2012 All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show

Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce

I drove my Alfetta Sprint Veloce to the 2012 All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show. The informal show is sponsored by the Alfa Romeo Association for the benefit of the Alameda Special Olympics.

This year, my Sprint Veloce was joined by Chris Keen‘s red Alfetta GT, (see flickr photoset below) so there were four representatives of the Alfetta family, including a sedan and a GTV6. There were plenty of Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Fiats, a few De Tomasos, a few Lamborghinis. a few Lancias and a few Maseratis. On the motorcycle front, there were many Aprilias, Ducatis, Moto Guzzis and Vespas.

View a slideshow on flickr.com

Alfa Romeo Exhaust Headers

Alfa Romeo Alfetta cast iron exhaust headersI re-coated the two-piece cast iron exhaust headers on my Alfa Romeo with Eastwood Silver High Temp Manifold Coating. When I first painted them two years ago, the surface preparation consisted of running a wire wheel on the rusty cast iron. The Eastwood coating lasted well, though small rust spots eventually appeared through the coating. Last week, I cleaned the headers with lacquer thinner and applied another coat.

To keep the headers attached to the head, I used brass M8x1.0 hex nuts, new lock washers and new copper gaskets.

A Brighter 74 Lamp

74 LED Lamp T1-3/4I was having trouble seeing the turn signal indicator in my 1979 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce. Though I am relatively old if you’re young, I didn’t want to look that way driving down 101 with my turn signals on.

When the original thermal turn signal flasher gave up, I replaced it with an electronic flasher. With the engine off I can hear it clicking very clearly – I can’t hear it while the engine is running unless the fuse box is open and I stick my head next to it – not a good driving position since the fuse box is just above the floor.

Probably 40 years ago, I made a turn signal amplifier using a 555 integrated circuit and a Mallory Sonalert. It was annoying, sort of like the beepers that some vehicles have when they’re backing up.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Tachometer

I started looking for a brighter lamp for the turn signal indicator that is mounted below the tachometer. The OEM lamp is a 74 Miniature Indicator Lamp – 14 Volt – T1-3/4 Sub Mini Wedge Base. In bright sunlight, it’s difficult to see if the OEM lamp is flashing. I found an LED replacement lamp that is essentially a SMT LED stuck on the end of a plastic tube with a diode and resistor to drop the voltage. It had the necessary wedge base. I had to file the sides down a little so it would fit in the lamp holder, but it was worth the $5.50. It’s bright enough to see in direct sunlight, but not so bright that it’s too annoying at night.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sprint Veloce

1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sprint Veloce

A little over two months ago, an incompetent driver slammed into my parked Alfa Romeo. The Alfetta was in the body shop for 46 days while I argued with State Farm over the value of the car and searched for replacement parts.

I was lucky to find some Euro-bumpers on AlfaBB.com. Larry Jr., at Alfa Parts Exchange was more than helpful in getting me grills and headlight buckets. I was up in Berkeley, so I made a personal appearance at Alfa Parts and bought a reproduction turn signal lens, complete with white gasket. Skip, at J & J Autobody in Monterey, did very nice sheet metal work.

1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sprint Veloce

Daniel Stern only had a 5.75 inch Cibie H4 headlamp. I had great difficulty finding a 5.75 inch, flat face, Cibie H1 headlamp. A deep Google search for Cibie “flat face” led me to Joe English, owner of Group2 Motorsports for the H1 headlamp. The last thing I’m waiting for are some Osram SilverStar H1 bulbs I bought on eBay.

In the end, it’s an experience I prefer not to have gone through.

Alfa Romeo Rust Repair

Alfetta Sprint Veloce in primerThe body shop called today to point out some rust they found when they removed the rear bumper (like I didn’t know about this). I guess what they really wanted to tell me was that it was going to cost more money.

I had ladled POR-15 Rust Preventive Paint on the sheet metal above the left bumper shock six years ago when I saw it looking not so good. I tried to put out of my mind the rust that I could see inside the bumper where the rubber had split.

Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money…

So far the body shop has repaired rust in the front rocker panels, around the base of the windshield on the passenger side (without removing the glass), around the right windshield wiper drive shaft, on the door under the driver’s side window, around the rear bumper shock, below the bottom edge of the rear window and the trailing edge of the trunk lid.

Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce less attractive higher angle

Over the years I had treated those areas with POR-15 and/or Eastwood Rust Encapsulator Paint and that seemed to slow the oxidation down almost completely.

I’d previously done my bush league repair work on the rust on the inner front fender wells and a large hole in the spare tire well – my first attempts at using fiberglass. Those repairs look great if you don’t look at them.