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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I've been asking lots of questions regarding parts and processes encountered in the restoration of a '63 Giulia Spider, and I thank you all very much for responding to such. As I'm a newbie to the restoration process, your input has been extremely helpful.

To report on my progress with the restoration, I've decided to use this thread for the purpose (as also recommended by SeekGTV), hopefully posting lots of pictures for you all to enjoy and scratch your head over.

Overall strategy: keep the car as original as I can, with the intention of using it as a nice weekend driver. If some original parts are hard to come by, I will resort to using non-original parts so as to get the car back on the road. In the next 12 months, I intend to strip the car to a bare metal shell, repaint, rebuild all mechanical parts, and put everything back together, as close to its original 1963 state as possible.

A little history on the car:

I bought the car locally in Santa Cruz, CA just over a month ago, from the PO who's had it since 1972. He in turn purchased it from a local specialty-car dealer, who obtained it from an American serviceman who privately imported it from Italy in 1963 (checking the relevant dates with Elvira). As a result of this long, run-on sentence, I'm technically the third private owner of the car. The car is an Euro version, with amber-colored side-repeaters and Euro headlights. I'm not sure what else on it is Euro. Uh, we hashed about this previously, but the car sports Giulietta Veloce gauges - why these are in there is anyone's guess, but I'm happy to keep them.

Current Condition of the Car:

The body is fairly straight, and from what I deduce from the straight bumper supports, the chassis seems to have been spared rear-endings and such; lucky me.

There's the usual rust on this car: engine compartment: surface rust along the firewall where the brake fluid reservoir is attached; chassis member under radiator and around engine mounting points. Interior-wise, and I've only ripped out the passenger-side so far, the rear-end floor pan's rusted through, I was able to punch a hole in it with a pen. The front-end seems solid, with white paint still intact. The driver's side is probably in similar condition. The trunk: though I haven't wired-brushed the battery area well, I see light coming in from the bottom - I think the panel needs replacing.

All the chrome is badly pitted, so they're going to Superior Chroming in San Jose, CA for rework. The stainless steel(?) pieces such as grille bars, eyebrows, and door trim are all in good condition, but will need some light polishing.

Mechanicals:
I bought the car non-running. The PO bent a valve in 1998, and probably cracked the original head or something in the process. He ended up swapping the 1600 head for a stock 1750 at Jon Norman's in Berkeley. He also decided to dump the Solex for twin-Webers (40DCOE4's), and was in the process of installing these when he ran out of steam. All the Solex parts are there, and I intend to put it back on the car. The radiator's been refurbished, and out of the car. The block is still mounted to the chassis, with the 1750 head sitting over the studs, unbolted. All the air-intake tubing is out of the car. The gearbox, driveline, and rear axle are all in place, as are suspension and wheels. Everything supposedly worked well before the engine trouble occurred.

What I've done so far:
I've taken off most of the chrome and stainless steel trim on the car (except the door handles, hood/trunk hinges, side vent windows, and windshield), and began tearing out the interior a week or so ago. I've finished the passenger side, and as the driver's side is harder to access at this point (until I get a set of those little wheel dolllies), I started tearing down the dash. As of this past Thursday, the only thing left in the dash is the ignition switch to be disconnected, the driver's side defroster vent, and the scary-looking jumble of wires by the fuse box area - I haven't looked at it closely yet.

I'll keep going in the next post about what I'll be doing next. Comments extremely welcomed at this point!
 

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Patrick,

Very cool! Documention on this board to share is a great idea....
May the force be with you.

All the best,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Near-Term Plans:

Finish gutting the car's interior - ignition switch; wiper assembly; driver's side carpeting and seat; top. Then I'll move on to the door panels and take everything out of the doors (I'm assuming that the vent windows are taken out at this time as well). Lastly, the windshield will come out. After this, the only detachable items on the car's exterior/interior should just be the hood and trunk hinges - I thought I'd leave these till after transport so that the engine and trunk areas ar protected during the trailer ride to Berkeley. I almost forgot, the old wiring harness will also get pulled out.

At this point, the car will still have its engine/transmission, driveline, axle, suspension/wheels, and gas tank in place. These I intend to have my mechanic pull out/off of the car in Berkeley (Glenn Oliveria at Oliveria Engineering). The engine may need a rebuild. I plan to get the gas tank checked for rust and cleaned as well. The suspension pieces and wheels will get powder-coated, as will all sorts of components in the engine compartment.
 

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pathung said:
I've been asking lots of questions regarding parts and processes encountered in the restoration of a '63 Giulia Spider...
It's always a pleasure to see someone asking the right questions and putting in the effort to learn as much as they can about their car without expecting a free ride. Good going so far, Patrick! -- and best of luck with the resto!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your compliments, Ruedi. Learning about my Alfas will never be a chore, and it's made even more enjoyable by all the enthusiasts that I have encountered on the BB. It's funny that I didn't know the BB existed until someone tipped me off at the Palo Alto Concours this past summer!

I'm planning to contact Lionel Velez next to discuss and possibly order a new wire harness, since it'll take him a few weeks to construct. Regarding the harness, I was also wondering about the best time to run the new wire harness through the finished body... before everything else gets assembled back onto the car? Should the engine/tranny go in first?

Thanks.
 

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I have my 2600 stripped to the bare shell and I am ready to put it back together. Yes, installing th ewiring harness and brake and fuel lines best happens on a bare shell.

Installing the wiring harness requires the engine compartment, interior body and trunk to be finished. Installing new fuel and brake lines requires the underbody to be finished. I plan to install engine and tranny last.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
tubut said:
I have my 2600 stripped to the bare shell and I am ready to put it back together. Yes, installing th ewiring harness and brake and fuel lines best happens on a bare shell.

Installing the wiring harness requires the engine compartment, interior body and trunk to be finished. Installing new fuel and brake lines requires the underbody to be finished. I plan to install engine and tranny last.
Thanks, Ruedi. I've discussed this with a number of Giulietta/Giulia restorers, and they have the same recommendations as you.

As an update, I've ordered my set of vinyl wiring harness from Lionel Velez, as he comes highly recommended by a number of you. The price was $950, which includes the famous laminated wiring diagram. He also requested that I send him my old harness because he wants to reproduce it exactly. He needs 90 days to complete the job.

Additionally, I had my Giulietta Veloce gauges looked at by Palo Alto Speedometers, requesting a quote for restoration. Lo' and behold, the quote which came back a few days later was a whopping $1,250!!! I said no, and that I'd only do it for a lot less. Well, a second man called back and offered to lube the mechanicals (since they'd taken the gauges apart already), replace the artwork, and rechrome the bezels, for $800. They were originally going to send the mechanicals out for restoration; hence the difference, I believe. I'd been told that they were expensive, but that they do good work, and figuring that I probably don't need total restoration of the mechanicals, I relented. Two Alfistis whom I talked to afterwards thought the price was fair, while another one's eyeballs nearly fell out of the sockets! Please feel free to comment if you like.
 

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From what I have seen, palo alto speedometers does PHENOMENAL work, really top notch. They have the ability to calibrate everything and make everything look, and work better than new. While $1250 for a set of gauges isn't exactly cheap, $1250 for the actual work that they do is entirely reasonable. (say 12 hrs of top quality work ~4hrs/gauge~ that very few people can do @ $100/hr).

That said, I would probably think to myself... 'the gauges have a nice patina, I'm gonna spend the money on motorcycle parts'


pathung said:
Thanks, Ruedi. I've discussed this with a number of Giulietta/Giulia restorers, and they have the same recommendations as you.

As an update, I've ordered my set of vinyl wiring harness from Lionel Velez, as he comes highly recommended by a number of you. The price was $950, which includes the famous laminated wiring diagram. He also requested that I send him my old harness because he wants to reproduce it exactly. He needs 90 days to complete the job.

Additionally, I had my Giulietta Veloce gauges looked at by Palo Alto Speedometers, requesting a quote for restoration. Lo' and behold, the quote which came back a few days later was a whopping $1,250!!! I said no, and that I'd only do it for a lot less. Well, a second man called back and offered to lube the mechanicals (since they'd taken the gauges apart already), replace the artwork, and rechrome the bezels, for $800. They were originally going to send the mechanicals out for restoration; hence the difference, I believe. I'd been told that they were expensive, but that they do good work, and figuring that I probably don't need total restoration of the mechanicals, I relented. Two Alfistis whom I talked to afterwards thought the price was fair, while another one's eyeballs nearly fell out of the sockets! Please feel free to comment if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In any case; it's sunk cost. I hope that the gauges will wow me for years to come.

I was taking off the heater assembly from under the dash the other day, and noted that disconnecting the two hoses that lead in from the firewall from the engine compartment would be easier. I did so without much drama, disconnecting them first from the heater valve. Interesting thing is, none of the local Alfisti have seen my type of heater valve before (see pic below). Again, it resides in the engine compartment, very close to the firewall where heater hoses connect to it, and go inside the passenger compartment to plug into the heater. The valve is actuated by a cable that runs through the firewall to one of the two chromed levers underneath the dash. As you can see, this 's not the spigot-type valve that we see on 750's.

Have any of you seen this, and perhaps even know where I can get a replacement unit? None of the catalogues/websites I checked had this type of valve described. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I finally heard back from Alfa in regards to my car's history. It's not Elvira who replied, but Antonio Magro, whom I understand to be the director of the Alfa museum - I must be more important than I thought!

All the previous discussion about my car being imported into the U.S. from Italy was apparently rubbish, as the Archivo's record shows that my car was sold to a Frankfurt, Germany dealership after it was built in Jan. 1963. See below:

Dear Mister Hung,

with reference to your request we are informing you as follows.

According to our documentation files, the chassis number AR 375480 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider 1.6 (101.23), manufactured on the 14th January 1963 and sold on the 31st January 1963 to Alfa Romeo from Frankfurt, Germany.

The body colour is white, with black interiors.

Please be advised that this answer is intended solely for information use, and its contents does not certify the authenticity of this car.

Yours, Sincerely,

Automobilismo Storico
Archivio Alfa Romeo
Antonio Magro

Well there you have it, folks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Update

In any case; it's sunk cost. I hope that the gauges will wow me for years to come.

I was taking off the heater assembly from under the dash the other day, and noted that disconnecting the two hoses that lead in from the firewall from the engine compartment would be easier. I did so without much drama, disconnecting them first from the heater valve. Interesting thing is, none of the local Alfisti have seen my type of heater valve before (see pic below). Again, it resides in the engine compartment, very close to the firewall where heater hoses connect to it, and go inside the passenger compartment to plug into the heater. The valve is actuated by a cable that runs through the firewall to one of the two chromed levers underneath the dash. As you can see, this 's not the spigot-type valve that we see on 750's.

Have any of you seen this, and perhaps even know where I can get a replacement unit? None of the catalogues/websites I checked had this type of valve described. Thanks.
 

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Is that coffee cup originale? :D

Thanks for sharing your restoration journey with us Patrick. I long for the day I can get my hands on a Giulietta, so I'm chuffed to see someone taking such good care of one.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
cucinando said:
Is that coffee cup originale? :D

Thanks for sharing your restoration journey with us Patrick. I long for the day I can get my hands on a Giulietta, so I'm chuffed to see someone taking such good care of one.
Hi Gavin,

I don't know about Australia, but State-side, it is possible to find both running/non-running Giuliettas/Giulias that are good restoration candidates for under USD10,000. With some conscious saving, it's tenable, and even easier if you're willing to part with one of your existing (and hopefully running) Alfas to free up some space on your driveway. Best of luck to you in becoming a Giulietta owner; the experience is certainly worth it, as are the cars - simple yet elegant.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I'm very happy to report that the biggest development in the past week has been my getting the gauges back from Palo Alto Speedometer. I'm very pleased with the results, though there were a few matters to tend to: the "dust caps" on the back of the speedo/tach went AWOL, as did the rubber gaskets that cushion the outer chromed rings against the dash. I took them back to PAS, who found the caps, which for some reason became too small to fit after having been plated. They promised to find me a good, working set. I was also given some rubber rings to cushion against the dash; the old ones were apparently glued to the housing when new, and disintegrated after time and having been dislodged. I'm very happy with PAS, and would recommend their service to anyone looking to refurbish/restore their gauges. By the way, it doesn't hurt to haggle a bit for a lower price. They do good work and they know that, so you get to pay for it. I've posted pictures elsewhere, but here they are again for your convenience and completeness of this thread.

Shifting gears away from gauges, SeekGTV and I visited a powdercoating facility out in San Carlos as it was recommended by Craig Morningstar (a 750/101 Yahoo Group regular). Craid had gone over the powder palette with the owner, and had apparently found a close powder substitute to the BMW Polaris Silver paint - all that was needed was an actual test. We dropped off SeekGTV's spare wheel to test the recommended powder. The quoted price was reasonable: $65/wheel, including a clear top-coat. We'll know in about two weeks.

I also had a local painter come look at the car, and provide an estimate for some panel repair (two rearward floorboards and battery support), a few layers of Bianco paint, and clear-coat. This guy did a great job on a local Alfisti's '61/'62 Giulietta Spider (see attached picture of silver Spider under restoration), which I've become familiar with. The job will include sealing the car immediately after bare-metal stripping with PPG's DP90, which I hear works quite well. In any case, he wasn't able to give me quote right away, but soon, I hope. Poll: would you ask your painter to quote by project or per-hour? I'm inclined to go with per-hour to ensure high work-quality, but I'd like to know your thoughts - thanks!

Next up: strip the doors of all trim/window mechanisms, then attemp uninstalling the windshield if there is enough time before the car's trailered to have its engine/tranny pulled out on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
 

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Said it before and I'll say it again... drooooollll...

Even the gauges are works of art (have I got the bug or what?? ;) )

Great work Patrick, loving watching this work in progress.
 
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