Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 20 of 112 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
... I know this is 100% my personal opinion but well heck work is boring and I'm simply disappointed.

I now wonder why many of you are even interested in Alfa Romeos?, there are definitely many better and more reliable cars out there, even more exciting cars.

Why did I get into Alfa Romeos?

Well my father is a passionate motor racing and car enthusiast and he had all these wonderful old motor racing year books. In my impressionable years I read these books many times and I just got completely caught up in the romance of motor sport, and thus Alfa Romeo. Fact is if you have a heart and are big time into motor sport you can't help but respect Alfa Romeo. While they were not there at the very begining it was not long after and they have never stopped since, and infact must have seriously compromised the company to continue playing.

I thus view Alfa Romeo above Ferrari for this reason, because Ferrari is a new player and really took over the role ... and their road cars have much less in common with their race cars. Especially because Ferrari does not race sportscars seriously anymore.

Thus why did I buy a 1750 GTV?

Well heck look at what you get, a road car that owes so much to that racing bug that is Alfa Romeo. We are not talking minor connections like say the paddle shift in the F430 Ferraris today, we are talking 100% connections. That motor (design), that gearbox, that differential DID indeed prove itself over and over and over again on many famous race tracks all over the world.

How can you not get excited about that. SZ's, TZ's, GTA's and GTAm's you name them, they all raced with a derivative of that very engine that is in my car. We are not talking just racing stripes here, or naming the car after the companies last race win (like the Ferrari Daytona for example), we are talking the very same engineering.

Read more and you will discover the Jano cars and yes how I would love to own any car that Jano was involved with, but **** I'm pretty happy with what I've got. I own a classic road car that is awesome to look at (but built crappy ;)), great to drive and has a 100% direct connection to what to me makes Alfa Romeo, well er, Alfa Romeo: their racing history.

What I cannot understand, even with modern technology understandably improving things, is why you would want to remove an engine that has all this to be replaced by nothing but a mass produced production line number that has achieved nothing, nothing at all but move a few boring road cars around. Road cars that have not tested themselves on the Targa Floria, or Laguna Seca, road cars that have not upheld the very image of their company ... all just units sold to keep accountants happy.

If when you sit in your Alfa Romeo, or open the bonnet, honestly cannot feel that history, feel that you are part of it ... well I suggest you start reading, read about Alfa Romeo and hopefully your car will become more than just a neat little car to you.

People who lust after or own Ducati's will 100% understand what I am saying here. Just about every single Japanese bike built has a better and more powerful engine ... but that is not all there is to automotive enthusiasm. There is much more romance to it than that. Especially to us 'road' people [track people do indeed just want more power :D].

Best
Pete
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,079 Posts
I take it you're referring to non-Alfa engine conversions? Lot's of people shove 2L Alfa engines into their originally equipped 1300, 1600, 1750 engined Alfas - no history lost there? Personally - I don't have much opinion on the subject - to each his own, but I do get what you're saying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Nice rant ;).

However, history and nostalgia can come a very distant second when you are staring down a very large bill to only make your car a little bit faster. I know that's not exactly what you are saying but it's still a relivant (IMO) concideration.

Also, every car manufacturer had to start at some time in motorsport. Would you call Mazda, Toyota and Honda any less passionate about motorsport than Alfa Romeo? They started late compared to Alfa too, but Mazda were all but kicked out of LeMans with their 787B, Honda dominated the turbo era of F1 and Toyota have achieved in many other forms of racing.

Restoration or improvement and modification? There is always room for improvement, but there is no real room when restoring ;)

Car manufacturing is a business first and formost. Ferrari and Alfa Romeo were broke befor Fiat, the builder of more often than not, mundane cars, took over. Motorsport is deffinately a passion for enthusiasts but is still realy a business. I doupt the product development that occurs in motorsport would be doing the rounds in production cars in this day and age, as it did in the past.

BTW, there are many legondary engines out there. And plenty come from car manufactures with a lot less exadurated arm waving 'passion'.

End rant :p
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Duk,

Understood; but then why buy an old Alfa Romeo if that history, etc. does not ring some bells. Heck there is NO other reason, like I said there are many better built, faster, etc. cars. Surely people are not buying OLD Alfa Romeos because they think they are cute? ;)

And also if say Toyotas relatively modern motor racing history pushes your button, why buy a 60's/70's OLD Alfa Romeo ... ?

Pete
ps: Personally I'm into 60's and early 70's cars, since then we have simply added electronics ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
:D
And also if say Toyotas relatively modern motor racing history pushes your button, why buy a 60's/70's OLD Alfa Romeo ... ?[/i]
Both manufacturers have produced some fantastic cars that I would love to own, but I still can't own anything that is standard (always room to improve). Maybe when I get older, things will stay as intended :cool:.

Personally I'm into 60's and early 70's cars, since then we have simply added electronics ...[/i]
And variable valve timing, multistage inlet manifolds, massive improvements in turbo charger and supercharger design, effective all wheel drive systems, huge improvements in suspension and chassis design......

I will 1 day have a Montreal, taken out to 3ltrs and with a nice programable engine management system running the show. A nice combination off classic and modern :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Conversions/modifications have their place. I'd rather see a car destroied by someone experimenting as opposed to sitting under a tree filled with pidgeons. I must admit that I have committed sins against some cars such as the tiime that I put a Nail Head Buick engine in a Austin Healy 100. The outcome was terrible. Another time I put a Ford 289 in a XKE. The outcome was nothing less than staggering. The engine was more powerful, lighter, & the car handled better. What more could one ask.

My crowning acheavement was my Toyota Land Crusier. I liked the car because the chassis was tough and there was room as opposed to a Jeep CJ5. The Toyota got a Chevy 350, automagic trans, power steering, tilt telescope steering column, power brakes, & Detriot Lockers. Though I got many snears from the purists, that old Land Crusher would go where it was pointed and gave me faithful service for 25 years.

Sure some conversions raise eyebrows but where would we be without them. Consider such conversions as Shelby's 260 Ford into an AC Ace and look where that lead.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sure some conversions raise eyebrows but where would we be without them. Consider such conversions as Shelby's 260 Ford into an AC Ace and look where that lead.
When this conversion was done it was done for a purpose AND more importantly when these cars were NEW. Completely different ball game than playing with historic/vintage/classic cars.

Again surely most buy a classic car to relive, enjoy the cars from the better period.

If you want to play "I'm the best hotter upper", why pick a classic ... I guess this same topic was debated back in the 50's when people were hotting up Model T Fords ;)
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Again surely most buy a classic car to relive, enjoy the cars from the better period.
Are you saying that there aren't any good, enthusiastic cars in this day and age?

If you want to play "I'm the best hotter upper", why pick a classic ... I guess this same topic was debated back in the 50's when people were hotting up Model T Fords ;)
Surely even a classic car can be improved? Even using current day tyres, by your logic, would be a modification, but also an improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Are there quite a few non-Alfa conversions being done in Oz then? I think they're still quite rare in the UK. I agree that I think the conversions arise from pragmatism - a Nissan turbo is easy to get hold of and tune but in an ideal world, who wouldn't prefer a twin charged Nord like Buzzed's:cool:?

I reckon the quality of the Nord (and availability of TS's) does make conversions more rare in the UK, whereas if you look at old Escorts everyone is falling over themselvse to stuff in a zetec or duratec (Mondeo/Focus). Not that many races were won by a Pinto, I guess, but period options like a BDA are crazy money.

It's good being reminded of how much race lineage there is these cars:cool:. A nice consequence is that that race-honed engineering makes these cars hold up well in today's world.

Brad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Just for the record, of all the cars I've seen and read about over the years (15+), 1 of the cars that I most remember was in Fast 4's and Rotaries (many, many moons ago). It was a Benninca built 105 GTV(green) with a blow thru, twin Delorto turbo, intercooled, 2 ltr. The article also hinted at many other technically minor modifications, but to me, the whole car was very near perfect! A great combination of improved performance, tweaked handling and a smoothing of minor design flaws (aerodynamics that caused excess wind noise and chassis/body improvements) that produced a superb car that was so in keeping with the (non-electronic) era that it will remain in the memory banks for ever :D

On that note. Those that can't or won't reccognise modern performance cars for what they are, need to remember that back when Alfa Romeo were resetting some of those bench marks, I'll bet my left (smelly, old) steel capped work boot that there were people saying: "Back in the 'good old days', befor this new fangled 'Alfa Romero' thingy..........."

Times change, and they always will ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
ill make this simple..body styling or engine sound

my lloyd conversion useing an alfa milano PLATINUM suspension, engine, transaxle, frame sections, engine wiring(for now)....shes got ALOT more alfa in her than the original 1958 german stuff..in fact all thats left german is about 75% of the body

me i LOVE my gtv6 but the body style of the lloyd is something 1 off and VERY unique..i simply took it 1 step further..dropped the 600cc 25hp FWD with SCARY drum brakes in favor of ALL ALFA PARTS so it would be fast nimble fun ..and SAFE!!!...the result is a 78inch wheel base car that resembles a baby 49 merc woody wagon(without the wood) that weighs less than a race ready milano(while still being FULLY LOADED!) and the sounds of that singing italian under the hood.....all while being smaller than an old mini cooper

sure the purists scream and rant....but some of us want something FUN and unique..i picked alfa as the milano fell into my lap at the right time and right price(free) and i had fallen deeply in love with the way the gtv6 runs drives and corners...it seemed the only logical step for the lloyd


i think the jump to "newer" modern engines in ANY car(with the exception of idiots and there chevy 350's cause they do it just to follow the heard) is

#1 reliability
#2 parts availability
#3 more power for less$$$
#4 fuel economy

the cars we pick to swap into is generaly out of love of the body/interior..and we want to improve on the faults or stumbling blocks of the suspension/engine/trans ....older alfa stuff has its limits..and can only be imrpoved so much before your spending more than its worth and steping WAY over the lifeline and reliabilty..let alone fuel economy or safety.....we put bigger brakes from all sorts of cars and companys on our cars and no one even thinks twice..same goes for most of the suspension..all in the sake of "improvement"..same goes for a transmission...if there was something availible we would be using it

personaly i see a honda motor swap into a alfa the same way i see a "new" alfa motor swap into an alfa..its a step FORWARD!......now a chevy 350 on the other hand...is just some idiot following the crowd of 350 owners "cause its simple and cheep".....if your going to do an engine swap atleast have the balls to be somewhat unique about your choice of parts

ive got my selection of classics..alfa into the lloyd was like a fine pair of hottys being brought together....my 58 ford isnt stock but its all "era" stuff..same goes for my 67-69 cudas..the gtv6 is essentialy stock....me i strive for "unique" ..if i start seeing LOTS of gtv6's around localy id sell it or change it drasticly....the lloyd ive seen 1 trashed one perminantly parked..1 restored "coupe" at a show i was at..lets just say ill NEVER see one like mine..the 58 ford..a total of 8 ive seen and 5 of those are/were in wreckers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
sh0rtlife,

I like the way you think.

My car is not a sacred holy object. Nor have any of my other cars been that I have "improved". In a way it is a shame to butcher a rare valuable car. But hey I couldn't afford any of those anyway. Though I have defiled many cars I can draw the line.

A friend of mine had a '20 or '30 something Bentley. The car was a ratty driver with a nice interior, if you could call engine troubles every time he took it outside of the city limits a driver. But it could turn chicks heads from 100' away. He was so frustrated with the engine and the projected cost of real repair that I was asked to install a 250cid Chevy 6 in the car so he could enjoy the car on a Sunday afternoon without fear of a breakdown.

Though the car would have been more reliable and had twice the power I just couldn't bring myself to do it. That and the back of the Chevy block would have interfeared with the steering box. Frustrated, the car just languished in his garage with flat tires and cat hair. It was a shame.

In retrospect an engine transplant would have given the owner many pleasurable miles and who knows how many chicks he could have picked up. Instead the Bentley just rotted away waiting for the time & money to do a "proper" repair to the Bentley engine. Though an engine transplant would have devalued the car I think it was worth less after rotting away from neglect in a damp garage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
yeah its one thing if the car is genuinely a "special" car..with a very limited# made and in descent enuf condition to keep it stock

your right on that bently..its better to swap an engine than let the car die slowly..in that situation i would have made as FEW mods to the car as posible to do the swap so that in time the original engine could have been dropped back in as if it had never been removed thus keeping the car on the road but still capable of being brought back to its former glory

with my lloyd i posted a few pic's here and got flamed by the purists....and got flamed by the micro car purists as well on other places

....i saved a milano platinum from going to the impound yard as NO ONE WOULD BUY IT!!!..yeah it was a platinum 500$ forsale for more than 6months localy. had an oil leak but ZERO RUST! and descent paint/interior...the 1958lloyd is a shame i cut it up more so than the platinum..as its a rare car at this point...but the ENTIRE floor was gone..very little other than the body was even useable..short of the engine/trans/suspension..but 0-60 in 1min-15sec at a top speed of 62....the car would have NEVER been "fun" let alone practical..and then there was the safety factor of those TINY TINY drums and ever so tiny master cyl......and should i break ANYTHING on the engine or trans..no parts are available..altho "some" VW parts do fit.....overall i assessed the project step by step and said to myself..what will make ME want to drive the tires off the car?..what will keep me grinnin?......now that "some" of the micro and alfa community have seen the car in person..minds have been changed.....i built something that will indeed make any occupant grin and any onlookers scratching there head wondering *** there looking at while it just oozes cool....

i saved 2 cars from CERTAIN death!!! and made one hell of a unique beast..not all that far from finished
sh0rtlife/1958 lloyd - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

the sad part is when someone BUTCHERS a car and doesnt finish it or does a piss poor install that could have been done cleaner and smoother

my personal fav is "what-if" cars...like a monty v8 stuffed into a spider but done as if the FACTORY had done it...or maybe a 2.5v6 spider complete with plat/TS transaxle?..im not talking a perfect 100pt resto..im talking a daily driver done up as if it was a factory prototype/test mule....the stuff that designers said "hey what about this" and some exec turned em down......to me those are more valuable than a "special" limited edition "production" car....short of stuff like the callaway gtv6..i view the callaway as a "protoytpe"/what-if car....it just made it off the paper into reality ..but in such small numbers


theres a time for being "pure" and a time for makeing something "fun"..some cars are simply to far gone to bring back to "pure"......and lets face it how many bone stock restored spiders lined up in a row at a car show does it take before youve seen soooooo much of the same thing that you lose enuf intrest and quit looking over every inch?.....then this one spider comes along with subtle touches and something "different" and rekindles your interest to start looking em over again...a line of all the same thing is like traffic on the freeway...BORING!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
yeah its one thing if the car is genuinely a "special" car..with a very limited# made and in descent enuf condition to keep it stock

your right on that bently..its better to swap an engine than let the car die slowly..in that situation i would have made as FEW mods to the car as posible to do the swap so that in time the original engine could have been dropped back in as if it had never been removed thus keeping the car on the road but still capable of being brought back to its former glory

with my lloyd i posted a few pic's here and got flamed by the purists....and got flamed by the micro car purists as well on other places

....i saved a milano platinum from going to the impound yard as NO ONE WOULD BUY IT!!!..yeah it was a platinum 500$ forsale for more than 6months localy. had an oil leak but ZERO RUST! and descent paint/interior...the 1958lloyd is a shame i cut it up more so than the platinum..as its a rare car at this point...but the ENTIRE floor was gone..very little other than the body was even useable..short of the engine/trans/suspension..but 0-60 in 1min-15sec at a top speed of 62....the car would have NEVER been "fun" let alone practical..and then there was the safety factor of those TINY TINY drums and ever so tiny master cyl......and should i break ANYTHING on the engine or trans..no parts are available..altho "some" VW parts do fit.....overall i assessed the project step by step and said to myself..what will make ME want to drive the tires off the car?..what will keep me grinnin?......now that "some" of the micro and alfa community have seen the car in person..minds have been changed.....i built something that will indeed make any occupant grin and any onlookers scratching there head wondering *** there looking at while it just oozes cool....

i saved 2 cars from CERTAIN death!!! and made one hell of a unique beast..not all that far from finished
sh0rtlife/1958 lloyd - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
YouTube - 1958 lloyd fire up

the sad part is when someone BUTCHERS a car and doesnt finish it or does a piss poor install that could have been done cleaner and smoother

my personal fav is "what-if" cars...like a monty v8 stuffed into a spider but done as if the FACTORY had done it...or maybe a 2.5v6 spider complete with plat/TS transaxle?..im not talking a perfect 100pt resto..im talking a daily driver done up as if it was a factory prototype/test mule....the stuff that designers said "hey what about this" and some exec turned em down......to me those are more valuable than a "special" limited edition "production" car....short of stuff like the callaway gtv6..i view the callaway as a "protoytpe"/what-if car....it just made it off the paper into reality ..but in such small numbers


theres a time for being "pure" and a time for makeing something "fun"..some cars are simply to far gone to bring back to "pure"......and lets face it how many bone stock restored spiders lined up in a row at a car show does it take before youve seen soooooo much of the same thing that you lose enuf intrest and quit looking over every inch?.....then this one spider comes along with subtle touches and something "different" and rekindles your interest to start looking em over again...a line of all the same thing is like traffic on the freeway...BORING!
That's a big 10-4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
LOL :D! I remember giving you a bit of a ribbing over at GTV6.com for what I thought was a waste of a good Alfa, but after you said it was destined for certain death, I was a little (actually a lot) less put off.

And now having seen more of your work, I realy am impressed :D! Such a huge effort (I'd never even heard of a Lloyd, let alone seen 1). Age old hot rodding at it's best. And so unique and usable (when it's completed). Just no 350s under the bonnet/hood........... ;)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Are you saying that there aren't any good, enthusiastic cars in this day and age?
Yes, there are not many. The only car I would say is an enthusiasts car that is made today is the MX5/Miata. This is because Mazda has quite rightly worked out that massive grip and performance does NOT equate to a fun car to drive and thus they have agreed to NOT increase the cornering grip of this model ... thus the car is fun to drive.
Surely even a classic car can be improved? Even using current day tyres, by your logic, would be a modification, but also an improvement.
Again more grip does not mean more fun, simply means you can go faster.

It is NOT the speed in a road car that you achieve that causes fun it is how you go about it.

One of my first cars was a Simca 1000, it was a hoot to drive, sideways everywhere and at 100mph you felt like you were doing 250mph. I had more fun in that car than I would get from driving a brand new BMW M3. First of all you CANNOT get anywhere near the limits of a M3 on a public road, thus where is the fun ...

Modern cars have got it all wrong with their fat sticky tyres, abs, traction control, variable valve timing so any idiot can get the most out of the motor (once upon a time it took skill with the gearbox to keep the motor on song), big power so traffic light grand prixes can be won :yawn: ... yes better appliances, but not better or safer cars.

The ultimate enthusiasts car IMO is the Ferrari F40 (but I'd rather have a 250LM on those wonderful skinny tyres, drifting every corner) ... a car that yes is too fast for the public road, but a car that (I believe) is extremely challenging to drive on the limit, and has leaves that all up to the DRIVER.

I personally think a 105 series GTV, or maybe a Ferrari 308, is about the ultimate road going classic car. A car that at sensible and nearly legal speed you can be having an absolute ball. The car asks you to do the job right, to brake in the right place, to get on the throttle early and thus ensure that you are indeed controlling the car. A thoroughly rewarding experience.

I don't want to improve my 1750 GTV's weaknesses because all that means is I have to be less of a driver to make it 'dance' ... and as I am not racing her, who gives a flying fnck how fast she is. I'm after grins per mile not mph :).
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I really don't see why you don't want to improve on something you acknowledge is a weakness.

I'm all for keeping Alfas original, but to suggest that you would be less of a driver if you improved on a known weak point makes no sense to me at all.

But hey at the end of the day its you car not mine!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Modern cars have got it all wrong with their fat sticky tyres, abs, traction control, variable valve timing so any idiot can get the most out of the motor ... yes better appliances, but not better or safer cars.
Alright, now I am confused :confused:. How can a car that is more idiot proof by having more grip (and typically more predictable handling chacteristics, regardless of the actual tyres and that's not just understeer), ABS - I don't care how fantastic you think you are behind the wheel, even race car drivers make mistakes, panic and lock wheels, and traction control (some people just don't have a clue about driving, especially in the wet) not be a safer car:confused::confused::confused:

What is wrong with variable valve timing? Alfa Romeo are credited as being the first manufacturer to release it to the world. Honda and Mitsubishi in particular have produced some the raciest NA engines this side of Ferrari, certainly engines with higher power outputs/litre than the best Alfa Romeo engined Alfa.

Next you'll be saying that carbies and mechanical advanced distributors are better and more reliable than electronic engine management systems.

"I remeber back when cars use to have cable operated drum brakes. You never were quite sure if you were going to stop or not, but they made you feel like you were alive........... or about to die........":p

Is your glass half empty or half full?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,724 Posts
This is becoming a great thread! Continue gentleman.....
 
1 - 20 of 112 Posts
Top