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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of a friend had this 79 Alfetta in his garage for 20 years. I borrowed another friend's enclosed trailer and drove to Chicago to pick it up over the weekend. 8 hours+ each way. The old IDI Ford (Buford) got 10 mpg empty and 9 loaded.

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The trip out:
Had a test for my masters Friday morning so did not hit the road until about 11:00 AM. I-80 traffic sucks, but the old truck would do 70 mph if I could draft off a tractor trailer. Otherwise it was 75 down hill and 65 up. (Yes there are hills in Iowa) Arrived just west of Chicago and set up camp in a Walmart parking lot (air mattress in the car trailer). You wouldn't believe how busy these lots are unless you have experienced it. Activity until midnight, then the cleaning crew blew off the lot at about 2 AM. After that it was quiet until 6:30. Cheaper than a hotel though.

The extraction:
Nice quiet upscale Chicago suburb. However, his house showed signs of stress. I feel for him, as his personal life appears to have some strong challenges. I quickly got the idea that this was more about preserving Alfa stuff rather than just getting rid of the car. He told me that they are moving due to work, and from my perception the garage was only one of the difficulties they have in front of them. I resolved to take every Alfa item offered that would fit in the truck and trailer - even if it was not fit for further use.
The car hadn't moved from this spot in 20 years (at least). The garage smelled of racoons, mold, stale fuel and cat urine. There were the remains (skull and fur) of a cat/dog/racoon?? under the car. Broken debris everywhere. I aired up the tires and made sure the park brake was off and the trans in neutral - not that it mattered. He had keys - so we could at least point the front wheels in the right direction. It was not going to move easily. I hooked a tow strap around the De-Dion tube and to the Buford's hitch. It took 4-low to pull it out - the driveway was covered with rotten leaves. I drug it far enough down the drive to allow me to get the trailer in close.
Now I am starting to worry. I had some wheel dollies and a floor jack, but they would not roll easily up the trailer ramp. I had a come-a-long, but that was going to be hot and sweaty work. No turning back now. Also thinking that I had promised the wife I would be home tonight! 😬 Fortunately, a neighbor down the street showed up at this time and said "Cool, I've had a couple of Alfa's and now run some track cars. I have a winch in the garage, would that help?" God smiles on those with determination. I pulled one of the batteries from Buford and hooked the winch leads up with Gorilla tape. He helped guide the front end up the ramp (on dollies) while the back was supported on the floor jack. Slid right in.
The car is in - now came the loading of four sets of Alfetta wheels, one GTV6 set and a couple of miscellaneous - 22 wheels in the back of the truck, plus my compressor. A couple of decent late GTV6 seats, Spider top and frame, Alfetta hatch, and boxes of pieces. Put the battery back in Buford and returned the winch.

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2:00PM the return trip:
I had hoped to get out by noon, so things weren't going bad. Ran for about 45 minutes on I-55 and then stopped to check the tie downs. Looking good. Drafting trucks as much as possible to try and keep my average speed up around 70 and fuel consumption down. When drafting on the level I could actually let the accelerator off the floor for a moment! :oops: Otherwise it was west bound and down. Buford may not be fast or powerful, but the old diesel is determined. Got home by 11:00 PM and left unloading for the next day.

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The aftermath:
Sunday my youngest and I had a car show to attend in Omaha. Neither of us had cleaned our cars and his needed servicing before he returned to school, so we both "brought what we got". It was a great day, and the supercar turn out was amazing (at least 4 McLarens). Not as much old stuff as in years past, so we helped out in that area! After the show, some wine and cheese with my wife and then unloading. Threw all the wheels on the lawn - power washing is mandatory before they go in the barn. Anything cardboard or fabric went right into the hopper. During transport, the spare hatch fell against the rear of the car and broke a taillight lens, and the battery fell out through the bottom of the compartment. Otherwise, the car survived the journey relatively unscathed. Still need to extract it from the trailer, then power wash it and get it to roll.

What am I going to do with this thing? I'll have to judge that in time. I haven't opened the hood yet (Spica? Carbs?) but the interior looks decent if a bit moldy. The top side of the body is fair for a 'Fetta. There are certainly enough parts of interest to make my time worthwhile, but it is still a whole car. I hate to lose yet one more. One thing for sure - I'll need to liquidate some wheels!

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Mark
 

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Alfa sold three special Alfetta GT versions in the USA;first-the Mario Andretti edition,then the Mille Miglia and lastly the Velocissima. This particular Alfetta is the Mille Miglia version. From the factory the special parts were;rear wiper/washer; rear flying buttress spoiler;Quadrafoglio cloisonne badges on the external C pillar;14" Ronal A-1 wheels;a digital clock on the dash and 3 Mille Miglia badges. There were no mechanical upgrades. I believe they made 500 Mille Miglia editions. Good luck with your efforts to revive your Alfetta. I've parted out 5 or 6 of them and have lots of spare bits if you find yourself looking for parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Jim - did not realize the rear wiper was part of the MM package. I have seen a couple of Alfettas with the rear wiper and almost bought a MM back in '01 but never connected the two. I doubted the MM originality of this one because the MM badges are gone and no rear spoiler, but it does have the dash clock, so maybe?? This one has an unusual sunroof. Looks factory, but completely different from my GTV6.

I thought about dragging it to the show, but was not up for another hour in Buford. And it smells really bad.

Buford is my farm truck - '88 Ford F250 with the non-turbo IDI 7.3 diesel. 4WD and 5-speed. Standard cab, no-AC. It's good for about 75mph unloaded. Man's Truck (insert Tim Allen grunt here) :)
 
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Someone put the hard to find European bumpers on it.
Looks like it has a set of Pirelli P77s on it.
Chin spoilers intact too.
 

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yup I forgot about the sunroof-and it's larger than the sunroof in a standard Alfetta coupe and, it has that trick hand crank that makes it easier to open. I've owned 2 Mille Miglia edition Alfettas. There are 3 cloisonne MM badges that come with this edition-a small MM badge that is attached to the dashboard near the glovebox and larger MM badges that mount on each front fender.
 

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The Mille Miglia sunroofs are actually different than the standard Alfetta/GTV-6 ones, as was mentioned a couple posts ago. They have a totally different mechanism and handle - they crank open rather than sliding. Replacement handles can be fairly easily sourced, since they were fairly common on a bunch of cars of that era. I bought a replacement for my Mille Miglia recently for about $30 on eBay. The one I bought was being sold as a part for a BMW 3-series, if I recall correctly.

Here's what they look like:
Automotive lighting Automotive design Automotive exterior Bumper Rim
 

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The Mille Miglia sunroofs are actually different than the standard Alfetta/GTV-6 ones, as was mentioned a couple posts ago. They have a totally different mechanism and handle - they crank open rather than sliding. Replacement handles can be fairly easily sourced, since they were fairly common on a bunch of cars of that era. I bought a replacement for my Mille Miglia recently for about $30 on eBay. The one I bought was being sold as a part for a BMW 3-series, if I recall correctly.

Here's what they look like:
View attachment 1703797
Thanks for that. I wasn’t aware it cross referenced.
 

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Mark,

From that same moldy garage (Alfetta Heaven), I pulled another Alfetta out last August (you've seen it; you can also see your car next to it). It took me a pandemic year to rerun the gas line, replace the fuel pump, replace the fuel filter, clean the gas tank, rerun the brake line, replace all the hydraulic cylinders, and replace the brake calipers and pads. I got it running earlier this year but then the water pump was pissing coolant. I just replaced water pump this week end but waiting for a couple of hoses to come this week. PITA

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Hood




That car you dragged back to Lincoln used to belong to a gentleman in the burb of Chicago. The body was good and the engine was rebuilt before my buddy bought it and put it away for 20 years. It is a real MM. My buddy learned about the car from Mike Besic but I don't think Mike did anything major to the car, only general maintenance. As far as I remembered, it had some fuel issues and the engine cut off after a while but it would start after a short while later.

I think that spare hatch is meant for my blue car. It had glue on glass so the whole thing rusted out. However, I have a spare hatch from a GTV6 so I just slapped that one on. Your car already have rubber gasket rear glass so you probably don't need that red hatch. That hatch belonged to my first of many Alfetta. I bought that for my wife to drive to school in 1991 when we were both in college. It was squished between a pick up truck and a Jeep many years later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks great Witty. I am anticipating a full fuel, coolant and brake overhaul as well. I have yet to open the hood. I think the car has a couple of ugly rust areas, but not crippling. I'm going to try and not address those until it is mobile. :)

Tonight the plan is to get it out of the trailer and into the yard. Power washing to follow shortly thereafter. Then I can work at getting the brake pads out of it so that it will roll. Hopefully some better pictures of it clean by next week.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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Had time over the weekend to wash it and clean out the interior. Also knocked out the brake pads (3 of 4) and disconnected one axle so that it could be rolled into the barn. This car continues to be a juxtaposition of opposites,

The Good:
  • The best thing about this yet is that my wife said "I like that car - it's kind of cute. I'd like to drive it". It is good to have her support, but now parting it out is not an option. ;)
  • It is a whole car - about the only thing I found missing is the air pump / injection manifold. No loss for Nebraska.
  • Adjustable Koni reds on all four corners - look decent.
  • Ronals are in really good shape and the tires continue to hold air!
  • The seats are good.
  • The battery that fell through the floor looks to be new and good!
  • There was a receipt for a Spica rebuild in 2001 (about when it was laid up). It was under $200 from Ingram's - how things have changed.
  • It has a brand new tailpipe on it
The Bad:
  • The tape deck predates auto reverse. I was in high school when auto reverse technology came out. It was a big deal.
  • I had to hammer out the brake pads. It will need hard and soft lines replaced as well as M/C and calipers. I'm figuring $700 there, so not the first thing to do.
  • Everything aft of the De-Dion crossmember is scaly with rust. I'm sure that there are some holes, but nothing show stopping. I will have to deal with this at some point.
  • The interior smells - this will take a bit to resolve.
  • The sun roof works, but sure doesn't seal.
  • It has Spica on it. Actually this is not bad - as long as it does not need major service.
  • The floors are soft in several areas and the spare tire well has holes - not unexpected.
The Ugly:
  • OMG - there is nothing left of the right front fender and right side of the cowl. The triangular piece that the rear of the hood shuts against just came off in my hand (note that it is missing in the picture below). I leaned slightly on the cowl and all I heard was "crunch". If this thing runs and drives, replacement of the cowl and RH fender will be needed.
  • The bottom of the RH frame rail is missing. The sides and upper portion look solid. This will be a mandatory repair, even if it is not beautiful. The LH frame rail is pretty beat up from improper jacking.
Next step is to determine if the engine is free. Then clean out the fuel system before seeing if it will turn over, compression check, valve check and then (maybe) it will run???

Pictures:
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Still has the York A/C compressor!
Yeah - and about 50 pounds of bracketry!. If the system holds vacuum I'll leave it. If not, it is coming off - just too much in the way.
 

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The one on my 76 Alfetta died at 40k. I wouldn't hold out much hope for yours.
 
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