to the front floor mats. This turned out to be a great kit and a rewarding experience (as long as the mats don't tear where the snaps are). All the pieces are included to screw the male snaps on the floor and mount the female snaps in the mats. The only thing that didn't come with the kit was a hole punch and I have one, with a rotating head, that will punch multiple size holes in leather or rubber.

Here's the driver side floor mat with the new black snaps.

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If anyone has free floating floor mats, I can highly recommend this inexpensive kit! I wish the upholstery shop had installed black snaps on the rear drape. I either need to replace them or paint the snaps black.

Here is a link to the exact kit that I use (just a happy customer. The snaps are brass as opposed to the stainless steel ones used by the upholstery shop.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/122pcs-Snap...72.m2749.l2649

Mark

Last edited by IRONBLOCK; 10-01-2019 at 06:52 AM.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ossodiseppia View Post
It looks fantastic, Mark. The only thing that I see is a crooked right rear bumper over-rider.
Thanks for that Brian.

The right rear bumper over-rider is NOS. I think the angle of the camera distorted the image some. The R.R. bumper segment had a crease in it from a previous owner. When I got serious about removing the crease and polishing up the rear bumpers, I got 'carried away' and "fixed" the reflector mounting hole; which I thought was too deep. It really had no issues, so I created one. Now the lollipop doesn't stand up straight...another day.
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