††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Berlina Register Newsletter No. 51 (June 2022)

 

 

Notes and Comment

 

I am getting this issue out a littler earlier than planned. Iím retiring from LexisNexis after 37 years, next week, and my home computer setup has neither Word nor distribution lists. Iíll have to create all that before the next newsletter can go out. Will figure it out.I hope not to spend every waking hour of my retirement working on cars but thatís the path of least resistance. Havenít had many sedans to work on but itís a steady stream of GTVs, Spiders, other stuff through here. Donít hate me, a friend and I bought a 1970 911T, out of the blue on Craigslist and for whatever reason, perhaps one that we have not yet discovered, no one went to look at it. So I did, liked it, bought it. Thus far itís a great car; see below. To round out the Porsche theme, I drove with a friend from Austin to Philadelphia in his Speed Yellow 1996 993, last of the aircooled cars. Super-capable and a great time, including driving The Tail of the Dragon, at low speed in the wet, in eastern Tennessee.

 

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The keeper of the Berlina Register, North American Giulia Sedan Register, and Giulietta Sedan Register is Andrew Watry, email watry@prodigy.net.Send corrections to your information or any other Giulia- and Berlina-related facts, rumors, tips, or needs.Always seeking articles for the newsletter.NB: my lexisnexis email will disappear after June, so change to watry@prodigy.net for the future.

 

 

Back in the Day

By Will Owen

 

 

This is a photo my then-wife took of my friend Jerry Rivers and me about 1978 trying to do something or other under my 1972 Berlinaís hood. It may very well been when I was doing something with the timing chain, just before I buttoned it up, remembering everything important except the little detail of tightening down whatever you call the doodads that let you move the sprockets around. When I started the car it immediately bent a valve, including one of the very expensive exhaust ones. My mechanic up the road had a big laugh at that Ö and then pulled the same rookie trick himself, except he bent two of them. the most mangled one he gave me as a souvenir.

 

As you might be able to tell from this shot, the car looks a good deal older than it wasĖnote even 10 years old yet--east of Goodlettsville TN, not too long before I sold that house and moved to Nashville. As to the carís history, it apparently spent a year or more in some Gulf port of entryís outdoor seaside lockup, which when I found that out explained why a 1400-mile car had needed a new paint job before I bought it, and why it began growing zits within its first year in my care. Obviously some of that is dirt; the generally good roads around this part of Tennessee had not wintered well, some frost-heaves having been stomped into potholes that had the two contiguous counties arguing about whose fault it was and about whose crews should repair the damage. Of course, when the State Highway Dept. actually offered MONEY for the work the arguments changed sides, but in the meantime we had these sand-pile ďremedies" that would appear on Tuesday and get scattered by the following weekend. That odd spray of white behind the front wheel indicates that thereíd been some rain involved too.

 

The little chunk of car showing under the carport was my longest-lived car, the Austin 850 Countryman Iíd bought when I still lived in Anchorage Alaska and shipped via SeaLand barge to Seattle when wife #1 and I moved to Palo Alto. It made two trips back up and down 

the coast, then finally drove me and wife #2 out to Tennessee. It soldiered on for about six more years and then got sold as a family restoration project to some people in Frankfort, Kentucky. 

 

 

Keithís Blog: A Super Day in a Vintage Alfa

By Keith Martin

Long before BMW offered a four-door 3-Series and Mercedes, the C-class, Alfa Romeo was selling ďThe Family Sedan That Wins Races.ĒIt was the Giulia Super.More than 475,000 Giulia sedans were produced from 1962-78. While they came in a bewildering array of configurations (see http://www.berlinaregister.com/gul.htm), the only models imported to the US were the Giulia TI and Giulia Super (1965-68).They are built on the 105-series chassis, shared with the coupe (GTV) and convertible (Duetto/Spider Veloce) of the same era. All three cars have the same twin-cam, dual-carbureted engines, five-speed gearboxes, and four-wheel disc brakes.

seven-alfa-romeo-supers

Every year, the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon celebrate the Super by hosting ďThe Old Super Tour.Ē This year, seven Supers participated, a remarkable turnout for a model more than 50 years old.I was fortunate to ride with good friend Chris Bright, who owns a 1974 Super that was imported from Europe. It has a 1.3-liter engine, with dual DellíOrto carbs.Iíve ridden in Chrisís car before, and always find it delightful to watch him match his skill set with the limited output of the engine and the demands of modern traffic.The picturesque route, created by long-time club member David Beach, wound from near Ridgefield, WA, just north of Vancouver, to Astoria on the Oregon Coast.By the time the day was over, we had covered 215 miles.

When we were in the multi-colored string of Supers, on a two-lane road at 50 mph, the year could easily have been 1976. The 80-CI engine of the Super produces about 88 horsepower, which was enough for us to keep up with the gang.

Chris is the founder of Collector Part Exchange, a new business that connects buyers and sellers of classic parts in a modern and efficient manner. (My personal collection of stuff Ė from Dinky models to a 1966 GTV dashboard to a 750-series, 4.10 differential from a 1958 Sprint Veloce Ė will be offered for sale there in the near future.)I told Chris I am becoming more set in my belief that it doesnít take more than 125 horsepower to keep up with traffic. Any more than that and you need a track to make use of the additional potential.

Iíve owned a large range of cars, from a 440-CI, four-barrel 1970 Plymouth Superbird to a 603-cc CitroŽn Mehari with a 29-hp air-cooled twin.If I had been on the tour in my 2004 Mercedes SL55 AMG, which makes 493 easy horses, the drive wouldnít have been nearly as much fun.

Like the skipper of a small sailboat watching the wind, Chris had to anticipate every hill, turn and braking point. If he was in the wrong gear or waited too long to apply the brakes, the Super wasnít going to do anything to help save him from his error. He was ďdrivingĒ the Super, not the other way around.If we had been in the SL55, the prodigious capabilities of the Mercedes would have flattened and straightened out the road. Our tour on twisty back roads would have turned into one fast, flat lap to the coast and back. Thereís not much fun in that.

Being with the ďSuperĒ gang reminded me that part of the reason we like our cranky old cars is that they require us to have some skin in the game to enjoy them. If we canít match engine shift points to transmission gear ratios, the car will shudder and jerk. If we come into a turn too hot, we may find ourselves in the weeds.Every Super driver on the tour was drinking this same Kool-Aid. These cars represent an era of driver involvement that is gone forever. Itís more of a treat every year to enjoy them.

[From Keith Martinís Blog (http://sportscarmarket.com/blogs/keithmartin), used with permission]

 

 

Market Report

 

1974 2000 US Berlina. White car, black interior. A well-known PNW-area charismatic Berlina built as sort of a fun beater track car. White, red flames on the nose, originally had a wing on the trunk. Now more sedate, hotrod paint remains. Interior good, body has its issues, lowered, no bumpers, used on street and track. Private sale, Portland OR. ďPriceĒ included $2500 cash, a Milano roller, and lots of transaxle-chassis parts. Now in the Bay Area, I saw the car on a New Yearís Day drive. Fast, fun, has been used for track days and tours. Body improvements coming but itís a long road and thereís no hurry. 12/21

 

1969 Giulia 1300 TI. Rosso amaranto car with tan vinyl interior. A rare bird nowadays, a stock 1300 TI not turned into a hotrod.Original spec in pretty much all ways. The most common form of Giulia built. Minimal changes include electronic ignition, new fuel pump and fan. Body straight, paint tired. A few rust repairs to floor, obvious to the eye. Mostly solid and stock throughout. $19,120 BringaTrailer, Raleigh NC. Right in the price ballpark.A couple years ago this price would have bought you a car that didnít need paint but time and the market move on. Drive as is or put a decent paint job on it.Listing had a lively following of BaT-geeks. 3/22.

 

1970 Giulia 1300 TI. White car, black interior. A previous racer owner made a quality performance car out of it, 1600 Super engine, coil-over suspension, steering changes to account for bump steer, paint, interior, very nice car. GTA wheels, fat tires, low, kind of a sleeper hotrod. $25,300 ebay, Monterey CA.I know the owner and the car and this was a flat-out bargain. Various bidders were put off, something about the listing made folks think it was a scam, but pretty sure not. The builder raced a Giulia in the Carrera many times, had much track experience, knows how to make a 105 Alfa work. You couldnít build this car for twice the price. As good a Giulia as you could hope for. Smart buyer. 3/22

 

1965 Giulia TI. Bluette car with tan interior.A bit of a mongrel, if a nice one, had a Giulia Super dash, mud flaps, Ronal wheels, rub strips on the side, a high-ish stance.Stock mechanicals, solid body. Side markers added to federalize on arrival in US? Donít know. Sold on BaT as a project a couple years ago, improved cosmetically and in use in Malibu.$25,000 Los Angeles, AlfaBB.A very bright color, close to LeMans blue, not flattering on a Giulia. But a solid car with a few quirks, stock drivetrain, not a hotrod. Fair enough on the price. Basically stock 1600 TI is a rare bird now. 3/22

 

1973 US 2000 Berlina. Grey car with black interior, converted to stainless from rubber bumpers, lowered with GTA wheels and big tires. Basically stock mechanicals, Wes Ingram FI pump, Konis, normal upkeep and maintenance. Color change from beige cava some years ago while in big collection of Alfas. RF fender replaced then, some other body work and bumper conversion. $30,000 BringaTrailer, Monterey CA.Good solid car, fender attachment wasnít the best, showed MIG welding which put some folks off. Bumper conversion was dicey but could be fixed easily.Price feels slightly on the high side for the quality but internet buyers do love a lowered square sedan with fat wheels and tires. 3/22

 

1965 Giulia TI.Light blue car with red interior.Hard to tell itís a TI, was completely redone as a Super Wannabe by a guy in Georgia some years ago who did this to many Giulias.1750 engine, Super dash, leather Super seats, Super wiper cowl, TI door panels, Ti lights, TI bumpers, 15Ē Revolution wheels, high ride height. Body mongrelish with much patching and schutzing of the floors. Acqua di fonte was not a color sold on US cars. Needed much sorting, many things not quite finished or not working. $18,000 BringaTrailer, Austin TX.Oh gosh where to start.I sure hope the BaT buyer knew what he/she/it/nonbinary pronoun was getting. Uninformed folks donít know the details of the many Giulia variants that well, and this looked like a Super though was properly described, for once, by BaT as a 1600 TI. Rough everywhere, rusty patches and bodges, much to be done. I was amazed BaT listed this without reserve. Nonetheless, if it drove OK and you didnít mind how nasty the floors were, OK as a driver, if on the expensive side. Five digits still to spend to make it a good car. 5/22

 

1972 Giulia Super. Very red car with black interior, comprehensively restored in the Netherlands.Pretty much stock, some stickers and TI Super-ish inner headlight scoops. Extreme amount of body repair documented on listing. Shiny red paint bright and glossy beyond measure, like looking at the sun. Appeared to be dialed in in every way. Original 1600, Webers, steel wheels. $37,500 BringaTrailer, Napa CA.A strong price but a car on which everything was done and then some. You couldnít restore it for this cost in any country.Extent of body work put me off a bit but not bidders. Minor issues included having forgotten to weld on front jack points. Car was in California but had Maryland registration, which generated a lot of discussion about whether you could title it in California, a good question. Roll the dice. Strong but fair price for condition if you could handle the attention. 5/22