Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: South Lanarkshire
I can give you a bit of history on your car. I first encountered it in about 1990 when it belonged to a nightclub owner in Edinburgh who told me he had bought it in Kent. It was yellow ochre at the time and appeared to still wear its factory paint. It had probably had some front end damage as it was wearing a late 1600 GT Junior front bumper and either a damaged step front grille heart or one from a later Alfa. At that time the car had an engine rebuild (it still had a 1300 engine fitted although there were a couple of odd mysteries with that - e.g. non-original piston rings) and probably a gearbox rebuild too. It also had a bare metal respray in red. I've attached a photo of it probably taken in 1990. Not long after that it was hit on a door (I think driver's). I don't recall whether I knew how it was repaired - this was at the time that it was virtually impossible to get original Alfa panels and before the proper reproduction panels became available - so it was probably repaired by panel-beating and filling. Next time I encountered the car was mid 1990s. I get a bit vague now so I may separate one thing into two or vice versa. Anyway, as I understood the owner wanted the engine replaced - I can't recall why, but there was an issue - perhaps run on too little oil. An engine was built out of a 75 1.8 twin cam unit using a re-polished 105 series 1750 crankshaft (and I think new pistons and liners) and new bearings etc. I think the car went back on the road after that. I've no idea how it went but I would expect a 75 1.8 engine (basically a 105 series 1750 engine with a more advanced approach to inlet manifold and cylinder head) to be a significant improvement on a 1300. Anyway, next I heard was that the car had come to grief (can't recall whether mechanical or accident) and while being recovered on a transporter it fell off the transporter and suffered some kind of damage. It wound up languishing outside for years - as I understand due to no communication being received from the owner as to what to do with it. Eventually it was acquired, along with the owner's half rebuilt 2600 Spider, by an Alfa specialist in England, which is where I presume you acquired it. The 2600 Spider went further south where it had some work done to it and missing parts acquired to make it more complete before being put up for sale on ebay.
It is perhaps ironic that the attached photo was taken of the car in Fife given that's where it seems to have ended up! Good luck with the rebuild - I hope it still has the potential to become a really good example. If it does work well (and to my mind it should in theory) I'd be inclined to stick with the engine that's in it - though I presume it may have been robbed of it's carbs at some time (for a 75 1.8 they should be Dellorto twin 40s with a solenoid on the end of the butterfly spindle on the front carb).
PS In spite of its history I bet your car has outlived the van in the background...