Back in 1990 I owned a 1969 1750 Spider US Spec and a 1966 Duetto with a basket-case 1600. The Spider came with a parts car, a 1969 Berlina 1750 Euro import with Webers. I also owned a 1979 US Spec Spider 2000. I pulled the engine and transmission from the Berlina and put it into the Duetto. I removed the Spica fuel injection from the 69 US Spider and sent it off to Wes Ingram who rebuilt it and offered to set it up for 1/4 race cams that I accepted.
At Lyme Rock race track, the Spica 69 ran noticeably faster (but I had not timed the "before") and its top speed increased by 10 mph. As one did in those days, I did not tow the car to the track, but drove it, confident it would make it home. I got about 25-27 mpg. Driving identical roads in the 66 Duetto with the 69 Euro 1750 with webers, it got 17 mpg, and lacked the same oomph. I concluded the Spica, properly set up by Wes was burning fuel more efficiently and converting that burn into more power on less fuel. I believe the Webers were properly set up. I was told 17 mpg was normal.
Comparing the 69 to the 79, both US spec, was no contest. Even though the 79 ran a larger motor, it was no fun. I removed the cat and the AIR injection, even replaced the heavy bumpers to lighten the load, but it just did not rev as freely, it was slower off the line and the sound was less musical - even though both ran the same exhaust. The handling was heavy. I sold the 66 to a buyer in Japan, sold the 79 to a New Zealand buyer. I still have the 69.
Point of the story: Think very carefully before replacing the Spica. Instead, send it to Wes. You will be getting one of the most outstanding bits of engineering before emissions emasculated engines. The 69 Spica Spider is, in my humble opinion, the pinnacle of Alfa's analogue engineering. The body is beautiful, the finish is sport not luxury, the handling on the track is the most fun one can have with ones clothes on. It is totally predictable, perfectly balanced and can pull away from trailing Ferraris in the tight bends (until you get to the long straight when all you will see is the flash of red followed by blue mist). The Spica is brilliant, and just got a bad name because tuning was not an art, but careful following of the manual. Sports car owners can be very conservative, sticking with the known (Webers) and distrusting the new, but that is bias, not science.
Rumor has it that the Spica system cost Alfa more than the car, and, unlike the Americans, they actually thought they were supposed to build a cleaner engine, not cheat by pumping fresh air downstream the exhaust pipes. Eventually, they learned from the Americans, hence the 1979 rubbish, but in 1969 they were selling the finest engineering one could imagine.
Drive shaft disconnected from tranny. Engine mount hardware removed. Dipstick removed. Front sway bar removed. Tie rod removed. Slave clutch cylinder hydraulics disconnected. Tranny to chassis ground removed. Drained engine oil. Removed oil filter canister.
I am looking for a source to replace the mirrors (the glass only) in my Vitaloni side view mirrors as the previous owner took a grinder to them and they are all scratched up (I have no clue why he did that).
Any help is greatly appreciated.
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