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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
 

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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 ...
 

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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
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
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)
More grip does not equate necessarily to more predictable handling characteristics, thus it is NOT more idiot proof. Here is why: New driver gets into their near new car with too much grip and thus drives the car like it is always going to go around the corner. Because the car has never yet slid due to their wonderful sticky tyres they believe incorrectly that the car will always go around any corner, and thus are not learning correct driving technics.

A car that is low on grip will have slid a little bit and they will have learnt an appreciation that cars indeed are not like microwaves and simply always do as they are told. Also low grip cars usually slide slowly and predictably.

The end result of the modern car with too much grip is shown constantly on TV in Australia with these massive accidents and unfortunately hurt passengers, etc. When they do loose control they are going too fast and it all happens too fast for the inexperienced driver ... think Subaru WRX for example :(.
ABS - I don't care how fantastic you think you are behind the wheel, even race car drivers make mistakes, panic and lock wheels
When ABS came out the number of accidents INCREASED. People, not you and I because we read about cars, believe that ABS results in a car that stops quicker and thus they follower closer and the end result is a crash. Instead we should be all following atleast that 3 seconds behind, which is a very, very large gap and thus when a drama happens plenty of time to react.
Traction control (some people just don't have a clue about driving, especially in the wet) not be a safer car:confused::confused::confused:
And thus is taking control of the car away completely a good way to teach people ... [email protected]!. You don't teach a kid how to ride a pushbike by never letting him or her actually ride a push bike do you.

The modern car manufacturer is NOT interested in driver enjoyment anymore at all, they are only interested in how many gadgets they can add to their car because then they can charge more.

Also by us morons supporting this trend, the greenies and over scared people are moving more and more to taking control of our car off us completely. This is what they want ... and fnck me but nobody or no computer is going to take one of my biggest enjoyments in my life away from me. I love driving!!
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.
Yeah it is not that bad, but I love driving cars with full racing engines as I love the peakiness, it is completely addictive. The rush when the torque builds and the engine just goes nuts ... variable valve timing takes some of the fun away. My Sud that I raced was crazy, when it came on cam and while it really was not very good from that point of view ... **** it was a laugh a second.
Next you'll be saying that carbies and mechanical advanced distributors are better and more reliable than electronic engine management systems.
No, not at all, my Toyota has all that and I appreciate the fact that it starts every time and runs perfectly all the time ... but it also is one of the most boring motors I have ever driven, 4 valve and twin overhead cam and all.

In the end I want cars that demand from ME ... yes my GTV doesn't demand too much but it's a good balance and a fine engine, great gearbox, great brakes and nice enough chassis for a competent road car. I bet that if we drove from Sydney to Melbourne ... my GTV will do the trip pretty much in the same time as a GTV with say a 350Z motor ... for 2 reasons, cops and we are NOT racing :).

BTW: Somebody asked if I have ever modified a car?.

Yes I raced a 1976 Alfa Sud for 8 years (170 hp, etc.), and I build a club car that was a spaceframed chassis thing (512 kg and 200 hp :), which won the championship). The Sud was a bloody fast road car in the end, but it was not really that much faster on the ROAD than it was with just 105 hp ... other than say passing potential. But I modified it for the race track.

My Toyota family car needed new shocks, and in investigating this issue I found that the bump stops had been beaten out completely, and I always thought it was too soft in the front for idea handling ... being a round town car. Thus I increased the front spring rate and now it is a much better open road car.

But I would never change the motor in a car, that is it's soul IMO ... just change car. And I'm a big time Alfa Romeo nutter, so no other manufacturer will ever sit in any Alfa Romeo that I have anything to do with. Sacreligious!, but I can understand putting Alfa motors in other things ... but then I have to ask why not just buy the Alfa in the first place? ;).

BTW: I'm also a motor cyclist ... and my bike does not have ABS, traction control or anything, I keep myself alive, nobody else does. A very raw experience.
Pete
ps: My parents used to run a car repair garage and thus I've seen many engine conversions ... most poorly done :(. Plus I don't agree with the cost argument, as re-engine-ing a car costs mucho more than most think, hence why most are poorly done as short cuts are taken. Cheaper to buy a manual and rebuild your own Alfa motor :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
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!
As I was riding to work I thought again about this thread and in particular this post and it deserves are reply.

First or all 81Sprint, we are discussing Alfa Romeos, from a performance or handling point of view their weaknesses are SMALL. Yes the 105 series rear roll centre is too high but compared to 95% of other 60's and 70's cars their handling capabilities are very good.

Remember my car is 100% a road car and I am sure that I will be able to push the car hard enough to cause that required grin ... without having to lower the rear roll centre, or even change spring rates.

Thus again we are talking about modifying cars that other than build quality are miles better than other cars of their period. Ofcourse modern cars are better ... but as I've said before (if not in this thread, others) the more you modify a car the more it becomes like a newer car and similar. I go out of my way not to drive newish cars because I like to stay awake behind the wheel ... although lately I have not been sleeping well so hmmm maybe I should rethink that ;).

Did you really go out of your way to purchase a interesting Alfa Romeo to modify it so that it drives like every other boring newish car? Quirks are what make mechanical items interesting ... :). And again their isn't many in the motor/gearbox or handling department anyway!, they are good performers straight out of the factory.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
And Pete, adding power, tightening the suspension, and installing more sticky tires doesn't stop some of us from exploring the limits of our cars' performance. It just means the limits are higher than they would be for a stock car.
Exactly :), where is the fun in that when we now have 10 cops per mile and the volvo brigade limiting our fun. Thus by improving your car the limits and where the fun starts is now higher and thus not obtainable on a public road ... car is boringly on rails on every corner :(. Driver input has been reduced. But yes I'm sure you are enjoying yourselves too :).

Anyway the main reason for this thread was the engine changes, IMO some are removing art and replacing with a mass produced print.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
I'm fundamentally in agreement with you here, I think where we differ is that I'm modifying things to make the car handle/go/stop better (in my opinion) because I have this strange desire to tinker and "improve" wherever I can.

You (please don't let me put words in you mouth here) on the other hand would rather drive the car the way Alfa intended when it rolled off the production line, because you feel part of the experience is driving around some of the cars idiosyncrasies?

To be honest I never really had an understanding of why people restored cars to totally original. This thread has given me a better understanding of some of the reasons a person would be compelled to do so. Interesting....

Leon
Leon,

Great post, I don't always explain things well but you and I are on the same page.

Leon I also love to tinker, and I did that with my motor racing for 10 years but when I bought my 1750 I looked around and it is nearly impossible to find a 100% dead standard GTV anymore. This is ofcourse because they respond so well to modifications and most people that buy them are speed demons :D ... but to me the challenge to restore to 100% original is much higher and harder than the easy path of '**** don't like that part anyway', lets improvise and modify.

But yes tinkering is fun ... I say to all the tinkers, go racing!
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
This realy is a stupid statement! How can you call it a Silvia when the chassis, suspension, steering, wheel base, track and weight distribution is still an Alfa Romeo?

If I stuck my Alfa V6 in my Silvia, would it then be an Alfa??? I think not.

A car is not defined entirely by it's engine.

And as for your "jap crap" statement......... pull your head in.
Duk,

With all due respect it no longer is an Alfa Romeo in my book. But yes have to agree that legally it is as the chassis is the car.

The thing I do not understand is this:
  • The Silvia would have a better chassis (you guys have been debating with me for ages that newer equals better).
  • The Silvia would have better brakes.
  • The Silva would have better suspension and thus handling.
  • The Silvia would have better steering, being rack and pinion (although I love the Alfa 105 steering thanks).
The only advantage of the Alfa is the looks, and maybe lighter. Thus this engine conversion was done simply because he did not like the Silvia looks?

All that work to take an Alfa Romeo a step backwards (remember hp is not everything with classic cars), when the Silvia is a good and respected car ...

Instead of ruining an Alfa Romeo, why not build a replica (of an Alfa Romeo sports racing car if you like) with the Silvia motor, etc. Be even lighter and thus faster and require even more engineering input (ie. more tinkering)!~!
Pete
ps: The Silvia engine is only better because it is newer, but I really think some people need to think deeply about if they really are 'historic/classic' car people ... it's not for everybody :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
But I also get a tad frustrated with wanting to keep a car in a state of design defficiancey (and that isn't just engines) for the sake of originality.
I understand this comment completely and that is why I will never own another Sud or a Alfetta GTV with the poorly designed original handbrake caliper. But there is no design defficiancey with an Alfa Romeo engine!

Heck once upon a time (I say this because the company has closed it's doors IMO) as far as I am concerned Alfa Romeo made the best engines of any company period.

If you look back in history, especially motorsport history, Alfa Romeo engines embarrassed many other companies, including Ferrari, Porsche, you name it. Heck the 2 litre v8 T33's used to beat the supposedly mightly Ferrari P3's and P4's, of 3.3 and 4 litre capacity respectively.

Yes the Nord engine is now old, but the car and company did not deserve to be embarrassed by having it replaced ... fuel inject, add variable valve timing, plus a turbo if you like but keep the soul intact.

Where is the respect for the proudest brand in automotive history?. The true car enthusiasts brand.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Maybe a touch lost when Alfa Romeo forgot to respect itself by remaining true to those beliefs you have in them........ (no spite/sarcasm/ or anything else intended)
Yes no argument from me here. That is why I say the company is dead.

I still say, trying to make an old car do what a new car does makes no sense to me ... just buy the new car if these things rock your boat so much. I myself love to drive the old cars and enjoy that purer experience. One day I can see myself owning a REAL vintage car, infact I would love to own and restore a 40's Alfa Romeo ... have to go serious barn hunting ;).

I also always find it funny when people build replicas, and in the process make the car much faster and better than the original ... what are they replicating? ... very little. A good replica should look, drive, etc. exactly as the original so the person who paid for it, gets that original experience.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 · (Edited)
Another point worth raising.

Many change things because there is something they dislike about their car, ie. handling not up to their standards, etc. BUT how many have bothered to rebuild the suspension COMPLETELY back to original settings FIRST, ie: new springs but standard rate, new shocks, all new bushes everywhere, complete 4 wheel alignment, before deciding that Alfa Romeo cannot design cars (even though they were raved about when new and won more races than any other manufacturer!).

I bet if we did this we would find that the car all original actually handles pretty **** good!!

Instead we are modifying because the car is tired and simply needs maintenance. We then INCORRECTLY believe our modifications made a massive improvement, when it really was related to the fact that it now has new bushes, new shocks, etc.

My car when finished will be standard, yes but it will be like a brand new car without a rusty and thus flexi chassis. It will be extremely interesting to FINALLY have a completely original car to compare. Even a 1 owner garage queen that has never been restored will need massive maintenance to drive like new ... it will be tired and not a fair representative.
Pete
ps: I also cannot wait to compare lap times at say Eastern Creek thus finding out where my dead standard little 1750 slots in ... will be interesting :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Speaking of conversions - have you seen this
That chassis is worth a lot to the right person, but not the rest of it. Strange that somebody robbed it of it's engine but didn't take the chassis too

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
I couldn't care less if someone wants to ditch their high-maintenance Ferrari engine for a more powerful, more reliable SBC. Makes perfect sense to me. I like that he kept it a stick.

But like Neil, I think that two-tone paint is pretty silly. Also that ridiculous fuel cell in the trunk, which screams "Even though I built a reliable Ferrari, I never drive it far enough to require bringing luggage".
That is not what would have happened here. Some rich person would have bought the car for the engine for historic racing or to make a replica, and then flicked on the rest of the car. Sadly happens all the time with this sort of Ferrari
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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
That engine swap is without doubt the dumbest thing I have ever seen done to a ferrari. There should be some kind of criminal charge for whoever was responsible.
But to be far to the person who did it, they would have purchased the car minus an engine ... and yes you can get new ones but they are not cheap.

This change was not done because a SBC is more reliable than a Columbo v12. That might be true, but it was done because there was a position vacant. This is why I hate replicas ...
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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
And yet---it sold with spirited bidding for $195,000. That's why Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors!
$5's that the chassis is ripped out and the body potentially scrapped or back on eBay

Again, amazed that the chassis remained as that is worth serious $'s to people who make replicas such as GTO Engineering (who even in this day and age are cutting these cars up to make SWBs, TRs and GTOs :()
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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
A 365GT/4 engine would make it interesting, and at least sound right again, but what would be real funny would be to put a Jaguar XK engine in it. Sound would be better (yes I disapprove of the v8 sound in a 6 or 12 cylinder car) and would poke fun at all the people that think Jaguar XK engines are unreliable
Pete
 
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