Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
1962 Giulietta Spider, 1965 Giulia TI, 1969 GT Junior, 1971 Spider, 1974 GTV 2000
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had any experience with purchasing reproduction Giulietta spider dash tops, or is there a historic thread on ABB on this subject?

Options I have found include
1) Centerline Alfa out of the USA (in stock) - Dash Cover 101 Spider | Centerline International
2) Classic Alfa (unavailable now) - 750-430 DASH TOP - LEFT HAND DRIVE 750 & 101 SERIES SPIDERS

Are there other options?

if not, has anyone had experience with the Centerline Alfa offering? Good quality? Anything to be aware of if replacing?

Many thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
There was a recent discussion about this started by Bill Gillam. I think the outcome was the best-fitting and the best looking reproductions are not being made anymore. I think he made his combo to look and fit better from other ones.

I bought one (not Centerline) made in fiberglass and it didn’t fit right at all, and not enough vinyl at one point of it above the gauges hump to fit under the bottom of the windshield rubber. Too expensive to ship back. I’ve had to carefully heat up the fiberglass and then widen the inner lip to fit onto my dash on the driver’s side. The vent holes are not cut correctly, way too thin, so I have to trim those, and the mirror holes do not line up. They should have left those out to be drilled later by each new owner. So be careful where you source one of these. I’m still not happy how mine sits on top yet, but I’m still trying to get my windshield frame to fit.

Have you tried Re-Originals? Sorry, no experience with theirs but they usually have quality-made stuff.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,587 Posts
YEARS ago, before I re-upholstered my '65 dash top correctly, I bought 2 different dash tops. The first one came from a USA supplier, was fiberglass and was an EXACT replica of the cowl. That is to say, if the steel was removed, this would replace the steel UNDER the dash top. Why? Who knows. Sent it back. Next I tried a high dollar replica from a supplier in Europe, and the fit was so poor (windshield out) that modifying it to fit any 101 spider was going to be a huge undertaking. Returned that for a considerable shipping loss.
Windshield out, and old upholstery removed (and saved for years!) I cleaned the dash top of factory adhesive down to original paint, and considered options.
Bought many different types of vinyl that had the same, or similar surface pattern as the original material, and began experimenting stretching that material with muscle and heat, to find one that might work. Then I bought a steel nosing strip from a 1300-101 car, made a mould and replicated the strip in fiberglass of varying thickness. (Still have the steel original)
The plan was to create a nosing strip that the vinyl fabric could be captured underneath. I made some too stiff, others too flexible. Studs were attached to this strip with more resin and fiberglas. Lightly installed, I upholstered the dash top and nosing strip with 1/4 inch closed cell foam using an upholstery glue that could be removed with benzine. I then tediously hand and heat stretched fabric over the foam, nosing strip now tightened down to capture the front edge. Hardest were wrinkles under the nosing and over the instrument hump. The fabric was glued to the foam with the same adhesive used for the foam to dash. The front edge of the fabric is captured under the windshield as was original. Completed, the job appears exactly as the original dash top did when new. It has now aged perfectly for about 10 years with no deterioration or changes. It IS padded as original.
This little job took ALL WINTER to complete. I will NEVER do it again. I HAVE written up this discussion at least once before, somewhere on the BB. A move since this job was completed has lost my mould, and my original factory fabric, but I recently found the curved steel used under the factory dash cover, and my steel 101-nosing strip.
As I consider this job a labor-of-love, do not attempt this DIY unless your in for the long haul. Try to find a replica top that fits, if today one exists that might fit. Re-creation of the original, made to last, was NOT simple.
I hope this is helpful to other BB members.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,363 Posts
Of course, this is just one more item in the long list of parts that did not come with my '64 Giulia Spider, so replacement is no choice for me.

A quick search reveals the following Dashboard Cover/Dash Caps, to be available; there may be others:

Elvezio – Now, Only €245.92, (down from €300.02) $271.23

OKP - €465.00 - $512.86

Re Originals - $351.00

Mr. Fiat - $390.00

Centerline Int - $398.00

But, how do you know if either will fit as they should?

Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Ray, I know one that doesn't.... After reading Gordon's post I'm afraid I'm going to mirror his "ALL WINTER" effort. It's coming back off to dial in a bit better. Maybe new vinyl and now with foam. I shouldn't have to do it, truthfully. But if it's not right, it couldn't be a more visible area to stare at whether driving, or standing there looking at it every day shaking one's head.

I do have my original vinyl pad for a pattern and vinyl grain proof, though pretty dry and cracked. I also have the two original metal frame parts with the studs that went under it, but that's for someone else to maybe use who just luuuuuvs fiberglass resin. I think someone good on an English wheel with flat steel could knock this out in the morning by lunch and it wouldn't be as thick as fiberglass.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,363 Posts
I understand the reluctance to identify a seller of defective parts. Therefore, please send me a PM and warn me off any suppliers selling non-fitting dash caps.

I've got to get one, but I do not want to spend a bunch of $$$ returning a non-fitting item. I've eaten too many of those costs, already!

Thanks

Ray
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,587 Posts
Here's the issue Ray. The suppliers of ill fitting ones CHANGES! I've actually tried 2 that did not fit over the years, one was small being a F-glass replica of the cowl/ dash top, the other would not fit over the instrument dome AND the rest of the dash at the same time, seemingly warped.
Suppliers do NOT make these but buy them from other suppliers that buy from the makers, and those change with the patterns over time. It would be nice to KNOW which one fits from who and when, but that is not a constant. You will need to be prepared to gamble on this one because even IF a BB member has one that fit HIS car, the next one from the same supplier may NOT fit your car.
Best advice is to buy from a supplier willing to accept returns. Thats what I did and returned 2 before I decided to make my own.

Best, Gordon
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,363 Posts
Here's the issue Ray. The suppliers of ill fitting ones CHANGES! I've actually tried 2 that did not fit over the years, one was small being a F-glass replica of the cowl/ dash top, the other would not fit over the instrument dome AND the rest of the dash at the same time, seemingly warped.
Suppliers do NOT make these but buy them from other suppliers that buy from the makers, and those change with the patterns over time. It would be nice to KNOW which one fits from who and when, but that is not a constant. You will need to be prepared to gamble on this one because even IF a BB member has one that fit HIS car, the next one from the same supplier may NOT fit your car.
Best advice is to buy from a supplier willing to accept returns. Thats what I did and returned 2 before I decided to make my own.

Best, Gordon
OK, I acknowledge that there is no way to ensure that a dash cap will actually fit as it should because items that are available come from any number of producers working from who knows what patterns. Che pasticcio!

Question: How similar would a given bare-dash Giulia Spider be to another Giulia Spider in the same condition? Could you laser scan a bare dash and then scan a Giulia Spider with a correct-fitting dash cap in place in order to create a CAD model of dash cap that would be as close as possible to fitting as it should? I know a lot of refining would be required, but it seems that there must be a way to arrive at a solution.

I understand the need for craftsmanship, but we’re 60-70 years after-the-fact and it seems absurd that there are items being sold for prices ranging from $250-$512 + shipping that will most likely have to send back to the seller at the buyer's expense!

We’ve had a host of projects proposed here on the BB; surely there are some engineers just chomping at the bit to be the individual that solves this problem.

I’d rather pay a bit more upfront for the correct fit, than pay for shipping twice and be sorely disappointed and frustrated. And I could work ALL YEAR and not be able to produce one! To begin with, I've never seen a Giulia Spider in the flesh with one installed, so I'm really behind the sticks!

Ray
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top