Bad Joss


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

Giugiaro’s original sketches for the Alfetta GT prototype

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.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT, by David Owen

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

Flex-a-lite model 390 10-inch S-Blade reversible electric 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 Flex-a-lite 390 S-Blade Black 10″ Electric 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

Fiamm 3 Trumpet Riviera Horns

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 Fiamm 3 Trumpet Riviera Horns. The triple horns are powered by a 12V+ air compressor. Connectors, tubing and a relay are included in the kit.

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

Fusina Steering Wheel, Alfa Romeo horn button

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.

What it sounds like.