Keith's Blog: The New SCM Accidental Purchase – Got Any Parts We Need?
|Written by Keith Martin|
|Monday, 13 August 2012 12:53|
The “duckling imprint” theory of collecting continues to rear its billed head around the SCM offices.
Many years ago, I had an Alfetta GT as my daily car. While it was a profoundly poorly-constructed vehicle and cost me thousands of dollars in my short period of ownership, nonetheless I was always taken with its rakish lines: the way the front edge of the hood protruded like the eyelashes of a sultry Italian vixen, and the curious placement of the instrument cluster between the driver and passenger. That it has a transaxle confirms the link between my car and the famous racing Alfetta GT monopostos of the 1950s.
By now nearly all the 1970s Alfettas are gone, victims of rust, primitive and expensive-to-repair emission controls, complicated and expensive-to-repair (does this sound familiar?) inboard rear brakes and a general lack of love from the Alfa community.
I happened to be at our favorite Alfa repair facility, Nasko’s, picking up our 1967 GTV after having its fuel sender replaced (the pickup is integrated into the sender, and when it fractures, only the top three gallons in the tank are accessible).
I mentioned in passing to Nasko that I could be interested if a really nice Alfetta GT came along—secure in the knowledge that since nice ones don’t exist, my interest couldn’t cost me anything.
“You mean like that one over there?” he replied. The hook was set. It was a second-generation 1978 model, with electronic ignition and an upgraded alternator. The engine had just been professionally rebuilt 2,000 miles ago, with receipts totaling $4,500.
The car was extremely straight, although not in my favorite color, cream (crema). The velour interior didn’t have a single rip, and the dash wasn’t cracked. The car had factory a/c (although who knows when it last worked) but with a later-style rotary compressor. It had 141,000 heavily documented miles. Asking price was $3,000.
I took Alex with me when I went to drive the car. She was direct. “Dad, it’s not my cup of tea. It kind of looks like a Scirocco. But if it means I’ll have more time to drive the GTV, I support you.”
The stack of receipts dating back to the early ‘80s showed that this Alfa had bled every owner dry, including the man I bought it from. What makes me think my situation will be any different? Hopelessly naïve collector-car optimism, of course.
Final price was $2,000. The steal of life? Hardly. The SCM Pocket Price guide lists these at $3,500 to $5,000, with the best one in the world worth probably a 50% premium.
So I’ve got room for some enhancements without going underwater. Here’s what I’d like to do, and if you have any of the parts I need, please let me know. I’d like to put on a Quadraflow to get that good induction sound back. I’ll need a thicker front sway bar and shorter, stiffer rear springs, as I will be lowering the car. A vintage Shankle Sure-Shift kit would be good, as would a set of mild street cams for the 2.0-liter engine. Some good period mags would dress the GT nicely. I think finding Euro-spec bumpers would be too much to hope for – but maybe some big rally lights for the front? And how about some Euro-spec yellow headlights? The steering wheel has lost its finish—Anyone have a good one sitting it their attic? Anything else you Alfetta fanatics think I should be aware of or looking for?
Oh yes—and do you think it is feasible to bring the a/c back to life?
If you’ve got any of these bits laying around, drop me a line. Or come chat at Monterey.
My vision is that this becomes my no-money family Alfa; I am hesitant to drive the GTV in daily traffic, and we can’t get Bradley in to the Giulia Spider Veloce. Just think—lowered, good sound, big lights in front, some AutoDelta stickers… There, I’ve convinced myself. Are the rest of you on board?