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Discussion Starter #1
I’m new to this group, but have owned several Fiats and Alfas over the years.

I'm about to start a restoration on a 1962 Giulietta Spider Normale that has been in my family since the late 70's. The car was running and looking good until it was parked in my parent’s driveway about five years ago. Since then it's been exposed to the weather (the soft top has been up, but the weather stripping around the windows is bad, so there's interior damage); the tires are all flat; the paint is pitted with some rust spots, and rats have built nests in the engine compartment. :eek:

Even though the car looks horrible, the body is basically dent-free and the floorboards are solid. The chrome work is pretty much shot, but all of the parts are there and can probably be rechromed.

Ok, that's the state of the car. My objective is to bring it back to concours condition (or as close as possible). I've done several restorations over the years (most notably a complete restoration of a '62 TR-3A), but no longer have the bandwidth for this type of project. So what I'm looking for are some recommendations for some good people to handle all or parts of the restoration process.

Ideally, I could find someone to take on the whole project. Alternatively, I'll handle the mechanical and line up a good body and upholstery shop to take on the body and interior.

Can some of you recommend some good restoration shops in the SF Bay Area?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome to BB!

Here, we all love photos...

I'm in Portugal, so I can't give any advice on good restoration shops in the SF Bay/ US area, but I'll follow with interest your project as I am relatively new to "this things" as well!

Regards,
Carlos Vasconcelos
 

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The Bay Area has many resources for parts and restoration on these cars. It will cost a lot of money to have someone handle all aspects of the restoration-quite a bit more than the cars are currently worth. Conrad Stevenson in Berkeley can do the cars from start to finish and turn the car into a museum piece if that is your wish.

I do body and paint (two of the long term projects on the forum here, Pat Hung's and Alex's Gulia were done by me last year). Most of my customers take the cars apart themselves, deal with some of the mechanical rebuilding, and farm out the body and paint as well as upholstery and any mechanical work outside their skills. They also run parts to the plating places, have the radiator and gas tanks redone, etc., and put the cars back together themselves. This cuts the costs of the job down considerably, and allows people to become more involved in the process.

Seems like many of these cars are being brought back to life again as of the past couple of years. Good to hear you are planning on adding another one to the Bay Area roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good points. I'll probably do just what you suggest: handle the disassembly and assembly myself and vend out the mechanical, body and upholstery work. I've been checking parts and it appears I can buy most of the upholstery parts. So I might just replace the dash, door panels, and seats with new parts.

Regarding pictures, I'm going to be pretty busy the next few weeks, but I'll try to swing by my parent's house on Monday to snap a few "before" pictures.
 

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I would try to restore and reuse as many pieces as possible....clamps,nuts/bolts,screws,limit straps etc. You will end up with a much nicer car when finished. I'm on the down-hill side of a 61 Giulietta #170650
 

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For engine (and transmission) rebuilds, I'd recommend Glenn Oliveria (Oliveria Engineering) in Berkeley; he rebuilt a 1750 for me 10 years (also 10K miles) ago, and it still runs beautifully. I have two more engines waiting for him to rebuild.

Upholstery-wise, a friend of mine in Sonoma recently restored a Sprint Veloce to flawless concours condition - the interior is immaculate; I can get the upholsterer's name if needed. I think that a good number of folks here would agree to make the seat covers from scratch (find the correct fabric at World Uph. or Re-Originals) in place of using available seat cover kits that don't ever seem to fit too well.

Keep us updated, and welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all of the advice so far. I was unable to snap the pictures this week, but promise to post them as soon as I can. (You'll get a big kick out of the rats nest on top of the engine.) :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I was finally able to work on the Alfa today. Before I started work, I snapped the 'before' shots below.

What I've encountered so far:

  • The wheels were frozen solid. I jabbed an ice pick in the drum "weep holes" and pried the shoes away from the drum. This loosened the drums a little, but they're still very tight.
  • The rats nest included a lot of tar-like material at the bottom, which is trapped around the spark plugs. I cleaned it up some with WD40, but I plan to bring tar remover tomorrow to finish the job.
Here are the shots I promised.



Check out the RATS NEST! :eek:

 

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Yipes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Day Two

Today, I removed the frozen brake drums, cleaned them up, and reinstalled. The car now rolls freely.

I then cleaned up the engine, removed the spark plugs, and gave it a few test cranks with the starter. I'm happy to report the engine turns over freely.

I then gave her a wash to (partially) restore her dignity and give her some hope of better days to come.

Here are some pictures:

 

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Much better.
Looks like most of the pieces are there.
 

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Looking at your car, I'm reminded of my own prior to restoration, though mine was perhaps in slightly-better shape - NO RATS! Are you keeping it white?

Keep up the good work and we'll go driving together in a year or so, yeah?
 

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Looking at your car, I'm reminded of my own prior to restoration, though mine was perhaps in slightly-better shape - NO RATS! Are you keeping it white?

Keep up the good work and we'll go driving together in a year or so, yeah?
Yes, I'm keeping it white and intend to research the original interior colors to restore the entire car to original condition.
 

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Have you researched your engine and chassis numbers?
Here's the email address: [email protected]
 
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