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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I, like many of you have found finding a early series Giulia Super grille with an unbroken lower centre heart quite a difficult undertaking. I was lucky a couple of years ago when friend spotted one on the wall of a metal polishing shop which I then purchased as quick as I could contact the guy!

Due to the metal originally used for these hearts and some poorly designed narrow weak points. I'm toying with the idea of getting some made up. I recently visited a 3D prototyping business to get a better idea of the process. It could be 3D scanned and then refined to create a file that a mould and prototype can be produced from, but a better way would be to 3D model and 'improve' the design by slightly thickening some areas without impacting on the appearance.

The design and prototype phases aren't particularly cheap but worthwhile to get a good product. I would be looking at creating an outer grille heart piece by vacuum casting with ABS (a plastic with good impact resistance and toughness) which would then be chromed and the stud fixings attached.

It seems it would cost between $250-$300 a piece to produce a short run. I don't know if this adds up for people.

Thoughts? Anyone tried this before?
 

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Hi Derek,

I would be interested in one if you went ahead with production. I was thinking of looking into making a repro lower heart out of stainless steel (not original I know, but also not as fragile). I thought it might be possible to make the outer heart by bending up some stainless "C" channel and cutting to fit the profile - what do you think?
 

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Hey Bill, yes I think there could be a simpler(and cheaper) way to do it. I'm sure it wouldnt be too hard to bend and beat something that would fit. Perhaps if I do some drawings and 3Ds myself and post the pics to see what might be the best way to go.

I guess I am forward thinking because I would be devastated if I broke mine down the track.
 

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Me too. I have come across someone on the BB who apparently has two, and they are for sale for around the price you mention, but they need restoring and the quoted price while totally understandable given the excellence of the work is totally out of the league I can afford. So if there was another option it makes sense.
 

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This topic has been discussed before on the BBoard, but more in terms of sourcing a new casting. The inquiries never bore fruit due to the high front-end expense of recreating a die casting and the limitations of other casting methods. Using 3-D prototyping and alternate materials certainly has some appeal and I think there is a (small) market. There are certainly more one-piece Super grilles around than there are sound hearts. I know I'd be a customer at that price point, despite the fact that I finally found a decent complete grille for my Super.
 

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In the earlier thread, I refer to having poked around, not sure where I wrote up my results, but I did somewhere. I talked to an aluminum foundry in Richmond CA, who said the piece was too thin to reliably be cast in sand. Not enough material to ensure good results. I also talked to Cirecast in SF, who do lost-wax castings of great detail and complexity for cars, furniture, jewelry, you name it. I spent a half-day being lectured by the owner, a real character, and it was an education. He said they could do it, but pricing would start at $10,000 for initial work and go up from there, and that was just for the casting, much less machining, polishing, chroming, drilling for attachment studs. I could not see any reasonable way to make it work economically with numbers like that, and he was unable or unwilling to commit to a specific total cost for a set number of grilles.
If someone comes up with a cheaper/better way to go, by all means I'm in at a few hundred a grille. China? You can take an original, get a 3D scan done or model done, send the file or 3D model to China, and they can probably make a die to cast them for the cost of the lost-wax method. And they might not need polishing if made in a die.
I assume the originals were made in a die, from the look of the finish.
Andrew
 

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Nice work Derek. Yea, I'd be in at that price point. I just bought a NOS upper piece on e-Bay. It that was not too expensive (Euro 90). And it looked to be in very nice condition, with a good badge even.

Has anyone tried talking to one of the "good at finding" parts houses guys and asked them look around yet? For example, Highwood just found me some NOS knife-edged mushroom-shaped early clip-on hubcaps and Re-Originals then sourced a supplier of them new, who found the old dies. Just a thought. More and more is always coming available as need pushes folks to look harder.
 

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I believe Matt from RO looked for the die some years ago but couldn't come up with it. That would sure be a solution though.
The upper grille halves are relatively plentiful, as they don't normally get broken.
Andrew
 

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In case anyone needs a go-by, here is a pic. (PS: Derek, this were taken before I fitted on the rubber trim strip you suggested).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's one of the threads Bob mentions, worth a look:

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-parts-sale-wanted/24885-wtb-giulia-super-grill-heart.html

$250-$300 seems like a lot for plastic but given the alternatives (none), may be pretty reasonable. If I had a Super with a broken grille, I'd be in.
Ha! I even participated in that thread. I do remember it now.

Like Andrew found when he enquired, the fella I talked to had trouble giving me a ballpark figure. It seems they want you to start the process, ie 3D design phase, and then you get hit with the one off prototype quote, hope it works, before moving on to production.

Not good timing for me financially at the moment to undertake this. But I do feel confident in accurately 3D modelling this part in the right software so that could save some cost.

I agree that finding the original cast would be optimal but who is putting their hands up to look? Volunteers?:p

Yes the price could be kept down by outsourcing to China. Anyone have any experience there?

Anyway, I think I will start by modelling the part and see where it goes from there.
 

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Good topic. Am looking to source the bonnet section of this grille, can anyone help with suppliers etc.
thankyou Tony
 

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As I stated above, I just found a nice top piece LINK on e-Bay Italia. As Il Vecchio (Peter) often says, "it is your friend". Shipping is a bit high though. I have seen none elsewhere so far.
 

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Good topic. Am looking to source the bonnet section of this grille, can anyone help with suppliers etc.
thankyou Tony
Did you see this post from Alex in the UK?
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/716773-post27.html

Worth dropping a note to see if he has any left. I was thinking of getting one when he first posted this but mine is in OK shape, and a new one would make the lower section discussed in this thread look bad. :)

-Jason
 

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These stamped ones Alex advertised are the later "rationalized" style, not the same as the early split cast grilles we're talking about here. You certainly can convert to this style, but you need the mesh side pieces and "figure 8" light bezel/surrounds to have the complete setup.
Andrew
 

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Alex was selling both later style complete grille hearts and a few upper sections for the early split hearts, which Tony is looking for.
 

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Good topic. Am looking to source the bonnet section of this grille, can anyone help with suppliers etc.
thankyou Tony
Tony,

I have three of these, all brand new. Pics are somewhere on the BB! Send me an email (or PM) if you're interested.

Alex.
 

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I've set the dogs loose in the meantime looking for some. These guys have cultivated lots of good contacts in Italy. I realize this may have been tried before, but it doesn't hurt to beat the bushes again. If one just had the time to cruise around Italy looking at all the little resto shops and small parts resale aggregators, I'm sure you could restore many new early Supers from the parts. I was just there and saw room upon room and table after table of hard to find and outright unobtanium stuff. Just no more room in the luggage.
 
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