Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 188 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Resurrection of a brutal race Berlina - GTAm arches have arrived!

Hey all!

So it seems I have problem. Or a condition.
Some say I have a bunch of funny letters in a row kind of disorder....

I bought another one! After getting my Zender 166 "GTA" (Project Zender 3.0 166 "GTA") up and running and then selling my precious GTV I searched high and low for a Giulia that I could afford. Niente!
So I posted an ad for "hoplessly rotten Berlina" and got lucky (some would say hopelessly unlucky but see aforementioned disorder....)

Just 30min from my echoingly empty garage was a Verde Muschio Berlina 1750 waiting for a new owner.
It looked truly awful of course but since I knew that I wanted a shabby Berlina in order to be able to build exactly what I wanted I got it for a song.

So this rotten old thing


Got a new home with me.


This filthy barn find that actually ran when parked albeit barely was clearly dirtier than Trump but well worth rescuing in my book. (We'll get back to that)

After trailering the old cadaver home to my garage I just couldn't help myself but just had to wash it and polish a bit.


Now you can't polish a turd I hear you say..... wrong! ;)


I was now all set to be able to build the mentally brutal Berlina I had in mind!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
So a discussion with the seller went from "it's sat in my barn for a few years", to "quite a few years to be honest", to more of "wow it's actually been thirteen years when I start counting!".

Now thirteen years of stand still does no car any good.
However! Speaking to the owner and upon inspection it seemed that the thirteen years prior to that didn't exactly do it any good either because the old man who had it was an avid fan of rallying and it was well known that he would use this Berlina quite sideways on the old gravel roads out in the country side.

And like what happened to you and me, chucking grandma's old Fiesta 'round the bends and making sure the handbrake worked, it didn't always go swimmimgly if you know what I mean.
This car has seen a ditch!
And then another one.
And then, having mastered the art of understeer, it seemed as though some slight over compensation had occured and it had, naturally, oversteered into a final ditch.

A crap load of poor welding by Stevie Wonder and his crew later and some dismal paintwork by Wonder&Charles filler&paint the car was presentable enough and was soon sold and put in the barn where I bought it.

So what am I building you say?

Apparently a f&&ckin' kit car because nothing is straight, rust free, filler free or even unscathed on this old beater! :biglaugh:

So naturally I'm recreating the one-off South African race Berlina used in the African championship during the seventies where it was somewhat successful actually!
I am deviating a little from the original to my own liking and will be using riveted GTAm panels modified for a Berlina.
Other than that it will bear a striking resemblance to the coolest Berlina ever! :readit:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So. To keep myself sane and to keep things somewhat simple I decided to focus on one corner at a time, and mainly the least rusty corner.

The front wing was folded in two places and masterfully repaired using 1-2cm of filler. I hacked that away and proceeded to reshape the wing by hand. Then with the basic shape done I focused on the lower part which was missing the lower 20cm...
So first I hand beat a panel to weld to the front. (Fold around wheel arch will be done later) and then recreated the lower 20cm at the back.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Note the hefty amount of filler on those last pics! ;)

Well with the basic shape of the front wing restored I cut the face off of the car


Now mr. Wonder had clearly forgot to remove the rusty part around the sway bar mount and simply welded a piece of metal over it..


Inside was 5cm of pure crap.


I tidied that up and welded in a new panel.


Note also that a new panel for the radiator was fabricated because the one that had once occupied that space seemed to have been removed using a rhinoceros. Or hand grenade. Unsure of which but let's just say it wasn't a clean cut....

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
With that done and some additional welding at the bottom of the right A-pillar, and some welding of the upper part of the engine bay as well as the top of the front wing, the right front was finished for now.

I'll leave you with a tasty treat to savour......

This is the front left sway bar mount and lack of radiator mount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The wheels for the project will be Alfaholics GTAm rims. 15x8


Then with the removal of rusty parts to gain access to the real problem, each prt that was removed got a replacement panel made by hand. Hammer and dolly. That’s all.



Even the panel behind the upper front clip was done. After grinding it down as much as I could it was so thin that a sudden gust of wind could make it collapse.
A new panel got welded in place. This time not by Wonder&Charles. Just my newbie hands!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You know how a frame needs its ajoining points to actually retain its strength? Yes, well we didn’t have that..
The left side of the radiator support frame wasn’t connected to the left side of the car at all. And that sway bar mount.. yeah that wasn’t really attached to the sway mount either.
So that leaves the panel in the engine bay. Yeah, no.. there just wasn’t one for the bottom 15cm!


So what about that outer panel in the wheel well? Oh that was just fine! Didn’t need anything really. Except for half a meter of new sheet metal shaped to fit.



So the reason for digging deep here was because I knew what the suspension mount and front suspension cross member looked like and boy was it completely rotten to the core.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
To get better control of the project (and the biblically horrendous mess in my garage) the car was moved to another corner of the garage and more shelving and work benches made with the great help of a friend.
When rolling the car around with the new wheel mounted the new stance was obvious!

This car will be WIDE! :thumbup:


With the car moved a bit and supported on jack stands the slaughter of the left front suspension mount continued.


To gain access to, well just about everything, the engine had to go.


According to the previous owner the 1750 ran when parked but needed a new head gasket. So naturally it will get a whole lot more :D

Then with the engine out of the way a crude but efficient jigg was made for the cross member. A lot of measurements where taken so that the new suspension mounts could be triangulated and with the aid of some out of the box thinking and a carpenters spirit level I knew how the ndonor part should be installed.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Continuing on the path of Keep it simple stupid, or in my case, Keep it stupid simple.. the crossmember was cut where the simple jigg mounted on the engine support mount told me to cut.

Very rudimentary but highly efficient.


So with a gaping hole in the front and the rusted out part next to the donor part I cut out of a donor Spider the project was now in a fragile state.
It would be most unsatisfactory if the car became crooked when welding the bits back again! :biglaugh:


Then with the donor part cut like a fillet and a few panels made the pieces could be placed in the jigg and triangulated into position. Everything lined up to within one mm.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Will be watching this with real interest good luck with this.
Thank you!
I hope it may inspire!


So with the parts just sitting there waiting to be reattached I spent days thinking and fiddling and tripple checking all measurements before spot welding the cross member in position.
Careful measuring showed within one mm. Good times.
So with everything lining up I took the liberty to seam weld the entire thing in short bursts and very high amps. The weld penetration could be checked from the gap on the underside and all was well.

Continued seam welding got the cross member back into place! The project was finally starting to get reassembled!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
A replacement panel made for the engine bay welded into place, followed by its companion, the sway bar mount.



Followed by some strengthening plates:


And the half meter of panel that goes on the outside.


Then on to the radiator cross member! Some persuation needed to get thing in to the right location. Length wise was spot on but the opening had become a little narrow so a bit of hard work and then the width was good. Cross member welded in place!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
As usual everything needed a helping hand.
This next panel was missing 25cm at the bottom!

Some CAD, cardboard aided design, later the panel had som new life in it.




And then finally everything showered in lovely 2-pack primer!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Some more panels found their way back and boy did that feel good!


Then to make sure the front clip still fit it had to be adressed. A lot of damage was apparent when all the filler was hacked away and the crisp line across the top part of the front clip was made out of filler.


The shape was corrected with a bit of aluminium of the right shape against a dolly.

And voilá!


So the front clipnow had mostly the right shape and the right measurements for the grille opening could start to be adjusted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
With that said the front clip was still completely rotten and a replacement would cost around £550!!!!! That would be my whole budget for over two months!

With that in place the front started to look a little better.


Now up to this point all exterior panels had been built to original shape to make sure the car got the correct shape before modifying. The front clip however now started to get modifications to look like the South African race Berlina! That's the reason for the large cutouts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
You, sir, are an artist. :thumbs:
Haha thank you! :beer:
To be honest, this is my first major project.


Now the brake cooling ducts on the original were some seriously cool intakes so I just had to build those as they in my opinion make the car!


So, some more cardboard aided design and I had a simple template for the duct!

I also had a certain other look in mind when I started the Berlina build and that was to give it a meaner appearance. So the whole headlight assembly was remade to fut deeper into the front. It's actually been moved a whole 60mm in so that the front end will resemble a 1969 Camaro Z28 a bit. More aggressive look!
So I tried a few things and got the headlight assembly looking alright and then reshaped the grille tabs so that the grill followed the same lines.
Check this out!
More evil looking grille and that serious brake duct!


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
So a good day's work later the upper front clip got 7 pieces welded in and the rust grinded off. Then the other side if the headlights got the same treatment as the right side and by this point this car is starting to come alive! :thumbup:
A bit of rummaging through the assorted dusty old boxes found me a set of Carellos and the ajoining trim. The inner lights will be deleted. The right side will get a filter for cold air intake and the left side will get a stainless steel net fitted.
More to come. Feel free to drool, I know I do! (Or that just might be the single malt...)


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Oh yeah.. and the right side duct is now taking shape in sheet metal and the left hand side one is now jyst cardboard (spray painted grey to get the feeling right ;) )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
This looks an amazing project, which I look forward to following.

I wish I had both the skills, and the patience to do this sort of thing. I'm in total admiration of what you're doing to this car. It's going to look awesome.
 
1 - 20 of 188 Posts
Top