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On 102 series, FUSI is ALWAYS wrong.

NEVER, I repeat, NEVER do the chassis numbers correspond to motor numbers on two liter 102 series Alfa models. The first 432 engines were actually left over 1900 blocks fitted with different heads and when the chassis components were finished the first available block was put into it. Only up to 1960 are the numbers both stamped on the firewall plate. Luckily, after 1959 the engine numbers are no longer stamped anywhere except on the engine itself.

That was even true of the 2000 sprint, the famous car designed by a young Giugaro for Bertone. For example, the show car on the Alfa stand at the Brussels Motor show which I recently acquired was hurried to completion on December 24, 1960 (one of five made the first year) especially for that show. FUSI says the 1960 cars should have chassis numbers 5 to 10 (but the car is AR10205*00019). He also says the engine should be between 1 and 10. At least on that he is correct. The engine is AR00205*00008. But on no sprints, just as on no spiders or sedans, were either chassis number or engine numbers assigned in sequence or direct relationships. And even on this very first (or almost very first) sprint the engine number is only on the engine (but strangely, used as the VIN number for the title when finally first sold in San Francisco). It also seems that Alfa would not necessarily assign chassis numbers as the vehicles were finished (at least not on the very first few that were on the first run), but when started. That may explain why some of the first completed cars had seemingly later chassis numbers. They had somehow ended up being finished before others with smaller numbers. Another example of that situation occurred on the Giulietta spider.
 

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2 liter head on a 1600 block?

Hello Safira,

The Giulia 1600 S was a type of which a little more than 2000 cars were built (check Fusi for the exact number). The car had the Giulia Super 1600 interior and the 1600 cc block (00526). But instead of the Giulia Super 1600's 2 carburettors, the Giulia S had one carburettor. As already said, the Giulia 1600 S was an emission version that was cheaper than the Giulia Super 1600. In my opinion, marketing reasons were the main drive behind this version. I have the partsmanual for the Giulia 1600 S but it is in storage and I can't reach it at the moment. Maybe we should discuss this further in the 'Sedan 1963 - 1974' chapter.

A 2 liter head on a 1600 block? The 2 liter has a bore of 84 mm while the 1.6 liter has a bore of 78 mm. Does a 2 liter head fit on a 1.6 liter block? The '2.0' mark doesn't mean that it is a 2 liter. Check the block for the distance between the waterpump and the head: 0 mm for 1300, 25 mm for the 1600, 40 mm for the 1750 and 2000. And check your head for one of the following marks or a partnumber.

Ciao, Olaf
 

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Re: Cylinder head marks 3 and 4. Do you know what the difference is?
I have a Euro Spider 1750, build 1970 (Sept. 2). I has an exchange engine (probably from a German engine rebuilder) with mark no. 4.
Erik
 

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Jay, et al,

I find myself slightly bothered by the descrepancies between Fusi and "Storico" on 102 cars. I recently had an exchange with Storico in which they offered that two cars with serial numbers near and above 00200 were built in 1958. Fusi would like us to believe that serial 00066 was the last 1958 car. Both cars now have exterior color different than Storico claims they were delivered with, and both current owners suggest that the current color is original, not that described by Storico. Of course, it is hard to be certain of what is "original", but one can often tell if a color has been changed.

I realize that enthusiasts like to have a single, unimpeachable reference for such things, and Storico appears to be the generally accepted reference. However, it seems to me that they may have their own departures from accuracy, against which we have no further right of appeal.
 

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Fusi has limitations. Storico ditto.

Don. One of the difficulties of car sold by Alfa Romeo prior to 1960 (especially on two liter, of which I am most experienced), is that many times the numbers of the motors, rather than Chassis numbers, ended up on records as the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). And I am convinced that Storico uses the VIN numbers rather than chassis numbers so might have either. How can anyone expect consistency when things were never consistent in the first place. On Spiders Touring would made the bodies and a motor would be fitted. Remember the first 432 (or some number like that) were blocks identical to the late 1900 series. So, sometimes the number used in the reference is the chassis and for the very next car sold the engine number is used. REMEMBER THAT WHEN SELLING THE CAR THE DEALER WANTED TO SHOW IT AS THE NEWEST, NOT THE OLDEST. It always seemed strange to me after reading FUSI that my favorite spider has chassis AR 10204*00126 and engine AR 00204*00071 but was supposedly sold as a 1961. A car I once owned, but now in Sweden or Denmark was an early car with chassis No. AR 10204*000081 but was titled under the engine number 0020400450 (without either AR or asterick) as a 1959. I had to do a series of sworn documents to allow the car to be shipped into England, showing the the chassis number in relationship to the motor. Luckily both numbers were on the firewall plate. But the only rule is that THERE IS NO CONSISTENCY. I could give several more examples. Mrs. Hazel Rochestor thought she got from her friend, Hoffmann, of Hoffmann motors the very first two liter that came into the US. It was Chassis No. AR 10204*00017 (I still have the plate as well as the engine somewhere, but seem to recall the engine number as #47). Fusi has always been confusing because he always suggested that the first 15 numbers of two liters were reserved for special builders, and so I always thought the factory demonstrator I drove in 1960 had to be #16, but now I'm not so sure. Numbers were not important to me then and I never checked. Moreover, in the last ten years Drew Dawson of Friday Harbor, who buys and sells Alfa cars worldwide, had AR 10204*00012 for sale (he had to show me photos). I understand now that Alfa might complete some cars with higher numbers first and then as long as a couple years later start filling in between the numbers with later cars. Luckily, once the US in 1960 decided to use chassis number as the VIN, the numbering plates no longer were stamped with engine number -- just chassis number. From then on one can use whatever two liter engine for whatever car (at least if one keeps models consistent so as not to use spider engines in sedans or sprints or vice versa). Only those supposedly sold in 1959 or before have both engine number and chassis number on the plate on the firewall. OOPS, I guess I have to alert people as to numbers on Two liter Sprint. Fusi says the first year (1960) only ten were made -- AR 10205*00001 to AR 10205*00010. But that's just baloney. My sprint was the first car rushed close enough to completion on December 24, 1960 to be taken to Brussels for the January 19, 1961 Motor show. And the Chassis No is AR 10205*00019. The Vin, however, used the motor number AR 00205*00008 and the sales document says it was sold in 1962. I have read that quite commonly the Alfa factory would lay down a whole bunch of cars and work on them all at the same time, but not assign numbers in sequence. In fact with Giulietta spiders the first car is #15 (followed by #17 and #19). One more factoid, Adrian Ratcliff used to race "Piggy" a light blue two liter sprint AR 10205*00015 fitted with a 2600 engine that was specially sent to Vancouver by the Alfa factory because the doctor who ordered the car would not take delivery of it unless it had the newer and more powerful engine installed. No one knows where that two liter sprint engine went, nor does anyone know the number. And, finally, the engine of the only other two liter sprint still existing in the US is the one you and Bob Kabine, and Bob Thorne, et al saw and touched in Katy Texas near Austin. It does not have a sprint engine because someone took it (and its transmission) and fitted it to a white series three 1900 Touring Sprint a long time ago before anyone was the least interested it that car. I was informed that someone took the engine and transmission to put in a spider, but that's not so. I have just recently seen that white 1956 1900 sprint couple advertised for sale in Astoria New York (it did not sell), and more recently found on my email history from years and years ago that I also had received a PM from the previous owner who was wondering why he could not stop the oil leak at the rear of the top of the block. Same picture; same car. He was going to put on yet another head gasket, and I suggested he try laying down a silicon bead around the rear holes on the top of the block where the oil from the head passes back into the crankcase. No head gasket has metal crush inserts for there, and I know of no other way to stop that leak. Sorry to ramble, but didn't you say you have the leak problem. Try that when you replace the head gasket. It works. But don't fret Storico and Fusi. I have yet a third source, a massive two volume set by Stefano d'Amioco and Maurizio Tabucchi called "La vetture di produzione dal 1910 (ALFA ROMEO - Production carsa from 1910) which seems to bear hardly any resemblance to car numbers I have seen through the years although it does give numbers made over the years showing (1) hardly any consistent sequences, and (2) NO ACKNOWLEDGMENT of the fact that the chassis number and the motor numbers were always different and that the factory sometimes used one for VIN and sometimes the other. Frankly, if anyone ever shows up with both chassis number and engine number identical you know that can only be attributed to the skill of the uninformed using numbering tools. I have no idea why there is such consistently incorrect claim of "matching numbers" can come from. And I can't find either my chassis number or my motor number in the newest expensive book. Seems two liter cars were never all that great as to be kept track of. The books seems to suggest there was a big shake up in the management of Alfa in January 1959 and one of the famous engine designers left. Yet, it is so frustrating. In this book the authors claim that they have the original books showing who the cars were sold to and the numbers under which they were sold. Beware, once again, that one day the VIN used the car's chassis number, and the next day someone used motor number of the next one sold. I can think of no other explanation. Jay
 

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To which the only reply can be "well, of course".

As you know, I'm not even vaguely OCD about these things. That my car is pretty much "original" is primarily because the original engineering is good enough for me. The parts that aren't (FNM engine and Dayton wheels) are easily replaceable with OEM units. I just think the original 2-litre engine is underpowered, and of the 165X400 tires, well the less said the better.

My previous post was probably redundant. Alfa records are chaotic. Storico probably no better than others. People will worship their idols, I suppose.

I'm satisfied that my car is probably a 59. Both Storico and Fusi say it is, and serial 77 seems to fall about right. However, I don't think I have any of the original data plates. I bought virgin unstamped plates from Christian, so now I have to figure out what to stamp into the firewall plate.
 

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RHD 109 Ti Engine numbers?

Hi
Please help - some of my spare engines doesn't appear on Fusi's list. (no real surprise). Can anyone date them?
Engine numbers:
AR 109 01450
AR 109 03247
AR 109 03936

:confused:
 

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According to Wille R, Swedish Spider guro, these are the figures for 1750 Spiders - Round Tail and Kamm Tail:
- - Rondtail 1967-1970, Kamm tail 1969-1974
1967 854 LHD 1st May 67 Ch No 105.57.141.0001-0854
1968 18 LHD Ch. 0855-0872?
- 209 RHD 1st UK = Mar 68 Ch No 105.58.147.0001-0209
259 USA 1st USA = 68 Ch No 105.62.148.0001-0259
1969 914 LHD last roundtail 69 Ch No 105.57.141.1787
Grand total 1750 Veloce roundtails 3254
1st Kamm-tail -69 Ch No 105.57.1820001 Ch. 0873?-1787
- 285 RHD Ch. 0210-0495
1146 USA Ch. 0260-1405
1970 657 LHD Ch. 1788-2444
1 RHD last UK roundtail Jul 70 Ch No 105.58.1470674 Ch. 0495-0497
- 1426 USA Ch. 1406-2831
1971 596 LHD last = 105.57.1413036 Ch. 2445-3036
- 138 RHD 1st UK Kamm-tail = Apr 71 Ch No 105.58.1835001
last UK = Feb 72 Ch No 105.58.1235197 Ch. 0498-0632
- 1211 USA Ch. 2832-4042
1972 7 USA last USA = 72 Ch No 105.62.1484050
- - Ch. 4043-4050
TOTAL 4039 LHD
633 RHD
4049 USA
See more here: http://hem.passagen.se/veloce/buy1.htm
However, there are some mistakes like the total numbers of LHD models, the stated total is about 1000 units more than the count and total of each year production.
Re the 105.62 US version, it is said/written that no 1970 model year were build (due to updating the Spica injection system), so the 1426 build in 1970 probably all were 1971 model year; maybe build toward the end of 1970. My own 1970 105.57 LHD euro has no. 178 of the 657 build and was build on September 2 1970. 105.57 didn't have Spica, so maybe just due to unsold stock of Round Tail models.
Many in Europe considder 1970 Spiders being Round Tails - in the UK the Kamm Tails models wasn't introduced until 1971.
Erik
 

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According to the list, there were 995 1970 spiders built for the US market. I have been given a lot of grief for saying I had a 70 spider by people who say there werent any. WHY?
Simply because there were no 1970 model year USA Spiders. The Roundtails built in 1970 were sold as 1969 model year vehicles. So your 10562 Roundtail is a 1969. The build year is irrelevant.
 

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The graphs are in the book

Does anyone have a simple graph (or the data for a graph) of the production totals for Alfa throughout its history?

Something like the graph below for SAAB found here: http://www.saabhistory.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/saab_sales_specs1.jpg

I was wondering how ALFA's various owners (Ing. Nicola Romeo & C, IRI, FIAT) have affected production.
Hello Maldi,

The graphs are in the Fusi book 'Alfa Romeo Tutte le vetture dal 1910'. Maybe somebody made scans of them?

Ciao, Olaf
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Hello Maldi,

The graphs are in the Fusi book 'Alfa Romeo Tutte le vetture dal 1910'. Maybe somebody made scans of them?

Ciao, Olaf
The graphs in Fusi's book are grouped by model type, not cumulative as in the Saab graph (see example of Giulia graph below, which are the largest production volume). The production numbers listed above contain the same information in numeric form. In my opinion, a break-down by model results in too many graphs to post here.
 

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Fusi & Chassis number versus VIN number

All caveats apply to any use of the words "always" and "never".

Some confusion has been expressed on this thread about discrepancies between chassis numbers and VIN numbers. In general you will find that Alfa Romeo ALWAYS identifed their cars by the chassis number during a sale but sometimes the engine number would be listed as well. The same is generally true of most customs documents during exportation/importation but we cannot say "ALWAYS".

Anyone who looks at Fusi's charts with a bit of care can see some layout errors that are evident. This was probably due to typographer error but in today's world, they might be thought of as "copy-paste" errors that remained that remained that remained as the result of poor editing. Additionally, Fusi's charts (and others that come later) try to simplify the appearance of production into numerically contiguous segments and this was generally not what actually happened during production, particularly for the cars that were more "hand-made".

One can conceive of Fusi looking at Alfa Romeo records for December 31 of one year and January 1 of the following year and writing down what was implied by the numbers that appeared on that one day. If he had checked more carefully into the earlier week(s) and later week(s), he might have noticed that there were a considerable number of anomalies. Since he probably noticed some of these, it may be that he did not feel it was terribly important? It may be that he was not aware that we would take this stuff so seriously and so literally?

I believe the charts compiled by Fusi (and others) are useful as a general guide but you might find any one car (or grouping of cars) that could be an exception to the generalizations implied by any generalized charts. As with many references, the information presented is a starting point. More reliable information may come from other sources. The difficulty is that "other sources" may not be as convenient. And, while some information has undoubtedly been lost, if your car has actual evidence remaining, it may be that the most important "record" survives!

Museo Storico records are more specific about each individual car (where records survive) but it is unreasonable to think that there would be absolutely no errors. When faced with an apparent error, one should ask again for the data to be double-checked. It is easy to read information from an adjacent line in a ledger. Imagine the worker who is recording the data in the first place. Some of this clerical work was done almost certainly by someone(s) who perhaps had no personal insight into the actual production work? It is easy to conceive of the possibility that data was entered while someone was working rather too automatically? When it comes down to it, we have no way of knowing how many times the ledger was transcribed and therefor how many times there were possibilities for errors to be inserted.

If the evidence in your car is different than what is recorded by the record, then document what you find and live with it. But, it is always possible that "original paint" might have been obscured by new paint that was organized by a dealer in order to make a sale. It can be that "original paint" has no historical significance to a specific car. When it comes to production cars made in more than minimal numbers, I think it may be important to learn what was original but it is perhaps less important to stick with it during a restoration ... unless you happen to find that you have the only car that was painted "Bullscat Brown". As far as I am concerned, a repainted car is no longer original ... and that is often (but not always) a good thing.

Once a car was sold to a private owner, it needed to be registered as property of that owner, primarily in order to assign legal liability, establish some basis for taxation and become licensed for use on the road ... unless it was always intended to be a race car. Discussing road cars can get confusing from day 1 of a car's private life because different agencies used differing methods for establishing VIN numbers and dates of origin.

In Italy, a car was given a Certificate of Origin (Certificato di Origine = Cd'O) that acted as an official birth certificate. It could be assigned by the builder or by some other authorized entity. There were many authorized issuers of these documents but the result is that there was a specific day on which a car first existed as a legal entity. (This is not the place to discuss some confused instances in which a car was used before a Cd'O was assigned or had an earlier Cd'O that was replaced by another.) This Cd'O was used to generate legal paperwork and, in Italy it ALWAYS used the chassis number as the identity of the car. If no acceptable chassis number was found by some inspector during the car's life, then a number might be assigned and ONLY THEN might an engine number become repeated on the chassis (generally for older cars) with markings made to indicate that the chassis number had been assigned as a "Numero d'Ufficio". Every case is different when it comes to these sorts of numbering issues.

In the USA, we have had a hodge-podge of systems because each state had its own method of assigning VIN numbers. While it is tempting to think that the chassis number is always the VIN, this is not the case. For many years in the 1950's and 1960's (at a minimum), California and many other states defaulted to the engine number as the VIN simply because it seemed that the engine number could always be found whereas the chassis number often could not. The primary motivator for this apparently was that many early Fords had either no chassis number or had the number hidden once the body was installed. The problem with this system is that, if an owner changed the engine for any reason, it became legally desirable (if not legally mandatory) to change the recorded VIN. Regardless of any legal mandate, this VIN change was often not made at the time of an engine change. In some cases, where chassis and engines had matching numbers when new, the VIN became the chassis number by accident only once the orignally referenced engine was removed!

It may be important to remember that your car is probably most important to you. It is no longer as important as it once was to the former owners. It has probably not been individually important to Alfa Romeo once it left its warranty period. Nor is it important as an individual to the state in which you have it registered. You are probably the only person who truly cares how it should be known to the rest of us. So, if you wish for others to revise their records, it is you who will have to do the documentation and the bulk of the convincing. Aside from the fact that I am always gathering and updating records for these cars, it may be difficult to make anyone else care? There are procedures in place for correcting VIN numbers in most states. There may be no procedure for correcting records at Alfa Romeo, and in some ways, the original ledger should probably never be modified as it is a document that should remain as it is even though it is undoubtedly imperfect. We are lucky to have it as a resource, imperfect as it is. Some manufacturers cannot or will not report anything about what they did nor when.
 

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Fusi's job is surely "great" and heavy. Was the first.
Anyway there's another book, less expensive, written with best precision by Maurizio Tabucchi.
Don't know if it's still available. I own the italian version, "guida all'identificazione", but I remember an english version is done, "identification guide".
I found errors in Fusi's numbers about my ex 1750 GT Veloce ('71) chassis n. 0138etc. If you look, you can't find this number. It's a 1971 production car, as by Elvira Ruocco's (Archivio Storico) letter.
Recently was published a new D'Amico/Tabucchi job, in 2 books. But I suggest the Tabucchi "Identification guide" if you need good precision.
 

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I bought virgin unstamped plates from Christian, so now I have to figure out what to stamp into the firewall plate.

Don P, Can you please provide contact details for Christian. As you can see from my latest post on the Satta Special thread I have put incorrect info on the existing identification plate and need a new one to correct this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
So are there any data for post-1972 cars in Tabucchi's book? What is the engine no that goes with AR 2201461 chassis ('73 1.6 Junior)?
Yes, the 1st edition of D'Amico & Tabucchi goes to 1996, and the 2nd edition goes to 2007. However, their information is based on the Alfa Romeo archive, while Fusi's information also included personal notes about engine number ranges. All that D'Amico & Tabucchi say about 105.03 cars for 1973 is that the chassis numberts range from 2198851 to 2202250 and that the engines should be tipo 00536.
 
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