†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Berlina Register Newsletter No. 53 (August 2023)
Notes and Comment
Flash: I bought a Berlina. Hereís a pic. Iíll write up a report next time. 1969 US 1750, originally maroon/tan, now tan/maroon. Go figure. Bought in Chicago, drove 2200 miles home through extreme rain and heat without an issue. Iíve known it through its past three owners.
The keeper of the Berlina Register, North American Giulia Sedan Register, and Giulietta Sedan Register is Andrew Watry, email email@example.com.† Send corrections to your information or any other Giulia- and Berlina-related facts, rumors, tips, or needs.† Always seeking articles for the newsletter.†
Bringing One Back to Life
This tale is a little bit roundabout. About 15 years ago a longtime Alfa guy in San Francisco had a Giulia Super for sale. He had three Supers, one for each member of the family, and a TZ and GTA that he raced. A guy in Wisconsin saw the ad and asked me to do a PPI on it. I did, car was functional but tired. I tried to talk him into a better car but he had to have it, so he bought it and off it went to Appleton.† Come fall of 2022, an Arizona guy contacts me, asking if I can get a Super running that he just bought. I said sure, send pics and weíll discuss. Guess what, same car, Wisconsin guy had not so much as turned the key or added gas in 15 years, near as I could tell, before selling to the Arizona guy. Car was towed to me in one day from Phoenix and I got started. This piece is about what such a car typically needs after 15 yearsí sitting to get it back on the road.
To begin, itís a 1966 European market Super, owned at one time by the Giorgetti family that ran AFRA. Green with tan interior, originally a 1600 but now has a Euro 1750 and 45DCOE14 carbs off a GTA.† Basically a solid car but I had no clue about the functions.† I started with a new battery and an attempt to see what the engine would do. First popped open the cam cover to make sure the cams and tappets looked OK and didnít have condensation rust on them. I poured a little oil and ZDDP additive in. Cold compressions were poor but thatís not unusual after sitting. Electrical system for the most part worked.† You could smell the 12 gallons of old gas a block away, so the first order of business was the fuel system.† All fuel hoses were hard as rock, fuel pump didnít work, and gas tank was full of rust, crud, particles and gas that was like shellac. Removed tank, drained, cut off spout and had Norman Racing weld it onto a tank from a Bosch Spider. Replaced fuel hoses, pump, filter, and went through the carbs. Luckily, nonfunctional fuel pump meant the carbs were dry of fuel, otherwise getting the shellac out would have been a major job. †With good gas in it, it started and after warming up compressions were in the 150-160 range, not bad. After much fiddling, jet cleaning, and tuning, engine ran pretty well. This included going through the distributor, timing, setting valve clearances and timing, and replacing carb mounts.
On the engine itself, the cooling system needed the same attention as the fuel system. I changed the water pump, all the hoses, checked the thermostat, and removed the heater to change the hoses, water valve, and to clean the mouse nest out of the heater box. The radiator had small bodges to it so I cleaned it out and had some soldering done to shore it up. All good, and after changing the heater switch, it worked reliably.† Wipers worked fine, lights worked fine.
Engine electricals were fine but out of an abundance of caution the owner asked me to do the generator and starter, so gave those to Rite-Way in SF with a NOS regulator and they sorted them out.
On the brakes, the ownerís son had put in 1750 uprights and rebuilt calipers and disks, and along with calipers and disks at the rear and new hoses. I went a step further and put in a new master cylinder and booster, both of which were leaking. †Bled the system and all good.
Under the car, I could see the trans mount and one motor mount were trashed, so replaced those. While under there, out came the driveshaft, which needed a donut, center bearing and carrier, and straightening and balancing, which every 105 car seems to need. JRL in Petaluma did the work, said the shaft was .030Ē out of line, so definitely worthwhile. U-joints were fine so we left them alone.
Sellerís son had replaced the front wheel bearings, and I did the rear ones, having Norman Racing press them off the shafts. Fluid changes all around.
Rear suspension seemed fine; front suspension was quite clunky. I hoped to get away without removing the front springs, so I started at the top, finding the caster ball joints and upper arms and inner bushings very sloppy. With new ones in, car was very smooth.† All the sway bar bushings were shot so I changed them. Tie rod ends were good. Took it to Donís Tire for an alignment and now itís sweety on the road with light, positive steering.† New Vredestein 165-15 tires on the stock wheels, big improvement on the 20-year-old no-name tires that had been on the car.
And then you drive, adjust, fix, drive, adjust, fix. See what doesnít feel right and sort it, put the miles on in hope of revealing and issues that will come up after decades of nonuse. †I have 100 km on it now and am feeling itís about ready to go home.† In terms of cost, even with no major work to engine, trans, diff, body, or interior, itís still eating the better part of $10,000.† About 1/3 parts, 2/3 labor. It just takes an immense amount of time to do this work, then test and adjust, test and adjust.
1974 2000 US Berlina. White car with black interior. Color change from original, built as a boy-racer with roll bar, black nose paint, bumpers removed, Panasports and big tires, etc.† Engine bay shows modern Webers, lots of things painted red. Interior pretty good but roll bar inhibits real-world use. $16,000 PCarmarket, Texas. I missed this sale at the time. A frequent flyer, been for sale on every venue except BringaTrailer. Originally a rubber bumper Spica car, now a typical hotrod. A bit garish and silly for a Berlina, but probably not a bad deal if the body was sound. Not something for daily use though. 12/22
1967 Giulia Super.† Gunmetal car with grey leather seats. Worked through as ďa labor of loveĒ a few years ago, body, paint, running gear, engine, the works. TI Super repro wheels. Pretty much stock mechanicals. Done to a pretty high standard. Sold on BaT in 2017 for $33,000. Now crashed hard in front, fenders, hood, apron, all smashed. Looks like windshield popped out. $10,000 ebay, Los Angeles. Must be a sad story. I knew of the 2017 BaT sale but not who it was to. This was as nice a Super as there was. Beverly Hills Car Club bought, probably for a song, made a strong sale on ebay. I would think $20,000 at least to fix this, from the pics. And goodness knows about chassis alignment. Good luck to the buyer. 1/23
1967 Giulia Super. White car, grey interior. Complete car, largely been sitting for years but was registered, complete, operable. Stock other than a lowered stance and Turbina wheels. Very little info in the ad, car looked solid but paint was obviously old and interior was tatty. $20,000 craigslist, Berkeley CA. †A car Iíve known of but not seen in person. Sat for 10+ years but owner got it operable and decent enough to sell. Primer showing through in places but car looked complete and solid, from what you could see. Six-word CL ad was not much help in judging it. Needing paint, the car would have you firmly in the red once youíd paid for a quality paint job. That said, if you just wanted to drive it as is, not an unfair price. 1/23
1969 US 1750 Berlina. Red car with black interior. 2000 engine and trans, carbs, many changes from stock. Single brake booster, battery moved to trunk. Painted some years ago, cheaply, and not fully put back together. Worked and drove but brakes were awful and every area needed work. No door seals so full of water. $12,000 craigslist, San Rafael CA.† I looked at this car for a guy. Drove up and down the street, every system needed attention. No wipers, no heater, hardly any lights, no door panels, no seals, etc. Paint was cheap but not all that bad, other than a blinding red. For a home mechanic could make sense, though there were a lot of parts to buy. For someone paying to put this together, wouldnít be a rational purchase. 1/23
1968 Giulia 1300 TI. Green car with tan interior. Italian car brought to US some years ago. Basically stock, has Webers in place of single carb. Recently painted, some issues with paint and not all body panels fit well. Nice interior. Cheapest possible tires. Undersides hard to judge in listing. $27,000 BringaTrailer, Stafford VA. Appeared to be a sound, basically decent car in stock condition. Most pictures were dark and with dark paint and black undersides, very hard to judge body condition. Not a car Iíd want to commit to without seeing in person. Could be fine, or not.† Strong price for a 1300 with not the greatest body. I would want to know more. Lots of chitchat, thereís pent up demand for good sedans. 4/23
1975 Nuova 1300 Super. Light grey car with oxblood seats. Stock condition except flat hood and trunk lid replaced with earlier pieces having ridge and sunken area respectively. Repainted, recent upholstery and headliner. Stock mechanicals, DellíOrto carbs, cheapie tires. $14,750 BringaTrailer, Italy. A popular listing, in part because many donít know what a Nuova is. Hood and trunk swap were improvements. Looked like a very solid, stock car. Folks knew the seller, had good things to say. If you are OK with the Nuova styling, a steal. Half the price of a comparable non-Nuova. 4/23
1967 Giulia 1300 Berlina. Blue car with grey and red interior. No trace of the original loss-leader 1300 Normale with four-speed gearbox remains, turned into a full-on hotrod built in the Netherlands out of the Alfaholics catalog. Styled as a TI Super tribute, not replica. Lightweight Zagato-esque cloth seats, TI Super dash, 2000 engine, full suspension mods, mag wheels and big tires, on and on. Probably a real rip-snorter. $70,000 BringaTrailer, Netherlands. Man folks love a hotrod online, like IKON Broncos and Singer and Walker 911s.† This car had a good look and quality work, and presumably was dialed in and drove to match its stance. You couldnít build the car for this amount.† A lot of money but a GTV done the same way would have been 50% more, so who am I to say not a fair deal. Despite what the BaT peanut gallery said, this does not make your 1300 TI worth $70,000. 4/23
1966 Giulia Super. White car with apparent tan interior, sitting outdoors in NM for decades. Didnít seem rusty, but dirty, missing glass, needs everything. Reasonably straight. $1000 Deming NM, FB Marketplace.† Buyer had a Berlina years ago and is thrilled to have a sedan again. The original cost on a car like this means almost nothing. Youíll spend so much more in turning it into whatever kind of car you want. Still, a basically sound shell to start a restoration on, getting one more back on the road. So fair enough, pocket change basically.† For context, I paid 2/5 this much for my first TI in 1977, which ran. Times they has changed. 6/23
1970 Giulia Super. Super in metallic olive green, super-charismatic color, with a tan vinyl interior.† A German-market car, brought to the US from Italy a few years ago, used in SoCal for rallies. Basically stock and in good condition, last of the floor-pedal cars. Seats getting tired with a few rips. Sound body, nice shiny paint really generates enthusiasm. $35,000 San Diego private sale. The guy who owned this contacted me regularly about going on one of his rallies but the timing was never right. Eventually he felt heíd enjoyed his time with the car and he was ready to move on to something else. I happened to know someone looking and put them together. The buyer is over-the-moon happy.† Price seems on the high side but for a late floor-pedal car in a charming color, with good mechanicals and a seamless driving experience, I call this a fair price for all. 6/23
1972 2000 Berlina. Metallic blue car with light tan interior. Honest, unmolested European 2000 in stock form. Brought from Italy to US 10 years ago, not much use since. Looked stunning in this vivid color with very sharp seats, must have been redone.† One or two bubbles in paint. Stock mechanicals, steel wheels with sombreros, cheap 185/70-14 tires. DellíOrto carbs, which is how late 2000s were mostly equipped. †$34,500 BringaTrailer, Groveland MA. Stunning car with strong paint and interior. Surely a repaint and reupholstery. Undersides black and hard to judge but looked good.† Very refreshing to see a Berlina in stock form, down to the steel wheels. Minor upkeep recently but not a lot of info on mechanical condition to go on. Good money but this car was so appealing Iíd call this a good deal for the buyer by a couple thousand.† 6/23
1975 Nuova 1300 Super. Blue car with black interior. Complete, not backdated as some Nuovas are. Looked solid, maybe a little tatty. Had been on a Jacksonville, FL dealerís floor and ebay for a year or two. Recent repaint. Undersides OK with no obvious rot, needed a diff seal and other minor work. Daytona mags, included steel wheels and hubcaps. $17,250 BringaTrailer, Wellington FL. †If you were OK with a Nuova, this looked like a solid stock one in a good color. It had been on ebay in the mid 20s, seemed fair even at that price, but this Iíd call a borderline steal. Folks donít like the Nuova cosmetic updates but they all drive the same. I say good on the buyer. 7/23
1970 Giulia 1300 TI. White car with black seats, bit of a hot rod. Strong 1600 engine, fairly extreme suspension mods including Alfaholics coilovers and big brakes. GTA wheels, sport steering wheel, Webers with foam filters. †Basically sound body, built by a racer to be a fun weekend car. A frequently flyer on BaT, this its third sale in five years. †Folks keep selling it, not driving it. $34,000 BringaTrailer, Los Angeles. I knew this car and the guy who built it. He downsized some years ago, let a bunch of cars go. Now it just seems to live on the auction block. With the build, should be a great driver, but itís not getting any road time.† A very strong price for a 1300 TI, perhaps the build justifies it. One comment on the BaT listing mentioned †poor compression, was not fully explained. If it needed an engine rebuild, add $7500. 7/23
1969 US 1750 Berlina. Tan car with maroon seats, built as a maroon car with tan seats. Very solid, straight, sound car, paint and interior done maybe 10 years ago to a good standard, rebuilt 1750 engine with Webers and transmission, suspension a bit lowered. A fully loved car that was not used much any longer; owner had his eye on a different car. Stock steel wheels with hubcaps, Uniroyal 185/70-14 tires. Perfect dash, new headliner, everything worked. Minor issues included fluffy carbs and a noisy diff. $20,000 private sale, Chicago.† A car I bought from a friend. He didnít have a use for it any longer, wanted something else, and it was an easy deal to sell to me. I knew the previous owners and its history and figured it to be up for a road trip. 2200 fast miles, no issues. †Carbs sorted, will probably change the diff. Price friendly by a few thousand dollars. Was easy for us both. 7/23
1972 Giulia 1300 Super.† Grey car with black interior. Updated in a typical manner with 15Ē repro GTA wheels, Alfaholics suspension, slammed stance, Pipercross foam air filters. Still has stock 1300, a bit of a paper tiger.† But a stunning car, looked to be in exemplary condition. Recent service and seal replacement. $40,000 BringaTrailer, France.† Great looking car, probably drives great even if it doesnít have the utmost power. Very strong price, folks love a hot-looking slammed Super apparently; this is 1600 Super money. Especially strong given that the carís in Europe. 8/23