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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Photos from Phillip Island 2010
 

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Magnificent!!!!!

In my opinion, the most beautiful GP car ever made.

Watch this video and see the Master at work in this outstanding car.

:eek:


Bob Z.
 

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This is the 159 in the National car Museum of Turin.

isn't that a 158 :confused:
Although there is a variety of schools of thought what constitutes a 159 as opposed to 158, I thought that it is currently accepted that only 1951 season wider bodied cars with two stage booster and de Dion rear end are considered 159.
?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's definitely different to the 159 that was at Phillip Island this year that I photographed above in this thread.

The 158 was an awesome and successful car too. I'll do some research.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Wonderful unclothed picture I found: http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/images/alfa158d.jpg

Also
http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/alfa158.htm said:
Towards the end of 1950, the Alfa 159 appeared. It was a heavily redesigned and modified 158 with a de Dion rear axle instead of the swing axle employed previously. It had increased fuel tanks made necessary by an engine producing close to 420bhp at 9,600rpm!
The 158 is the more successful car ...

Here's a picture of a 158 (which to me sure looks like the museum car above, ie. narrower body). Note the air inlet does not come via the bulkhead like the 159s: http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/pic/6/Alfa-Romeo-158--Alfetta-_4.html

Here's another photo of the same 158 in pretty much the same angle as above (http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/877933-post7.html): http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/pic/6/Alfa-Romeo-158--Alfetta-_1.html

I'd say the museum labelled the car incorrectly myself.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm sorry, but this car is in the Museum since 1961, it's a 1951 Alfa romeo 159.
Okay definitely a 158. Here is probably the same car and note the single low(er) exhaust:

Image from Alfa Romeo 158 'Alfetta' - High Resolution Image (4 of 6)

Both awesome cars and the 158's evolved considerably too, ie:

In 1946, the 158's were modified to meet Formula Libra regulations. The 158 now produced 254 horsepower.

In 1947, the 158/47 came about due to new regulations for the Formula 1 class. As a result the horsepower rating was increased to over 300.

In 1950, the engines once again received attention and now capable of producing 350 bhp at 8600 rpm.

from 1946 Alfa Romeo 158 Alfetta Images, Information and History (Alfetta) | Conceptcarz.com
Pete
 

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I don't know Pete.
It's very difficult to verify many details on the race cars, every race requires some modifications, you know.
This is a photo of Nino farina on a 159B at Silverstone in 1951.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't know Pete.
It's very difficult to verify many details on the race cars, every race requires some modifications, you know.
This is a photo of Nino farina on a 159B at Silverstone in 1951.
Interesting and yes agree, but notice that Farina's car is a 'wide-body'.

I guess the only real way to know is to look at the rear suspension. Plus I bet many 158's ended up being converted into 159's as would be the norm for a race car. Thus a 158 probably is now rarer and worth more (maybe).
Pete
 

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Alfa Romeo 159 in Museo dell'Automobile "Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia" - Torino

Some twenty years ago (or so) I was fortunate in being allowed to inspect a great number of cars housed in the Museo dell'Automobile in Torino. There was an Alfa Romeo 158/159 on display. Something about what I saw made me believe that it was the same as one of the cars that I'd seen 1986 at Alfa Romeo although it was without body fitted at that time. But, it would not be the only time that numbers (only) might seem to mislead. I will also have to check some photos to verify that it is the same car that has been displayed in recent years.

Some of the numbers I recorded (circa 1989) are:

ID plate showed telaio "159109"
ID plate showed motore "159211"

Engine block and cylinder head each numbered "215"
Crankcase numbered "223"

The number "1" appears on the firewall.

It seems to me that the numbers imply that Alfa Romeo presented the car to the Turin museum as a "159".

I should remind readers that racing cars are almost always "works in progress" and that there are certain configurations (some call it "setup") that are used at certain venues based on top speeds attainable, track configuration (how many low-speed turns), length of the event, driver preferences and projected weather conditions. Many other parameters can have effects on how cars are set up and how they appear. So, if you make a tentative identification based on whether a car has a single exhaust pipe versus a twin pipe in a photo, you might be looking at the same car at two different races?

Readers should also be aware that racing cars that are given (or loaned) to museums are often built up from collections of leftover parts that were not originally assembled as a unit. Some of those parts may be quite "used up"? I have noted a good number of parts on "display" racing cars that would not actually function. One blatant example in the same museum is a Maserati 250F (6-cylinder) racing car with twin ignition. One magneto fitted is the appropriate unit and the other is from an 8-cylinder. It would be possible to run the engine only as a single ignition as it sits ... presuming the engine has been assembled to run at all! Another car I saw had a freeze-damaged engine block. These observations (and many others) might give a more accurate perspective to the words "museum quality restoration" than some advertisements imply!

John
 

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Discussion Starter #18
http://www.petergiddings.com/Cars/alfa_158.html said:
The Alfa Romeo 158 (commonly called "Alfetta" or little Alfa) is one of the most successful Grand Prix race cars ever produced. It was originally developed for the 1937 voiturette formula which limited displacement to 1.5 liters. In the late 1930s, Alfa Romeo had not been competitive with the German Grand Prix teams of Mercedes and Auto Union so Enzo Ferrari made the decision to compete in the voiturette class. The result was the Alfa 158, designed by Goiacchino Colombo in Milan but built in the Scuderia Ferrari headquarters in Modena. The car's name is supposed to have come from the 1.5 liter engine with eight cylinders.

The engine displacement was 1479 cc with 58 mm bore and 70 mm stroke and a single-stage Roots supercharger which gave about 17 psi of boost. The engines were very light, with the crankcase and sump being cast in Elektron, a magnesium alloy. The block and head are an aluminum alloy monobloc casting to avoid gasket problems. It has thin-wall steel screw-in wet cylinders and steel valve-seat inserts. The two overhead camshafts are driven by a spur gear train at the front of the engine. Two valves per cylinder are inclined at 100 degrees. The crankshaft is chrome-nickel steel billet and runs in nine lead-bronze main bearings. Ignition is by twin Marelli magnetos. The cars had a tubular frame and the trailing arm front suspension had a transverse leaf spring with hydraulic dampers. The rear suspension was a swing axle with transverse leaf spring and both hydraulic and friction dampers. The wheelbase was 98 inches with a track of about 49 inches. The dry weight of the car was 1564 pounds.

Soon after the construction of the first cars was completed, Alfa and Enzo Ferrari parted ways and the four cars constructed were returned to Milan where the cars were debuted by Alfa Corse in the Coppo Ciano in 1938 where they finished first and second. The cars at this time had a narrow body and produced 190 bhp at 6,500 rpm.

Alfa Romeo began 1939 by producing an additional four 158s (now referred to as 158B). These new models featured an updated lubrication system as well as larger supercharger rotors. With these upgrades, the cars now produced 225 horsepower at 7,500 RPM. These cars had wider bodywork and larger radiator cowl and single exhaust higher on the body offside. When World War II began, racing stopped and the Alfa 158s were hidden away until 1946.

When racing resumed in 1946, Alfa brought out the 158C, the first of the two-stage supercharged cars. They produced some 260 bhp at 7,500 rpm and featured twin exhaust, and a forward-facing under-bonnet air-induction trunk to feed the two-stage blowers which now produced over 20 psi.

The Alfa 158D was developed in 1947 and is also known as Alfa 158/47. This car featured a larger primary blower and single exhaust pipe with the carburetor intake extended to the front spring. The additional boost from the larger supercharger resulted in an engine that now produced 350 bhp at 8,500 rpm. The car also had lowered front and rear springs for improved handling and new, very attractive low-nose bodywork. In 1950, the first season of 'modern' Formula One racing, with drivers Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio, the Alfa 158 was victorious in all eleven races it entered. Farina won the World Championship for Drivers that year.

The final version of the Alfetta was the 159, with de Dion rear axle, larger superchargers, twin exhausts, larger diameter and width brake drums and carburetor air intake via a scuttle scoop. This final version of an engine that was designed in 1937 now produced some 420 bhp at 9,500 rpm, with occasional bursts to 10,500 rpm. The connecting rod big ends now had needle roller bearings. The two-stage superchargers finally developed a boost of approximately 45 psi. The penalty was that the rich fuel mixture that was required to produce this power came at the expense of fuel mileage, getting about 1.5 miles to the gallon on the Shell Dynamin fuel which was 98.5 % methanol, 1% castor oil, and 0.05 % water. With a weight of only about 1600 lbs, the top speed exceeded 300 kph or about 190 mph. Fangio won the first of his World Championships in 1951 in the Alfetta. When Alfa retired from Grand Prix racing at the end of 1951, the Alfa 158/159 had won 47 of the 54 Grands Prix in which they had entered.
Peter Giddings Alfetta was built to 158D specs and has a narrow body. So I'm some what confused because the 1951 159 that Fangio won his first WDC has the wide body. I would like to know the reason for the wide body? Maybe Fangio's 159 was a 158B modified with a de-dion rear end?

Pete
 

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For having studied the documents on 158/159 campaigning at the Arese archives, I would say that there's no such thing as 158A, B,C D in chronological order as your description of Giddings' reconstruction seems to imply. 158D is a designation to be found in 1940 and during the war (until 1945-6) for an experimental 158 fitted with the De Dion rear axle that Wifredo Ricart had designed for the 162 and the 512. This car was destroyed with the fatal accident of Marinoni on the Autostrada in June 1940 (a batch of photos show the completely burned car after the crash into a truck), but seemingly at least in part reconstructed (one assumes on a different chassis) during the war, because that 158D is listed among the experimental cars still available at the end of 1945 and early 1946 - albeit described as "disassembled, in boxes". Then, from the actual resume of racing with 158s in 1946 on, there's no longer any mention of the 158D (nor the chassis number associated with it).
A "158/47" is, er... a "158/47"! Only engine specs differ, those cars were built on the 1940 frames.
My understanding is that all 158 chassis were renumbered 159 for 1951 (and not only the newly built chassis), probably as to be able to swap any of them for the next race, according to which ones were ready and available.
All the 1951 159 victories but the final one at the Spanish GP were won with swing axle cars - yet 159s. The 1951 De Dion layout by Colombo is different from the Ricart design of 1940.
Now despite the chassis number it wears, the Turin car is in 158 trim, that is narrow body and slim tail where the 159s had enlarged (and multiplied) tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I can accept that, especially since we are talking about chaotic Italians in the chaotic world of motorsport. Would be too much for many researchers, so they tried to add logic.

Just thinking out loud; and yes logically the wide body was required near the end for all the extra fuel requirements as they extracted more and more power.
Pete
 
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