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From the factory, were the valve covers polished or painted black? Simple question, but knowledgeable people have given me different answers. If black, was it crinkled? If black, was the ‘Alfa Romeo’ script left black or polished? Were the 6 pins securing the valve cover painted black as well or left plain? Thanks, Mitch
 

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Lots of threads on this subject. Not a simple answer to a simple question. From my limited research, the valve covers were never polished by the factory: Just flat aluminum. Some people paint them silver, some polish them, all depending on taste. I think the factory just put them on straight from the foundry. The black crinkle paint WAS an option, and some cars came with them and some didn’t. There are many experts here that can lead you to the answer you want, but depending on if it was a Veloce or not. I have a normale and I just left it the way it came, unpolished flat aluminum. But I have a spare valve cover that I am going to paint black crinkle, just to have it. I have never seen the Alfa Romeo script painted black.

The pins that I have seen and read about are all a silver color, cad plated or chrome. The earlier ones had a Bakelite, or hard plastic outside covering. There is a set of those on eBay if you look right now.
 

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Lots of threads on this subject. Not a simple answer to a simple question. From my limited research, the valve covers were never polished by the factory: Just flat aluminum. Some people paint them silver, some polish them, all depending on taste. I think the factory just put them on straight from the foundry. The black crinkle paint WAS an option, and some cars came with them and some didn’t. There are many experts here that can lead you to the answer you want, but depending on if it was a Veloce or not. I have a normale and I just left it the way it came, unpolished flat aluminum. But I have a spare valve cover that I am going to paint black crinkle, just to have it. I have never seen the Alfa Romeo script painted black.

The pins that I have seen and read about are all a silver color, cad plated or chrome. The earlier ones had a Bakelite, or hard plastic outside covering. There is a set of those on eBay if you look right now.
Lots of threads on this subject. Not a simple answer to a simple question. From my limited research, the valve covers were never polished by the factory: Just flat aluminum. Some people paint them silver, some polish them, all depending on taste. I think the factory just put them on straight from the foundry. The black crinkle paint WAS an option, and some cars came with them and some didn’t. There are many experts here that can lead you to the answer you want, but depending on if it was a Veloce or not. I have a normale and I just left it the way it came, unpolished flat aluminum. But I have a spare valve cover that I am going to paint black crinkle, just to have it. I have never seen the Alfa Romeo script painted black.

The pins that I have seen and read about are all a silver color, cad plated or chrome. The earlier ones had a Bakelite, or hard plastic outside covering. There is a set of those on eBay if you look right now.
Lots of threads on this subject. Not a simple answer to a simple question. From my limited research, the valve covers were never polished by the factory: Just flat aluminum. Some people paint them silver, some polish them, all depending on taste. I think the factory just put them on straight from the foundry. The black crinkle paint WAS an option, and some cars came with them and some didn’t. There are many experts here that can lead you to the answer you want, but depending on if it was a Veloce or not. I have a normale and I just left it the way it came, unpolished flat aluminum. But I have a spare valve cover that I am going to paint black crinkle, just to have it. I have never seen the Alfa Romeo script painted black.

The pins that I have seen and read about are all a silver color, cad plated or chrome. The earlier ones had a Bakelite, or hard plastic outside covering. There is a set of those on eBay if you look right now.
Thank you for your help. Mitch
 

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I would say the 1958 car takes precedence, as it shows it wasn't made with painted valve covers. A period photo of a car with a painted cover does not say it was painted at the factory.

Two archive photos in Fusi show 750 Veloce engines (pages 519 and 550): both have unfinished covers.
 

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Pretty clearly there were both painted and unpainted valve covers.
Contemporary photos suggest US cars got the painted ones, European cars the unpainted, but there are exceptions as shown in the Brooklands book. The Road and Track test shows an unpainted one, The Autosport John Bolster test shows a painted one.
I believe that early parts books show a unique part number for painted covers.
Exactly when they were used is unclear.
These pictures are from the Owner Manual, 1959 and 1957 respectively, and seem to show both versions.

Joe


Joe
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Simple question, see! :rolleyes: Interesting that Yves's link shared above was posted by an old "other marque buddy" of mine, Dick Steinkamp. Dick is a master of many things. A true artist.

If you read that R&T article, it was a Veloce Giulietta featured from So Cal which had been "raced three times" in its first 2100 miles and had the gears changed in the diff before they showcased it there. Doesn't mean it was or wasn't still sporting the original cover, was most likely a Hoffman car, but who knows what came on and off of it... if it had been tweaked for racing a few times right out of the dealership. Seems like another, very few things Alfa are a sure thing, but Mitch, if you are looking for a green light to do what you want with your engine's cam cover, I think most other threads agreed the black crinkle painted covers look great on Alfas just like they did on Ferraris. They may have been an occasional factory delivered, and-or dealer option, but were at some point offered...I wouldn't think you'd lose points at a meet. Perhaps a current or former Alfa judge could chime in on that. I like the look of both.

To me, anything could have happened to be spiced up by Alfa district managers, P.R. people, or dealers before a magazine's photo shoot. Or nothing could have happened. At least those are real photos, but unless they are on the factory floor, who really knows. Sometimes the retouching of artwork in the parts books and the shop manuals may lead to some doubt as to real colors. The one sump looks black to me in that one rendering. while the cam cover was silver. Were those sumps ever delivered black?
 

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Could the two R&T road tests and the two Owner's manual photos in Joe's post above say they started painting the covers between 1957 and 1959?
 

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I'm of the side that says the 750 engines PROBABLY all had it. I have never run across a 750 cover that didn't have it and they were all factory applied judging by the patina and the application of the coating.
 
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