Berlina Register Newsletter No. 20 (May 2005)
Notes and Comment
††††††††††† Welcome to Berlina
Register newsletter 20.† Not much car
news from me this time, other than that I parted out a 1974 Berlina
in February.† Useful parts went all over
the country from it. In the Forum section I talk about the unique aspects of
factory air conditioning from that car.†
The feature this issue was kindly written by Rik
Zuurbier, from the
††††††††††† In market activity, several Berlinas recently sold for unexpected prices.† Bobcor in
††††††††††† The keeper of the Berlina Register is Andrew Watry.† Phone (510) 526-0391.† Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.† Send me corrections to your register information or any other Berlina-related facts, rumors, tips, or needs.† Always seeking articles and ads for the newsletter.†
††††††††††† I recently parted out a giallo piper 1974 US Berlina with factory air conditioning.† I'd heard such a thing existed, but had never seen it before.† I will list here the various aspects of the AC system, and attendant changes to the car.† At first I thought it might be a dealer or aftermarket add-on, but on close examination many of the changes could only have been done at the factory, which convinced me otherwise:
* The AC unit/heater is a single combination box that fits where the regular heater unit goes, behind the dash and above the trans hump.† It is big, and a very tight fit.† The AC vents and controls stick out almost to the shifter.† It includes two extra firewall holes for the AC hoses to pass through and a hole in the tunnel for the condensation drain.† All holes were cleanly done, stamp-cut with a perimeter of removed sound-deadening.
* AC compressor mounted where battery would normally go, on heavy mounts.† AC hoses come through firewall near starter, and cross over to compressor behind engine and then along left inner fender.† Presumably the car would have a two-belt crank pulley and probably an idler pulley to drive the AC unit, but this car's engine was gone so I can't say.
* No battery box in engine compartment, and thin, long battery box and battery tiedowns spot-welded on right side of trunk shelf, with provision for a plastic battery cover like on late SPICA spiders.† Tarry sound-deadening is not applied where the box goes, and in fact was folded back and cut off before painting.† The positive battery cable goes through a stamped hole in the rear seat support, runs down behind the seat and out through a hole in the floor, under the car to the starter.† This cable has two stamped steel covers over it under the seat and in the wheelwell.
* Slightly tinted glass all around.† It's hard to tell it's tinted until you compare to regular glass.
* Center console cut away at front edge to clear AC unit, done cleanly with vinyl covering factory folded and stapled on the back.† No heater fan switch on console, but instead a small Alfa emblem clipped where the hole would be.† AC and heater controls are on the AC unit.
* Possibly an electric radiator fan that comes on with the AC compressor.† This car had one installed, but I can't say for sure it's original.
††††††††††† The same setup was used on GTVs, where it appears to have been more common. I've seen several aftermarket AC units on Berlinas before, but this is the first factory unit I've seen.
A Life of Alfas
by Rik Zuurbier
been driving 105 series Alfas for over 15 years, starting out with what was
only just affordable. In
††††††††††† Thatís when I found out that, like in the States, Berlinas offer much more value for money than comparable Giulias, let alone Giulia Coupes. So, after some time, more and more lonely Berlinas found their way towards me. Cars were broken up, restored or part restored, and a hoard of parts stacked up.††
couple of years ago I finally found a really good Blu
Olandese 2000 Berlina. This
car was further perfected using my own stock of parts. In
††††††††††† A towbar was installed, nice ICE, and last year a set of GTA replica wheels. Nicely lowered, it makes a proud package, and many Alfa drivers compliment me on the car. Earlier this year I had a bonus, in buying a literal wreck of a Berlina, which came with a completely new interior set.†† So an old set of seats and rear bench went to an upholsterer, and the car came back really transformed. I had a middle armrest made up, and the car was resplendent in dark blue with a light tan artificial leather interior.
††††††††††† However, having had several other Alfa 105s in the meantime, I had one complaint. Due to running on LPG the car wasnít really crisp and fast.† So when I had a trade in on a modified Giulia with a wild Twin Spark conversion, I knew what I had to do.† The engine of an Alfa 75 TS (in US, a Milano) is a modified version of the old Nord engine. So it isnít very difficult to convert it to running in an older 105 series. Instead of opting for a set of 45 Webers, I decided to go the whole way and run it injected.† So now I have a Bosch-injected Twin Spark, with a custom made tubular header, special cams, pistons (JE), and modified chip.† The car runs the original Nord water pump and tach drive assembly, original radiator etc., and has the computer hidden inside the passenger compartment. Underhood appearance was made to look stock by the use of original Alfa fasteners, clamps, and so on.
††††††††††† Even right now, in the middle of winter, the car starts without priming, without first having to push the throttle several times. Just twist the key and whap! A low rumble through the 60 mm exhaust system and absolute instant throttle response. This car is FAST! On the straightaways in fifth, driving 80 Kph at 2200 revs, all you have to do is push the pedal to the metal to get instant GO!† No hiccups, no carb surge, just instant movement. Fun is driving in the right lane at 100 Kph where 120 is allowed, and checking out the rear view mirror for up and coming Beemers and suchlike. When they come up on your bumper, just pushÖ People canít imagine how a 32 year old Lada look-alike can beat their 5 series BMW just like that!† (I donít think it a Lada look-alike, others doÖ)
††††††††††† The car's suspension is set up in a mildly sporting way, to cure understeer and give better steering response by way of a stiffer stabiliser bar up front, red Koni shocks and stiffer springs. At the rear the rear stabiliser is removed, stock shocks and lowered springs do the job just as they should. Uprated rubbers are used in the rear trailing arms and triangle. Next to do about the suspension is to fit adjustable upper arms to the front, so as to increase camber a bit. Thatís all I will do to the suspension, because the purpose of this car is not sporting, but to be a comfortable and fast daily driver. For going really fast, Iíve a 69 Bertone which is much more modified.
as I follow in the
pointed out in Newsletter 19, there are some differences in the versions
delivered in several countries. As far as I know, Dutch versions are basically
the same as Italian. Cars where delivered without door mirrors. German cars
indeed have an aluminium builder's plate inside the
engine compartment, as do French cars. Iíve only seen
pictures of cars with headrests on the rear bench, but I believe this is US
only (Ed: no rear headrests in the
were sold in
††††††††††† As far as I can see in my own stock there was a huge range of colors for the interior. Leatherette or velours, colors known are light beige, tan, tobacco, blue, burgundy and black. All 2000 versions had headrests up front, mostly with the wooden supports. Any system as to why some cars have steel supports to the headrests is beyond me. Some cars have green tinted glass, some have Jaeger instruments, some Veglia, but it doesnít look like there is any system in this as regards to year and/or model. Iíve seen at least three different kinds of ash trays on the 2000 consoles.
cars donít have an LSD, although I have read this was
an option. All 2000 versions I have had had LSD fitted with, if memory serves
me right, 10/41 axle ratio (Ed: maybe
4.3?). A shorter axle ratio was available for
thatís some information from me about Berlinas. If
anyone out there wants to know about the TS conversion, send me an email. And
if there is anyone who knows of a complete automatic Berlina
somewhere near or in
Berlina Market Report
††††††††††† * 1969 Euro 1750 Berlina.† Excellent,
restored grey/tan car. Restored and imported by Bobcor.
Carbs, full Euro spec; excellent throughout. $9,100 ebay.
††††††††††† * 1974
Wanted: Pair of round front amber marker lights/lenses for a 1969
Berlina parts for sale: I still have big and small Berlina parts from several parted cars, including lights, hood, doors, trunk lid, front glass, back glass, taillights, spears, C-pillar chrome air vent covers, red 1969 marker lights, cowl/wiper covers, wiper motor, lots of misc. bits. Looking to clear out garage so inquire with needs. Andrew Watry; email@example.com or (510) 526-0391.
Wanted: Good tan door panels with armrests for 1967 Giulia Super. Other colors considered if full set. Andrew Watry; firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 526-0391.