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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

I had this over on the Alfa History forum, but though you racer guys may know something.I thought it worth a shot posting here. Apologies in advance for being slightly off topic.

I'm look for any pics or information on the Leon Greff Alfa V8 GTV that was drag raced in Nth America in the early seventies.
It was a joint enterprise by Delta Racing Enterprises of Metairie, La and Alfa Milano, Italy.
The team spokesman and manager was Dennis. J. Cipnic.
It ran a competition version of the Autodelta Monteal V8 engine and then a Tipo 33 'Tasman' 2.5 lt V8 during the course of its competition life.
It features in the March 1972 edition of the Alfa owner magazine.
The car is a steel bodied GTV with GTAj style fibreglass fender flares, fibreglass doors and aluminium trunk lid, bonnet, front nose and rear panel, all probably GTA and Autodelta parts.
It runs a Ford 9" rear and custom built front end with extensive aluminium fabricated interior sheeting.
I have recently purchased the car complete, less Montreal motor and transmission, and am working on what to do with it. It has been dry stored all these years but needs a full resto. I have the Tipo 33 motor from the car, currently being rebuilt.
It is a unique piece of Alfa history, possibly the only Alfa supported drag car built and definitely worth preserving and restoring.
Leon Greff passed away in the mid 70's but his son still runs the family business, Greff Motors, in Metairie.
The car is in the US.
The last pic is a scan from Alfa Owner, March 72.
Post any info you have or PM me with any expressions of interest.

Tim
 

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Hi all

I had this over on the Alfa History forum, but though you racer guys may know something.I thought it worth a shot posting here. Apologies in advance for being slightly off topic.

I'm look for any pics or information on the Leon Greff Alfa V8 GTV that was drag raced in Nth America in the early seventies.
It was a joint enterprise by Delta Racing Enterprises of Metairie, La and Alfa Milano, Italy.
The team spokesman and manager was Dennis. J. Cipnic.
It ran a competition version of the Autodelta Monteal V8 engine and then a Tipo 33 'Tasman' 2.5 lt V8 during the course of its competition life.
It features in the March 1972 edition of the Alfa owner magazine.
The car is a steel bodied GTV with GTAj style fibreglass fender flares, fibreglass doors and aluminium trunk lid, bonnet, front nose and rear panel, all probably GTA and Autodelta parts.
It runs a Ford 9" rear and custom built front end with extensive aluminium fabricated interior sheeting.


Holy crap Batman!! I'm glad you're the bodywork expert.
9" Ford diff.......I reckon they over-estimated the amount of torque these motors would put out by a few hundred percent! A Montreal diff would cope and be lighter.
I also have another complete Montreal engine sitting beside your T33 one.
Maybe you might want to put a Montreal engine in this car and I'm sure I could think of a much better use for the T33 engine.......!
Cheers,
Vin.
 

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Richard Jemison
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Montreal Drag GTV

Back in the late `60s & early `70s I raced an EP Duetto out of Delta Region (N.O. La.) and there was a close knit group of Alfa racers there. What I remember of the car isn`t a lot. That was nearly 40 years ago, and probably won`t help much.
There were a couple of racers that were around that lived close to these guys and were friends and I`ve sent out a request for their e-mail addresses if available I will post for you. Chappy Holbrook will be the best bet.
What I remember isn`t a lot as being involved with road racing (SCCA) I thought it a waste of a wonderful chassis & motor!
I recollect that the car was separated from the motor in the mid `70s, and not much more. However:
Not long after that a Montreal rail dragster (that was purchased in N.O.La.) was brought to Pensacola to the shop of Foy Gilmore, a nationally known Drag chassis builder, who is still here, and a good friend.

The chassis had some work done on it by Foy, but it was left at his shop for some time by the owner. It was sold to by the owner who never returned for it, to a man in Atlanta, who Foy remembers being a car collector.
If you want more on the rail car maybe he can help. From the Atlanta side maybe Paul Spruell has some info.
Good luck, I had never thought of that car until your post!
Rj
 

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Richard Jemison
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Greff Drag Montreal powered GTV

Below is an excerpt from Chappy Holbrook regarding the car. As well I ask Foy Gilmore about the car and he corrected my memory of his experience, in that it was still the Montreal motor in the GTV chassis that was brought to his shop and boiught by a collector in Atlanta. So it was still together.
From Chappy:

As regards Leon Greff''s old Alfa drag car, I remember the thing, and his cursing the Montreal motor for not providing enough fuel on top end, and there not being any way to tweak the injection to get more.. I guess thats why they promoted that Tasman motor. I did not follow the car, not into drag racing.
However, I can drop over to Greff's shop and hook you up with his son, who can no doubt provide more into than I can.
I am not a member of that Alfa BB, or I would do it myself..
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Nice work Richard
Another piece in the jigsaw explained.
I'll just outline the time line here (as I understand it) and hopefully pull a few threads together.
Leon Greff builds the car with Montreal Marine motor. Fueling problems.
Alfa US supply T33 Tasman motor that came via Auscar.
Interesting to note here that the Marine motor and the Tasman motor were both 2.5 litre.
Must have been the class regs Greff was running in.
Over rev damages top end of T33 motor during early stages of events and testing.
Car sits in Greff shop for a number of years.
Ted Atkins of Fl. looks at car with view to buy but passes.
Norb McNamara from SF buys T33 motor.
Some years later Ted Atkins returns and buys car (less motor) and delivers car and another rebuilt Montreal motor to Foy Gilmore's shop in Fl to have chassis modded for street use.
Atkins sells car to John Murphy who takes it with 2nd Montreal motor to Atlanta where it sits for 20+ years.
John Murphy passed away in the late 90's and I bought the car from his estate in 2007,less Montreal motor, which was sold separately.
I also bought the T33 motor from Norb McNamarra in early 2006. It is being rebuilt by Vin Sharpe here in Aus. Not so bad a rebuild.
The real question is what to do with the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I got this info off the BB.

It's from

OldAlfaGuy AKA Ted Atkins
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 16
V8 Alfa Dragster
Leon Greff of Metaire, Louisiana (a suberb of New Orleans) built a GTV-based dragster with much support from Alfa Romeo, USA. He had an import repair shop and was briefly an Alfa Romeo franchised dealer. As an import drag car fan, he talked Alfa into helping him build a dragster.

First, he tried a Montreal "marine spec" engine that Alfa Romeo USA loaned him. But he said it would not "pull a greased string out of a cat's _ _s." So they took the Montreal motor back and sent him a 2.5 liter Tasman V8 motor that they had laying around. They had it back after loaning it to Horst Kwech who tried to compete with it in the old Formula 5000 series (that series called for 5 liter stock block, or 3 liter race engine design. Horst was not competitive. I forget what formula car chassis he put the Tasman motor in. I heard that he had fuel delivery problems that he never really solved.) But it had Lucas slide throttle injection, dual Bosch ignition, gear driven cams, etc. Neat motor.

Anyway, Leon used a step nose GTV chassis, but since he had to run in one of the Gas classes, he took advantage of the liberal rules for the class and butchered the car to try to make it competitive. Solid front axle, Ford 9 inch rear, Borg Warner Super T-10S four speed, seriously gutted. He finally got it to run in the high 10's in the quarter mile. But the class record was way into the nines.

Back about 1979, after he had given up on the project, I heard about the car, and on a trip to New Orleans, I stopped by to see it and talk to Leon. He wanted $3,500 as I recall. That is when I got all of the above information - direct from Leon. When I was there, Leon said the motor would not start, so I passed on it. Leon went on to (or back to) drag racing Porsches. He said you could tweak a turbo Porsche to get it into the low nines in the 1/4 mile with no sweat. He said trying to get the Montreal motor, and then the Tasman motor, to run right was tough.

I never forgot about the Alfa dragster. Then 5-6 years later, I called Leon to see if he still had the car. He said he had sold the Tasman motor, and that a friend had put a small block Chevy in the car. I bought it over the phone - less the Chevy motor (and I honestly don't remember how much - I think it was the same $3,500 figure). I went and got the car and had visions of restoring it with a Montreal motor. In fact, I bought a freshly-rebuilt Montreal V8 from a guy who was going to make a can-am type car with it but chickened out; and I got a Montreal ZF gearbox from Matt who now owns Re-Originals, Inc. My plan was to have a chassis/suspension guy install the engine and gearbox, and take out the solid front axle and fabricate an independant double wishbone setup.

The car, Montreal motor and gearbox sat at the chassis guy's shop for months. I got impatient, listed it in the Alfa Owner magazine, and sold it to John Murphy, who lived in Atlanta and had a great collection of Alfa's. Several GTA's and tons of GTA parts, a couple of Montreals, etc.

John Murphy passed away before doing anything with the drag car and drive train. It was in his estate, which was liquidated. Leon Greff also passed away about that same time.

Oh, and about that Tasman motor ithat was in the car when I first went to look at it - later I heard that a guy in San Francisco bought it and when he opened it up, it was junk inside. A rod had let go, damaging the crank, block, heads, etc.

But it would have made one dynamite street rod, even with only the Montreal motor. On the other hand, I sold it to John Murphy for what I had in it - car, engine and gearbox. I am probably lucky in that regard. It could have ended up being one of the biggest Alfa money pits of all time!
 

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More on Montreal engines in GTV chassis

I found 3 references in ALFA ROMEO OWNERS CLUB MAGAZINE (UK) to Alfa V8s in GTV's

Edit: I have agreed to remove the 3 articles with respect to the copy right



One Pic brings to mind that my buddy Bob told me years ago of seeing a picture in an Auto Trader Magazine or the like of car or just the Montreal engine being offered for sale in western Canada, prairies I think. His comment was that the engine looked like it was sitting in a GTV chassis and as neither of us had heard of such a thing we did not follow up. Possible that was the Luker GTV. Any one know More??
 

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I lived in Saskatchewan in the mid eighties and I remember phoning up about an ad - not sure where I saw it, whether it was Auto Trader, Star Phoenix or the Regina paper - that offered an Alfa romeo GTV with a V8. What I heard on the phone didn't entice me sufficiently to follow up and see the car given the amount of money that was asked. Car was supposedly located in or around Regina region.

I found these 2 references in ALFA ROMEO OWNERS CLUB MAGAZINE (UK)

first 2 picts from july 1972
3rd Pic july 1982

The third picture brings to mind that my buddy Bob told me years ago of seeing a picture in an Auto Trader Magazine or the like of car or just the Montreal engine being offered for sale in western Canada, prairies I think. His comment was that the engine looked like it was sitting in a GTV chassis and as neither of us had heard of such a thing we did not follow up. Possible that was the Luker GTV. Any one know More??
 

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I lived in Saskatchewan in the mid eighties and I remember phoning up about an ad - not sure where I saw it, whether it was Auto Trader, Star Phoenix or the Regina paper - that offered an Alfa romeo GTV with a V8. What I heard on the phone didn't entice me sufficiently to follow up and see the car given the amount of money that was asked. Car was supposedly located in or around Regina region.
Hi Ulrich, mid 1980's sound possible, There was a country wide (Canada) Auto Trader type Mag called Collector Cars or something, divided into geographical regions and that is where Buddy Bob would have seen it here in Ontario.

I think we thought it BS, and I don't mean B-Sedan. Anyways now we know more of the story. And I guess there is still more before and after.

Ciao

Ken
 

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I found these 2 references in ALFA ROMEO OWNERS CLUB MAGAZINE (UK)

first 2 picts from july 1972
3rd Pic july 1982

The third picture brings to mind that my buddy Bob told me years ago of seeing a picture in an Auto Trader Magazine or the like of car or just the Montreal engine being offered for sale in western Canada, prairies I think. His comment was that the engine looked like it was sitting in a GTV chassis and as neither of us had heard of such a thing we did not follow up. Possible that was the Luker GTV. Any one know More??
That's the GTAm that VSharp is restoring down in Melbourne - very different car to the american based drag car of the rest of this thread. Vin has returned it to it's factory GTAm spec.
 

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That's the GTAm that VSharp is restoring down in Melbourne - very different car to the american based drag car of the rest of this thread. Vin has returned it to it's factory GTAm spec.
Hello, Guilty as charged, a thread hi-jack.

Was not not claiming the Australian or the English/Canadian V-8'ed GTAm/GTV's were the American drag GTV, just hi-jacking the thread.

Ciao

Ken
 

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I found these 2 references in ALFA ROMEO OWNERS CLUB MAGAZINE (UK)

first 2 picts from july 1972
3rd Pic july 1982

The third picture brings to mind that my buddy Bob told me years ago of seeing a picture in an Auto Trader Magazine or the like of car or just the Montreal engine being offered for sale in western Canada, prairies I think. His comment was that the engine looked like it was sitting in a GTV chassis and as neither of us had heard of such a thing we did not follow up. Possible that was the Luker GTV. Any one know More??
Interesting Ken, had'nt seen that reference to the Foley GTam before. Just to correct a couple of things from that July '72 article, the engine into the Foley car was a 2.5 Tipo-33 unit (ex-Mildren Tasman Brabham chassis), not a modified Montreal unit. Part of the issue with fitting it in the engine bay was because the T33 block is different to a Montreal in that a T33 block has a large semi-bellhousing cast into the rear of it, requiring enlarging of the trans tunnel/footwell area for it and the header pipes each side. The headers were also accomodated by shifting the steering box and idler to OUTSIDE of the chassis rails, thereby freeing-up space in the egine bay. So the LHD steering box was transferred straight over to the wheel side of the RHS of the car: instant RH drive using LH steering box!
So the car always retained its original LHD steering box, just on the wrong (or is right!) side of the car. All has now been reinstated in it's correct (original) place.
 

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The headers were also accomodated by shifting the steering box and idler to OUTSIDE of the chassis rails, thereby freeing-up space in the egine bay. So the LHD steering box was transferred straight over to the wheel side of the RHS of the car: instant RH drive using LH steering box!
So the car always retained its original LHD steering box, just on the wrong (or is right!) side of the car. All has now been reinstated in it's correct (original) place.
Interesting - did it maintain the factory drag link? how offset was the steering wheel?
Might be a solution to the age old problem of trying to stuff a v6 into a RHD 105...
 

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...and fitting a V6 is a whole different project altogether! Ken Beere here in the UK has done one very well, using 75 rack & pinion from memory. I'm sure details are on the forum here somewhere...
 

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Put that Tasman engine in the Foley GTAm and drop a Montral motor w/ a flat plane crank in the Drag car.

There's a certain symmetry to the thread and the hi-jack.
Vin has the US Drag Car's 33 Tasman 2.5 motor in his shop and the aforementioned
Foley GTAm.
Oh no, I just had a bad idea...
 
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