Berlina/Giulia/Giulietta Register Newsletter No. 27 (November 2008)
Notes and Comment
Welcome to Berlina/Giulia/Giulietta Register Newsletter 27. No new Alfas in my collection this time, and I am Berlina-less again (sold my ‘72 2000 in May), but I did buy a Ford Cortina and put an “Ich bin ein Berlina” sticker in the back window on the most recent Berlina tour. My ‘56 Giulietta Berlina moved under its own power with brakes, clutch, gears, steering, and all functioning for the first time since 1978 on Halloween; whoopee! Brakes, clutch, fuel system, exhaust, driveshaft, radiator, you name it, I’ve probably fixed it on this car. Still plenty to do, but at least all the basic systems are functioning. My Giulia Super soldiers on in its daily driver capacity, pretty much never missing a beat. GTV hangs in there too; I used it for a BMW club track school at Thunderhill in August, and had a great time watching the M3s and M5s fly past me. My Giulietta Spider Veloce remains a great unmolested car, but needs its driver’s seat back taken apart to weld up, not something I want to face, so I’m putting it off.
In this issue see Brian Shorey’s piece about how much he likes his Berlina, plus my tour report from the September Berlina Register drive. A lot of market activity lately after a slow period, with three Giulia Supers in the $25,000+ range.
Here’s a link to a Swiss Giulietta Berlina Register site. I have not contacted the site’s owner, but it’s got interesting stuff on it: http://www.infozentralschweiz.ch/.htm# Here is a link to a great video of Squadra Bianca, the Dutch Giulia sedan racing group: http://www.alfaspeed.nl/?p=838
From Ian Jephcott: “Just thought I'd send a YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SxHvyczGv4 to my latest offering posted on YouTube of me in my Alfa 2000 on the track at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Enjoy (and leave comments, nice ones please, if you see fit). P.S. If you've not seen them before, take a look at my other videos while you’re in there.”
The keeper of the Berlina Register, North American Giulia Sedan Register, and Giulietta Sedan Register is Andrew Watry, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Send corrections to your register information or any other Giulia- and Berlina-related facts, rumors, tips, or needs. Always seeking articles for the newsletter. The keeper of the international Giulia Sedan Register is Barry Edmunds in Australia, email Giulia105@optusnet.com.au
An Excellent Convention Road Trip
By Brian Shorey
My first Alfa was a Berlina, and I spent years looking for a good example—a reasonably priced, decent condition driver. I finally found one not too far from my home, it was a San Diego car that had been brought here (Mass.) as part of relocation of the seller. The car is a 1972 2 liter, in excellent physical condition, and excellent mechanically as well, with around 5k miles on a rebuilt engine, and a lot of the suspension rebushed or replaced. In a strange twist of fate, I'm accustomed to buying Alfas on the West coast and driving them 3,000 miles home to Mass., but in this case the car was 20 miles away from me and I trailered it home! Not because it wouldn't make the trip, but because I wasn't able to take care of the registration prior to picking it up.
Anyhow, it was great to be in a Berlina again, these cars will always be special to me.
Last year (2007) we took it to the Alfa National Convention in Detroit. My daughter has started autocrossing, and we needed something that would comfortably fit everybody for the rally. As a side benefit, after years of trying to compete with the fast cars in the higher Time Trial classes, I'd be driving a pretty much stock Berlina in lowly Class H!
I'm proud to say that in the Time Trials we dominated Class H in the Berlina, taking first place! I should probably also mention that I was the only car in Class H, but that would not be telling the full story. The fact of the matter is that the Berlina, on street tires, we weren't far behind many of the Spiders running in higher classes, most of them modified and many on track tires! Whoo hoo! (We also smoked the Class G car, also on street tires, by a full 10 seconds!)
The following day was the Autocross, and for this there would be some real competition - two entries in Class H, myself and my daughter Cara, both in the Berlina!
At first, I had thoughts of letting her win, after all it would be quite a treat for her to win a first place trophy at a National Convention. However, I'd taken a fair amount of ribbing for “hiding from the competition in a lower class,” so I had something to prove.
This time, not only did we keep pace with many of the faster cars, but I was able to beat a fair amount of them, including my good friend Kevin, who was driving a 3.0 Milano Verde on sticky tires! We ended up beating 5 out of 6 of the Class G cars, 8 out of 11 Class F cars, 4 out of 12 Class E cars. 5 out of 11 D cars, 1 out of 6 Class B cars! By now, we were being referred to as the “Class H-Dominating Berlina.”
I love this car! Unless a perfect 1971 falls into my hands, I can't see this car ever leaving the stable!
Berlina Register “TIs to Tesla Road” tour draws record crowd
By Andrew Watry
The Berlina/Giulia/Giulietta Sedan Register “TIs to Tesla Road” tour on Sunday, Sept. 21, was another nice drive featuring many Alfa sedans and other interesting vehicles. 25 cars and one bike. Not all cars made the whole trip, which was almost 120 miles, including a lunch stop in Livermore.
Starting at Rockridge BART in Oakland, where coffee drinkers and passers-by attracted by Milan’s finest stopped to gawk and talk, we headed up Claremont Ave. to Redwood Rd., dropping down to Pinehurst and back up to Redwood, then south to Castro Valley. South on Palomares Rd. to Niles Canyon, where we were greeted by a perfectly timed steam train run-by on the Niles Canyon RR. East on Vallecitos Rd. into Livermore, where we had a sandwich lunch from Tommie’s Deli in a shady downtown park. A great time, and again local folks stopped to talk. Out of Livermore down to Tesla Rd., then up Vasco Rd. to Marsh Creek Rd. to Clayton Rd., and finally on Ygnacio Valley Rd. onto Highway 24 and back to Oakland, where the few who still had energy got pizza and beer at Lanesplitters.
Typical Bay Area weather with cold and fog in Rockridge and the hills on the start, beautiful and sunny in Niles Canyon and Livermore, and darned hot on Vasco Rd. by afternoon. A great drive, with many short stops along the way to keep together, chit-chat, and take group pics. No breakdowns that I know of, though Aaron Curtiss did have to swap his TI for his BMW at the start when he realized the TI didn’t have any brakes. The TI had just transported him from Florida to Oakland, so maybe it deserved a break. Chris Keen was having misfires with his Beta by the end, but it didn’t hold him up and the car looked great. So many Giulia sedans (six), plus other Italian sedans, were great to have.
The awards: The Couldn’t Have Done It Without You award goes to Mike Igneno for leading us on a complicated detour around an unexpectedly closed part of Redwood Rd. in the Oakland hills. Thanks Mike. Recovering from the last Berlina tour when his gas tank fell out, Luigi Oldani gets the Most Improved award goes for a strong rebuilt engine in his Giulia TI, with no troubles en route. The Delivering Under Pressure Award goes to Tommie’s Deli in Livermore for making 25 great sandwiches on short notice, and accommodating a big group of Alfisti in a tiny shop. The Can I Marry Your Car award goes to Peter Gaudette’s sky blue Giulia 1300 TI, a totally charming and original car in a very soft, lovely color. The Most Brave award and People’s Choice award go to Chris Keen for taking a Lancia Beta Berlina out of the garage and actually using it. I had not ever seen a Beta Berlina on the road, including when they were new. When did you last see one? Fittingly, Chris’s Release of Liability was turned in with grease stains on it. The car made the trip fine, and made him and the other Lancisti (Shaun Pond) proud. Finally, the Home Engineering Memorial Anvil award goes to George Attia for his 2000 GTV with Megasquirt fuel injection he adapted himself, using mostly Alfa parts (including an intake manifold he bought from me). A real challenge, and nice planning and fabrication work all the way around by George to fit this modern electronic system on a mechanical-computer-era car.
Berlina/Giulia Market Report
1972 US 2000 Berlina. Green with tan interior. Complete, Calif. blue-plate, original-condition car, in Bay Area since new. Some dents, and original paint is looking old, but a solid, almost rust-free car with very good mechanicals, including Koni shocks, sport springs, and Euro cams. $3,200 private sale, Berkeley, CA. Cars with cosmetic issues can be a tough sell, as two buyers passed this up for that reason. But it’s one of those cars that never got rusty, and needs no mechanical work. Price maybe a tad high considering cosmetics, but there have been few Berlinas for sale lately, which can only drive prices up. 5/08
1972 US 2000 Berlina. Silver, black interior. Long-time Bay Area daily driver that had two strikes against it: (1) its carbed 1600 engine gave up (its original 2000 had given up years ago), and (2) a tree fell into its windshield. Otherwise a reasonably straight, rust-free car that has been in regular use forever. Paint faded and interior pretty sad, but mechanicals other than engine are good. Original blue Calif. plates. $250 private sale, Berkeley CA. Car was headed for Alfa Parts Exchange minus its dead 1600 until a local Alfa nut needing a daily driver happened by at the right time. He dropped in a 1750, found a windshield, and has a fun daily driver for about $1,000. Very good deal for this type buyer. 7/08
1966 Giulia Super. White, brown interior. Solid-looking black-plate California car with various mods from stock. 2000 engine, underhood blanket, interior redone but not to original style. For some reason, has TI taillights and rear stainless trim and C-pillar emblems are not quite right. Very low, Koni shocks, rear sway bar added. $24,500. Fantasy Junction, Emeryville, CA. Looked like a pretty together car, but some non-stock issues, especially the TI rear lights and trim, made me nervous. But who would go to the trouble of faking a Super with a TI shell? Straying from stock is not my style, but this car sold for a big price in less than two weeks, so someone liked it. A lot of money for a car that wasn’t really in tip-top shape; see other Supers below. 8/08
1974 US 2000 Berlina. Silver with black interior. Nice enough daily use rubber-bumper car in good overall condition, with a ton of spares as part of the deal. Has AC and sunroof. Body was straight with minimal rust, paint faded but overall not bad. Interior wearing some, with sheepskins on front seats; fewer dash cracks than normal. Engine compartment pretty dingy. Car lived its whole life in CA and TX. $3,000 AlfaBB, Houston, TX. A good daily use Berlina that came with enough spares to keep it on the road indefinitely. Hard to tell how good or bad the sunroof installation was; AC is nice to have in Texas. Price looked a bit high to me for the condition, but the spares may have offset that. Basically in the ballpark. 8/08
1973 US 2000 Berlina. Piper yellow with black interior. Complete, basically operable car that had been sitting along with a twin for many years in NorCal. Car runs and is drivable, but has multiple issues to sort out, including poor steering, rust in one wheelwell, some bondo repairs, and the customary broken windshield. $1,450 AlfaBB, Santa Rosa, CA. This car sold on the BB basically immediately, advertised at $1,695 with $250 discount if bought right away. Decent-enough looking car, and a home mechanic can get it sorted and operable in no time. Glass and rust issues are more troubling, but could be left as is for a beater driver. Price seemed a tiny bit high compared to other similar cars in 2008, but there haven’t been many Berlinas for sale recently, and demand may be pent up. Basically a fair deal for both. 9/08
1967 Giulia Super. Maroon with tan interior. Phenomenal restored car in beautiful rosso amaranto with tan leather interior. Restored by Fred Schueddekopp with no expense spared a few years ago, sold by the owner because he wasn’t using it. Dan Marvin 1750 engine, lowered suspension, repro TZ wheels, totally dialed in and gorgeous. $32,500 AlfaBB, Gold Country, CA. As perfect a Super, with appropriate mods, as you’re ever going to find unless you stumble across an unused NOS one. Beautiful restoration, good performance mods by the right people, the right look, everything. Inspected by Bay Area expert who said it was just perfect. By my estimation, a much better car than the $44,000 grey Dawydiak car last year, and a much better car than the white Fantasy Junction car above, or aubergine one below. Thus, I guess a good deal, even though this is 10 times what the car cost new. 9/08
1971 US 1750 Berlina. Silver, black interior. Shop car for Alfa restoration shop, with Bosch-injected Spider engine and the entire top of the roof cut open “in lieu of air conditioning.” Had been sitting and needing reinvigorating. $1,551 ebay, Tyler, Texas. The Bosch engine is not a bad thing, but cutting the roof out of a nonrusty 1971 Berlina is some kind of crime; the car looked fine before this travesty. Someone bought it though, which surprised me; not sure if they were going to use the car or just wanted the running gear. Very sad. Likely would have tripled the price for the seller if he’d sold it before his Sawzall attack. 9/08
1966 Giulia TI. Maroon, no interior. A roller, probably intended to build into a race car. Body with glass and suspension, not much else; looked typically rusty for a shell that’s been sitting. $1,500, AlfaBB, Michigan. Sold in five minutes on the BB to a California Alfa trader who wheels and deals a lot of cars. Fair enough for a starting point for a race car, though the price of the shell becomes nominal once you add what it takes to build a race car. It’s hard not to sell any Giulia these days unless your price is just ridiculous. 9/08
1973 US 2000 Berlina. Maroon, tan. Nonrusty, sorted daily driver with slightly sad paint and average interior. Brought up to solid mechanical spec over several years. Euro cams, rebuilt head, rebuilt trans. Turbina wheels with new Michelins. Repainted a few years ago, but paint is not holding up well. Driver’s seat and dash could use work. $3,950, BringaTrailer.com, Santa Rosa, CA. A totally solid daily driver that looks good from 20 feet, less so up close. This car has been through several Bay Area owners, and would make a solid daily driver. Cosmetics are what they are, but the basic shell looks very sound, and with a reupholstered seat and a better paint job, you’d have a great car for a relatively good price. I’d call this a bit underpriced, but the seller had four Berlinas and really needed to thin the herd. 10/08
1974 Nuova Super 1600. Aubergine with cream interior. Nicely done solid European car, dialed in to a great extent but bodged with extraneous stickers and badges. Fundamentally a solid car, with obviously a lot of money spent to get it in good cosmetic and mechanical condition. Rebuilt 1600 engine, clutch, and trans, Koni shocks, Daytona wheels. Excellent drivetrain. Claimed 29,000 kms. $26,500, Fantasy Junction, Emeryville, CA. A nice looking car, though it’s too bad the past owner pasted logos and stickers all over it; don’t know if you can remove them without damaging the paint and interior. For the money, a solid car restored to a high level. $6,000 less than the stellar maroon car, above, and just a hair more than the white FJ car, further above, though it looks like a much better car than that one. Fair deal all around in today’s market.