It’s not very often you get a chance to undo something you did that you regret. My first Alfa was a this 1964 1600TI and I sold it after about a year of ownership. It came up for sale last week on eBay and Craigslist for less than I sold it for. When I saw the pictures I understood why. The guy I sold it to had ground paint off in areas he suspected had rust under the paint, pulled the drive-train out and took the interior and front end trim apart. As sad as it was to see this car in this state and knowing full well it would be difficult to get it back to the state it was when I had it (which wasn’t all that great and to add insult to injury, it appears he lost some of the parts), I had to decide if it was worth it to buy it back and get it back on the road.
Here it is being delivered to me when I bought it off eBay for $3500 in late 2002. Car looked great in the pictures and the plan was to fly to Atlanta and drive it home, but the seller changed his tune about it being capable of making the 3000 mile drive so I shipped it. That’s a younger version of me and my cousin Norm pushing it onto the loading deck. Car needed a clutch almost immediately and would likely have stranded me if I drove it home.
Here it is on it’s first rally, the inaugural 2003 Alpine 500, being inspected by Pedal Pusher ‘Goosebumps’. We missed day one, the only year the drive had snow, because of a wedding and drove through the night to meet at the Saturday night stay over at the Cal Neva. It was snowing on the Donner Summit and we were turned around by the CHP and had to stay the night in Sac. This car, with a tired 1300 pulled it’s way at 80mph up to the summit in the driving rain. When we got to Sac to spend the night one of the driving lights had come off its mount and was dangling.
The next big event for this car was as the transport for my bride-to-be and her brides maids from our house to our wedding. Here it is at the wedding rehearsal, still missing it’s passenger side driving light. It appears my future mother-in-law thought I was taking a picture of her!
Here it is in the parking lot of the Driftwood Inn in Fort Bragg on the 2003 California Melee. It appears someone is trying to get in the trunk, probably me.
Why did I sell this car in the Fall of 2003 after a year of ownership? It had a lot of minor cosmetic problems, it was not very original and I thought a GTV was the car for me. In retrospect it was a good car, never missing a beat whether doing daily service to college or a 700 mile + rally weekend. The single carb 1300 was slow to get to 80 but was turbine smooth at any speed.
I talked it over with my wife and decided I would give this car another chance so now it sits, like a rescued dog, in my shop space waiting for me to give it a bath and a once over. What are my plans? I suppose I could pull the 1750 complete with trans out of the Berlina and stick it in this car, do the brakes, screw everything back together and start driving it, but it has a lot of spots down to the bare rusty metal so maybe a trip to Maico for the ‘El Presedente’ $199 blow over is the way to go. Look for more on this car in the coming weeks.
Here it is today. Nice key scratch. That dent behind the rear wheel happened a week before I sold it, the result of living on the streets of San Francisco.
I think this is Chevy textured trunk paint. I opted to get the 1300 I had in the car over this 2 liter, since I couldn’t know how well this engine was rebuilt and I knew the 1300 was good.
I suppose this means the SS is going to have to wait a little longer. I am oddly at peace though, since I now have the three Alfas I hoped would make up the permanent stable; a Sprint, an SS and a TI.