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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have recently realised one of my ambitions formed 15 years ago, a step front 105.

Recently after being given the use of a company car I decided to sell both my BMW M3 Evolution and Honda S2000 and replace them both with something a little more specialised. I considered a few performance cars including Catherhams, Elises, 911s and the like, but one night was looking at Alfas (again) and realised that I could realistically afford a sorted one. Previously I had promised myself that I wouldn't by a car that needed a lot of work, because I am rather time poor at the moment, and like things to work properly. A neglected car that would deteriorate would not be a good buy for me.

The car that struck me was a GT Junior in Dutch Blue that a year previously had had a bare metal repaint, new sills, floors and front cross member. At the same time the engine and gearbox had been rebuilt.

I contacted a well known forum member form the UK and asked for some of his 105 wisdom, as I'd seen his posts on Pistonheads about rallying his 1750. His comments were positive, and he also managed to find some adverts elsewhere for the car too which helped my bargaining power.

On viewing and driving the car, I found it solid, punchy and balanced, still requiring some tinkering and attention to detail to make good, so put in an offer.

I wrote this slightly tongue in cheek bit the day after driving it home:

I went to pick the car up. I was a little apprehensive about the 3 hour drive home, as I'm sure anyone would with a relatively unknown 44 year old car. Since its restoration the owner had used it often, but not taken it on this long a run. Would I get home, would I break down, would something fall off? All these things were at the back of my mind.

On seeing the car again, I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel. The owner had refitted the chrome bumpers, which I prefer on the GT Junior. I think I'll be keeping them on rather than imitating the GTA look. Once the cash had been handed over, and counted by visiting French relatives (!) I was on my way. Perched quite high on the retro fitted Megane seats, my hair was brushing the roof lining, and my right knee was jammed between the mainbeam stalk and the door panel. I also had to lean forward to get a decent view out of the rear view mirror. However, as I began to get used to the weight of the controls, I started enjoying myself. The rorty exhaust note is great, and there is useful power between 2000 and 4000 rpm. The long gearbox throw is precise, and the floorhinged pedals positive and feelsome to use. The steering is low geared, non assisted and requires some heft at slow speeds. It can also become light over camber changes which needs getting used to. The Hellebore wooden wheel is lovely to use with a push ring horn integrated into the three spokes.

After stopping for petrol and a bottle of water I joined the M11. Setting the car at at indicated 70 I was being overtaken by everyone. Curious to eveyone's hurry, I turned on the satnav I had with me, and that was indicating 55mph. Oh! An indicated 90 was better, the car easily coping with 70mph+ at around 4000 rpm - above that the car feels a bit stretched. Mental note number 1.

As I pressed on, I found that if I moved the mainbeam stalk up into mainbeam position, it didn't turn on the lights, and stopped digging into my leg. Much more comfortable.

I'd set off with the window open, but as the breeze became too much I managed to wind up the window manipulating the winder in the small space between wheel-leg-door. There was quite a bit of wind noise around the door frame, and I could see daylight between the A pillar and window frame. Mental note number 2. The quarterlights are delightful as they are opened by a small wheel located on the door. You turn the wheel and the quarterlight gracefully opens up on a gear. I opened these on eitherside of the car to get a bit of air in and reduce the wind whistle.

70 miles or so later and I was amongst the F1 traffic on the M1. I could see an approaching rain cloud and wondered how the electrics were shielded in the engine bay. 10 miles later and the rain hit. The lovely little centre set wipers did a great job of wiping the rain away when I hit the tactile two speed rocker switch mounted on the dash. I also had to work out where the lights were. Something I hadn't though to ask the owner. I tentatively tried the other rocker switches to no avail, so had a go with the mainbeam stalk. This actually rotates, turning on sidelights, and then after another click the headlights. Of course I had to have dipped, so it was back to the knee jabbing! Mental note number 3.

I peeled off the M1 early to fill up again - £35 of unleaded, and took the backroads for the rest of the journey which are where the Alfa really excels. The car is small, nimble and fairly nippy, stringing together corners easily, the high profile tyres absorbing the bumps. Everything happens at lower speeds which was one of the things that attracted me to this type of car. In the 3.2 M3 you need to be pressing on to experience its dynamics, in the Alfa they are there much earlier which is more enjoyable for more of the time.

The car developed a light clicking sound which I thought may be the top end of the engine due to 3hrs at speed. An embarrassing schoolboy error really, as an immediate check showed that the oil was very low, taking 3 litres to get back on the right part of the stick. I think lack of attention by the previous owner, plus my 3hr trip were the causes as there are no drips and the block is clean. (update - found that the wrong dipstick had been fitted previously)

This morning I got out into my commute, and on adjusting the quarterlight, the supporting chrome arm fell off - bugger, leaving the small window secured by the rotating gear at its base, and unable to seal properly. I was hoping that it wouldn't just fall out! It looks as though this part had been repaired previously and was weak. I'm looking into a replacement, which may end up being a new frame.

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Thanks for looking. I'll update as I do more bits to the car - its actually in for some work as we speak - electronic ignition, new seats, engine tune, brake tweeks, waxoiling and quarterlight fix.

Here are some pictures.






 

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Hi, thanks for having chosen one of the finest Alfa Romeos to succeed both the BMW and the Honda. Your Junior really looks superb! I take it she's a '68 Mk I.
The speedo deviation could be rectified by having its magneto relocated about a very slight distance. A 1 mm relocation will compensate about 10 mph or so, although it's specialist work. It's been a pleasure to read your driving impression. Do keep us informed of progress.

Charles
 

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alcam said:
Perched quite high on the retro fitted Megane seats, my hair was brushing the roof lining, and my right knee was jammed between the mainbeam stalk and the door panel. I also had to lean forward to get a decent view out of the rear view mirror.
The first thing I would do is get rid of those dreadful aftermarket seats. People bolting newer seats into older cars always position them too high. These seats are designed for the much larger cars of today - BMW's and the like - and are difficult/impossible to shoehorn into an Alfa GT.

Either find some original equipment seats, or find some aftermarket seats intended for vintage sports cars. If you do go the aftermarket route, plan on spending some time fitting the seat runners so that the seats end up at the proper height.

Your car is a beauty. I'm not knocking it. But I also have to observe that the PO chopped up the dash to accommodate a modern CD player, as well as drilled a hole for a fourth switch (or is it a fifth?), and couldn't manage to match the original 3 switches' hole-hole spacing so it would at least look half right. Arghhh! Why do previous owners have to do this stuff????
 

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even though time poor--I would at least put original type seats back in. seat configuration mods change the Alfa magic feel--the originals fits just right with the rest of the car
 

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From memory the Juniors have a shorter top gear, which would explain it starting to work hard at 70mph.

Shouldn't the light stalks be on the left of the steering column? Up is low beam, down is high beam. That's how it is on my 73 RHD, don't know about Jnrs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments.

Fear not, I have some contingency plans!

The car is currently at a classic car garage nearby having a good tune up. At the same time I'm having some new period seats fitted, the quarterlight mended, the insides of the doors waxoiled, electronic ignition fitted and I have taken the front off the awful stereo.

Eventually I'll refinish the dash, and probably fit a period radio with FM/USB internals and see if I can sort out that extra switch - the screen washer which is fitted upside down and incorrectly spaced. I have a small front plate to fit too which should improve the appearance.

I'll post pics and my reactions when I get the car back later this week.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I got the car back from its first fettle, and the work I've had done has definately been an improvement.

Here's a list:
- Electronic ignition fitted to replace points, neatly fitted into the distributor housing
- New seat crossmembers made and Corbeau Alpine seats fitted - tight fit, but hold you in well and are comfy. Much better lower and further back in the car
- Quarterlight repaired, so less wind noise from the frame
- Door opener rods relocated and fettled to fix external and internal handle issues
- Inside of doors cleaned and waxoiled
- Door drains opened up, cleaned and sealed
- Carbs adjusted

I think it'll be after Christmas now, but next on the hit list will be:
- Clutch
- Clutch pedal placement
- Replace perished rubbber carb mounts
Plus a few other bits

In the meantime, I've got a small front number plate and a headlight bulb to replace, and a few stonechips to fill.

I've been trying to track the history of the car, as the file I have suggests it was a special order, with the earlier flat dash, 15" wheels and some other performnace bits. The car has changed colour twice since then and currently has Alfaholics GTA style alloys, so is far from original. I'd be nice to know how it was when it left the factory. I have the details back from Alfa Romeo about build date and that the car was delivered to a dealership in London, but that's as far as I've got. Next thing to do is request a list of previous owners through DVLA, and see if I can get in touch somehow.

I managed to find a bit of time to clean and photograph the car, so here are the latest offerings.














 

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Your GT Junior looks like a really sweet car. Nice find, and yes the new seats look so much better than the old ones. I too enjoyed your reflections of new ownership on your road trip home.

I recall my road trip home from Melbourne to Hobart when I bought my 1750 GTV back in '97. I too experienced the pleasures and the oh I hadn't expected that etc. But the overall feeling being of immense pleasure at how it felt, and my GTV, was nowhere in as good nick as yours. Dark Blue suits it so well, and great to see a non re-sale red one.
 

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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but it's about the photo of the right side quarterlight. Isn't that chrome scoop thing on the bottom of the glass supposed to be on the outside of the car?
In other words, shouldn't it be on the other side of the car or am I the one that's mistaken?
 

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Davey, well spotted mate. For that is exactly how they are on my '69 1750 GTV. Unless Alcam advises otherwise, I suspect a LHS quarter vent has been fitted to the RHS, and so hence the channel is on the inside ??
 

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I agree about the quarter light scoopy thing and the indicator stalk and light switch should, surely, be on the LHS?
 

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Congrats on the car...I love the photos you've taken they show the classic lines well. The seats you replaced look like they belong ...I like em.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've been piecing more of the history together, by talking to the folk who have worked on the car, and matching this up with the history folder I have. Here are some pics from the cd that came with the car.

I got in touch with Alfa Romeo to find out the original build details. They are as follows:

Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior RHD (105.31), manufactured on the 28th July 1967 and sold on the 2nd August 1967 to Alfa Romeo UK, London.
The body colour is musk green, with leather skai interiors.


1968 refers to the year road registered.

The car originally had 15" steel wheels and flat dash, opposed to the pod dash that was introduced into late step front cars as this example is.
The original owner and location are unknown, but I intend to get in touch with the DVLA to find out.

There is a handwritten sheet in the folder detailing the car as in 'dire state' when discovered in a shed in Dover in 1990. The chap who bought the car (4th owner) described it as having some racy factory extras, non-servo ATE brakes, twin Weber 40s, factory supplied sports wheel, and extra gauges (not fitted), suggesting a competition past. I think these items were retro fitted personally. The car was red at this point, there is no evidence in the file as to when it was changed from green.

After significant restoration, the car was returned to the road for the first time since 1982.

- >3000hrs largely at home restoring original parts
- 1300cc engine internals
- some electrics
- new floors
- wheel arches
- valances
- suspension shot blasted and painted
- 2 coats of etch primer, 4 of 2 pack primer, 2 of 2 pack colour, and 2 of clear lacquer.







In 1995, the car was featured in the 'Discovered' section of Thoroughbred and Classic Cars Magazine, and the letter organising the feature gives a registered address of Bolton. I am unsure of how long the car had been on the road before being featured, but the file names of the above photos feature 94.

The 1997 MOT shows a change of location, from Bolton to London, and a change of owner too.

The 2000 MOT shows a move to Kent, and 2003 a change to the previous owner. From the history file, it looks like the car was run for a year before undergoing significant work in 2004. At this time, the 1300 motor was swapped for a spare 1750 motor that came with the car. It was test fitted and run, but it put a significant amount of water into the sump, so was stripped down and rebuilt with a new 1750 head from an Alfetta by Neville Byford. At the same time a rebuilt gearbox was fitted, but the 1300 rear axle retained for improved acceleration.













Around 2008, the car was resprayed in Dutch Blue.

















The previous owner had a lot of work done on the car, and he was looking to keep it long term, but unfortunately a divorce meant he had to sell a valuable asset, and the Alfa had to go, which is where I came in. Reading back, you can see my intention for the car, and I hope to improve it bit by bit as a long term project. Thanks for reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm planning a trip to the south of France during the summer months, so have a list of jobs to make the car journey worthy.

Stage 1
- solid carb mounts
- carb tune
- clutch replacement
- brake overhaul
- brake lights

stage 2
- Correct 4:1 diff ratio to give accurate speedo, and higher cruise speed
- slightly wider seats to accommodate my other half!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but it's about the photo of the right side quarterlight. Isn't that chrome scoop thing on the bottom of the glass supposed to be on the outside of the car?
In other words, shouldn't it be on the other side of the car or am I the one that's mistaken?
Well, thats how they were when the car was rebuilt. Wouldn't they collect water if trough side out?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A bit of free time over Christmas allowed me to fit these:

Correct size pressed plate


Correct gear knob


And aroc key fob
 
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