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titled as a 1974 Spider. Build date Sept 74. Looks to be a California market car originally (once titled in San Ramon, CA and has service sticker from Santa Monica). But I highly suspect the engine was swapped with a newer engine. Some things I expect to see on a 1975 car but not a 1974 car. Or did Cali require all that earlier than the other 49 states?

1. It has the large studs on the head for AC or a smog pump. There is nothing on the car that indicates it ever had AC installed. I don't find any AC hose access holes on the firewall like I would expect.

2. The exhaust manifold is the later 4-into-1 smog pump style with the air injection ports sealed with bolts. It's my understanding that the smog pump didn't arrive until 1975. This car is titled a 1974 with a build date of Sept 74.

3. There is an extra pully on the crank. Out board of the alternator pully. Either for a smog pump or AC compressor.
 

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You're right, the evidence points to a "smog-era" engine. I think the question is exactly when - especially in California - these "features" were mandated - perhaps it was as early as fall of '74 (I moved here in '75, so even with my razor-sharp memory :D , I'm excused for not remembering).

My guess is that your car was originally built this way. After all, if someone did swap in a later engine, why didn't they retain the original exhaust manifold? Does the body have a "California Emission Compliant" sticker in the doorjamb? Does the distributor have dual points (or the provision for a second set of points) to retard the timing?
 

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Looks like an Alfetta engine maybe. I see 116 on the exhaust header.
The oil pan would have been changed out though.
Those big head studs were for the AC brackets they came with.
 

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In the header picture it looks like there is a bit of battery tray, which would be 74, I thought 75 on had them in the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll have to look closer for any stickers. The only one I noticed was "Vito's Italian Car Service".

I agree why not retain the original exhaust manifold? It would have been easier and cheaper to retain the complete 4-2-1 Tri-Y exhaust than to go buy the different middle pipe needed to connect to the 4-1 manifold.

I don't think there is an "exhaust temp" waning light in the console. There are some wires going down the firewall underneath towards the transmission area but haven't traced them to either the trans or O2 sensor?

If the engine is original maybe Alfa was already transitioning in late 74 in preparation for the 75 smog requirements?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yes, front mount battery. So neither the compressor nor smog pump would not fit I think? Thus the mystery of the front head bolts and smog manifold.
 

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Front head bolts could just be from an aftermarket AC system. I haven't seen that in person, just heard about it here.
 

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Check the engine numbers to Fusi numbers. That may help.... or the engine may have been replaced. If that car had a smog pump. The battery would be in the trunk. The 74 bumper is still there? In 75 the bumper also changed. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well...after searching BaT auctions and looking at pictures of like 20 different 74 spiders, engines, data plates, etc....at least half were original Cali cars...

It's obvious that this engine has been swapped...or I have the rarest of rarest one-offs in the alfa world...

well that's I believe at this point...

so another question...showing only 44k on the odometer and last registered in 2001....what's more likely? 44k original or 144k miles on the chassis (engine is obviously unknown at this point)
 

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In the header picture it looks like there is a bit of battery tray, which would be 74, I thought 75 on had them in the trunk.
Ah, excellent point. The front-mounted battery suggests that this car did NOT come with a smog pump or an AC compressor. Hence, probably is a later engine swapped in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How are the rubber pads on the pedals?
oh yes...the classic clue on highly suspect mileage...yeah I looked at them yesterday and compared to my 78 with a known 138k on the clock....looks about the same. so bummer, probably not a low mileage barn find. But with 144k that makes an engine swap more believable. I mean, who swaps a 44k engine out?
 

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Here is a picture of the front of my California '74 with the water pump removed. No extra pulley and no large stud.

1640236
 

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My first Alfa was a 76 Spider with a 49 States decal or placard in the drivers B pillar as I recall. There was an air pump which the first mechanic I took the car to removed without asking as I recall. He also slapped my hand for resting it on the shift lever during a test drive. This was 1978 and early in my addiction to Alfa and my own sports car.
 

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Doesnt matter much about the engine.... the only major change was the inj pump as the fuel curve got leaner and maybe the cam timing was a little different.... the exh manifold is not as good as the 2 piece set but probably not going to have too much of an impact. Good luck and it is good to see another alfa on the mend!
 

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The 1975-76 performance was really lame... R&T's original road test of an Alfetta got 0-60 in 14 sec... I think they published 90 hp. I drove a stock 1975 Spider a few years back and that's what it felt like. By 1977 they had brought back the 2 piece manifold, enlarged the catalyst, ditched the air pump, retimed the cams to 102-102 and regained most of the lost poneys.

First thing would be to change the cam timing from 114-114 to 102-102, second change the exhaust manifold and catalyst for a later version. Back then we often trashed the catalyst to run leaded fuel (some guys got it removed within hours of receiving a new car), today there are lots of affordable high flow catalysts.
 

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titled as a 1974 Spider. Build date Sept 74. Looks to be a California market car originally (once titled in San Ramon, CA and has service sticker from Santa Monica). But I highly suspect the engine was swapped with a newer engine. Some things I expect to see on a 1975 car but not a 1974 car. Or did Cali require all that earlier than the other 49 states?

1. It has the large studs on the head for AC or a smog pump. There is nothing on the car that indicates it ever had AC installed. I don't find any AC hose access holes on the firewall like I would expect.

2. The exhaust manifold is the later 4-into-1 smog pump style with the air injection ports sealed with bolts. It's my understanding that the smog pump didn't arrive until 1975. This car is titled a 1974 with a build date of Sept 74.

3. There is an extra pully on the crank. Out board of the alternator pully. Either for a smog pump or AC compressor.
I worked for Otto Zipper ALFA in 1975. That isn't the factory engine at least not the crank pulley, exhaust manifold. There were no 1975 spiders. All were 1974 sold in later years. There was no factory AC in Spiders. There was no smog devices either. The mechanical fuel injection got it below the max. Hope that helps.
 

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Veloce Man is correct. There sere no 1975 Spiders in California or even early 1976. They just kept selling '74's as new cars until the Gov't caught up with them! I bought my first brand new spider, a '74,in 1976. I fought with my credit union for a couple of days about the financing. They claimed it was a "used car" because it was a '74. Even though the State of California said it was a new car. I found other financing.
I bought it at Peter Satori in Pasadena.
 
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