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.
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.