D&S 5: Looking forward

Part of the software pack we run is a program designed to give us a visceral response to the anticipation of an event or situation. The event or situation can be anywhere in the spectrum defined by the shades between agony, ennui and ecstacy. It is this anticipation of things to come that rules our actions as much or more than that which is going on around us. Just consider how often you hear the terms ‘looking forward’ ‘dreaming of’ and ‘imagining’. These are all expressions of expectation that is being shared. The software of anticipated experience, whether tinged with forboding or longing, when viewed in this light, is an important aspect of our humanness. I’m not just talking about big stuff like getting out of jail or sex, this notion applies equally to the little stuff like a first sip of coffee or taking a pee after having to hold it for a while because you’re driving.

This blog post is to help me get a handle on my anticipations surrounding my SS project. There is a lot to consider in the context of this project I’ve chosen to undertake. Simple stuff like exterior and interior color, becomes an anticipated fork in the road to plan for.  What will I do the day I am confronted with that choice and the rest of the project depends on the decision being made and undoing the decision is a matter of thousands of dollars? In light of the gravity of the decision I look forward, I anticipate what it will be like to live with and enjoy or be disappointed with the fruits of my labors.  Or: what color combo should I choose for the SS? What level of quality should I strive for in the finish? Should I run bumpers and all the trim? To what extent should I wring power out of the engine? What brake set-up should I pursue? What rear end ratio should I plan to run?

Metallic dark silvery gray with red interior is not such a bad combo, especially on BAT 5, and is the color combo I am thinking of painting the SS.  Careful with the gray and purple comments my eagle-eyed readers!  I wonder if I can get a paint code for BAT5?

Another version of above dark gray metallic, this one a little lighter than the BAT car.

You see, all these factors have to be weighed on the scales of anticipated outcome, and, like the physical works required to accomplish the project, are best undertaken one at a time. But wait you think, this isn’t necessarily so, because your decision and outcome for the last one and anticipation for the next one has to be considered when dealing with the one in hand. Yes, it’s a slippery slope and it’s especially slippery for me because there is no part of this project where an option is to ‘let it be’. Every single part of this car has to be at minimum touched, cleaned, assembled, adjusted. This project of hours spent doing is also a project of hours spent looking forward in anticipation of doing.

Despite my agreement with J. Kraus in a recent article about color on cars, there is always black, made especially cool by the light gray interiors.
So I ask you, reader who managed to get through the last several paragraphs, what color combo would you choose for this car? What specification would you build the engine to? In essence, what would you do if this project were yours and you had the skills and money required to finish it? Please comment below.

Black on mostly black.  Interior is light gray with black seats.  Simple, elegant monochrome.

What do you say reader?  Copy BAT5 or paint it black or chartreuse perhaps?

Discussion and strategy 4: one piece at a time.


17 thoughts on “D&S 5: Looking forward

  1. Silver on red is a fav of mine. Not sure that I’ve ever seen an alfa with that.

    What displacement options do you have for a 1600 motor? There isn’t really a big-bore kit, is there? I guess you can hog out the intakes and go with bigger valves and a 1750 cam. What does Jeff have in his SS? That this flies like a something out of hell…


    • I could go 1750 pistons in the 1600 liners. Head has been done already to stock at NRG so no changes there. Jeffs car is stock SS spec 1600. I think stock 1600 lower end with Aarons 11 mm C&B cams will be tough. I already have headers.

      Silver is good, but I think the charcoal metallic is a little more my speed.


  2. Matt- Good seeing you yesterday. I also endorse the Dark Grey / Red combo ! Just keep it close to the original Alfa shade. Make it as fast/ safe / efficient as possible. There will be very few coulda shouldas when you are done.

  3. Dark grey meaning anthracite, right? I doubt you’d have any regrets with that decision. I’m also a fan of white on red, but it sounds like you want something darker. You’ve also seen on my TI what Grigio Grafite looks like; again probably too light for what you have in mind.

    The usual word of warning about the C&B cams: you will lose some streetability, especially with a smaller displacement motor. After about 3500 rpms it feels like a turbo booster is kicking in, but until then you have to coax the thing into motion. (I’m sure this isn’t 100% due to the cams – probably some carb + timing improvements could be made.)

  4. A perfectly executed black exterior with a properly done, cranberry red – leather, if possible – interior. A pair of dark sunglasses and a sports jacket casually draped over your shoulders will have the ladies saying ” Is that Marcello ?” .

  5. I agonised over the colour choice for my 750SS especially as, of the 100 made, they were about 2/3 red, 1/3 white (one was grey or silver). Mine was orginally white then silver, then red (colour when I bought it). I chose a period metallic grey, actually Lancia ‘Newmarket Grey’. With a car as curvy as the SS, some colurs, including white, do not reflect light, so all the fabulous contours are lost visually. Red is, well,just red. I do believe it should be a period ‘Italian’ colour though, of which there is a massive range in the paint charts.

  6. I would prefer a dark grey (non mettalic) with a red intereior. I think non mettalic color fits better to a car of the 50th ore 60th.

  7. I have the same dilemma. I’m the guy who bought the two-tone Giulia SS back in June. It is currently a dark gray metallic w/ a silver roof and dark gray interior. I am going to start a complete restoration in the spring. At this moment I am inclined to keep the current color scheme when I repaint – I know it is not original, but I like it. I think the interior might be a dark red. the SS is all about the curves, and I think a metallic paint definitely helps in that regard.

    I owned a black Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 w/ red interior. It was drop-dead sexy – here is the link to the ad for pictures:http://www.ferraris-online.com/pages/carintro.php?reqcardir=FE-365GT22-11199

    When it was clean, it was mesmerizing – and the color scheme really suited the big car (nothing worse for the largest Ferrari ever than being rossa corsa, IMHO), But ten years of trying to properly care for the miles-deep black paint cured me of ever doing it again.

    • Bryan,

      I’m glad you’re going for it and restoring that SS. I would caution against the gray two tone unless you are certain to keep it for ever, as I don’t know if you would find many top of the market buyers looking for a two tone car.

      You have a good point about the black and I am not very good at keeping up with our dark blue Fiat or Black BMW 3 series station wagon, but I can’t help but think I would be pretty serious about taking care of my SS if I have as much of myself tied up in it as it looks like I will have.

      Keep in touch about your car and send the occasional picture!


  8. I had an anthracite Ducati ST2 for a long time, and agree that would make a beautiful SS with some shade of red inside.
    About engine options, power and torque, I dreamed of how great the 1750 would be in my 750 Sprint. Now I sometimes miss the driving experience of many gear changes to keep the stock 1300 above 4000 rpm,and delievering some useable torque. I know this is very personal call, but I’m saying sometimes less power can be more fun.

    • Brad,

      As you know I took a 1750 out of my 59 Sprint in favor of the stock 1300. You probably also know that a 00120 1300 as original for my SS is not going to come along any time soon at a price I can afford -or at least that wouldn’t derail my restoration funds. I am going with the 1600 because it’s what I consider ‘the next best thing’ being a late SS engine and as a late SS/Spider Veloce engine, it has value above and beyond that of any old rebuilt 1600. It’s an investment of sorts in that when an 00120 comes along I can likely sell it at a profit to buy the 1300. Besides, I have it and it’s half rebuilt, now I just have to choose cams etc. All that said I have a blank 101 1300 I could build up, but I’m $3300 in to the 1600 already.


  9. Just thinking out loud, but what about a dark metallic blue-gray, green, or green-gray with the red interior? Make the exterior dark enough so people don’t say you’re driving a Christmas car?

    That said, the BAT color scheme does look like a winner.

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