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tubut said:
Hopefully, somebody will start digging them out before they approach the value of diamonds...
Heh heh. When considering the current price of NOS 116 bodyparts, they appear to have reached that value already ;)
 

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Folks...BARRYH is 100% correct... the Alfa GTV6 ..3.0L was a SOUTH AFRICAN built machine period...had nothing to do with the 2.5L engines or 2.8 as some menbers tried to mention in the bolletin...keep in mind that books are not always acurate unless you worked in the Plant Factory place at the time....Has that been my case and my family...so i know what i am talking about and what whent thrue my hands in the production line ok :)
Cheers to all.
 

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There are fascinating stories about Alfa's history in SA e.g. how the carbs were built for each of those 300 or so 3.0 GTV6s that were built. Fuel injection was swapped into some other sedan (I forget which) - therefore the only place in the world where you'll also find those sedans with fuel injection!

Anyway, I heard Roger McCleery telling us the story behind the 3.0l GTV6. I think they found a motor lying in the Autodelta workshop when travelling there or something, asked what it was... a short while later, a homologation legend was born...

Greig, who normally posts a fair bit on this website, is super knowledgeable about SA Alfa history. It was all before my time and I forget far more than I manage to remember when I'm told stories about the good old days. Hopefully he can add a bit to this discussion.

Ever heard of a Giulia Rally? Well that's another SA special... 2.0l, LS diff... pretty unique. Group 1 Giulietta's may have also been specific to SA - not sure...

The Alfa brand was very strongly linked to racing in SA (as it is in most places around the world)... I've seen some footage of 3.0l GTV 6's trouncing the BMW 535s at the old Kyalami - magic stuff...

Anyway, just rambling here, maybe someone more knowledgeable than me can tell us more.

Cheers

Shaun
 

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'South African' built Alfa Romeos

Dear all,

When Alfa South Africa stopped producing vehicles many many items were destroyed. Luckily some items did survive and are in various collections around the world. I do have some photographs of items salvaged however the files are too large to put into my document. Many of us did 'morn' the destruction of the beautiful racing 'straight cut gearboxes' together with, by todays standards, many other valuable items. People like Dawie de Villiers of Glenwood Motors would love to have bought those items and organisations, such as the one owned by Jungle Justice from this Bulletin Board, would have found a 'loving home' for them. In my view the situation was a purely economical one. Let us use as an example a gearbox imported from Italy. At the time of import of the items into South Africa there was an ad valorem duty payable of 125%. Possibly for cash flow reasons, these items were put into a bonded store and the duty only payable 30(?) days from exit from this store. If the gearbox had cost 1000 currency units then it would have to be sold for 2 250 plus. I was made to believe that if these prices could not be realised then the items were to be destroyed and this is one of the reasons why 'loads of stuff' was destroyed. Some of the 'racing stuff' remained outside of the factory and was not destroyed. These items included two GTAm type engines with spare distributors, GTA engines and cylinder heads, 16 valve engines and cylinder heads etc. These items found there way into collections all over the world. One person in Germany was a 'particularly agressive' purchaser in the 1990's. With respect to the tooling: What use would a business find for a front valence die for a 1750 GTV in 1985? Maybe sad but a 'reality of the times'.

As mentioned in this thread a good place to possibly get Alfa Romeo South Africa is from one of the many clubs there. There is at least one 'large' Alfa Romeo Club in South Africa. I did know the person in charge of the archives there some years back. I am sure the person in charge of these archives, if still in existance, would be happy to provide some historical facts.
 

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Jungle Justice

Dear Barryh,

To the best of my knowledge the relationship between Dawie de Villiers and Jungle Justice is quite clearly stated in at least one of 'posting' by Jungle Justice.
 

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Ik know that Alfasud's where produced in South-Africa. First as full CKD kits but later all of the body panels where produced in SA. The Alfasud's where assembled/made in an Alfa Romeo factory located in a place called Brits.
 

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South African built Alfa's

Seeing as I live here, I suppose that I should climb in to this thread somewhere... :rolleyes:

Yes, we had the only assembly plant outside of Italy to produce Alfa's, (excluding the one in South America, where the name of the vehicle was changed).

The first to be locally assembled, from a CKD kit was the '60 Giulietta Ti G.d. or Guida Destra / RHD. This was built at Car Distributors Assembly, (CDA), which became Mercedes Benz South Africa & now DaimlerChrysler. In those years, CDA assembled lots of different makes.

The Ti was followed by the RHD 105 Series Giulia sedans and the RHD 106 Series 2600 Berlina's. We still have the Factory Records for these cars. Fusi lists 425 RHD 2600 berlina's, but the records show that 2 were converted by CDA back to LHD, so the actual total is 423.

The RHD 105 Coupe's were built at the Rosslyn Assembly Plant outside Pretoria & the Alfasud's were assembled at Brits. My 105 Coupe's have Rosslyn plates riveted in the engine bays. These plates actually carry the engine number of the car.

Due to local content requirements, there was a lot of local development & local content, tyres, wheel rims, glass, seats, radiators, headlights, carpets, headlining, exhausts etc, etc are easy targets for local development.

When I restored my first 105 in the early '90's, you could still by new exhaust systems off the shelf - not NOS, they were actually still in production, by the time I sold it, it had the second last system available in SA on it.

SA paint colours are also different to the Italian ones, yes, names are similar, but the colours are not the same as Italy.

We also had local development of "Special models", like the Giulia Rallye - a 105 Giulia Sedan with either a hot 1600 or 2000cc motor & bits to match. The 3.0 GTV 6 has been discussed - this was essentially a bored out 2.5 with internals to match & a brace of triple Dell'Orto's off the Alfa6 sedan. The 116 Series "Giulietta" sedan was also involved in a special run of "Group One" 1800cc cars, with hot cams & trick porting, a decal kit & special wheels. All of these were homologation specials for racing / rallying & were built to beat the 3.0 V6 Fords & E30 BMW's of the time. I should know, my cousin Robbi Smith used to race the E30 Shadowline lightweight Beemers and the 535i modifieds against the Alfa's & Fords.

Archivio Storico does not have proper production records as these were left up to the Assembly Plants to look after. Sadly the Rosslyn Records have not stood the test of time, but the CDA ones have & are actually just hand written records in hand ruled columns in what could be viewed as an A4 school exercise book.

I think "South Africa" has more than accurately described what went on after the Factory closed down & the economic reasons for the destruction of a lot of stuff - heck it happens today, at plants all over the world with unwanted / unused stuff in Bond.

There are Alfa Clubs in most of the major centres here & the Alfa Concourse is well supported.

Ciao
Greig
PE - That's not the smell of the ocean........ that's the smell of rust :eek:
 

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AlfistiSA

Thanks for the photographs- it's been over 20 years since I have seen even photos of the Group 1. I used to have a holiday (student job) in one of the service only Alfa dealerships in Cape Town in the ealry 80's and saw the 3litre GTV6s and some of the other Alfas your described.

I was told that South Africa was supposedly the 2nd biggest sales market for Alfas after Italy at that stage and I (along with many others) was surprised when Alfa closed down their plant in SA. Of course, that was during the fiat takeover so who really knows the whys and wherefores.

One of the other (never substantiated) rumours as to the reasons behind the withdrawal of Alfa Romeo from SA was related to the US led arms embargo and sanctions against South Africa at the time. Of course, precious and other metals required by the US military were exempt from the sanctions but allegedly Alfa/Fiat South Africa were caught importing mechanical spares for the Aeromacchi (ie Fiat) Impala jet trainers used by the South African air force under the guise of Fiat car spares.

Brings back some memories.

Arguti
 

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<snip> but allegedly Alfa/Fiat South Africa were caught importing mechanical spares for the Aeromacchi (ie Fiat) Impala jet trainers used by the South African air force under the guise of Fiat car spares. <snip>

Shhhhhh, I've heard that rumour too, only I don't think it's just a rumour.......

Africa is not for sissies

Ciao
Greig
 

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I am still trying to find out exact production dates for the various plants but here is what I do know. Amarther, the info you got from your Google search is, unfortunately mostly incorrect. The only plant in Uitenhage is the Volkswagen factory which has been producing VW's since the early 50's from a factory that started off before the war with the assembly of Studebakers. As a matter of interest, most of SA's car plants are geared up for complete manufacture of vehicles, not just assembly of CKD's The VW factory in Uitenhage has produced all the RHD Golf 4 and 5's for the world market as far as I know. General Motors and Ford have factories in Port Elizabeth. Ford has just an engine plant currently, building engines for export.

South Africa did have the only Alfa production factory outside of Italy. Production started at CDA in East London with the 101,106 and early 105 series cars (no spiders), but this plant also produced and assembled various other vehicles such as Renault and the Fiat Topolino. The CDA plant was taken over by Mercedes Benz around 1970 and production then moved to Rosslyn Motor Assemblers near Pretoria who were also responsible for the assembly of various other makes including Nissan. This plant was not owned by Alfa Romeo. Most of our 105 series production comes from this plant but again no spiders. In the late 70's Alfa had their own fatory at Brits which produced the last of the 105 series cars and Alfetta's, Guilietta's, Suds, Sprint's and the GTV and GTV6. As has been stated already, we had strict local content rules which roughly amounted to 80% local content by weight during most of this time so not much could be imported. As far as I know Alfa SA did not build cars for export and RHD spiders were built in Italy and exported to the various markets directly from there. With Italy and Africa there are always exceptions however! Alfas were imported into Rhodesia via Tanzania to get around trade sanctions.

As has already been mentioned, South Africa has seen some fantastic "Homologation Specials"; cars built specially for standard production racing and for sale to the general public. The Alfa GTV6 2.5 was raced against the BMW 535 with much success, relying on superior handling to offset the bigger Beemers power advantage. BMW upped the stakes with a modified version of the 535 and Alfa counteracted with the GTV6 3.0 which quickly became a legend in local racing. The 535 was completely outclassed and BMW's answer was to produce a 7 series fitted with the engine from the M1! Ford joined the fray with a 5 litre Mustang engined Sierra. These were the ingredients which produced some spectacular racing with the Alfa usually victorius despite the smallest engine. All these cars were production vehicles available to the public.

I hope to be able to add to this discussion with the actual production dates etc once I have them, but what I have written here so far is factually correct and checked with various "old hands" in the various local Alfa clubs.

Ian
 

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ian said:
South Africa did have the only Alfa production factory outside of Italy.
Ian
Excellent comments, and thanks for confirming my belief that it was the only production factory outside Italy. SA "Car" was normally the best source of info in those days.

As for the BM vs Alfa track wars, did BM not pull out altogether? They eventually came back with another model but could not take the bad PR of smaller Alfas trouncing them on the track. My first knowledge of the GTV 3.0 was sitting in front of the telly on Saturday, and expecting to see the Alfas in 2nd or 3rd row on the grid, were up front. When the flag dropped all the BMs saw were very rapidly disappearing (white?) GTVs. I believe I was as surprised as the rest of Alfisti to see the performance. BM protested the trouncing, the protest was upheld and the results over turned. But they could not repair the PR and undo the fact that SA had seen them trounced. I do believe they pulled out the series soon after, or the end of the year. Good on you Alfa, even if you did cheat!! The 3.0 had not passed homologation yet. I'm not a BM hater, and would happily drive one as my daily runner or have a 635m in my garage. There are few decent RW cars out there, so I applaud them for that.
 

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No, sorry, it wasn't the only production factory. Possibly the main one, excepted possibly FNM in Brasil.

Of course one can argue from which extent an assembly facility becomes a "production factory".

I know of the Malaysian one in the 60s-70s, but don't remember the details by memory, and can say safely that, during the 50s, 1900s were assembled at Imperia in Belgium. The cars came as CKD kits, but internal trim was locally produced, and painting was done in Belgium.

This being said, thanks to our SA members for the detail they share here. I have some sources, but cartainly not down to every detail, so keep posting details and witnesses!
 

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As you say it is debatable what constitutes a proper production facility. I'd like to know more about the Malaysian factory, but I wonder wether they produced as much as 80% local content or pressed their own chassis and body panels. Did they have their own chassis numbers? As a matter of interest, for some reason, the Rhodesian models had their Italian chassis numbers removed and new ones stamped.

Ian
 

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'South African' built Alfa Romeos

Dear all,

Well I had seen quotations that the South African market for Alfa Romeo was larger than that in the the United Kingdom and a very important one for them in the seventies and before they withdrew in the eighties. Possibly an indicator of this importance was the amount of money spent by their Marketing Department in the form of racing sponsorship/'spend'.

Today people like Dawie de Villiers of Glenwood Motors in Pretoria still 'produce' certain outstanding Alfa Romeo products and services for local and export markets.
 

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For those of you who are interested, the famous E-Bay seller "Autolit.com" (Walter Miller) is currently selling a sales brochure of the FIAT 128 FUN BAKKIE which was produced by Alfa Romeo for a very low "buy it now" price. A nice item to add to your collection for a low price if you're interested. The sales brochure specifies the Alfa Romeo logo instead of the FIAT logo.
 

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Old race cars

My cousin Robbi Smith used to race the JSN Class A BMW Shadowlines in competition with the 3.0GTV's & he also raced the V8 Ford Sierra "Animal".

The BM's that Rob didn't write off, are still around, as is his "Animal", which is in Cape Town and was actually owned by Rob's ex neighbour, who used to use it on the roads to go to work 2 or 3 days a week.......

The twin turbo GTV 6 race car was still in South Africa, I saw it about 6 years ago, sadly the motor is long gone.

This is a friend's genuine low mileage 3.0 GTV 6, complete with original split rim compomotives & the special glass fibre bonnet, which was needed to clear the triple carbs. Tha family are avid Alfisti.....

Ciao
Greig
 

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