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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I'd give a little background about how I became a 105 coupe owner and a few lessons I have learnt along the way. I don't think there's anything that will come as news to most members, but hopefully it will raise a few wry smiles.

First, a bit about me. Long term Alfa lover, first Alfa was a new Sprint Green Cloverleaf in about 1983, which got me hooked on Alfas. Next Alfa wasn't until the 90s when I had a 164 TS, followed by (after a gap while living in the US) a new 156 TS and then a 156 GTA which I modded and that got me into doing track days.

However, I've always wanted a classic Alfa and love 105 coupes. I've been looking for about 3 years as I've been building up the required funds and have seen the prices starting to go up and up, and realised if I didn't move soon I would never be able to afford one. I have no mechanical skills or facilities so would either have to buy a restored car or pay to get one restored.

Last year I took the plunge and bought a basket case 1750 Mk II that was going to be restored by one of the top specialists in the UK. I thought I had enough funds but once the work started it quickly became apparent that it was going to cost more than anticipated and I just couldn't afford it. Restoring these cars properly is an expensive business if you can't do the work yourself.

So I had to back out of that project and decided to look for a good quality car that didn't need any major work. Although I was open to a 1750 or 2000 GTV, I really liked the interior of the 1750 so that was first choice. I found an interesting Mk II 1750 that was priced at the higher end of the market at the end of 2014. It had been owned by a car collector who had restored the shell in the early 1980s with original panels but never completed the project. It had lain in dry storage until his death some 30 years later and was auctioned in 2012 as a shell with all the parts. The shell was really sound (see first image, shows the car at auction) and having seen photos of it rubbed down ready for a respray there was not one bit of rust or patching.

One of the POs bought the car as a project and had it recommissioned by a specialist, including about £4,000 of new parts. The carbs and diff had been rebuilt while in the PO's ownership and when I bought the car it was inspected by another specialist who found a number of things that needed fixing. I also had the gearbox rebuilt and head gasket replaced.

Overall I thought the car was pretty sound. I'm no expert but it seemed to drive quite well although the diff was getting a little noisy and there was a bit of hesitation when pulling away. I enjoyed driving her for about 6 months and then took her to my local specialist (AHM) that has worked on my Alfas for many years for a service. Adie there is definitely one of the best IMO. He found a number of issues with the suspension (like missing T-bar bushes) and also could not get the carbs balanced properly so suspected there was something wrong there. At his recommendation, I took the car to Alfaholics to get the suspension sorted and also to see if they could set it up properly.

Long story short, Alfaholics have transformed the car. They sorted the handling by fitting one of their suspension kits and also found that one of the carbs needed a complete rebuild. They have fitted solid mounts and the programmable 123 with their curve and she is absolutely superb now. The stance looks great and the car is an absolute dream to drive now. Oh and the diff needed rebuilding again as a pinion bearing had gone....

I was originally going to go for GTA-style wheels but the original look has really grown on me and the steering is nice and light on the original 5.5 wheels. So here's the final spec as per the last four attached photos:

- Standard engine, original with 62,000 miles from new.
- Alfaholics fast road suspension kit B with adjustable top arms.
- 123 programmable ignition with Alfaholics curve.
- Alfaholics stainless steel sports exhaust.
- Solid carb mounts (going very well so far......)
- Nardi wheel (which I much prefer the feel of to the Hellebore)

What have I learned? A 105 coupe will ALWAYS cost more than you intend/budget whatever route you go, especially if you can't do work yourself on it. And it's only by owning a car will you really get to know what needs doing to it (unless you are a 105 expert). But, as I suspected, they are wonderful cars and I literally want to be out driving her all the time.
 

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I also like the fact that you have chosen to keep the original wheels. There are so many GTA wheeled examples around (at least on the internet) that an original begins to feel exotic.
 

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Lovely car.....my pick of the Bertone coupes..... S2 1750.

the stance looks right too!

Cheers.
 

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I've chosen to stay with the original wheels on my build. I'm going to keep a picture of yours, so that I can make sure my "stance" looks the same.

Very nice.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks all for the feedback. I was pretty set on GTA wheels but the place I bought the car from only deals in "original" looking cars and I must admit the look has really grown on me. I'll be using the car mainly for touring rather than going on track and I think the original wheels give it a nice "classic tourer" look.

Mind you, the original wheels look might get expensive - I've already lost two hubcaps as these fell off after not being replaced properly!

Install Hellebore original wheel,just my advice.
Well, the original plan was that the Nardi was temporary until I had the Hellebore refurbed (it is a bit split). But I'm afraid it will be permanent as I prefer the feel of the Nardi for driving compared to the Hellebore and I think both look good.
 

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A cracking looking car Nigel and for your non modded arches those wheels just look right. I knew you'd like Alfaholics suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A cracking looking car Nigel and for your non modded arches those wheels just look right. I knew you'd like Alfaholics suspension.
You were right Rob, the Alfaholics suspension setup is great. The car is an absolute joy to drive.
 

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Great job and story! Lovely car, a 105 is in my future after I get my Giulia Super done. How about some before/in-progress pics?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I hope she will be with me for as long as I can still drive (I'm hoping at least 20 years.....). But owning a classic is quite a journey, especially if like me it's your first one.
 
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