Saturday, December 25, 2010

All Jacked Up: Ebay 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

I like how the seller seems forthright in his auction description about the work needed for this car. Let me make his case why this isn't as bad as it seems, especially for the reasonable opening bid amount of $1500.

Let me first say that this looks considerably better than I would expect for a car that has been sitting in a pasture with a peacock and a horse lifting a leg on it every chance they get. Which leads me to think that it may have been tarted up a bit for the auction. Maybe he spray-bomb painted it red, painted the brake drums black or just buffed out the existing paint to give it some shine. It looks tidier than it should.

All that aside, there is nothing worse than starting into a restoration on one of these 750 or 101 Alfas and finding terminal rust near the rear trailing arm mounts. As pictured and as testified, they look very solid. If they check out that alone justifies the beginning bid price. Welding in a patch on a firewall tunnel is not nearly as critical as rust in those areas.

The cut floorboards/pan don't scare me either, because you will end up cutting them anyway to put a 5spd. Alfa box in to make the car livable on the freeway. Most Giuliettas have had it done, albeit crudely. This gives you a chance to do it right. However, I would want a closer look at how badly the frame was molested before jumping in. It looks like at least one crossmember has been cut away.

The seller says he is ordering new tires for the car? Let's hope they are the proper size (which limits it to Vredesteins 155/15s) and let's hope they go with the sale. That would be $500 right there.

Check behind the nose on this car. Very few remain unscathed due to their delicate bumperettes. Look for a grafted nose or signs of metalfinishing. If its a clean one it's a big bonus.

This car is on the wrong side of the country. It's in sunny, rust free California and in the epicenter of Alfa Enthusiasts (S.F. Bay Area). Alfa guys there can afford to be picky-they have a lot to choose from. If it were in Chicago -or Germany for that matter- it probably would not have lasted on Ebay for a day.

Giuliettas are one of the few vintage Italian sportscars that can be restored out of a catalog. That is to say that almost every bit of it can be sourced from suppliers, just like the American classic and muscle cars.

Get this in the hands of a craftsman. It deserves to be saved. And the current market range for good G.S. Normales ($20k-$45k) should make it doable.


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