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Here are pics of the Spider Veloce I bought from Bill Gillham last week, which he posted to the 750/101 yahoo group. VIN 167172. Built Sept 1960, sold May 1961 to an American from Oregon, who picked it up in Italy and brought it home. He drove it 100,000 miles til about 1997, then sold to a collector in Texas, who didn't use it much but took care of it, then to Bill Gillham for a year, now me. Very unmolested and great patina. All functions are spot-on. Les Hurlock engine and trans, and servicing throughout the 70s and 80s.

I haven't done anything to it yet except drive it. It'll need fluids changed, etc., and new rad hoses, and after I pore over it I'll figure out what it needs. But so far I'm just enjoying owning it and don't plan to change it at all beyond maintenance. Such a lovely little car.

Andrew
 

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Yes, I was pleasantly surprised in every way by the condition once I saw it.
Andrew
 

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'61 Spider Veloce

Andrew, what a very nice Spider Veloce! I'll readily admit that I always like everything on a car to be nice and shiny, but in this case, my main comment is that the way too shiny air cleaner needs some patina. When you first mentioned replacing hoses on it I was going to write in that nothing sticks out on a wonderfully used (as opposed to restored) car as bright shiny hoses in the engine bay. I was thinking that some of the new rubber items I get have a brownish coating (NOS?) on them which I generally clean off with paint thinner. However if my car, I'd try to figure out what the brown coating is and apply it to the hoses. Same goes with new hose clamps. One other last picky comment is the Italian badge on the trunk, which is delightful, but ya gotta cut off the surplus silicone around the edges (very carefully).

I especially loved the inside of the trunk in that it looks well used but not abused (as most of the cars I get in the shop are).

Biba
 

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Yes, the air box, air filter, and its new connecting hose came off another car Bill had that got swapped for some customer reason. They're too nice for the car, and I'm considering trading down to something that matches the car better. Bill restored this air cleaner for a different car.

Biba, I think of this as the near-twin of Joe's car, which you restored a few years ago, and which Joe's son and I ripped around in during high school to the great annoyance of the neighbors. I wanted that car at the time, but Joe wisely kept it, so I've been looking for a similar car for the past 30 years, and finally found it.

Andrew
 

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Andrew, I'd forgotten that you were one of the two - I won't use the term 'partners in crime' - high school guys who had fun with the car. But boy did Joe's car need a lot of work. However I have no idea what kind of shape it was in when he bought it. Still, it was a very good basis for a restoration.

I think what you've done - buying a very nice running example - is a very wise investment. And I don't mean just financially, though that is of course a factor, but also the time it takes for a restoration and the unknown variables that inevitably turn up. About the only thing I didn't rebuild/refurbish/replace on Joe's Spider was the differential (though I did make it look nice) and it went out on him not too long after he picked it up from my shop.

While I'm certainly not trying to tell you what do with Your car, but... Short of a major accident, I have the feeling it will be 'in the family' for many years to come, and perhaps be handed down to other generations. If so, (and quite possibly you've already considered this) I'd suggest putting away a few (or a lot) of spares over the years - just in case. My thought is if it gets driven a fair amount (I certainly hope so) it will need replacements. Perhaps in many, many decades, it will eventually need a restoration. Many bemoan the the thought of taking a nice car (even though it might be Very Tired) and turning it into a garage queen. (a) Best I know there are no laws in driving a very nicely refurbished car (b) In my opinion the current owner is returning it to close to new condition which will once again, in your Spider's case, hopefully after numerous miles on it, look and drive as it does now.

Enjoy!

Biba
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have no plans to restore. I have plans to maintain as is and enjoy.

There are a few small rust spots, but the car has been indoors, and will continue to be indoors, the rust areas have been there for years, and they're not really progressing, or structural. If I ultimately have to fix them, I will. The long-time owner was not a good driver, and there are many body dent and rust repair bills almost from when the car was new, so it's not pristine untouched. It's been fixed and repainted many times over. But it's an organic car, in a good preserved condition. Some dings, scratches, and the paint is crazed in places. It has lots of integrity.

Frankly, the three cars I've had painted to nice condition drove me nuts, because I'm not willing to leave them inside all the time and maintain them to that standard. I use my cars, including running my kids around, and in that kind of use they just aren't going to stay perfect. So starting out with a non-perfect one made sense. Better cosmetic condition would be wasted on me, and a waste of my money to pay for it.

Mechanical condition is another matter.

As to heirlooms, I'm fighting that battle around the house right now. I have the MGA Twin Cam my dad bought new, and which I've been driving and maintaining since 1975. I rebuilt its engine and trans 1990-1992 and great personal effort and expense. I don't particularly like it as a car (the Giulietta is better in every way), though as a family treasure I understand its value. My kids could give a ____ about it or any of my cars, and in fact my son encourages me to sell it, which would make more room and money for Alfas. That's what I'd like to do. It's my wife who doesn't want me to sell it. This is not an issue that's going to be settled easily.

Andrew
 

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As to heirlooms, I'm fighting that battle around the house right now. I have the MGA Twin Cam my dad bought new, and which I've been driving and maintaining since 1975. .......... It's my wife who doesn't want me to sell it. This is not an issue that's going to be settled easily.

Andrew
Andrew,

Didn't your mom ride around in that car when she was pregnant with you? Original family-owned car since new? Man, you can't buy that kind of history in a car. There are people (not me) who think that a twin-cam MGA would be the ultimate vintage sports car. They are pretty cool. If your wife likes to drive it, let that one be her toy. Easy for me to say, it's not in my garage!

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's the issue, space, time, and money. I could do a lot with what it's worth, not to mention that I rent a separate garage for it since my two spaces at home are full of Italian cars.

We got the MG when I was six months old. I know it's some folks' holy grail, but not mine.

Andrew
 

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No posts about this Spider Veloce in a long time because it just works great, is wonderful, and keeps amazing me and exceeding my expectations. Mostly I just drive it; it doesn't really have problems to write about. I leave that to the Berlina and the TI.

By way of work on this car, I've had to rebuild both rear wheel cylinders due to leaky seals, adjust the brakes, fix one rear axle strap, and weld a broken driver's seat back. Rewebbed the 1962-fabric seat belts with nice new red webbing with yellow trim from AutoPower in San Diego and new hardware, keeping the original buckles and clamps.

Checked the valve clearances a couple months ago and they're perfect, where Les Hurlock set them 20 years ago.

Car runs like an effing champ. Starts every time, idles perfectly, pulls like a train, sounds great, looks great. I am a full-on sedan nut and love my Giulia Super more than anything, but this Spider is good enough to turn my head. If I had to pick just one of them, I'd have a tough time. I never used to like convertibles, but this car has changed my view.

See pic below of it with its next-generation relative currently in the garage, built almost exactly 20 year apart.

Andrew
 

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Something to actually write about. When I drove it last week the charge light stayed on all the time. Yesterday I had time to troubleshoot. Hooking up a voltmeter at the battery, it would discharge to about 2500 then charge, but was inconsistent. Diving it to test the Marelli generator directly, the problem became clear when the Field connector fell off after undoing the nut; the wire was broken at the connector, making intermittent contact. Installed a new connector and all's well.

Andrew
 

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Wow, two years without an update, and I've owned it four years now. The generator saga continued, eventually resulting in the front bushing disintegrating, allowing the armature to crash into the magnets. Required a new rewound armature, and Riteway in SF modified a Bosch front bulkhead, with bearing rather than bushing, to fit. Back into the car and all's well.
Took it out a couple weeks ago and it wasn't running as well as usual, so pulled the distributor and sorted the points etc. Now on the button. Took it out yesterday to look at a Spider in Discovery Bay and see a friend's new Super in Walnut Creek, and put 130 miles on it, mostly at 80 MPH, returning over 30 MPG. Pretty impressive for 75 cubic inches. What a great car.
Andrew
 

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Forgot to add: the gas gauge has always been flaky on this car. The gauge itself worked fine, but the sending unit was intermittent. Checked connections, ground, etc., and it didn't make any difference. Bought a new one from Jon Norman a couple months ago and finally installed it yesterday. Took some cringing, because the new on has spade connections instead of ring type on a stud, with nut. So I had to cut the original wires to put on spade fittings. Argh, the pain of changing something. But it works fine now, and you can't see the change. Still, I hate cutting 50 year old wires.
Andrew
 

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I should have taken a pic of the old and new senders. Alas.
Just changed the sender on my 65 Mustang, which is on the bottom front of the gas tank; guess what happens when you remove it? Not service friendly. It was however the original, so that's pretty good service.
Renewed the clutch arm silentbloc bushing last week, common to 750, 101, 105 cars, and the same bushing that's in 105 intake motor mounts for the carb strut. Spent about 45 minutes cursing it out, with a big C clamp and appropriate sockets to use as puller/drivers. A better method would have been to drop the whole piece out and do removal on a press. I froze the new bushing before insertion, in hopes it shrank a bit. It went in easier than the old one came out.
Gives a better feel to the better, and buys you a few mm of clutch adjustment. See pics for how they wear.
Andrew
 

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OK, installed a new oil temp sending unit (this got discussed on the 750/101 list) while I was doing an oil change today. Didn't get it hot enough to tell if it works, but we'll see. Here's a pic. It has a spade, not a bullet fitting. Note the Hurlock spin-on filter adapter; Les built this engine and trans, and in fact maintained the car from the mid 70s til it got sold to Texas in the late 90s.
Also a pic of the top "drape" and how the snaps work, which folks have asked me about.
Finally, a view of the Marelli generator that Riteway in SF rebuilt and wound an armature for, and made a Bosch endplate fit to replace the broken Marelli end.
Andrew
 

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