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Discussion Starter #1
I have started to strip out my lightweight Sprint *04700* in preparation to starting the restoration works and I have come across a number of things which have really got me thinking. FYI the car was prepared by Conrero and raced very successfully in Europe by Jean Rolland in the late 50s. He noted on the entry forms in 1959 that the car was a "Conrero special". There is also a rumour that it was raced by Carlo Maria Abate, but, as yet I have no proof.
So, the problems areas are:
1. I removed the wiring loom to find that there is no fuse box. In the place of the box there is a period Bakelite connector which was the same length as the fuse box so it utilised the same fixing holes on the bracket. All the (original) wires had ring terminals and were fitted to posts on the plastic base roughly in accordance with their position if there had of been a fuse box. There were two similar Bakelite connector plates, one under the bonnet by the regulator on the LH side and the other in the RH side of the boot where the wires split to the LH side. I have difficulty in believing that there was no fuse box...has anyone any knowledge of this odd modification.
2. Whilst under the dashboard I discovered a 35diam bar running from side to side welded both ends to the inner body panels and also to the underside of the steering wheel column support. Is this a Conrero modification? Has anyone seen this before?
3. The switch holes in the dashboard are in a straight line. There is no aperture for an ashtray. I have looked behind the dash and there is no evidence of changes..all original surface rusted metal. Why would this be changed and by whom? It implies access to a blank dashboard pressing, but the welds each end and to the dash top, are neat and look to me, original!
4. There is no hole in front of the LH flitch panel for fresh air to the air filter assembly. Indeed the "box" behind the LH grille area in the wheel arch has no outlet neither for the air to the filter nor to the cab, yet there is a blanked-off aperture for a pipe to the cab in the flitch panel. There is no heater. The flitch panel has not been replaced as the welds are original. Why? The holes in the bulkhead on the LH side which would normally take the air pipe to the heater and the heater water pipes were blocked off with aluminium circular cover plates with welded lugs on the rear to secure them. All very professional.
5. The inner door panels are missing but the opening levers are still fixed to the wire connecting them to the latch. This is not, as I have seen before, an opening system utilising the normal handles, but a rather simpler device which is bolted at the bottom to a lug on the horizontal door bar with a vertical lever pulling the cable which runs in a track along the horizontal bar to the latch. Its not unlike in shape the lever which opens the bonnet on a spider. Anyone seen this before? To utilise this system the inner door panle must have to be a different shape!
6. There are two flat dome-headed bolts through the dashboard, one each end, which screw into captive nuts behind. They appear to hold nothing! Why are these there and has anybody seen this before?
I attach an image of the interior which shows the dashboard holes, the dome-headed bolts, the door levers and if you look through the radio aperture you can see the horizontal strengthening bar I refer to.
Sorry to have been so long winded but I do look forward to receiving the collective wisdom on these points
 

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DIDN'T I TELL YOU NOT TO BUY THAT CAR???!!!

Wish I could help, Stuart, but I'm a Giulietta lightweight :) I'm sure "the authority figures" will chime in soon.

I look forward to seeing you restore this rare gem to its former glory. Will you be logging your progress here for us all to drool over? Please do. Very exciting!
 

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Fratello Stuart Alfazagato,
Lovely photo. Hard to believe that the car would have had a special 'race' facia board with a full radio cutout as standard but with no ashtray. Italian competition drivers of the day enjoyed their smokes as much as their music.
I love the custom seats! The windscreen washer pump is amazingly original (red knob above brakepedal). The beavertail toggle switches with their long 'French style' extensions are wierd.
The doors appear in the photos to have had sound-deadening mats glued to their interiors as original Sprints, yet the tube-and-handle release is homemade (or custom)looking, and the aluminum window slide guides visible in the photo do not seem to conform to the lightweight design. are these tubes steel? Are the doorskins steel?
It doesn't appear that the tunnel is as originally designed either, I'll check.
The day/night mirror is from a later car than yours. The ring terminal bakelite blocks sound like war surplus electrical gear, post a photo.
It is typical that race cars get modified a lot in their working life, some if not all of these modifications might be usefully kept. On the other hand, the ram-air induction is important, its hard to believe its blocked off! Is there a Conrero window cut into the RH inner wheelwell?
Any evidence of off-road shunts? What racecar of the period didn't?
The crosstube steering support appears standard British Sports Car Design, circa 1955-65. Look behind the facia of a MGTC.
What, no cupholder?

Look forwards to seeing more,
Cheers, Laurence
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lawrence,
Many thanks for your thoughts. I agree totally about a special dash but why no ashtray aperture? I will photograph the rear of the dash when I can so you can appreciate the originality of the panel.
The door skins are aluminium and the frame steel, the transverse bar is standard and original but there is no gusset to take the handle assembly at the leading edge. Again more photos as and when. The mess on the inside of the door skin is where the vinyl finish was stuck. There are no aluminium sliding members along the door only an upstand in the door top panel against which the aluminium sliding window frames sit. BTW I need a pair of frames...any ideas?
As to the air intakes I am totally confused and will do more research. Its interesting that Jean Rolland entered the car not as a Sprint Veloce but as a "Conrero special". What that implies, if anything, I don't know.
Will keep you posted as and when the paint has been removed and possibly more clues will emerge.
I have received information from another lightweight owner who has non of the variances on my car....so!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Stored away from home at the moment. Will be back in the nest shortly as and when the Spider is rolling.
 

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750 Lightweight doors

Hi Stuart

I've got loads of 750E pictures, sent you a PM

This is what 750E doors look like

Ciao
Greig
 

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