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79 Spider fresh from body shop

7187 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  alfaparticle
I recently got my spider back from the paint shop. It is close to authentic Euro look for the year. It is not perfect but that may be a good thing as I plan to drive it about 6k miles/year.
Ed Prytherch


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Looks fantastic! Now get in some good autumn driving.:)
Hi Bill:
It still has the 4.56 axle! The new engine is revving well and I may not need to install the 4.1. And I have bought a 12.2 mm camshaft from Richard Jemison, so it may need that 4.56 ratio.

Just a thought: A pair of chromed or stainless steel wiper arms/brades will look great on her!!
looks really nice Ed!!! When I lived in England, I had a red Euro spec 1979 lhd.....looked just like yours, except I had ugly wheels on her:eek: and no carello covers
Fantastic Ed! Looks super nice.

Best Regards,
John M
Wow! I like it a lot, of course, especially the fact that it is finished!
Thanks. I still have some work to do on the interior. I have a reproduction console from IAP to install and I have to decide on dash restoration.
That is soooooo CLEAN!!!
I especially like the shaved and replaced side markers and the fact it now has a proper Smile...:)
Very nice job.
One of the prettiest Spiders I've ever seen. Congrats!
'79 Spider


Very nice. I have all the bits to do this for my '79, so I look forward to mine looking like your some day. May I ask how you mounted the earlier bumpers to your car? That is the only thing I need to solve.
Man, that car looks tasty. Do you have any pics of the back? Did you do your own metal work?
I did not do any body work unless you count putting dents in it before the body shop fixed it. I built the engine, rebuilt the suspension and did a host of other improvements, but I know my limitaions and I do not do body repairs, recover seats, fit convertable tops or replace windshields.

The rear bumper is easy. There are 4 mounting points. One on each side - there are a pair of large dimple in the fenders for the side mounts , you have to drill holes in them - watch out for the gas tank! and there are a pair of holes in the lower rear panel for the rear bolts.

The front bumpers were much more difficult as I used a Euro mounting bracket. I had to cut off the mounting plates for the bumper shocks and then cut away some more metal before the new bracket could be welded in place. I had help from a guy with cutting and welding equipment.



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I've seen your car before....

I saw two Spiders about 5 minutes apart heading SE on I-26 between the NC/SC border and Spartanburg SC. Both were running with their tops down and running strong 5 - 10 MPH over the posted 70 MPH limit. Way to represent guys!

One was a white Duetto with a bent front bumper. The guy had a video camera mounted behind the front seats.

The other was red with a '74ish front bumper and a '72 rear bumper. The license plate lights were located on the bumper like a '72 and not on the side of the plate like a '74. He had SC plates "ROMA".

Here is a post by me from the Alfa Spotting thread back in July. Understand that you went by my fairly quick. Do you know the guy in the Duetto?
I never saw that post or thread. The Duetto was driven by Rob Wilds of Charleston. We were on our way to meet up with the Charlotte AROC guys for a ride in the mountains near Asheville. We had a good time but Rob's car broke down. On the mountain run I was in line behind Amedeo DeCarolis in his 164Q and in front of Mark Brummond in his Calloway twin turbo GTV6. I tried to keep them honest. That was before I took my spider to the body shop.
You have set your car up the same way that I want to do my 79. I like the combination of Euro style (light weight) bumpers with modern interior. What kind of seat belt setup is that?

Your ride height and tire/wheel combination looks spot on.
The seats are out of an 86 Veloce. I had them recovered in cloth. A local guy did a nice job for $200 cash.
The springs are the Vick Auto/IAP sports. I also have two right side front spring pans with no spacers. The shocks are what where on the car when I bought it. They may be original but they are not the black SPICA shocks that I have seen on other cars of this vintage. They work fine with the stiffer springs.

The standard bumpers are pretty heavy. I think that the handling is compromised by having those lumps at the extremes of the car.

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Nice job what a beautiful ride. I was curious what the specs are on the tires you chose?
I was curious what the specs are on the tires you chose?
You are challenging my memory. It got 15" wheels five or six years ago. I think that they were Falken Ziex 195/65 -14.
Hi Bill:
It still has the 4.56 axle! The new engine is revving well and I may not need to install the 4.1. And I have bought a 12.2 mm camshaft from Richard Jemison, so it may need that 4.56 ratio.
With the extra power of your new cams, You might find the 4.56 trouble. The problem is actually in the TX - the first gear is very low, with a large gap to 2nd. This started with the little sub-80HP 1300 engines in the 50's, but with more power there is no trouble getting moving from a stop. Instead you have to shift to 2nd about the time you've crossed the intersection, especially if you made a vigorous departure.

Close ratio gears in the TX solves this problem, but they are costly and hard to find. I managed to get a set a lot of years ago, and got a 4.3 LS axle from an Euro sedan! That made the perfect combination for AX, where I was constantly rowing from 1st to 2nd. The 4.56 just added to the problem.

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