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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, james here, first post

- Warning purists! -
I'm wondering basically if anybody knows all the parts that need to be replaced to be able to replace a smoothnose front with a stepnose.
as I have a 72 junior in the shop being restored, but I kniow i'd be disappointed with it when its all nice and shiny and finished... and it's still not a stepnose.

now before everybody starts pointing and uttering 'shame', I'll give you a little bit of background to this.

The car is a 1972 1600 GT Junior (probably the least valuable of the lot), is a RHD South African import, it's had two colour changes in the past, the last one being a terrible job to a terrible Yellow, the interior is far from good condition or original, the engine is a 2l, it's had a poor welding job before, the front needs the valance replacing anyway, and on top of all this, there isn't a single line of history before being imported. Breathe.

so basically, even if i did restore it properly, it's never going to be close to a show winner, and I want to have a few custom bits in it anyway, e.g. custom colour interior.

so yeah, any ideas would be greatly appreciated, Cheers.
 

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Are you really James Brown?! Man, you can dance!!

Others here will know much more about the shell details, and some may disagree with you, but I vote go ahead based on your description - if it's done right and done well. It will forever be an odd duck when it sells, but if it's not a museum piece anyway, then what the heck. I think the forward fender shape is different, the hood, the grille, the upper apron and probably the radiator support cross member...what else? You could go ahead and change the taillight panel and lights so it appears to be an early car as long as you're doing all that. Correct early bumpers?
 

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Stepnose tranformation

James,

As the other James sang, "It's a man's world, but it wouldn't be nothing without a woman..." and a Stepnose:)

I'm surprised that someone or company hasn't started making kits for this very transformation. It's your car and it's not like your trying to "create" a fake GTA and pass it off as the real thing which has been discussed on the BB, more than once.

I saw a Vintage Customs video where they grafted a Stepnose front clip onto a 70 something GTV. I would drive one all day long!

Post some pix as you dive into the project.:thumbup1:

Ray
 

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Not many of us here are that much of a purist. As long as you don't try selling the car as an original stepnose, why not?

Vivace provides a nice "shopping list" of the parts you will need. Classic Alfa and other parts suppliers carry replacement sheetmetal panels. I'm not sure that stepnose hoods are being reproduced, and assume that smoothnose hoods are longer/shorter with different hinge attachment points (but maybe not).

As Vivace points out, to make the conversion look convincing, you really should change the bumpers and rear tail lights. I would add the dash to that list.
 

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Hi James, I'm with the other guys. Four years ago I, together with Bob Wright of Alfapanels in Stockton, Cleveland, built a stepnose in GRP .
The car started life as a 1970 1750 GTV.
I'd had a smooth nose before, and wanted to build a GTA "homage" as good as I could afford,
Bob was commissioned to do the shell, and I provided the running gear.
We built it as a stepnose, and it came out very nice.
I never intended anything other than as good a "Rep" as I could manage.
I'd seen Bob's work before and was impressed by the quality of his panels, and the conversion. The weight reduction, together with a rebuilt, modified 2 litre, made for an extremely nimble and rapid road car, The GRP bits were Bob's usual conversion, ie doors, front& rear wings, bonnet & boot, rear panel, boot floor, front panel and sills.
Amazingly I was the first customer ever to ask for a step-front conversion in the c. 50 cars that Bob has produced over the years, and the only tricky item to produce were the bonnet hinges, which I got fabricated in aluminium by a good friend of mine.
I sold it a year or so ago, and funnily enough, have just had an email from the guy who bought it, saying how great a car it is.
I only sold it to concentrate on the build of my current '63 Ti Super Rep, and would dearly love it back to be the sister car..
See below a few photos.
Steve
 

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Looks like you are in UK , do it in fiberglass with bits from Alfapanels Bob Wright, he has done these conversions before.
 

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GRP

Steve,

Two mighty fine lookin' Alfas, there.

Should we start a Wish thread about Alfas we wished we owned, or owned again?!

NOTE: Limit of 10!

Ray
 

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Steve,

Two mighty fine lookin' Alfas, there.

Should we start a Wish thread about Alfas we wished we owned?

NOTE: Limit of 10!

Ray
 

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The car is a 1972 1600 GT Junior (probably the least valuable of the lot)
Go ahead if that's what you want.

However, I'm not sure of the value of the car. I've been under the impression that the build figures of the 1600 two head light smoothnose are pretty low compared to many other variations. Or maybe thats wishful thinking as I have one...

There are probably better informed people around here.
 

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Hmmm... Remember when everyone put a slant nose on 80s Porsches?

Food for thought.
If we're gonna use Porsche analogies, I think this is more akin to the current trend of backdating, i.e changing front fenders and hood and make an 80s 911 into a "long hood" (pre 73). It's quite popular and not really all that frowned upon, given the $$$$ prices of the long hoods.. I'm not sure the price disparity is quite the same with the alfas yet, but I'd side with "it's your car, it's not rare, why not".
 

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My own practically oriented thought is, in part from having gotten way farther into bodywork on my Tiger than anticipated, that if you want to do this, it's perhaps cheaper and certainly easier to sell what you have an buy a stepnose. There's just no end of the hours involved to do a good job on complicated bodywork.
Andrew
 

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It's absolutely your choice and the GRP panel route is likely to be your lowest cost route. If those parts need replacing anyway then probably not much price difference.

But it seems we always want what we haven't got; I know a man with a nice step front who much prefers the nose look of the later cars.
 

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If your flat nose is not requiring huge metal derusting, just draw the line on the guards where the step nose haopens, cut neatly, cut the nose support members and push the top of the nose down, reweld nose support members and then weld in the vertical part of the step nose on the guards.

Done in a mornings work ... but I think bonnet line will be wrong as curved instead of straight?
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the replies,

I think I'll ring up Alfaholics, they might be the best guys to ask, I think at the moment I need the bonnet, wing adapters, front panel and crossmember.

Although it would be cheaper, I don't really like grp panels on cars, I'd only go non metal if i could afford carbon fibre, but i'd need a mortgage before that happens.

and regarding the rear lights, they aren'y supposed to be the later ones anyway, they must have been cut out at some point, so the rear panel is being replaced anyway. also the dash would be replaced for continuity, but mine is cracked anyway and i much prefer the earlier dash as well, so all is well there.

and I'll open a new post about my project elsewhere, just incase anybody's interested.
I'll attach a pic of the car in its current state.
 

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Hi James, I'm with the other guys. Four years ago I, together with Bob Wright of Alfapanels in Stockton, Cleveland, built a stepnose in GRP .
The car started life as a 1970 1750 GTV.
I'd had a smooth nose before, and wanted to build a GTA "homage" as good as I could afford,
Bob was commissioned to do the shell, and I provided the running gear.
We built it as a stepnose, and it came out very nice.
I never intended anything other than as good a "Rep" as I could manage.
I'd seen Bob's work before and was impressed by the quality of his panels, and the conversion. The weight reduction, together with a rebuilt, modified 2 litre, made for an extremely nimble and rapid road car, The GRP bits were Bob's usual conversion, ie doors, front& rear wings, bonnet & boot, rear panel, boot floor, front panel and sills.
Amazingly I was the first customer ever to ask for a step-front conversion in the c. 50 cars that Bob has produced over the years, and the only tricky item to produce were the bonnet hinges, which I got fabricated in aluminium by a good friend of mine.
I sold it a year or so ago, and funnily enough, have just had an email from the guy who bought it, saying how great a car it is.
I only sold it to concentrate on the build of my current '63 Ti Super Rep, and would dearly love it back to be the sister car..
See below a few photos.
Steve
Just seen this thread... I did the same thing, Steve, but Mine is a wide-body version, built for me by Ian Ellis 5 or 6 years ago... starting point was a rather rotten 1971 1750 mk2. I love it and will never be parted from it!
 

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