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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking for a long time for the passenger dash handle - and I finally found one on Ebay a few weeks ago. I scooped that puppy up as soon as I saw it listed.

The leather was shot and had hardened. I bought some nice new 3oz leather (1mm) and fit that to the handle. First I taped the back of the leather with some masking tape so I could trace an outline using the old leather as a template. I cut that out and then I used those leather forky things to cut nice even stitch holes on each outside part of the leather piece.

Twenty minutes or so of some stitching and stich pulling and then the leather was on. After that, I wet the leather and pulled it tight around the two corners and evened up the stitching. A little chrome cleaner for the two trim pieces and a wire brush for the ends and all looks great I think.

Doug
 

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All of the 2000's I've had were the early type before the dash reconfiguration. Thus, I've never studied the handle. I know on the 2600 that the dash and handle are covered with leather, but am wondering if the 2000 version, which has a painted dash, also uses a painted handle?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I dont know what is period correct Don.

My handle came with 1mm thick dried leather and some pretty good stiching so if this leather was applied sometime after, then this covering was done professionally. I also saw no signs of any paint on the handle under the covering.

Doug
 

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Doug, I don't remember the serial number of your car but there was a factory change roughly mid year, 1959. According to the factory parts manual, cars up to serial number 102.04.00650 were supposed to have come with an elegant beveled glass, 'black chrome' rear view mirror, mounted on a black wrinkle painted base (and back) with three chrome plated screws in approximately the center of the dash board. Cars from 102.04.00651 'on wards' had a larger silvered (normal mirrored glass) rear view mirror, mounted to the side of the instrument binnacle on a longer stalk. The latter style mirror more closely resembles that of an American car and is a little ungainly but works better.

Richards car, s/n ...1844 (that we once purchased from Dr. Robert Countess in 1989) is a 1960 year model, with the larger 'latter style' mirror and a bare aluminum passenger grab handle mounted on the dash over the glove box. Our current car ...00310, a 1959, has the elegant black chrome style mirror, that admittedly does not work as well for tall people and no grab handle. I believe there were some other minor changes that may have taken place during this time frame as well. We don't have an Alfa Romeo script or a Touring badge on the trunk lid, we do have a Touring badge on the glove box lid and we have the larger heat shield over the cast iron headers that came with the factory supercharger cars*.

It is just my opinion but based on those I have seen, I believe that the later Two-Liter cars came with a 'bare aluminum' passenger grab handle and the 2600's may have come with the' improved leather covered' grab handle. Would you know which year model Alfa Romeo your grab handle came from? Either way, I'd consider the leather cover an improvement as it would make the handle less noticeable (obtrusive) and more comfortable, if anyone ever decided to use it. The cornering power of those 4" Michelin tires is quite impressive.

*Sorry just kidding about that.

Mark
 

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Mark,

My current 102 (serial number 00071) was manufactured in December of 58, according to Storico. Whether this was an accounting entry to improve the 58 production number is anyone's guess.

Anyway, it has the same configuration as my first 102-Touring as well as a 3rd parts car I had. No handle at all, no "Alfa Romeo" anywhere but on the round badge on the front grille, no "2000" on the trunk, but they all had a big Touring badge back there.. The hood has two tiny Touring emblems.

So - Doug - depending upon your serial number, your car may not have originally had a handle at all, and if it did, the 2000 version may have been uncovered aluminum.

I'm not claiming any particular expertise on this, just that if you're striving for absolute conformity to original type, the leather may be a wrong step.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My car was made in 1961.

Maybe another way to tell if handle covering was ever applied is by looking at the spacing of the trim piece to the handle. Without the leather, there is a small gap between the two in mine. These caps aslo serve to hold the leather down at the end.

Doug
 

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Doug,

I thought you said the handle you have came via EBay, and so would probably be from a 2600, which certainly was covered.

I'll check the parts books later. Not intending to insert an unnecessary distraction on this.
 

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The 2600 dash handle is huge, covering half the width of the dash.
Larry Bono
 

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My car was made in 1961. Doug
Your car would most certainly have come with the passenger grab handle (it must have had the mounting holes in the dash) and the larger rear view mirror mounted on the instrument binnacle. I think the black leather would make it look more attractive. Perhaps if 1844 had leather it deteriorated and was removed prior to coming to me.

Don, I have the two small Touring badges on the hood and the grill badge as well. Just no trunk mounted large Touring badge although Ken gave me one probably 20 years ago; I just could not bring myself to pull the trigger on the drill and have since heard from others with no trunk lid mounted insignia.

It is expected to be 70 degrees this week, if you can believe the weather man. I'd like to get the Two Liter back out for a while.

Mark
 

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This weekend, the Lake Tahoe weather will be sunny and 60+. 2 liter to the airport, amphibious Super Cub to the beach.

Tag, you're it.
 

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The handle for the passenger, as well as the chrome stripes on the side of the Spider.
Wasn't they an optional, the costumer could thus if he liked them. ????
To my knowledge, the only optional for the 2000 spider.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You guys are killing me with talk of 60 and 70 degree weather! It snowed here last night - and it is going to snow again tonight.I dont think I am going to be able to even get into my garage for another two months.

Anyway, I took off some of the stitching so that I could tak a picture of the gap between the handle and the trim piece. My gap is large about 1mm all around.

Doug
 

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The grab handle looks better with the leather and seems to fit the ends better with the leather installed. I edited my previous post because there is a Touring badge on the glove box lid that had been forgotten.

It got up to 73 degrees today and I made the mistake of opening the garage door. It was about 45 degrees in the garage, mid 60's and humid when I opened the door. Condensation quickly covered everything; I wiped down what I could and turned on a fan to circulate the air and the dehumidifier to dry things out. Doug, remember that in about two months when your snow starts to melt! OBTW, I used White Post Restorations in TN to brass sleeve the rear wheel cylinders; never even considered doing it myself...

Mark
 

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Not common!

I have had 13 two liter spiders since 1964. Only one, a high VIN 1962 that an ex military man brought back from Europe had what I call a "grab handle", and it was (and still is) covered with black leather. I bought his car from him as about my third or fourth spider. Its original purchaser lived in Switzerland and it was truly what we refer to as the European version -- wide apart scoops with no center chrome on the hood, double chrome down the side and over the door, side winker lights, and a paint job in pale yellow. I suspected because of the color that it had originally been a custom order from the factory. No other spider I have ever seen had even the holes where such a grab handle would have been bolted to the dash over the glove box. I confess that I did not get the holes in the exact place when I "snagged" and transferred that grab handle to upgrade my favorite spider, the one shown in the avatar, along with its hard top, nardi steering wheel, binnacle rear view mirror, and the engine fairing under the bottom edge of the motor compartment. I have also never seen that fairing except on my two liter sprint which, according to Alfa Storico, was declared "completed enough -- not finished mechanically" on Dec 24, 1960 to be sent on the European auto show circuit starting with January 16, 2016 in Brussels. The motor compartment was left in primer and the springs left unfitted for exact length and compressed with bars and bolts.

I do still have one other grab handle on which the leather is off, but I can see clearly that it once was covered with leather (I can't for the moment find the two fitting which cover the gap between it and the dash). I recall that piece came from a rusted out European version spider hulk that was cut up by another two liter owner for parts to repair the body on his spider. He gave me the left over quarter panels, hood, doors and other unused pieces. I gave him the radio hole dash cover that said "2000" printed in silver on a black background from my two liter sedan. By the way, I wonder where that spider with the sedan dash radio hole cover is now. If you have a red spider with it, perhaps I can fill in some of your car's past history.

Thus, my conclusion, justified or not, is that none of the American style spiders as ordered by Hoffman for the American market had grab handles, and that they were probably a special order just like all the neat things that the pale yellow spider from Switzerland had. I've never seen that color on any other spider either although d'Amici & Tarbuchi shows that an option (as well as for the 2600 spider). As for that car, I remember crying as I heard the engine when the fellow drove off to Medford, Oregon after I traded it for his money in Roseburg and was walking to the bus stop to ride back to Portland and home to Seattle. He later painted it "Dove grey" and sold it to a gal in Modesto who blew the engine trying to out run an approaching car from a standing start after stopping for some reason on the side of the freeway. She somehow traced its history back to me, asked if I could fix it, and delivered it all the way from California to my home in Bellevue. My wife and I drove it down to deliver it back to her. Man, that was a long long time ago, maybe 1975. Time flies when you're having fun. Spiders are always fun. I also enjoy the sedan, and the sprint runs great too even if it isn't beautiful yet.
 

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I noticed the metallic green Two Liter currently on eBay has no grab handle but this car does:
Rob Lucas - 60 Alfa 2000 Touring, dashboard.jpg

And this one does as well but you can't see it:

Alfa 2.L CVS 1844.jpg

Look familiar to anyone? That photo was taken about 24 or 25 years ago! It has an unusual grill for a Two-Liter but I believe that someone has since changed it to a standard grill.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Mark,

I forgot that this was an option - explains why it took me so long to find a handle! My car is Euro car and has the holes for the handle and the Touring badge.

If someone wants to recover their handle if they have one - it is not so hard to do being about 3-5 hours of stitching. I could supply precut and hole stamped leather and the pre-waxed leather thread from what I have left over.

Doug
 

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If someone wants to recover their handle if they have one - it is not so hard to do being about 3-5 hours of stitching. I could supply precut and hole stamped leather and the pre-waxed leather thread from what I have left over.

Doug
That is a nice offer; perhaps Skinthin would be interested in the leather for S/N 1844, unless the handle has already been covered.

Mark
 
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