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= &nb= sp; Berlina/Giulia Register Newsletter No. 25 (November 2007)
Notes and Comment
Welcome to Berlina/Giulia R= egister Newsletter 25. In this issue we have a first-person piece by Gary Fortner about his turbo Berlina and his years as= a founding partner of JAFCO. Al= so, my writeup on the second annual Berlina Register tour, “Berlinas to the Bovine.” I’m unde= r pressure to add more tours, so I’ll try for one in the spring, and maybe a sec= ond one later in the year in Southern California. We’ll see how it goes.<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> Big market report this time with s= ome big prices.
I failed to appreciate, or = announce in the first 2007 newsletter, that the Berlina Register is now 10 years old, with 425ish Berlinas listed, 215ish Giulias listed, and 25 Newsletters to i= ts credit. woo hoo.
Idle hands are the devil= 217;s workshop. Since last newsletter, I (1) fixed= up, drove for six months, then sold a 1965 Mustang since my son didn’t wa= nt it, (2) bought a 1969 Ford F100 pickup that merely needs its 700-pound 360 = CI V8 replaced, (3) bought, fixed up, drove, and sold a 1989 Graduate, and (4)= was given a 1984 Spider Veloce. S= ince its engine would turn only about halfway before hitting something internall= y immovable, I gave up trying to get it to run and sold it to APE. A 1971 GTV that had sat unused out= side for 15 years also passed briefly through my scuderia. I spent a couple days getting it roadworthy (fired right up), then sold it to a guy in LA who already had 19 other GTVs.
The big news is I bought a = clean, patina-rich 1961 Giulietta Spider Veloce from Bill Gillham. One owner for a= lmost 40 years, then briefly passed through a couple sympathetic owners, then to me. Lovely, and the virtual t= win of my friend Jim’s Spider, in which we used to commit lawless acts of highway stupidity during high school. One or more cars will be on the auction block to pay for this. I’ve been working on my patina-too-rich Berlina steadily and it is dialed in to become a mild time trial car, but weekend schedule conflicts dictate that I won’t get it= to the track til early 2008. Squadra Patina lives! My 1974 GTV will retire from track= use; after two spins last event, I need to do more suspension development, and I’ve decided the car is just too nice to put into the wall at Buttonwillow.
The keeper of the Berlina R= egister and North American Giulia Sedan Register is Andrew Watry, email email@example.com. Send me corrections to your register information or any other Giulia- and Berlina-related facts, rumors, tips, or needs. Always seeking articles for the ne= wsletter. The keeper of the international Gi= ulia Sedan Register is Barry Edmunds in Australia, email firstname.lastname@example.org= p>
Building and Living With= a Turbo Berlina
by Gary Fortner
I purchased my current 1972 Berlina in= 1984. My brother actually flew to Florida for me and drove it home. I found it in= the national AROC newsletter. I paid $3500 for it, and at the time, that was somewhat of a high price. But I thought the cosmetics and condition justifi= ed it. Unfortunately, when I personally examined the paint, it had those small cracks indicative, so I’ve been told, of poor primer before the metal= lic blue paint was sprayed. So, I decided to have the car stripped, re-primered, and repainted. So now I was deep financially into the car. I dropped in a rebuilt 2 liter motor and drove it as my everyday driver for about 10 years= . It was straight and beautiful, and I really enjoyed it.
= However, recently I started longing for the performance 1973 Burgundy colored Berlina that I owned from 1976-1985. That Berlina had been the one of early test vehicles for the JAFCO turbo system. It was the vehicle featured in Road &a= mp; Track in April 1980. My friend and partner, Howard Jackson, and I had formed JAFCO (Jackson-Fortner Company) back in 1977. As a noted Alfa enthusiast si= nce the late 50’s, Howard was always into making Alfas faster. I met Howa= rd in 1971 when I bought his heavily modified 1967 GTV for $2500. He became the mechanical “father figure” that my real dad was not. He spent h= ours helping me with old Alfas that I bought and repaired. He was a really speci= al person. At nearly 40 years my senior, he had already lived a very colorful life. As an ex-factory rider for Indian motorcycles before WWII, he had sto= ries about racing on the sand at Daytona Beach, betting Harley guys that his “stock” Indian could smoke their Harleys, and the time he almost killed his best friend when he ran up the rear end of his bike at over 100m= ph. As that story goes, they were racing somebody for money, and Howard was drafting behind his friend’s bike. As they sped through the determined finish line for this race (they won), his friend lifted his chest up off the tank to gain wind resistance to slow down, yet Howard didn’t realize = this until it was too late. He said he crashed right into the back of his bike. = His friend tumbled/crumbled to a stop; Howard said he slid on his butt until he stopped. He said that his leather wallet really saved him from losing a lot more skin. His friend nearly died that night in the hospital, but fortunate= ly survived to ride again. Little did his Harley competition know that Howard = had learned all the tricks for lightening internal components, cam modification= s, etc., from the best factory mechanics in Springfield, Mass., so all his bik= es were highly modified. Howard’s desire to always have that racer’= ;s edge was infectious. I came to desire the same advantage. Which leads us finally to turbocharging the DOHC Alfa 1750/2000 engine.
= Sometime in the late 1970’s, Howard decided that the 1750/2000 engine was an excellent engine to turbocharge. It had a proven bottom end, good heat dissipation with the wet-sleeved liners, and mechanical fuel injection. At = that time most aftermarket turbo kits relied on “draw through” or “blow through” carburetors. Each design had its pros and cons, = but most of the cons dealt with adequate fuel delivery in a greater-than-atmosp= heric pressure environment. The obvious advantage of the Spica fuel injection was that the injector injected fuel at very high pressure, so overcoming pressurized airflow wasn’t a problem. Howard met with turbocharging expert from that era, Ak Miller, and with Ak’s help determined that t= he Air Research T04 turbocharger was sized best for the 1750/2000 engine. Howa= rd fabricated a “log style” manifold from steel tubing, purchased = an airflow restrictor from Ak to restrict the boost pressure to 7 psi, and soon thereafter was driving his 1974 turbo GTV around Orange County. My first impression of driving a turbo’d 2000 was the smoothness. The power se= emed to come on effortlessly. We used the term “lift off” to describe the sensation of the extra torque coming on. It was great to feel the engine pulling hard from 4000 to 6000 rpm. Back when I owned the 1967 GTV that How= ard had modified, he had installed a pretty wild factory race cam with lots of duration. It pulled real hard from 5500-7500 rpm. The turbo probably pulled just as hard, only it was way more fun to use that torque at the lower rpm.=
= It wasn’t too long before the exhaust manifold began to crack, so Howard located a mold maker in San Diego who was willing to build a casting mold in exchange for us installing a turbo system on his 1969 Spider. The cast vers= ions of the manifold provided the necessary durability, and by 1978, JAFCO was founded and we started to market our aftermarket turbo kit. Not too long thereafter, Shankle came out with their turbo system, which used a draw-thr= ough carb approach. A few years later, the Alfa factory offered a factory turbo system on some Euro-only cars that featured, I believe, a pair of blow-thro= ugh Dell’Orto carbs. Our kit sold for something like $1895.
= Like any product, particularly a mechanical one, that doesn’t get enough testing before it is released for sale (like Microsoft Windows), the proble= ms started cropping up: broken ring lands on the stock pistons, exhaust manifo= ld mounting studs that broke or sheared off, and burned head gaskets on occasi= on. Supporting our original early customers with rework proved to be both costly and tiring. Howard soon decided that he could make more money and have less grief if he just worked on repairing Alfas (he had a loyal, local following= ). So, around 1979, we decided to split the business. I took the turbocharging side of the business, and Howard kept the shop and returned to repairing Al= fas.
= I was a 25 year-old Alfa/engine enthusiast who thought this turbo business had more legs. I opened my own shop in Santa Ana, named it Alfa Speciale, and b= egan building engines designed for the turbo. I set upon solving the aforementio= ned problems. It was apparent that nearly all of the major engine problems were caused by engine detonation or “pinging,” sometimes inaudible. Detonation is caused by one or a combination of the following: too-lean air/fuel ratio, too-advanced ignition timing, or too-low octane fuel.
= Below are the major fixes/improvements that I made to JAFCO turbo system after we split the business:
If my memory serves me correct, there = were approximately 40-50 JAFCO systems sold. Most of those were sold by me with = the improvements noted above. Between ~1985 and 2005 I lived a turbo-less life.= I got married and had two wonderful kids. Became a little league coach and remodeled a house. But I never sold my 1972 Berlina and I hung onto my remaining turbo inventory and engine supply, much to the chagrin of my wife. But I knew my day would come. With my son heading off to college in t= he fall of 2005, I decided it was time to execute the plan. I had saved my sec= ond turbo engine from the 1973 Berlina (I drove the first engine over 60,000 mi= les of pure joy) and it was relatively fresh. I cleaned up the head, found the complete 2½” exhaust system, and went about the installation. I completed it just in time to meet the deadline for a dyno testing special e= vent held at MagnaFlow exhaust here in SoCal in October 2006. The results from t= hat dyno test were posted on the AlfaBB. I believe it generated just over 200hp= at the rear wheels with 11 psi boost. Pretty much the same setup as I sold in = the early 1980s (with perhaps a couple of extra tweaks…ala Howard).
= For those of you who haven’t ridden in or driven a turbocharged 2000 Alfa, I’m sorry. It spoils you. My stock 1972 GTV feels pretty… pretty… sluggish. Looking back, I don’t know how I ever made the transition from my 1973 turbo Berlina to my 1972 stock Berlina. I guess I w= as just into making that car a very original example. But given that the turbo Berlina is just so damn drivable, I don’t see how I did it?! Ba= ck in the early 1980s, there just weren’t too many cars that I didn̵= 7;t think I could give a good run. Now today there are lots of fast cars. But t= he Berlina may be still the perfect sleeper car. However, lowering it consider= ably (~2”), and running 205/50 tires kind of gives a hint that there may be something different about this car.
= I hope to begin running time trials with it this spring. It’s not as cosmetically nice as it once was, so I won’t lose sleep over some pai= nt chips. I just need to sort out the brakes and the handling before I take it= on the track.
“Berlinas to the Bovine” Marin tour <=
On Sunday, Sept. 16, the Berlina/Giulia Register hosted its second annual Berlina/Giulia tour, this = year from Berkeley to Point Reyes Station and back. These cars (and bikes) and folks attended, many from the ARA:
* Giulia TI, Dave Parmente=
* Giulia TI 1300, Peter Gaudette
* Giulia Super, Andrew Watry
* 1750 Berlina, Craig and Jack Morningstar
* 2000 Berlina, David Johnson
* 2000 Berlina, Stevan Thomas
* 2000 Berlina, Richard Gray
* 1975 Alfetta Sedan, Jeff Barhoum
* 1979 Sport Sedan, Randy Lee
* Milano, Andrew Smith
* 1750 GTV, Ruth Ann Yager
* 2000 GTV, John Gaccione
* Giulia Sprint GT Veloce, Glenn Oliveria
* Giulietta Sprint Veloce, Nick Paige
* 1991 Spider Veloce, Jonathan Thames
* Lancia Fulvia, Shaun Pond
* Ferrari 308 GTS QV, Kevin Hurley
* BMW 2002, Derek Watry
* Porsche 911 SC, Tom Ramsey
* BMW R Paris-Dakar, Vince Bennett
* Ducati 1098 S Tricolore, Gene ??<= br> * Suzuki SV650S, Jonathan Mandel
Also attending the festivities, but not going on the drive, were:
* Fiat Abarth 1000 replica, Walt Paladini
* Giulia Sprint Speciale, Jeff Glenn
* BMW 1600, Aaron Curtiss
The group convened at
Fellini’s in Berkeley for coffee, then set out towards Marin at
9:00. Heading out Lucas Valle=
the group left the clouds behind and it was beautiful and mild by the time =
stopped for a regroup in Nicasio.
Then up to Chileno Valley Rd., then Marshall Petaluma Rd., and south=
Highway 1 to Point Reyes Station, to the planned stop at the Bovine Bakery =
more coffee and pastries, plus Cowgirl Creamery cheese. After hanging out for an hour, we =
back on our horses and returned to Berkeley via Lucas Valley Rd., having pi=
salad, figs, and beer at my house, plus doing a starter swap on a Berlina,
which generated applause when the new one worked first try (after push-star=
the car through the tour).
Award for Nicest Car went =
Gaudette’s Celeste Green Giulia TI 1300, a recent ebay acquisition.
The Most Eye-Popping Color Award c=
went to Jack and Craig Morningstar’s 1969 Berlina, literally just out=
the paint shop in a blinding red. =
was great, with no crashes, tickets, or breakdowns, and no apparent domestic
disputes. A really fun, low-k=
all the way around.
Berlina/Giulia Market Report
1977 Nuova Super. Red with black interior. A de= cent looking, running car, recently brought from Europe, that seemed complete and functional, though the ebay listing mentioned a number of small faults (oil leaks, low oil pressure, some switches broken). From the pictures looked like a reasonable car, though there were no close-ups of the structure or undersid= e, so it was hard to just the body condition or rust. $4,349 ebay, NC. This seemed like a fairly low pric= e if the car’s structure was reasonable, which it appeared to be in the pictures. Many cars brought f= rom Europe are rustbuckets, though this one didn’t appear to be one. All = in all, a good price for the buyer. 6/07
1968 Giulia 1300 TI. Light blue with black interior.
1969 US 1750 B= erlina. Maroon with tan interior. Mechanically solid car with some cosmetic issue. Came to Calif from Colo several years ago, and shows modera= te rust on the lower body as a result. Decent looking, and good mechanicals wi= th rebuilt lower engine, full Euro Weber setup, and recent brake work. Interior passable but wearing. Shod with Vredestein snow tires in coastal Calif. $3,400 craigslist, Calif. I think prices for high-end cars a= re down, and prices for decent drivers are up. In spite of looking pretty good ov= erall, this car has a big rust hole in= the left rear fender, which would have made it a $1,000 car a couple years ago, regardless of the running condition. The owner did lots of mechanical work on this car, which was reporte= d to drive quite well, and he must have had far more than the selling price in t= he car. This would be a great dr= iver to use as is, but the buyer, who already has more than 20 Alfas (including buying a GTV from me the week before this), will probably do a full restoration. Overall, a sligh= tly high price for the condition, but probably where the market is headed. 7/07
1976 1300 Nuov= a Super. Red with black interior. Brou= ght into California from Switzerland in 2001 and apparently legal here. Bottom edges of rear fenders appea= red very rusty, but otherwise car looked reasonable. Car alleged to operate just fine a= s a daily driver. $3,200 ebay, Calif. In spite of the obviou= s rust and worthless description by the seller, I think the buyer who clicked Buy = It Now got a good-to-great deal. Unless you could stick your feet through its floors, a decent lookin= g, operable Giulia sedan for $3,200 in California is nowadays a steal. Granted this is a Nuova, with the dumbed-down character of that model compared to earlier Giulias, but this i= s no longer a market in which you can be picky if you want to own one. Buyer was smart; seller would prob= ably have gotten a much higher price. 7/07
1969 US 1750 B= erlina. Maroon car with tan interior. A long-time resident of Central California, this Berlina has led nine lives with different owners, engines, fuel systems, etc. In regular= use til recently, it burns oil and needs a rebuild. It is cosmetically sad. Complete and essentially straight,= there is some pretty good rust showing along the lower edges, and big paint issues from age. Tan interior looked pretty good. $2,025 ebay, Calif. This car, sold by a knowledgeable Alfa shop, attracted 16 bids, but = all were conservative. This strik= es me as a pretty good price for the seller, considering it needs an engine, rust repair, and paint, reinforcing my view that the bottom of the market has mo= ved up. A few years ago this woul= d have been a giveaway or parts car, but times have changed. 1750s are sought after, but this o= ne does need work in several areas, always a challenge for the home Alfa nut, = or expensive if you’re writing checks. 8/07
1974 US 2000 B= erlina. “Volvo gold” car with = tan interior. Operable car, with = some issues, that’s been in the Bay Area its whole life. Originally beige cava, repainted a startling 90s Volvo metallic copper. Body complete, but some dings and rust. Mechanically average; driveable, b= ut engine is getting tired and the steering is the hardest I’ve ever felt. $2,000 craigslist, Calif. This is one of those c= ars that’s operable, but has stuff to be done all over; it’s been a beater driver for years. I considered buying this car a couple years ago and felt then it was a $1,000 project car. Times have chang= ed some, and while the car is basically unchanged, the bottom of the market has elevated some, and the entry fee to any 105/115 sedan has risen. The owner will be learning to do s= ome work himself, or writing some checks, to use as a regular car. That said, if this was overpriced,= it wasn’t by much, so basically a fair deal for both parties. The car does have a certain street appeal in its garishness, and isn’t a hopelessly sad case. 8/07
1973 US 2000 B= erlina. Blue/tan car with Bosch Spider eng= ine and transmission. A custom Be= rlina, with the Bosch-injected engine, nonstandard look-at-me bright blue paint, a= nd big Panasport wheels. All very nicely done to a high standard. Overall a very nice car, with a history of modification, formerly ha= ving housed a different Bosch engine and automatic transmission. $8,800 ebay, Calif. This car is very nicely done, but = may not be to everyone’s taste; it’s on the outskirts of pimptown, = if you ask me. And although a Bo= sch engine might be easier to live with in the real world than a Spica engine, = it doesn’t perform as well or sound as good. If this car had been stock in this= same condition, I think it would bring at least $2,000 more, so I think the seller took a h= it because of the mods, if the deal was consummated.&= nbsp; Ebay listing was devoid of useful information, which didn’t he= lp the selling price. This was at least its third round on ebay over several years. 8/07
1972 US 2000 Berlina
car. Very good overall condition with much recent work to elevate from beat=
status to be a nice car.
Cosmetically quite nice, with a few small flaws including cracked
windshield. Interior and
mechanicals all redone. $8,950
ebay, Calif. Produced by a gu=
has created several over-$12,000 Berlinas on ebay. This car showed a lot of
effort to get to a very nice condition (I considered buying it years ago as=
Bay Area beater, but passed). Lots
of body, interior, and mechanical work done. Maybe a tick below the condition o=
produced by the seller in the past, but still very nice. Bid to $8,200 on ebay but didnR=
meet reserve; negotiated $8,950 afterward with longtime Alfa buyer in Midwe=
Price seemed a bit low for condition, but I think the trend is off high-pri=
Alfa sedans right now. The cr=
windshield will be upwards of $1,000 to fix. Ebay pictures were not quite up to
seller’s usual standard. 8/07
1970 Giulia Super. Beige/tan car in apparently go= od condition with a few questions marks. Looked straight and complete in ebay listing, but pictures and description were not very helpful. Said to function fine. Had a later Nuova Super grille and bumpers, and Berlina taillights, which caused wonder about poor body repair. Acknowledged issues w= ith paint, and mismatched interior pieces.&nbs= p; $7,400 ebay, Las Vegas. Listed multiple times on ebay over a six-month period, finally sold = when noncommunicative seller removed unrealistic reserve. With the wrong grille (it didnR= 17;t fit very well), bumpers, and taillights, this was a “red flag” = car that warranted seeing in person before bidding any significant sum of money. If the car panned out = in person, I’d still call this price high for the condition by a fair amount. If it was as scary in person as in the ebay listing, the price was probably double what it should have been. With a decent pain= t job, this would quickly become an over-$10,000 Super, and it just wasn’t in that condition, I don’t think. 8/07&= nbsp; Update: Sold again on ebay in 10/07 for $9,000 by a NY retailer who bought the car to flip. I don’t believe this was a real sale and wouldn’t be surprised to= see the car listed again. Better pictures show the paint on the front is really poor, and the car sits very = tail high/nose low.
1974 2000 Berlina. Le Mans blue with tan interior, aut= omatic transmission, tired body, much filler (and presumably rust), drivetrain unknown. $1,200 Australian, Melbourne.&nbs= p; Reported as really a parts car, this equates to about $975 US. Seems high for a parts car, but I = got this description secondhand, and with no pictures, so it’s very hard = to judge the car and the price. = Not outrageous though. 8/07
1972 US 2000 Berlina.<= span style=3D'font-family:Times'> = Giallo piper car with black interior. Complete but moldering car that appears to have been sitting for some time. Said to run “just= OK” in the ebay listing, cosmetic condition mirrors that with lots of obvious p= aint touch-ups that don’t match. Interior worn but not bad as these kinds of sad Berlinas go. $1,375 ebay, Upstate NY. First liste= d on ebay at $4,999, then dropped to a more sensible $999. Very little information in the ebay listing, but I’d expect a Northeast car to be rusty underneath. Interior surprisingly good with ju= st a tear in the driver’s seat. Pretty much the right price for this kind of Berlina. A good starting point for a patina&= #8217;d driver or restoration that with luck won’t get out of hand. 9/07
1974 US 2000 Berlina
. Grey. Described by the seller as in fair
condition. I don’t know=
than that. $2500 craigslist, Portland, OR. I didn’t see the car, so
it’s hard to comment. A
pretty typical price for an average condition Berlina. 9/07
1967 Giulia Super. Red/grey. Extremely original, unmolested Super in good mechanical condition. Appeared to have largely original = paint, interior, and still had running-in stickers on windshield. Somewhat of a time warp car, thoug= h the paint was admittedly very poor. Recent rocker repair and head gasket. $12,600 ebay, Los Angeles. For sale on the AlfaBB some months = ago, before the rocker repair and head gasket were done. Snapped up by a dealer then, who c= ured its ills and presumably made a tidy profit for his labors. Rocker repair lo= oked good, though car should probably be painted. A really strong price for a cosmet= ically average car, but the originality, completeness, mechanical condition, and patina counted for a lot. 9/07
1967 Giulia 1300 TI.
Pale blue/burgundy. An incredible car, brought from Eu=
recently to California. Rebui=
trans and other minor items attended to, otherwise apparently original and
unmolested. Plain the way 130=
are, but very charming throughout.
$20,995 ebay, San Diego. A
beautiful, unmolested car, presented very well with studio pictures and gre=
documentation on ebay by a knowledgeable smaller retailer achieved this very
high price. Probably as nice =
original Giulia sedan as is ever going to be found. Good original Giulias continue to =
1970 Euro 1750 Berlina. Dark blue with blue velour. Good looking solid car with standa= rd European features: Weber carbs, velour low-back seats, 4.3 rear axle, nice steering wheel, different lights from US style. Dash looked perfect. 2000 engine installed. In good mechanical condition and good cosmetic condition, other than a few rust spots and worn front seats. $6010 ebay, NC.<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> This was a relatively good price f= or the buyer for a solid, desirable early Berlina. 1750s are generally more sought af= ter than 2000s, and with the Euro features should be a capable, high-speed road car. Some attention is needed= to the seats and eventually the paint, but I expected this car to go for at le= ast $500 more, so I think the buyer did relatively well here. 10/07<= /span>
1972 US 2000 Berlina.<= span style=3D'font-family:Times'> Silver/tan interior. Complete but rusty car that’s= been sitting in the weeds in Oregon for years.&= nbsp; Complete, but not run or driven.&nb= sp; Rust in door bottoms, rockers, and rear wheelwell, but floors and ba= sic structure is better than expected. With minimal work, was driveable with good engine, trans, and running gear. $550 private sale, OR.<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> This was a sight-unseen sale, alwa= ys a gamble. Cosmetics were worse = than expected, but mechanicals better. Complete with good bumpers, glass, trim, reasonable interior, and Sp= ica and engine are great. Too nic= e to be a parts car, though significant welding will be required to fix the rust and put it in daily use. About the right price, though it was costly to fetch from Oregon to California. 10/07=
1974 US 2000 Berlina
. Le Mans
blue/tan. A very original,
75,000-mile car that appeared to have lived a pampered life in Colorado and=
Mexico. Said to be all origin=
paint and interior, other than modern driver’s seat and steering whee=
l. No rust, one tiny dent. Recently rebuilt engine and
transmission. $9000 ebay, NM.=
As together an original Berlina as
you’re likely to find. =
engine and trans, coupled with no rust, makes this a Berlina that should ne=
no work and have another 20 good years left in it. This color is not to overyone̵=
taste, nor are the rubber bumpers or the aftermarket seat and steering whee=
Nonetheless, while the price seems high, the car basically needs nothing, a=
is as nice as you are likely to find without a restoration. Cheap in the long run, and I think=
buyer did OK. Restoring a les=
Berlina to this condition will ultimately cost more. 11/07