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Search is over, we bought a 1973 Giulia Super 1.3. The car has a newly swapped 1750 that was rebuilt about 500 km ago. Car is from the south (hopefully less rust). Was repainted recently, the repaint is good (not great).

The weather has been bad so no opportunities for decent pictures. I'll update when the sun comes out. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, it has been 30 years since I had a vintage car (volvo p1800 and 65 Mercedes 220se coupe). Now begins the fun - here are my first impressions and questions:

1. Engine seems good, sounds wonderful. Came from a 1750 Coupe. Only thing I am not happy with is it has 40 mm solex carbs, not the sexier webers or dellortos.

2. handling - the more I drive it, the more I feel it is a bit "squirrelly" and wallows a bit laterally on the bumps...especially on bumpy roundabouts. Shocks? Or amazingly flex sidewalls of the 170-75-r14 michelin energy tires? Once the suspension loads up, it improves. I noticed in the garage, if I push the car lateral, you can really see the sidewall flex a lot.

3. Fuel smell in garage is pretty bad after sitting. No sign of leaks on the floor or anywhere? When filling up tank the first time, I totally overfilled it because I was not paying attention and the pump did not shut off (again have not owned an old car for a long time). Carbs have no airfilter, just trumpets. Could this make the smell any more prominent? No leaks anywhere that I can see - I'm perplexed.

So here are the crappy pix I have so far - more to come. I apologize in advance for the many many newbie questions that will be arriving. Time to upgrade the alfabb subscription!
 

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I really like your Giulia , great color combo and cond. Not to mention 1750 upgrade wow . Amaing how good the stock rims look . I love them

Congratulation !!
 

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Congrats! ...very nice, looks like the one in the Alfa museum I saw last October!

Cheers,

Paul.
 

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I came out of there wanting 1 of each!!

It was great to see some of the cars in the flesh....
 

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Looks great - and bushings, springs and shocks front and rear will make it feel nice and tight. Have just done the job on my Berlina. Petrol smell could easily be the carbs given that there are not leaks elsewhere - otherwise, check the rubber seal on the filler cap. And Dellortos are my favourite .
 

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Looks great - and bushings, springs and shocks front and rear will make it feel nice and tight. Have just done the job on my Berlina. Petrol smell could easily be the carbs given that there are not leaks elsewhere - otherwise, check the rubber seal on the filler cap. And Dellortos are my favourite .
Interestingly enough, I wrapped the carbs in a plastic bag and, the smell for the most part is gone. I'm guessing they are weeping ever so slightly and evaporating before there is a drip.

Suspension is priority, whats the point of the extra power, if it doesn't handle. Trouble is all of my tools are back at our house in the USA - so I am going to try to find a local shop to do it. My debate is do I throw the money at stock, or go for Classic Alfa or Alfaholics style "fast road" kits and just jump right in. My guess is I should just go for it - but I find it odd that I have to order stuff for an Alfa from the UK to be installed here in Italy:wink2: I'm not having much luck finding an Italian Alfa "performance" site.
 

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Re: suspension. Your otherwise very nice Super "wallows" because the rear trailing arm bushing are worn, a common problem thta's pretty easy to fix. I'd do that first.

A competent shop (you're in Italy so a little judicious searching will undoubtedly turn up someone who know old Alfas) can check your front suspension bushings, although I'd recommend going ahead and having them changed too. The tightness of a fresh suspension on a Super is a joy to behold.

Both the Classic Alfa and Alfaholics fast road suspensions are well developed and will make your Super a lot more fun to drive. My choice would be the Alfaholics setup. Be sure to the "A" setup rather than the lower versions (there's a big difference on a Super). AH also recommends Koni yellow sports setting shocks. Max and Andrew are very helpful and well-informed about old Alfa suspensions.

Classic Alfa sells their own suspension springs and sway-bar but they also sell a spring set made by Eibach. I haven't tried these so I'll let others comment about them. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Interestingly enough, I wrapped the carbs in a plastic bag and, the smell for the most part is gone. I'm guessing they are weeping ever so slightly and evaporating before there is a drip.

Suspension is priority, whats the point of the extra power, if it doesn't handle. Trouble is all of my tools are back at our house in the USA - so I am going to try to find a local shop to do it. My debate is do I throw the money at stock, or go for Classic Alfa or Alfaholics style "fast road" kits and just jump right in. My guess is I should just go for it - but I find it odd that I have to order stuff for an Alfa from the UK to be installed here in Italy:wink2: I'm not having much luck finding an Italian Alfa "performance" site.
Good to hear - and yes, agree, strange that parts for the Giulia has to be sourced out of Italy, but there's such a large following in especially the UK which explains it. And a lot of times, easier from a language perspeciive - Italians do a lot of things great. English is not one of them, no offence intended.

You may also try out Arese Alfa Spares in the Netherlands - they have developed really great suspension set-ups and they can advise you on exactly the set-up you need. And postage is cheaper than from UK. And it is because of the totally nutty following classic Alfas have in Holland.
https://www.alfaromeospares.net/
 

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So a bit of an update, the more I poked around the car, the more I found some stuff I didn't like.... I clearly bought the car in an emotional state and overlooked some stuff:grin2:

1. some rust on drivers side front and rear floor pans
2. somewhat sketchy repairs of passenger side floor plans
3. sketchy repairs underneath where right rear fender meets with trunk interior
4. rear door limiting straps patched and welded over (on door - attachment on body still there)
5. questionable repair on right rear fender.

I got really down, and was feeling pretty stupid, especially for what I paid. Found a local mechanic and told him to give it a full survey (mechanical and body). He called me to come over and do a face-to-face review with his body man. My heart was in my throat. Upon arriving to the mechanic, I see a ferrari GT4, BMW 2002, and a fiat topolino up on lifts. I discover that the mechanic, Roberto, daily drives a 1974 Nuova Super 1300. I suddenly feel like I'm in good hands. I am led over to my car up on the lift where underneath is a guy in a red and gray jumpsuit looking very stern and tapping all over my car with a small body hammer. I'm introduced, his name is Alfio, and he drives a GT Sprint. Feeling better.... So I say, "how bad?" He looks at me and "says stop worrying, you have a good one." Now that my heart rate lowers, I show him the points I am worried about and he shrugs it off saying these are easy fixes. Door sills look good, its just the floor pans. His prices seem downright reasonable. I am going to do as much of the work as I can here in Italy since the labor rates are so much lower than in the USA.

Feeling a bit better about the purchase, I learn that Alfio is booked until early April and I have to wait ("a Montreal arrived today, that I must finish before you!"). Roberto wants to do all of the suspension work at the same time as Alfio's body work. So I look at him stunned, and he says to me, "I'm going to take the car off the lift and you are going to put your bike in the trunk (my folding brompton), and go home. Drive the car as much as you can, we will call you when we are ready. There's nothing to stop you from driving it. Now go home!" Total bill: zero.

So, I'm happy and disappointed at the same time. I want the work done now! So, we spent the weekend driving it:

1. Add at least 10 minutes to any planned stop - because I am stopped and talked to in every parking lot. Told stories of how they had one of these when young. Or told some random facts about the old Italian TV shows where the police had Supers and the Mafia always had Berlinas (larger trunk I assume :grin2:)

2. While buying parts for my son's RC plane, a guy crosses a rather large parking lot to interrogate me. How much? What year? Open the hood? He sees the 1750 motor and tell me "its ruined, it's worth less money now without the original engine". I explain that I don't really care - because its fast now!...and I have the original engine too. He smiles and wishes me luck.

3. A couple of times I am flat out asked what I paid, and my only reply is "oltre dieci milla, over 10k" and they are shocked saying I "over paid". I agree - but they also are out of touch with the Alfa market right now. Prices are crazy, these were $5,000 cars 5 years ago...

I finished the weekend up by taking of the velocity stacks and installing the original cylindrical filter (harder than I expected due to those **** 10 mm nuts below the carbs that are darn near inaccessible). I miss the induction sounds already - but now I can actually hear the exhaust note. I can always switch back. Now all I need to do is have patience for Alfio and Roberto to have an opening in their shop schedule!
 

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Feeling a bit better about the purchase, I learn that Alfio is booked until early April and I have to wait ("a Montreal arrived today, that I must finish before you!"). Roberto wants to do all of the suspension work at the same time as Alfio's body work. So I look at him stunned, and he says to me, "I'm going to take the car off the lift and you are going to put your bike in the trunk (my folding brompton), and go home. Drive the car as much as you can, we will call you when we are ready. There's nothing to stop you from driving it. Now go home!" Total bill: zero.
Assuming that you can trust these guys (indications are that you can . . . but I'm in Texas . . .), my recommendation is that you leave the car with them to get it properly repaired. Yeah, you could have checked it over better and it really, really, would have been great if you'd known about these guys when you were looking at the car. But if you accept the philosophy that there are no good deals when buying cars like this, Alfio's advice is good: you didn't get burned too bad.

Working on old Alfas is as much artisan work as it is regular commerce and these guys sound like artisans. I don't know when you are planning to return to the States but you can easily do so without your Super. Just make arrangements with a good customs broker, shipping company (I like Ro-Ro), and let them ship your car to you when it's finished. This is regular business for them.

Re: cost and originality. One way of looking at your purchase is that it is a survivor. For a long time, Tis and Supers in Italy were just old cars and this is reflected in the low-end repairs you finally noticed. Several somebody's over time thought enough about your car to take pretty good care of it, even though it was "just an old Alfa" and not worth much money. Lots of Supers came through this period in much worse shape---teens used them as bumper cars---or were simply sold for scrap.

An upside to owning a TI or a Super is that with over 500,000 produced these are never going to have the collector-car cachet of the GT's and Spiders. While some people are very catholic (small "c" intended) about originality, I don't think there's anything lost in making tasteful period modificatins like putting in a 2 liter or 1750 and doing suspension upgrades. Go for it.

Since free advice is worth exactly what it costs, here's another suggestion: If Roberto and Alfio are local to you, start paying visits to their shops. If they're enthusiasts, they won't mind at all and you'll get a good impression of how they like to work. Even better take them to lunch. Getting this kind of artisan level work done is a lot more familial than you might think and so taking them to lunch is a great way to get to know them. Just sayin'.
 

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180 has some good points. I always take my Land Rover mechanic food, drink or spirits when I stop in to say hi. He takes good care of me.

I think your mechanics are right, enjoy the car then put it in their hands. If it isn't done when you leave, ship it...easy peasy.
Drew
 

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Totally agree on building the relationship. I'm due for an oil change soon, so I'll stop by to schedule it in person with some food. I hate to offer wine, prosecco etc. only to find out that they don't drink.

I didn't post the story to complain - far from it, it's turning out to be an adventure. Good point about shipping home later, if required. I'm here through July 2019 at least.....
 

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I didn't read your comments as a complaint---you were just describing the practical realities of looking for and then buying an old Alfa. The guys you contacted both sound like our kind of people. Do they know about the BB?
 
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