1/4/13: Brad sent me this picture of his Gilera and Spiders. Nice! He also has a Honda CL77 Scrambler.
There’s some serious Italian metal in this garage!
12/27/12: Craig sent me this picture of part of his fleet -a very nice duo I think. Anyone else want to share a picture?
Color coordinated, technically interesting and neat! I’ve been looking longingly at /2′s for years. Thanks for sharing Craig.
12/23/12: I spent some time looking at Paul’s blog Vintagent the other evening, reminiscing about the days when I was all about motorcycles. Motorcycles are my first vehicular love, and my first love seems to be experiencing a revival, as I suddenly have slightly more than a few right now crowding my work space. I remember riding in front of my dad on his Triumph to preschool without a helmet -it was the mid-70′s, so I guess I was about 4 – must have stuck as great fun. I inherited that motorcycle for a few years (1991 – 2011 then gave it back), did a few miles on it and, most importantly, figured out how a lot of stuff, like brakes, clutches, electrons etc worked, and had some adventures. Alas for the near absence of pictures from the pre-cellphone days! 1961 Honda CB72 13393, a rare thing, along the lines of a ’56 Sprint sort of rare, with lots of ‘early, one year only’ parts, and a 1964 CL72, somewhat like a ’59-’61 Spider sort of rare. I’ve rebuilt a few of these engines over the years. State of the art superb mechanicals with poor-ish chrome and paint applied over bare metal. Sound familiar? In a weird way Honda of 1962 is a lot like Alfa of 1962, though a case can be made that Ducati is the Alfa of motorbikes. Continue reading
Whenever I need a little reminder that it can be done I go to this site and look for a little inspiration. A BMW 1600GT rebuild in .be with little to no narration, but very eloquent pictures and elegant solutions. Especially helpful is the fact that I have a very similar car that I will be going through some of this stuff with in the near future. Don’t follow the link unless you have some time to spend looking over some good work.
Update on my Glas 1700 GT? It’s headed to a shop for some body work next week, the engine is nearly together and about 30 pieces of the car have been powder coated, so it is moving forward…
The Sprint Speciale of BMW’s? Well, Franco wasn’t involved and realistically it’s a badge engineered Glas GT making it a Frua, and therefore magically Italian, and numbers are low -but low enough to be serious money one day I can’t say.
My goal for the black Sprint right now is to get a lot of the big delicate stuff mounted on it, like bumpers, grills, and trim etc so I don’t have to find places to store it. You probably saw the front bumper on the ground in front of the Sprint in the pictures of my new space -well, on the car seemed like the best place to store it, so I got to work mounting it. Of course, it wasn’t straight forward, I had to chase a lot of threads, straighten some parts and go on and off a bunch of times with it until I was happy with how it fit. It took several hours and went something like this.
Starting at the middle. These grills and bumper are original, warts and all, I just polished them by hand as well as I could with steel wool and Mothers mag polish. I’ll get some electricity involved and polish the heck out of them at some point. Note the spacing between the grills and bumper is fairly even -took a lot of bumper mount bending to make that happen. Grills will have to come back off to fit the lights but this was a good exercise.
It’s been a while since I had a dedicated space to work on my cars. I thought I could do with one car and one parking space. I thought I could keep my tools and parts at my dad’s place. My acquisitive nature has thwarted those thoughts. I now have: Giulietta Sprint, Glas 1700 GT, Lancia Appia (plus parts car), Toyota Stout, NSU Prima IIIKL Scooter and a 1963 Honda Trail 55. As the Byrd’s paraphrased in some old book: there’s a time to gather stones together. I moved out of my one car garage and storage space and signed on with another acquisitive Giulietta owner for a nice big space for very reasonable money. Check it out -it’s why I haven’t been posting much (besides Rufus)!
The space. 1000 sq ft. High ceilings. Lights. Skylights. Giulietta’s waiting for help.
Some cars you pursue, some pursue you. Some need engine work, others bodywork, and still others both and everything in between. This car? Just needs some easy stuff… How did it come to pass? I was in the right place at the right time and rolled with it. A few days later I purchased this series 2 Appia. It needs an engine swap -comes with the new unit even, but needs little else. Check it out.
Heard about it on Monday. Bought it on Tuesday. It’s kind of a metallic gray-green.
The other night I was examining the fabric of my life and found that, while it seemed on the surface I was spread thin, there was actually an area that could be worked to give a little more bandwidth if you will. This examination followed closely on the realizations that I needed to not be dicing with modern traffic daily in my Sprint, that hauling greasy Alfa and Glas lumps around in the back of my wife’s 6 month old Jetta was almost as dicey as a panic stop behind a new German car with ABS while in the Sprint, especially should some gear oil find it’s way into the carcinogenic ‘new car smell’ emitting carpets, and, most subtle of all, there was this old itch that could use a little scratching- you see, back when I was doing 20 unit semesters of engineering course work there was this particularly weird/cool white Toyota pick-up I used to spot on my route to school.
I bought a 1966 Toyota Stout! It’s cousin Norm’s fault. (Australian readers are nodding knowingly -these are tough neat trucks).
The good: it’s got a rebuilt engine with very close to zero miles that runs good; there is not much rust -just the similar-to-an-Alfa rust that happens when dirt is trapped behind the front wheels; the interior is pretty good; to Stout owners chagrin the world over -a perfect windshield (there was one offered on eBay recently for $2000!!!!!!). The bad: the horrible 80′s wheels, the rattle can primer coating, the seat covering, the dark tinted windows and the impossibly funky carb throttle linkages.
I got these color charts in an email from Sascha in Germany who has a 1700 GT. Now that I have the original palette to choose from, I am rethinking the color I should paint the car. It needs a lot of body work so a light color would be best. It looks to have originally been white and later repainted to red. I’m not interested in red, having had a number of red cars over the years. I like the idea of white, but my cousins GT is white. I go on about light blue and gray Alfa’s, maybe this is my chance to paint something one of those. I have alternately decided on light gold, metallic dark dray and metallic light blue, so maybe I should settle on one of those. Tough decision. What do you think? Post a comment with the color from the charts below you would paint a Glas GT if you were about to paint one.
Perlgrau and Aquamarin are pretty sweet.
It’s really funny to think that I had plans to have this car run before Rufus was born, and here he is 6 weeks old already! Well, today I made a big step in the direction of it running -I went and fetched it from Sacramento! As soon as I saw it again the fire was stoked, and I’m hot to get it put together. The bottom end of the engine, rebuilt head and all the other little parts I’ve cleaned up have been waiting for this. Time to get cracking!
Freshly powder coated wheels look great. Tires are 175/70/14′s. Two of the rims had some scale rust around the valve stem hole that prevents the stem from sealing so I will be using inner tubes in those two wheels. Almost looks like a car from this side -being mostly red and all.
Today was an exciting day, the head I dropped off at my local machine shop for a skim and valve job a few weeks ago turned up and progress on the build could begin again. I asked for the budget build -basically the minimum required to get me on the road, which turned out to be new stem seals, a quick pass with a fly cutter to skim the head and a nice valve seat cut.
There’s corrosion around the water passageways and deposits on the exhaust valves, but the head is flat and the valves hold pressure, so it should work -would in Calcutta. Check out the angle the spark plug comes in at.
I was in Palm Springs a recently and while there went to visit Bob, who is restoring a Sprint near in number to mine, to a high standard. I checked out his car, the progress he was making and all the parts he had restored, was in the process of restoring, had recently bought or replaced and spotted this pair of tail light lenses in the ‘not going to use’ pile. I had been shopping for a good set of used tail light lenses and these fit the bill perfectly -the bill being not to dress the car up so much that I want to paint it or anything outlandish like that, yet being an improvement on the cloudy pink lenses my car has worn since I got it -and likely since it was new. A deal of sorts was struck (Thank You !!) and the lenses slowly made their way onto the car.
Can you guess which is which? Much better! I really need to paint my trunk lid, but that’s the top of a slipper slope, that I really want to begin in the engine compartment when the engine comes out for some upgrades (I’m looking for a cast Veloce oil pan if anyone has one to sell…).
Update 1/23/12: In the spirit of taking one for the team -you kind reader being ‘the team’, and the ‘taking one’ is me in the form of admitting to not fully considering this subject before I wrote about it, I am writing this update. It will be open ended and hopefully draw further discussion…
The result I was hoping for has finally happened: those with more knowledge/experience than me (Tom, Rick -thanks) have chimed in in the comments section -(though Tom, I think ‘inexperienced’ is a better word than ‘sloppy’). The question of the cam timing had been bothering me since I wrote the first draft of this post -I even made a table to try and figure out what I was missing, but now it seems to be approaching the obvious. For those that are spectators, or as inexperienced as me, this is what I have been thinking and why I have been thinking it.
Background on the subject:
This is the valve timing chart from the factory printed Giulietta Technical Specifications book. Note that this timing is always based on crank position. There are many versions of this chart for the many models over the years.
The day is getting close when I will have the Glas 1700 GT in a position where I can work on it, the whole thing -probably early next week. The plan was to have the parts I dragged home and those taken from the parts car ready to bolt on when it turned up. The plan is coming along -but I’m behind schedule -in part due to my getting sidetracked doing more than necessary to fix things up as evidenced by the generator below, and in part due to how long it takes to get parts from Germany. I did get the charging system together though!
This is a Bosch 6 volt generator. I had 3 to choose from to clean up and this one was the cleanest, had best bearings and the best brushes. I suppose I’ll restore the other 2 at some point and have them ready for service -it may be a Bosch, but it is a generator after all, and in my experience they are tempermental.