Keith’s Blog: Let the Fettling Begin!

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It was just over 14 months ago that I bought our 1958 Giulietta Sprint Veloce at Concorso Italiano.

I was attracted to it because it was a true numbers-matching Veloce. The freshly restored car had been driven to Concorso from Los Angeles and appeared to have minimal needs. It looked nearly ready for SCM “service” as it sat.

Well, that was $40,000, a near total respray and a complete drivetrain restoration ago.

Last Saturday, I drove out to the suburbs with good friend Doug Hartman (a fellow Alfa owner with a 1969 GTV and a 1967 Super in his garage) to get the Sprint and bring it home.

The first 15 miles were glorious. The tunnel-case tranny shifted perfectly, and the engine pulled strongly – all 1,400 cc of it.

Suddenly, there was no spark. I coasted to the side of the road.

Not long after, the engine builder arrived, and the Sprint was again headed to SCM World Headquarters — this time on a trailer.

The next day, the builder installed a new Pertronix distributor, and the car fired right up. Now, I need a dry day to put 100 miles or so on the car and see how it behaves.

It’s good to have the car back, and I’ll report as we fix all the little things, one after the next, that are keeping the Sprint from being a car. I’m making my list of things that need to be attended to, including a heater fan that doesn’t seem to work, a paint run in the door jamb, and other small things.

 The dialing-in really won’t take very long, and it’s an essential part of making any collector car useful  and enjoyable.

 

 

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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