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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, so please go easy on me...

I've been looking forward to getting an Alfa GT Junior for quite some time and my preferred shape has always been the step nose. I found one last week that looks fantastic, and called the seller to put down a deposit so he can hold it for me until this Sunday (25/10/15).

I started to do some further research into what to look for and I stumbled across an article from 'Practical Classics' by Richard Norris (founder of Alfaholics), published in July 2000. He writes:-

The sills are also a real tell-tale sign of whether a car has been restored reasonably well or not. Outers are originally one-piece items that run behind front and rear wings. If you can't see seams where the wings overlap, in line with the front and rear door edges, it's probably had a cover sill and filler to smooth over the joins.
Says Richard: 'On any car over £3000, I'd want to see those seams. If they're not there it's been bodged and I'd walk away.'
Now I've interrogated the images on the seller's website and I can't see the seams that Richard is referring too. The car, however, is in Rosso Amaranto (#AR 509) and the images are quite dark so it's difficult to tell (I have asked for better shots). The seller has listed the car using phrases such as 'sourcing it for it’s superior unrestored condition', 'all the usual trouble spots on these cars you can see are without corrosion or repair. Rare indeed!' & 'ditto the sill profile is absolutely correct'. I've also spoken to him on the phone, prior to finding the article, and he sounds very genuine.

My question is, have Alfa 105's always had the seams in the sill's as the article suggests or was there a 'smooth' period?

I would post links and photos, but unfortunately my post count isn't high enough yet.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Maybe this is what you are referring to. This is a picture as the body shop was fixing my marginal sheet metal work.

The sheet metal (lower front fender) is folded over flat, curved, and then laying on the rocker. Not the best design in looking back, but that is how it was done...
 

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I should add that many cars have had this seam filler over. This is for two reasons.

1. Something to hide.
2. Someone working in the car that didn't know better.

I have seen a car that I thought was patched but had a slight seam just to appear to have seam, (fake). These cars rust, and this is one of the first places I look to see the outer body condition.
 

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My question is, have Alfa 105's always had the seams in the sill's as the article suggests or was there a 'smooth' period?
You didn't say what year/model Alfa you were evaluating. I can tell you that my '66 105.02 stepnose has the same, unfilled seam that Dwatsonkc shows in the photo he posted. I don't know if there ever was a "smooth period", but it would seem that if such a period existed, it came later (e.g. in the 4-headlight era).

As Dwatsonkc wrote, a possible explanation is that "Someone working in the car that didn't know better." E.g., they may have done quality work from a structural point of view, but not been an expert on Alfa cosmetics and not known that the seam was supposed to remain unfilled. But even if that explanation applies, it does contradict the seller saying "sourcing it for it’s superior unrestored condition, all the usual trouble spots on these cars you can see are without corrosion or repair"
 

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My unrestored '74 has the same seam detail. It is not smoothed.
 

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I sure would be hesitant to purchase a vintage Alfa Romeo without a detailed inspection, regardless of what the seller's description says. I hope you are able to look at the car yourself before closing the deal. If not, I recommend you see if you can find someone to inspect it for you. There are a few threads on inspections, what to look for, common trouble areas, etc.

Having said that, I would not walk away from a car just because the seams are filled. That's just an indication that you need to pay close attention to that area. Could just be that someone filled in the seams when it was re-painted because they didn't know any better.

Good luck,

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Firstly, thanks everyone for the replies!

Maybe this is what you are referring to. This is a picture as the body shop was fixing my marginal sheet metal work.

The sheet metal (lower front fender) is folded over flat, curved, and then laying on the rocker. Not the best design in looking back, but that is how it was done...
That's a great photo, the gap on the car I'm looking at is certainly not as pronounced as that.

You didn't say what year/model Alfa you were evaluating. I can tell you that my '66 105.02 stepnose has the same, unfilled seam that Dwatsonkc shows in the photo he posted. I don't know if there ever was a "smooth period", but it would seem that if such a period existed, it came later (e.g. in the 4-headlight era).

As Dwatsonkc wrote, a possible explanation is that "Someone working in the car that didn't know better." E.g., they may have done quality work from a structural point of view, but not been an expert on Alfa cosmetics and not known that the seam was supposed to remain unfilled. But even if that explanation applies, it does contradict the seller saying "sourcing it for it’s superior unrestored condition, all the usual trouble spots on these cars you can see are without corrosion or repair"
I think it's a '68/'69 Alfa Romeo GT Junior (150.30) step-nose. I've emailed the seller, as he's in Italy at the moment, and raised my concern. I'll update with the response.
 

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Please...for your best introduction to ownership of Alfa Romeo Giulia (105 series)

Don't trust seller...inspect the car and let it's condition make the verdict

Don't buy an uninspected car...ever!

Don't inspect the car without an expert serving you all relevant things to look for...bringing an expert along during inspection is WAY better though!

Anything suspicious.....walk away...repeat WALK AWAY!

Be patient...think of all those other beautiful cars for sale....have a look at several...there might be an even better one!

Stretch your budget to pay a little more for the best car...good bodywork is king...a covered up misery will be more expensive to bring back to good condition.

If you can't afford a good car...wait a while and save up some bucks to be able to!

Benefit from above advice...and you'll be a happy owner of a beautiful Alfa with lots of joy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Guys,

I went over to see the car on Sunday and the owner had it sat over a pit waiting for me, we had a look under the car and it looked to be in very good order. I couldn't see any rust on it at all. I felt the exhaust whilst we were under the car and it was stone cold, when he fired up the car for me it caught straight away and he just let it warm up on the hand throttle. It drove beautifully on the test drive, with the gear changes being really precise.

It had a clean MOT with the only advisory being a rusty exhaust, which had been replaced prior to me getting there.

The car has it's imperfections, the missing sill gaps being one of them, and the interior needs a few minor cosmetic tweaks, but all in all I think it's a fine example.

I'm looking forward to posting a few images once I've got my post count up.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks! Yep, I transferred the funds over after spending about an hour and a half with him checking over the car. Then drove it back the 200 miles to my garage without a hitch, it has great oil pressure and kept itself really cool.

Genuinely happy with it and looking forward to giving it a good clean on Saturday!
 

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Isn't it just a magic feeling to sit as owner in the drivers seat with a view out on the caracteristic linings of the fenders...beautiful cars. I wish you all happiness with it
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Speed lux car? Looks nice! Are you on alfaowner forum?
Yeh that's right! No, not yet, might join the AROC and get in with the Cotswold group?
 

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Whereabouts are you? I'm west of Oxford, just off the Cotswolds but alas only have a car in bits...

Congrats on the car, looks great
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Whereabouts are you? I'm west of Oxford, just off the Cotswolds but alas only have a car in bits...

Congrats on the car, looks great
Ah Ok, I'm just south of Worcester and about 25 miles away from the 'regular meeting place' at the Fox Inn @ Broadwell. Compared to 42 miles to the west mids meeting place in Walsall.
 
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