Finally bought my first Alfa…

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.

742947-r1-015-6_006Here 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.

2492412092_dbe2365341Here 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.

TI at wedding practiceThe 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!

melee 2003 parkinglot tiHere 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.

webHere 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.

engine compartmentI 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.


6 thoughts on “Finally bought my first Alfa…

  1. Dear Matt,

    Congradulations! How often do you get to do a unwind of history? I haven’t finished my 56 Morgan in the time your TI was away. And it was your ‘courting’ car! WHEN you have kids you’ll be glad you have this.

    Keep the revs up,

  2. i just found your page and had sent you an email about this same car a few days ago as i had regonized from the picture that had a “peddle pusher” checking it out back in 03 just before a rally, i believe it was goose bumps. i was trying to buy this very same car on evil bay then just what seemed minutes after the listing was pulled i started hunting around cities close a Alemeda Ca looking for it on cragslist and there it was. alas i was too late, i contacted the owner and he told me it had been sold. i offered to be the back up buyer in case the deal fell through but he’d said it was paid for and was gone. good luck with her, i was so close to bringing that car to the Vancouver B.C. area to share a stable with my 65 giulia spider. damn it, but i wish you good luck with it as you know the old saying…it you love something, let it go, if it comes back it’s yours.
    well,it has found it’s way home.
    i have a friend that sold a 62 spider and after buying it back for the 3rd time has vowed never to sell it again. i am headed down to Vancouver Wa in a few weeks to help him put in the engine and trans as it just came back from the bodyshop from a complete strip down to the shell resto. he will have it at the national convention in Portland this coming July.
    i hope to have my 1969 GTV there and will be low level flying it down from B.C.

    hope to see or meet you there.
    i’ll be with the lowered, red of course 69 gtv with momo mags & Canuck plates probably parked beside my friends 62 white spider and his white 69 gt junior parked on the other side driven by his daughter whom has been a friend of mine since high school, her husband i’ve actually known since kindergarden.

    ps i was looking at a rusty 67 super over this past weekend in the Seattle area. i want a giulia sedan !!


    mike from the great white north

    • You’ll find a Giulia sedan. This car has plenty of rust, probably as bad or worse than ther one Jim has FS in Seattle. Maybe I will see you at the convention, I’ve never gone, but i suppose I should.


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