2012 All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On October - 7 - 2012

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.

(larger images in a slideshow on flickr.com)

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sprint Veloce

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On August - 1 - 2009

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

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On July - 7 - 2009

Alfetta Sprint Veloce in primer

The 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.

Alfetta in the Body Shop

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On July - 3 - 2009

Alfa Romeo in the body shop

After haggling with State Farm Insurance over the value of my car, they agreed to pay for the repairs caused by their insured, errant driver.

Since the front end was being worked on, I decided to pay the body shop for some additional work, mainly replacing the Swiss-cheesed rocker panels behind the front wheel wells. Wolf Steel actually sells the lower front fender repair panels, but when I called them, they said it’d take at 3 weeks to get them. J & J Autobody in Monterey, where the car is being repaired, fabricated the panels and also replaced some of the rusted inner wheel well.

I was also lucky enough to find some Euro bumpers, so I thought it would be a good time to put them on too. Someone had made a bracket for the front that attached to the existing bumper shocks. Unfortunately, they were pop riveted together, so the shop took it apart and put in bolts. I guess the Euro bumper mounts lower so they used snips to remove some metal from the top outer corners so it would clear the front fender a little better.

The body shop also pointed out that the door panels were rusting at the bottom. I’m already spending more than the insurance company paid (and more money than I have) so I told them that was a back burner operation. It’s polyester resin (Bondo) time, for now. That started me thinking about taking off the inner door panels and going at it with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator.

I also have to give a plug to Larry Jr, at Alfa Parts Exchange for going the extra distance to help me with replacement parts. When the body shop told me the car needed a RF fender, the front upper and lower valence, Larry went out an procured an Alfetta for the parts.

Bad Joss

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On June - 2 - 2009
Wide View
Where she parked
 
Where she was supposd to park
The damage
 

I was shopping at the supermarket and came out to this scene. The police officer said the driver was trying to park and she stepped on the accelerator. Go figure.

Her car went up and across a ten foot divider, slammed into my parked car and knocked it eight feet out of its parking space. The Alfa’s right front fender is folded in half at the impact point. The body shop said the fender was irreparable. The Cibie headlights are toast. The apron is pushed into the hood, which won’t open. The frame the radiator is mounted to is bent. The bumper is broken.

The PO at the scene thanked me several times for my equanimity. WTF could I do?

It’s not that I love this car, but I have put a lot of work into it. Next time I park, I’ll make sure there is a tree in front of my car. Like that would make a difference with my luck.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On January - 3 - 2009

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT

Thanks to my friend Kenny, I have an Alfetta Sprint Veloce.

Thanks to my friend Steve Fields, purveyor of automobilia, I now have the book, Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT by David Owen. Owen is the author of numerous Alfa Romeo books.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT covers some of the history of Alfa Romeo, the Alfetta’s family tree, Alfa Romeo racing and the Alfetta GT through the GTV6.

The Alfetta GT chapter outlines the design ideas and engineering solutions to problems such as weight distribution and rear axle design. The result being a clutch-transmission-final drive unit, DeDion rear axle and in-board disc brakes.

Giugiaro's original sketches

I’ve read that Giorgetto Giugiaro‘s original design for the Alfetta GT had retractable headlights, but I’d never seen any images. Owen’s book illustrates that with some of Giugiaro’s original sketches.

For the illiterate crowd, there are eight pages of color photographs plus black and white photographs of Alfettas and its predecessors throughout the book.

Alfetta Cooling Fan

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On September - 28 - 2008

Flex-a-lite S-Blade fan

I think because my 1979 Alfetta Sprint Veloce has an air conditioner, engine cooling seems marginal when the ambient temperature is above 80 F (27 C).

When running at speed, the temp gauge indicates a normal 175 F. But when stuck in traffic, though the engine doesn’t overheat, the gauge goes halfway between 175 F and 250 F (79 C to 121 C).

I had the radiator checked at a radiator shop; they said there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve bled the cooling system at the pump and thermostat and use Red Line Water Wetter in the coolant.

In an effort to help with cooling when the car isn’t moving, I replaced the stock electric fan with a new one. My reasoning was that a fan with a modern design might be more efficient. I bought a model 390 Flex-a-lite S-Blade fan< . It's a 10" fan that advertises 775 CFM. The space behind the radiator doesn't allow dual fans or a larger fan. The new fan doesn't seem to make an difference in cooling.

I also thought about using the new fan to replace the one in front of the A/C condenser but I wasn't sure I'd be able to remove the old fan without removing the radiator and A/C condensor. I know the old fan won't come out through the gills below the bumper. I haven't removed the grills yet. I cleaned a few bugs off the condenser, but even when the A/C fan is on, I can't feel much air coming through if I put my hand behind the radiator.

Fiamm Horns

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On July - 26 - 2008

Fusina Steering Wheel

For some reason, I wanted Fiamm horns. It has something to do with owning an Italian car, seeing all those movies shot on the Cote d’Azur and Rome, and for some reason, associating Fiamm with Italia. Maybe it comes from my Fellini period.

I bought the Fiamm 3 Projector Riviera With Compressor. The triple horns are powered by a 12V+ air compressor. Connectors, tubing and a relay are included in the kit.

On my Alfetta Sprint Veloce, I mounted the 3 horns on the inside of the front section of the wheel well, behind the right side headlights.

To mount the compressor, I used the existing bracket that had one of the OEM horns mounted to it. I had to ream out the hole and bend the bracket 90 degrees. For power, I used the existing 12v+ for the horn and added a ground wire. There is a slight delay while the compressor spools up when I press the horn button.

Fiamm Horns

What it sounds like.

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About Me

I like Alfa Romeos, art, barbecue, baseball, bicycling, cars, cigars, computers, cooking, eating, electronics, fly fishing, football, Formula 1, friends, golf, horology, jazz, movies, museums, photography, r/c cars, r/c helicopters, reading, restaurants, Scotch whiskey, softball, slot car racing, tennis, the internets and travel

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