2011 All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show

All Italian Car and Motorcycle ShowI drove my Alfetta Sprint Veloce to the Alfa Romeo Association of California’s 2011 All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show last Sunday.

I took the photo (left) of my car and started thinking, was Sports Car Market correct? In an Affordable Classics article from the September, 2007, the author used the phrase, “Along with wretched refuse like the Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT…” The photograph seems to bear that out; it appears that nobody wanted to park next to my Alfetta. The reality was that it was late in the afternoon and the cars that had been parked next to the Alfetta earlier in the morning had left.

My Sprint Veloce was the only coupe present that represented the Alfa Romeo Alfetta family but there was an Alfetta sedan too (plus several GTV-6s). There were plenty of Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Fiats, a few Panteras, a few Lancias, a few Maseratis, and a lot of motorcycles – everything was interesting to me.

2012 All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show

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.