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Hello! I am new here as I have just acquired a gifted 1969 Duetto and have no idea where to begin. The car was given to the current owner via an estate about 2 years ago and shortly after arriving from Florida a tree fell on it, destroying the top and windshield. It has sat in the same location since then, normally tarped appropriately. I have restored a '66 Volvo in the past and am an engineer by trade so I am not afraid of the general work in front of me, but I do not know much about these cars. This forum seems like a great place to be and I have been reading up on SPICA in my spare time, but what is first? Obviously I will be getting it to a garage but then? Is there anything funky about restarting one of these after a few years minus new fuel, plugs, replaced hoses as needed and some hand cranking for lubrication? Is there a "barn find" start list or similar?

Long term I will probably tear into it pretty good but I would like to get it rolling down the street for an assessment if possible. Then what is the best source for something like a windshield and top parts?

Help!





 

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Can't answer any of your questions yet as I too just arrived to this forum and Alfa's in general, but what a way to get started!

Good luck!
 

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That does appear to be a bit of a project. Do you have a garage to store it in when you work on it? I wouldn't worry too much about the top and windshield until you assess it mechanically. Was there a fire under the hood, or is that all just rust?
 

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Where to start indeed! The damage to both sides of the hood makes me wonder if there was an engine fire at some point. At the very least, you should drain and clean the gas tank and inspect / replace the fuel lines to and from the tank before you try to start it. That looks like more than two years of neglect to that engine. The windshield and convertible top frame are specific to the '69-'69 model years so finding replacement top pieces will be difficult but this appears to be a worthy project. The thread you've started here is as good a place as any to start your own restoration thread. Looking forward to seeing more as you dig in.
 

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That does appear to be a bit of a project. Do you have a garage to store it in when you work on it? I wouldn't worry too much about the top and windshield until you assess it mechanically. Was there a fire under the hood, or is that all just rust?
With Alfas of this era, the mechanics are the least of your worries. Mechanicals are relatively cheap and simple to work on. Your biggest three problems will likely be 1) Rust, 2) Rust, 3) Rust. I suggest you check out the "Alfararri" build on the "homebuild by jeff" youtube channel to give an idea of what you could be in for on the bodywork front. It's possible that this one is solid, but you'll need a very thorough going over. Hopefully, that underhood rust is an anomaly from a previous engine fire and the car was garage kept until your friend acquired it, but if you see any other rust (especially in the rocker area), there is a lot more under the surface. The good news is that all the parts and body panels are fairly readily available- you won't have to fabricate from scratch.

A car like this will be a labor of love. Don't expect to get out for less than you could buy a sorted one for unless you can do absolutely everything yourself. Even then, it may be close.
 

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I agree the top frame could be tough to source. I know the top frame on my 76 was a lot different from the 1969 I am working on now. I don't know if it changed with the switch to the Kamm tail in 1970ish. So you may be looking for a Series 1 top frame only.

I purchased a windshield last year from
Classic Glass For Classic Cars
Attached is a data sheet I got from this vendor.
 

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Top frame, a-pillars, a-pillar trim and the windshield are all different on the roundtails vs the later 70-93 Spiders. I wouldn't spend any money on cosmetics until I got it running.
 

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Welcome aboard. Yes, she needs some love, Alot of love

How are the floors, rockers, trunk? Just about anything can be restored, but often the effort is hardly worth the investment. If rusted through it may qualify as a parts car
 

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Nice project but I think you should walk away and let me take it off your hands. :)

But seriously... I see lots of potential if you're willing to put in the time, effort and $. I wouldn't worry too much about the top, sure you'll want one down the road, but most Alfa owners drive with the top down. I rarely put mine up, and when I do it's usually to clean it and put it back down, even though I know parking with the top up will prolong its life.

Good luck, looking forward to more pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’m excited this has already garnered such attention. It’s a good sign I’m in the right place!

I have not gone over the car for more than a few minutes but it does seem generally solid. No rust in fender areas or in the trunk and rear suspension areas that are suspect on other cars of similar vintage. I was pondering why then hood was in such bad shape in comparison to what else I saw so an engine Fire is a possibility.

I have a decent garage to dedicate to this so I can start more of a real inspection once it’s in there and up on stands.

The plan is to certainly sort it mechanically and get it driving before I touch any of the cosmetics minus removing the glass shards in the drivers compartment!

I’ll certainly post along the way and get all of your expert eyes better pictures once it’s indoors.

In terms of risk vs reward on this I already realize this is more love than investment. My dad had a 73 and he’s very excited to have me work on this with my son. Also if not totally clear, I’m into this for exactly $0 so I have as low of an initial investment as possible!
 

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Where is the car located now?
 

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I have not gone over the car for more than a few minutes but it does seem generally solid. No rust in fender areas or in the trunk and rear suspension areas that are suspect on other cars of similar vintage.
If that car has lived outdoors under a blue tarp then it probably has some rust. Lift the carpets and check the floorpans. Check the spare tire well. Look carefully at the rocker areas for signs of bubbling. I'm not trying to sound pessimistic - I own a roundtail myself and they are wonderful cars - but rust is likely in a car with this history.

I was pondering why then hood was in such bad shape in comparison to what else I saw so an engine Fire is a possibility.
I'm skeptical about the underhood fire theory. The pattern of the paint damage on the exterior of the hood doesn't match the area of rust on its underside. I think the exterior paint has just been baked by the sun, and that the underhood rust was caused by water thrown by the fan, perhaps aggravated by a leaking water pump. The brown stuff on top of the engine looks more like a rat or mouse nest than fire debris.

As others have written, repairing the windshield and replacing the top frame are going to take some work. The windshield frames do not unbolt on these cars - it is welded to the unibody. So a bodyshop will need to straighten what it can, and graft in good, used material where necessary. Finding good, used parts may be tough. As bal4833 wrote, replacement glass is readily available.
 

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Nice entry into the Alfa world, looks like a fun project. That for sure is not a weekend project to get it going again.
As others have said, replace all the fuel hoses and rubbers involved. They will inevitably be rotten. If it were me I would also have the gas tank cleaned out or replaced, I would be willing to bet its cruddy in there and it will drive you nuts later when you get it running.
Pull up the carpets and look all around with a flashlight, look under the seats from in and under the car. If you can repair rust or you know someone who can, you probably shouldn't be too afraid. If you cant repair rust and you have to pay a shop, just be aware your checkbook will suffer!

If you get the body solid and setup the fuel system, replace the tires and brakes(may just need pads, may need lines and calipers, none of which are super complicated), the mechanicals won't be difficult most likely. The SPICA system can be rebuilt by Wes Ingram, you may get lucky and not need it but I wouldn't bank on that. The transmissions are usually fairly solid, change the fluids first. Inspect the wiring, squirrels and mice are your fears here, not the Italian manufacturer.

Most projects on these cars are fairly straight forward and do able by anyone willing to learn and put in the patience. Bodywork/Paint are going to be your financial pains compared to the engine.
 

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What looks solid outside may not be solid once you get the car in your garage. The frame rails need to be inspected. If you can get under the car with a large screwdriver, use it as you would an ice pick to check frame rails for structural integrity. The floors pans will more than likely need replacing as will the rocker panels. A windshield frame from a 66-69 Spider should be relatively easy to find. I suspect there are a few folks here with parts cars.

As folks have stated, the top frame is going to be pricey to replace. You'll need to inspect the frame to see what is left. The two "B" pillar parts are the hardest to source as these commonly break. They can be repaired. The front bow that mates with the windshield typically rusts. This is by far the most difficult part to find. Prices for used frames are all over the place. You could spend up to $2k on one, depending on where your source it.

As for the mechanical components, I do not recommend putting the key in and cranking the car. That can do a lot of damage. If you plan to move forward with a restoration, I don't see any reason to try and start the engine.

I'm looking forward wot watching your project.
 

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I had the windshield frame for you! I kept this 1966 Duetto part around for years and years.
1628263


After trying to give it away, it finally got tossed just last year. Sorry about that.

Have fun with your project!

Jeff
 

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There have been comments about many projects that warrant.. "I wouldn't buy the car if it was free!" .. There is a lot of truth to that. The comments about rust are very valid. The absolute worst environment is a car parked on GRASS in a tropical climate under a tarp..It's a perfect terrarium. If the car didn't have a fire, the engine compartment demonstrates how that type of storage can be devastating to metal. So with that said, your "free" car is going to free you of many many many thousands of dollars. Are you prepared for that? I hope you consider that when moving forward. The other side of the coin is putting it up for sale and establishing a price as it is. It almost comes down to taking offers and they will be widely and wildly spread across the board depending on the motivation of the buyer. I would definitely put the urge to turnover the engine on hold. Even if you can free it, which I doubt, it won't add any intrinsic value to the situation and can cause more damage that any value you think it has. Sorry to rain on your parade. It is a conundrum you need to noodle.
 

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There have been comments about many projects that warrant.. "I wouldn't buy the car if it was free!" .. There is a lot of truth to that.
Being a 69 Spider, it is worth saving, but unless the OP is a professional restorer, they will be massively upside down on this project. They might put in $10,000 in time and effort, and still not realize any value for that. The OP should check with a professional like Rich at BradCo about the amount of work involved here before they jump in.
 

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I would also like to agree with Osso and Divot, assuming you even have the key, dont try to start it...
If you have a rats nest of wires somewhere thats been tampered with, fuel leak, dud clutch, things may not go favorable to starting it.
If you decide to under take this big project, I would probably pull the engine and trans out. New mounts for both, new head gasket, potentially new rings and bearings, prob water pump, belts.
After the body is made solid, of course.
 

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I would invest the money to have a mechanic put it on a lift , take lots of pics and give some general inspection. If someone from the forums lives near maybe offer a lunch for that person's time as well. Just putting a small price on Fuel injection and fuel system...3 grand, brakes 1 grand, suspension 1 grand, and windshield frame replacement ?, and state of the mechanicals??? the state of the body? The state of the body is also the most important issue!!! I am not trying to say dont do it , but just look at the whole picture. I am doing a us 69 similar to the car that you have and I was a tech many years ago so I have the mechanical abilities and tools. Also, to me a 69 Duetto is probably 1 of the more unique modern alfas, that can be a gem. Good Luck
 

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My 1970 1750 hood looked like that, it was rust plain and simple.
Have a look at my restoration thread and you will see what you could be in for. I suspect that net mine is still worse than yours as a start point.

To give you an idea I expect to spend $25k in parts and materials doing everything myself so nothing contracted out. So far the budget looks fairly accurate and cost of car is on top of this. I have done restos before so doubled it from the start. However mine being a genuine UK rhd will command a good resale so excluding my time I will be ahead but paying for labour its a no go by some margin. I think the body ready for paint is about 900 hrs possibly more.
Total job about 2000hrs.

Mechanics and wiring etc really isnt the deal here its rust as others stated. Check all the rails including the inboard ones as these will define what your in for.
 
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