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I have a car story, you can not believe it if you want to, I would not believe it myself if it didn't actually happen to me. And only an Alfa owner might know how they are, they have lives of their own, so I'm putting it here.

It involved a good friend of mine, who was my business partner in an automotive repair shop, where we specialized in "cool" or exotic cars, it was our thing. Italian cars in particular. Cars develop "personalities" entirely of their own, somehow. I think it's because something of our emotions somehow radiates from us, like a magnetic field, and that somehow "records" or imprints the metal itself in much the same way that information is recorded on ferro-magnetic tape. I certainly am a skeptic, though, of coincidence. Coincidence, statistically, is exceptionally rare.

Anyway, the car in this story was my 1982 Alfa Romeo Spyder Veloce that I bought from my partner in this story, with a burned up engine. '81 and '82 were bad years for Alfa, as they changed the SPICA mechanical fuel injection from the 4 butterfly valve "Weber" type injection to a single butterfly intake plenum we called the "pod tweak". It never could flow enough air for those engines, which gave them bad asthma, and were prone to burning up. I cured mine by using the intake manifold from a '60's era 1600cc engine, and it's dual DOCE Weber carbs. It all fit onto my 2000cc 116 series engine, except for the air cleaner assembly, which didn't clear the valve cover, so I substituted a set of velocity stacks, it was awesome, and had this great sucking sound, but that's another discussion.

Well I had a mission, and that was to drive out to the home of our favorite client, and pick up a check for the work we were doing on either his Ferrari Testarossa, or his Alfa Montreal (boy, you don;t get to overhaul those every day!) at the time, I can't remember which one it was, but it was simple enough, a nice drive to the country. But there was an 8 p.m. curfew, that was as late as he would appreciate visitors coming to his home, which is understandable, and important to this story. But the car flatly refused to do it. It would stall, but not only did it stall, it stalled for absolutely no rational reason. In fact, since I was stranded anyway, I spent the entire afternoon into the evening trying to find any reasonable explanation, and there just wasn't one, the car was mechanically in good order, it had fuel, spark, and compression, and I was baffled. Eventually, as 8 p.m. came, and I came to the realization that it was too late, and would have to return empty handed, the car started right up like nothing had happened. Now comes the strange part, I will take this up from the second time that I came back and had to explain to my partner why I failed to get the **** check. He says, "Bull!! that is the same crazy story that I didn't believe yesterday, that car doesn't stall." "Oh, but there is more", I said. "It stalled at EXACTLY the same place!". "Stop it already, come on, , how much do you expect me to believe? You are really trying to tell me that this car stalled in the exact same place 2 days in a row, COME ON ALREADY!" "Yes it did, in exactly the same place, within 10 or 15 feet, in fact, which I attribute to momentum relative to the speed I was doing, and how far I coasted to the side of the road, it actually stalled out in EXACTLY the same place." "********, STOP IT, I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT!", he says. "Wait, though, I'm not done, this is actually the third time that this car has stalled there, it did it the last time I tried going out that way, too. In fact, this car flatly refuses to pass this particular location." "OH YEAH, WHERE?", he demands. Now this is where it gets really out there, as if it wasn't already. I tell him where this car stalls, and he was SHOCKED! His eyes got big, his jaw dropped, and all his hair stood up, what I told him shook him badly. "WHAT?!" I demanded. "What's up, you know something, I know you do, now. What is it with this car and that spot, goddammit!?" Then he tells me that for reasons that had nothing to do with me, he had made it a point deliberately not to tell me, so he knows that I can't possibly know this, but this **** car was stalling just a few feet before you would come into view of it's original owners house! I swear on everything I ever held dear to me, this is absolutely true. But it gets better, we set out again the next day, with him in the shotgun seat this time, and the car did it again, right on cue. Yes, it stalled 4 times in the same place. And he went with me to watch me, to prove to himself that I could not have rigged it or caused it somehow to hoax him in some way, and he was stunned when it did it. I wasn't, I expected it to do it by this time. Now this time I didn't bother getting out or opening the hood. No, now that I knew what was up, I LIED to this car. I hugged it's steering wheel, and caressed it's dashboard, and swore eternal love to it, like it was a woman I was trying to sleep with. And it started right back up, kept going, and never did it again. I remember a moment where we just sort of stared at each other in disbelief, and all I could say was "go figure".
 

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Good story, but you're not the first person to talk to an Alfa...:thumbup:

... I LIED to this car. I hugged it's steering wheel, and caressed it's dashboard, and swore eternal love to it, like it was a woman I was trying to sleep with. And it started right back up, kept going, and never did it again. I remember a moment where we just sort of stared at each other in disbelief, and all I could say was "go figure".
 

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There is the famous Alfa engine rattle that only happend on one particular race track and you could hear the noise bouncing back from the Armco barriers. Got WORSE the faster one went. This "rattle" was NOT confined to only one car! Alfa's new to the track had no rattle.
Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The only other thing that car really did on me was make a strange noise that I never found, but did cause me to pull over and take a look underneath, where I found that I had a slightly leaking fuel line that could not have been the source of the noise. I guess it just wanted to draw my attention to that before something caught on fire, it was close to the exhaust. I just remembered that when after I synced the carbs on that, I was able to turn the idle down below 500 rpm's, so that it would not register at all on the tach, and I had to turn it up a bit in order to hear that the engine was running! I could pour a glass of beer on the valve cover and it would not agitate any bubbles out of it, it ran so smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Now that I think about it, I had one other experience with a slightly less cool car, it was a Fiat X-1/9. It needed some work when I got it, and I didn't have the money to put in it at the time, so I promised that car that I would invest in it the day I did, but I didn't. I went to use it the next day, but when I put it in gear, the transmission broke with a nasty banging noise. A moment later, just as I reapplied the parking brake, the timing belt broke and the engine stalled. I got that message loud and clear: "you lied".

I ended up dropping that car on myself in my own driveway whilst removing the drivetrain, while all four wheels were off of it. I remember thinking "I'm dead" then after a moment thinking, "why aren't I dead?". Well, with the drivetrain out, I could bench press the thing, those things were only 2080 lbs complete. So I pressed it, and put the stands back. But that was close.

There was only one parts house in the country to get Fiat parts, and that was Vick Autosports. I sent them I picture of that car and they used it in one of their catalogs. If anyone comes across that issue, I parked that car in front of the sign leading into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, for the picture. It was blue. I loved that car, too, even though it was just a Fiat. It was the go-kart my parents wouldn't let me have when I was a kid. And just to give credit where it is due, that was the only open car I have ever seen, including the Alfa Spyders, that didn't bend a bit in the middle. It was actually an engineering masterpiece as far as it's body construction went. Too bad it didn't have just a bit more going for it in the engine bay.

And on the subject of Fiats, I know that this will probably start a huge debate, but I have owned at least a half dozen Fiat 124 Sport Spyders. IMO, this is a much better looking car than an Alfa, Pininfarina should have given that body to them, instead. It was designed by an American designer then in Piininfarina's employ named Tom Tjaarda. It started as the 1963 Corvette Rondine concept car. Here is an article about him.
http://globallistics.com/spiderswebgb/storygb.html
 

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Reminds me of the problem some car manufacturers were having with their cars quitting at certain locations. No one could figure it out, but the engines would shut off at these locations, usually around airports, and some other specific areas. Ford was one of these companies.

Turns out the local air traffic control radars were zapping the electrical circuits in the ignition, killing the spark and controls due to inadequate shielding of those components. For the problem at Ford, a friend of ours, an electronics technician skilled in EMI shielding problems in the aerospace industry, was hired by Ford as a consultant to fix the problem. He did, and they gave him a new car as part of the payment.

Maybe the above described problem was something similar...?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
for clarity, USA model year 80 & 81 were SPICA single butterfly, 82 is BOSCH L-jet
Ooops, my bad. It was a long time ago, and I worked on so many of them, I guess I just got mixed up. Right, 82 was the first year of the electronic fuel injection, and that ugly black rubber spoiler on the back. Nothing against them, but that spoiler just didn't do anything for me. They were sure an improvement over the single valve SPICA, though. But like I said, the intake manifolds and DOCE Webers from the old 1600 engine cured that right up. I remember putting pieces of panty hose over the velocity stacks with rubber bands to serve as makeshift air filters. Crude, but better than no filter at all, and that didn't detract from the obnoxious noise it made. I loved that noise, but I sure couldn't sneak home in the wee hours of the morning in that car. Has anyone else ever used velocity stacks on those Webers? They sound awesome!

As an afterthought: velocity stacks would probably work even better on the 4 valve SPICA models, and would fit the available space a lot better, too. And it would sure look cool, too.
 

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Ooops, my bad. It was a long time ago, and I worked on so many of them, I guess I just got mixed up. Right, 82 was the first year of the electronic fuel injection, and that ugly black rubber spoiler on the back.
The 82 model year was just bosch fuel infection. It was the same body as the 81 and earlier cars. 83 model year is when they change to bumpers and added the spoiler.
 

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Welcome to AO :)

Our Spiders have feelings............we talk nice to them.....
 

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on my first car a mini 63, I had dual Amal carbs , they were too close to the fire wall to have air filters, I used the same 'system,' pantyhose over the openings...lol
 
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