Video: Petrolicious Alfa Giulia Super Ti

Want to spend 7 minutes feeling good about the world? Watch this superb new film from Petrolicious.

It features one of the nicest guys you’ll ever see driving one of the nicest little Alfas you’ll ever see. It’s a car he built himself and he did such a good job that he ended up working for one of the best custom car builders in California – Singer Porsche.

Sit back, pump up the volume and enjoy.

Are Saab 99’s (slowly) becoming collectable?

Are there any collectable Saabs yet? I think some of the traditional favourites are on their way to semi-collectable status. Recent content online seems to suggest that certain models are starting to pop up on people’s radar.

I wrestled with using the word ‘collectable’ in this headline because it implies dollar figures far in excess of what you’re going to see here. But the word ‘interesting’ didn’t seem to be enough. And Saab 99’s have always been interesting, as you know 🙂

Anyway….

Something happened as I trolled through my feeds this morning and it was enough to prompt this post. It’s a first-time occurrence, significant enough to be noted. One of the websites I subscribe to is Bring-a-Trailer (BaT), a site from the US that features what it thinks are interesting cars for sale. They invariably are, too. Though they’re not always interesting to me, I’m sure they’re all interesting to someone out there.

This morning’s review of BaT saw not one, not two but three Saab 99’s appear. Just one would have been unusual, but three??!! Saab 96s are a semi-regular sight on BaT, with Saab 95s, Sonetts and 900s less common. 99s don’t really show up much at all.

They were all quite worthy, too.

The first was featured on January 7 – a 1970 model Saab 99 with the early Triumph 1.75 engine. I even learned something from the post about the earliest 99s having a freewheel (I don’t know why this had escaped my attention in the past, but there you go)

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The second car featured on January 9, and is one of my favourite model 99s, a combination bought to my attention by Christer Nilsson, one of Saab’s old PR guys in Sweden. It’s a two-door notchback 99 Turbo in Acacia Green. Mmmmmmm.

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The third car was featured on January 10, making it three Saab 99s in four days. It’s a Saab 99 Turbo rally car built by members of Per Eklund’s team and driven occasionally by the great man himself.

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I’ve noticed the prices of good Saab 96s and 95s going up a little. I haven’t taken a look at Sonetts for a while, though. Even Saab 900s in desirable spec are starting to at least hold their value.

As BaT mention in one of their posts….

It hasn’t been long, but the more time passes the more we miss Saab.

Have you noticed values for any particular Saab models going up in your favourite marketplaces?

Saab Snippets – Time, Koenigsegg And Double Dipping

Time

It’s well past December 31, which is the time we all expected a decision from Mahindra as to whether or not they were going to invest in the ghost of Saab.

NEVS’s money was expected to run out by then and Mahindra were going to provide two tranches of funds IF the deal was going to go ahead – $5mil for January and $5mil for Febraury – to keep the ghost afloat in ‘reorganisation’ (bankruptcy protection) until the deal is finalised.

NEVS got a financial lifeline by selling tooling for spare parts to Orio, which explains why there was no urgency around the end of the year. The price paid in the deal wasn’t mentioned in the press release so the amount of time they’ve bought is unknown. It wouldn’t be too long, however.

When will Mahindra make a decision? It’d be nice to know.

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Koenigsegg V4

My mate Tompa has been speaking with Christian Von Koenigsegg about engines. Specifically, the potential for cutting a Koenigsegg V8 in half and using the resulting V4 in a passenger vehicle.

You can read the article here, at a site I hadn’t seen before called Saab Tala.

The good news is that Christian believes it’s entirely possible. And considering that Christian knows more about cars and engineering than anyone else I’ve met, I’ll take that as given. In fact, not only is it possible, but Christian estimates that a half-Koenigsegg V4 could reliably produce plenty of power.

Quote from Christian:

If [you’re] looking at a 2 litre engine with 4 cylinders with a slightly smaller turbo to get a fantastic response, we are talking about 450 hp and 500 Nm on Unleaded 95 octane.

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?

There’s no bad news in this story, but the $64,000 questions remain unanswered – how much would it cost? And would that cost gel with the market(s) Mahindra would pursue with Saab if they got control of the company? Are they looking to take on the Audis and BMW’s of the world?

They’d better be. Because the engine won’t be cheap and consequently, the car won’t be cheap, either.

I don’t agree with Saabtala’s point of view about the BMW/Mini 1.6 engine being a mistake. I think it would have been a great engine for Saab, as it has been for Mini. The salient point is this: That BMW/Mini engine was considered to be a very expensive choice and it’s an engine that was used across several brands and made in the hundreds of thousands of units. How much, then, for a purpose-designed V4 from one of the most expensive carmakers in the world that’d be made in the tens of thousands?

Quality has its price. Your level of comfort with that price depends on the market you’re chasing.

It’s an interesting story and I know Tompa’s going to chase it a little more. I’m keen to see what he comes up with, if only from an engineering point of view. You can build whatever Saab you like if you’ve got the money, but you’ve got to be able to sell it to someone. That’ll be the hard part – whatever path they choose.

Side note: Tompa first met Christian when I asked via SU for someone in Sweden to provide a convertible Saab for Tompa’s wedding a few years ago. Christian was the only person to respond to the request, so Tom and Carola got to drive Halldora von Koenigsegg’s car on their wedding day. Result! 🙂

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Double Dip

I remember the early days of Spyker’s ownership of Saab, with Victor Muller saying that the biggest threat to Saab’s future was a double-dip recession.

It’s interesting to ponder, then, what might have been if Spyker had access to finance and stuck it out until 2015.

Why?

Well, 2014 saw Western Europe record it’s first rise in new vehicle sales since 2009. And they’re forecast to grow in 2015, too. From Just Auto:

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The US market also saw sales rise in 2014, but then the US market has been rising for a while. The US market’s recent low was also in 2009 with just 10.4 million vehicles sold. There were 16.5 million vehicles sold in 2014 and the last time the US market was that big was in 2006.

I wonder what would have happened, then, if there were no ban on Vladimir Antonov’s money (and no Antonov charges in Lithuania) and no supplier backlash in March 2011. What if all the new vehicle launches went ahead according to schedule and Saab kept making cars through 2011 and beyond? Would Saab have sold enough with the 9-4x, the new 9-5 and whatever would have happened with the 9-3 between then and now?

Such a prolonged slump was the economic situation that Victor feared the most in those early days. I wonder if ‘we’ could have survived it to prosper in 2015 and beyond?

PSA: Explaining “You Can’t Call Yourself A True Car Enthusiast (Gearhead) Unless You’ve Owned An Alfa Romeo

Hemmings had a post on Facebook overnight that drew some amusing comments.

Here’s the post:

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And here are a few of the comments:

  • One good reason (Of Many) not to watch “Top Gear”.
  • That’s why I don’t watch their show. SNOBS!
  • Overrated, just like that idiot.
  • You’re not a real gear head unless you’ve built a classic big block Chevy for a 1968 Camaro
  • Sorry. Just more English nonsense.
  • Top_Gear_Alfas_1

  • Obviously they are on the Payroll at Alfa Romeo..
  • Right: Top Gear executing their marketing duties as per their employment agreement with Alfa 🙂

  • They haven’t sold them in the US for quite some time…Guess the most car-crazy country on earth isn’t full of gearheads.
  • An , Alfa? Ha , ha , drive Mopar! Morons…. Your , English , humor amuses us….
  • Hell no I don’t agree. I consider myself a gearhead and I’m never own anything but American cars an American motorcycles.
  • Ridiculous. I can see that coming from England, those folks have a long history of thinking that tinkering and repairing for 4 hours to drive 1 hour is normal.
  • Owning an Alpha makes you either gullible, naive or a masochist whatever to own one of these losers is not something to be proud of.
  • What a stupid statement. …I think my 32 Ford Roadster qualifies me…
  • Seems a little snobbish to me.
  • Top Gear staff snobbish? I think if you look in the dictionary, their picture illustrates the definition.
  • I had one. Didn’t make me a gear head, made me hate AR. Overrated POS.

The comment that comes closest to understanding the meaning of the Top Gear statement is this one:

  • 76 Alfetta 2000. Spent fortunes on the damn driveshaft knuckles more than once. Great driver when it wasn’t broken.

Yep. I think he gets it.

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OK.

So let me break it down for you.

The first thing to remember before you get all emotional, bull-headed or defensive is that it’s just a saying made up by Jeremy Clarkson. Nothing more, nothing less. Like most of the things Clarkson says, it’s quotable, provocative and it’s good theatre. You’re not less of a gearhead if you’ve never owned an Alfa.

Having said that, however, there IS an element of truth to it. It’s not definitive, but it’s a very good illustration.

Why?

The essence of the theory is that there are few brands in the world that can deliver such extreme pleasure and such dire frustration, often on the same day. Alfa’s not the only brand that offers the basics of this experience, of course. But it’s probably the most storied brand to do so, with the best looking cars and the most romantic automotive history.

Classic Alfa Romeos come as close as any car can to having an automotive soul. It’s so easy to fall in love with an Alfa. And yet like any human that you’re in love with, an Alfa can infuriate you with its flaws.

AlfaGTVAn Alfa can be mouth-watering in its beauty but eye-watering as you watch that beauty fade to rust. The interior will charm you with its sporting attitude and then slowly crack, fade and fall off. The crescendo from the exhaust will exhilarate as you climb through a twisty mountain pass, only to resolve into the crackle and pop of a car cooling by the side of the road after it’s overheated. You’ll love engaging that sweet 5-speed gearbox – until the second-gear synchros die on you.

Of course, every car has it’s highs and lows. It’s just that an Alfa Romeo’s highs are SO high that it makes the lows feel absolutely cavernous.

The charm of an Alfa is all the more alluring because up until recently, they’ve all been quite accessible. Any car nut can afford an Alfa experience at some level. Sure, a few select models have risen in value at an almost silly pace in recent times, but most of them are still quite accessible, with a potential reward factor only found with stupidly priced supercars.

But you have to EARN the rewards, which is the point of Clarkson’s statement. You earn them with cash, sweat, tears, love, patience, time and loyalty. And it’s going through the fire of Alfa ownership – experiencing the highs and the hard work that goes with them – that Clarkson says makes you a true car enthusiast.

Most former and/or current Alfa owners will agree, but then of course we would. It makes us look a little holier than thou. The sensible ones will also see that it’s a thought that can apply to plenty of other brands, too.

OnStar: The Future Of Driving Is Creepy

OnStar and an insurance company called Progressive recently announced the latest developments in creepy connected driving. Available soon on certain GM vehicles, OnStar will be able to track and record your driving behaviour and then share that information with Progressive, who may (or may not) offer you a discount based on your driving.

From the Detroit News:

General Motors Co.’s OnStar subsidiary will offer motorists a new service this summer that gives feedback on their driving skills and allows some to seek driving-based discounts from Progressive insurance.

OnStar, which provides emergency, security and embedded Wi-Fi connectivity services to 7 million subscribers in North America and China, will allow U.S. customers to enroll in a driving assessment. After 90 days, OnStar technology that connects with the vehicle will tell customers how they performed in certain driving metrics, comparing them against an aggregate of other enrolled customers and offering individualized driving tips.

It’s tempting to put on my anti-GM hat and damn them for being evil overseers, but GM are just one of many. The ‘connected car’ is on its way. GM are just a little ahead of the pack.

Google have had their self-driving vehicles in testing for years. Audi sent an automated, self-driving A7 from San Francisco to Las Vegas earlier today and they say they could potentially launch a self-driving model as early as next year. Volvo are working feverishly on cars that will be able to talk to one another about road hazards.

Doesn’t it feel a little creepy, though?

The idea of having Mr OnStar looking over your shoulder like a silent back-seat driver is not at all appealing. The idea of getting driving tips from Mr OnStar, who can’t see the wandering pedestrian or the panicking pet dog that caused you to swerve is a little annoying. The idea of an insurance company using this information to categorise you is more than just a little bit Orwellian.

How long until this is standard and they use it against you?

How long will it take for some company to sell your driving information to Mr Google, who then plasters your regular routes with targeted advertising via electronic billboards as you approach them? I love Alfa Romeos, but I don’t want to see ads that focus on my likes EVERYWHERE I GO.

It’s creepy.

Sadly, it seems inevitable.

Again, from the Detroit News:

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says usage-based insurance is set for rapid growth in the U.S. It cites experts that predict up to 20 percent of U.S. vehicle insurance will use some type of usage-based metrics within five years.

It gets pitched as providing a service to the customer. In this case, the bait is an insurance discount. Of course, it’s really all about opening up new revenue streams.

GM has said it sees many opportunities to boost revenue through connected vehicles by working with other companies in areas such as helping customers access fuel, parking, travel or hotel information. Some industry analysts see OnStar as a revenue boon for GM. In 2013, IHS Automotive estimated 4G LTE could add $400 million gross profit to GM by mid-decade.

As with Facebook, you can be offered products as you use it but in reality, you are the product.

I’m not one of the tinfoil hat brigade, but I do enjoy the comfort and character of older cars. The fact that they’re free of most of this electronic tomfoolery is just a bonus.

Classics By The Beach – January 2015

After a stinking hot Saturday, Hobart turned on its best conditions on Sunday – 21 degrees and sunny – for the first Classics By The Beach for 2015. And the people and cars turned up accordingly. It was a bumper field today, with many of the best regulars plus a fantastic gathering of ‘occasionals’ too.

As is the case every month, I have to apologise to a few for talking too much and not taking enough photos! I missed a few great cars today.

Cobra

I didn’t get to catch the owner of this car, but it was the first car to draw my eye this morning, for obvious reasons. If it’s the real deal (which I assume it is) then what you’re looking at is a 1978 XC Ford Falcon Cobra hardtop coupe. The Cobra was a special edition created to clear out the remaining 400 hardtop bodies that Ford had in stock prior to an all-new Falcon model being launched in 1979.

The concept was created by Henry Ford’s grandson, Edsel Ford II, who was working in Australia at the time. The cars also celebrated Ford’s dominant Bathurst win in 1977. The 400 cars were mixed in terms of mechanical specification – some had 302 engines and some had Ford’s famous 351. Some were autos and some were manuals. 30 of them were special homologation spec cars and these are now the holy grail of Cobras.

You can read more about the Cobra here.

In the meantime, here’s the car…..

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Ford Falcon Futura

I know the Americans don’t rate their Ford Falcon that high, but the Falcon badge is part of the backbone of Australian motoring. The first Aussie Falcons were based on their American counterparts and all-Australian designs followed after that.

This Falcon’s a US model. I’m guessing it’s from the mid 1960’s, which makes this one dedicated owner given that there are Australian Falcons from this era available.

The matte-black won’t be to everyone’s tastes but I really liked it. The red interior was sensational.

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Rollin’

I’m not sure I’m recalling the correct year here, but I think someone told me this Rolls Royce is from 1924. Think on that while you consider how good you’re likely to look at 91 years of age 🙂

I’ve taken a few shots of this car before, but I thought I’d get some more detailed shots this month. Take a close look. My favourite has to be the leather covers protecting the leaf springs! But all the details on this car are beautifully finished. It’s a real credit to the owner.

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De Tomaso Panty Twister

Adrian had his De Tomaso Pantera at Classics again this month. It’s a breathtaking car. Pure Italian/American grunty goodness.

A few facts….

It’s a 1974 vintage in LHD with a mildly worked Ford 351 engine that sounds amazing. Not all Panteras look this aggressive. This one has a Group 5 body kit, which was added to the car in the mid-1980’s. Adrian imported the car from Washington state back in 2013 and had it repainted in ‘Colorado Red’ in 2013.

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The wheels are 17’s with 335/35’s fitted at the rear and 245/35’s fitted at the front.

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Pantera interiors are usually all black. The same owner who did the Group 5 body also did the timber and leather upgrade to the dash, doing all the work himself. The car has electrically controlled seats from a Corvette.

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Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV Coupe

This car sold for a very modest price around 18 months ago (and it was only a few miles from my place – why-o-why did I not know about this??). With prices rising for 105 series Alfas in the last year or so, I reckon the owner could probably book a value increase of around 100% in that time.

Why? Well, not only is it a 1750 – said to be the sweetest drive of all the 105 series cars – it’s also a Series 1 model with what looks to be mostly original paint and the beautiful ‘batwing’ seats.

A truly lovely classic Alfa.

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A Pair of Loti

The guy who owns this Series 2 Esprit has the sweetest car collection – and they’re all in beautiful condition. This is another car that I’m going to have to feature properly next time it appears at Classics.

As a side note: I just love that steering wheel. There’s something about two-spoke wheels that really works.

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The engine’s a show-piece sitting proudly in the back for all the world to see……

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The engine’s a little less conspicuous in this Esprit V8…..

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The Rest Of The Field

With no disrespect intended – I wish I could do features on all of these – here are the rest of the cars I photographed today. Note the Alfetta with log interior 🙂 , the blue Berlina, the BMW 323i with Zender kit and Bruce’s superb, clean 911 Carrera.

Thanks for visiting.

Happy New Year 2015!

2014 was a crap year. I’m glad to see the back of it!

Ebola, Islamic State and other branches of fundamentalist terrorism, lost airplanes, Russia and Ukraine, right-wing extremist parties in Europe, conservative governments here at home. All of them – especially the conservatives here at home – have conspired to provide me with a fair bout of depression in the latter half of this year.

koenigswade2014, for me, has been a year best defined by personal paralysis, which is a very unpleasant way to live. I’m sick of it. 2015 is the year I hope to start changing it.

The main things I’d like to change in 2015:

1. My job. The last 4 months have been hell; a textbook example of deplorable change management. I was sick of my job 4 or 5 years ago. Now it’s got me quite depressed. Life has been depressing for the last 4 months because work has been depressing. Life shouldn’t be this way. I don’t know if I can transition into something I like straight away but I’ve put out some feelers. I may have to tough it out for another year in my current job while I work up some qualifications. Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.

DSC_05782. Our location. As blessed as we are to live in the place that we do, it’s time for a change to a house that better suits our interests in a location that allows more quality time with people and organisations that are important to us. By this time next year I hope we’re either somewhere else in Tasmania that better suits our needs, or living in Melbourne.

Those are some pretty big changes but they have to happen. As a result, things that get in the way of them may have to be set aside.

I may or may not write here so much, for example. I’d like to transition into something that involves writing full-time, but the need to study might overtake the need to practice the craft on this site.

I might also have to sell the Fulvia, which is truly heartbreaking. I got some estimates on fixing the bodywork just before Christmas and let’s just say they weren’t encouraging. I’m still sussing it out, but I’ve set aside $20K for the restoration and if I’m not completely confident that I can get it done for that amount, then it might have to go. Needs must. If we’re going to move to another city then we’ll need every cent.

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It wasn’t all depressing. 2014 had some positives, too.

I got to spend some great times with my family in Melbourne, which was wonderful. I have two great-nephews and a great-niece there now and it’s been great to see them growing up a little more. I had some superb times catching up with friends back at home, too.

Our Salamanca market stall has done well, especially over the Christmas period. We got a new little neighbour at the market when our adult neighbours had a new baby girl. “Cuddles with Olive” and chats with her parents are one of the highlights of our week.

NEVS declared bankruptcy, paving the way for Mahindra to take majority ownership in a deal that should be announced this week, if it’s going to happen at all. If it doesn’t happen, Saab will cease to exist as a carmaker all together. Both scenarios are a net positive IMHO.

I built what turned out to be a fantastic guitar!

I’ve been the beneficiary of some truly awesome mateship from a bunch of gents known to each other as The Guild. Pete, Turbin, Dr Roman Candle and Gav – you don’t know how much you’ve helped me get through the day sometimes. Thanks a bunch.

cropped-DSC_47391.jpgOn the car front: I owned a Porsche for much of the year, bought a Fulvia that I’ve enjoyed dismantling (even if I don’t get to finish it) and I’m super-optimistic about the Alfa Romeo Sprint I’ve just brought home. Classics By The Beach has been great fun this year, too.

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So goodbye to 2014. You will not be remembered for good reasons. Your highlights were mostly lowlights and I’m glad to consign you to history.

Huzzah!

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Whatever course your year has taken, I hope 2015 is even better. Thanks for keeping the meter ticking over here. I hope it was interesting for you. Your visits, your comments and your friendship really are appreciated.

Stay safe and be nice to each other, OK?

1986 Alfa Romeo Sprint First Photos

It’s Christmas morning! Merry Christmas to all of you!

We did Christmas dinner last night so I’ve got a little time this morning to post up the first photos of the Alfa Romeo Sprint I bought yesterday.

Here is the car in our front yard, which is starting to represent an automotive palliative care ward for Italian and Swedish cars 🙂

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I picked the car up yesterday, put some fresh fuel in and was surprised at how well it drove on the short trip home. After being parked for six years, I expected it to cough and splutter a fair bit but the power was smooth and the brakes worked OK, too. I’m pretty sure it’s going to need a new clutch, though, which is a bit of a bummer.

The not-so-good bits

Let’s look at the downsides of the car first…..

A couple of rust spots. I’m going to try some basic repairs myself with a wire wheel, some rust converter, filler and colour-matched paint. This is a fun daily driver, not a show pony.

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Sadly, there is some dampness in the carpet on the passenger-side footwell so the window seal isn’t great. That’s something I’m not going to fix (cheap fun runabout, remember), but I’ll do my best to keep the car covered and out of the rain. Thankfully, I live in the second-driest capital city in Australia, so it’s not the challenge some people imagine it to be.

I’ve just ordered a new tail lamp lens……

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…. And I’ll keep an eye out for a steering wheel in good condition to replace this one. Or maybe look into getting some sort of decent leather cover for it. Any tips are welcome.

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The fabric in these Sprints looks great, but it’s notoriously prone to wear. Three of the four seats are OK but the driver’s seat is…… well……

(note: that’s a green rag sitting on the seat. I should have removed it)

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The good bits

To the rest of the car, then, which seems pretty tidy. There’s no evidence of accidents anywhere, the interior is very comfortable and the engine seems to be pulling quite well. This little Sprint should only need a few mechanical repairs, a lick of filler and paint and it’ll be ready for duty.

The front’s in good order. It even has the groovy Alfa covers on the fog lamps:

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The phone dial wheels have a small amount of pitting, but no curbing. Good condition, over all. Tyres are OK, too.

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The back end is very neat. The rear hatch could do with some new struts but everything else is fine. The luggage cover is in perfect order (which is unusual for one of these)

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One notable bonus with the interior is the dash pad. These are prone to cracking but this one’s completely intact. I think I’m going to have to employ some sun protection to keep it this way.

The instruments all seem to be working OK. It even has the original Alfa Romeo stereo and speakers, made by Pioneer. The car has air conditioning, but the belt has been removed. It most likely needs an overhaul, which I’m not going to bother with.

Rear seats are factory fresh.

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Here’s the heart of this little Italian beauty – the dual-carb 1.5 litre boxer engine. It needs a cleanup – that dirty-water look is from when the water pump gave out – but the engine is running well. It needs a water pump so I’ll get the timing belts done at the same time, along with the clutch and a full fluid service. That’ll be early in the new year.

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So there you have it.

The car’s not perfect but at the price I paid, it’ll do just fine. It won’t take much to pass inspection and it should be registered and back on the road in no time at all.

Viva l’Italia!

Christmas Cheer – 1986 Alfa Romeo Sprint

I haven’t had a fun car in my garage for 3 months so when this Alfa Romeo Sprint popped up for sale in my area, I was interested. When the price nearly halved earlier this week, I felt it would be downright rude if I didn’t check it out.

Sprint1I pick it up this afternoon 🙂

It’s a 1986 Alfa Romeo Sprint. I used to own a Sprint back in the late 1990’s. Regular visitors to this site may remember that I took care of my mate Gavin’s Sprint earlier this year and I fell in love with these little cars all over again. This one’s a later model than Gavin’s so there are a number of differences, but it’ll be just as fun to drive.

It has a twin-carb 1.5 litre boxer engine that puts out around 105hp. It’s been off the road for the last 6 years and it needs a new water pump but it started fine when I checked it out last night. It also needs a full service, of course.

Downsides: the Sprint has one rust spot about an inch-square at the base of the windscreen that should be relatively easy to touch up. There are two more very minor rust areas, too, and I’ll take a look at all of them over the holiday break. The fabric is worn on the driver’s seat and the steering wheel leather has basically disintegrated.

Upsides: everything else. The car is essentially a wonderful little runner in very tidy condition for a 30 year old Alfa and should take next-to-no-time to get back on the road. And given that it’ll cost me just 50% of the going price for a decent Sprint by the time it’s on the road, I’m a pretty happy camper 🙂

Those of you keeping score will note that right now, we have a Lancia, a Fiat and an Alfa at home. The sad part is that none of them are in correct working order, but that’ll change soon. Now I just have to work on getting a Maserati, a Ferrari and a Lamborghini and I’ll have all the main Italians covered 🙂

I’ll post some more photos after I get the car home, but here are some photos from the ad.

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Can You Help? Saab 9-5 Air Conditioning Problem

I got this question in from a friend in Sydney today. Any of you 9-5 owners had the same problem? Any of you know of a fix?

Fire away in comments…..

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Hi there,

I have a 2006 SAAB 9-5 Sports Wagon which apart from one issue is an awesome car.

The one issue seems to be related to the usage of the air-conditioner, which reduces the cars power down to a fraction of its normal power.

This doesn’t happen as soon as the AC is turned on. Perhaps 10 minutes later… it can vary. I most notice the effects in start stop city routes.

If I could describe the behaviour from a driving perspective:

– it’s most pronounced when moving off from a complete stop.
– pushing down on the accelerator has a distinct lag.
– then after the power kicks in, it has a very sluggish feel. Perhaps only 30% of normal power.
– turning off the engine or the AC will typically get rid of the issue…. but not instantly. After a few minutes.

I’ve taken it to a couple of mechanics and they seem unsure what could cause that behaviour. Because it doesn’t kick in straight away, they don’t get to see it in action.

Any ideas or thoughts would be most appreciated.

As I said, it’s a great car and I’d love to have my AC back in use this summer.

Piers.

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As I said, if you know of a solution (that doesn’t involve selling the car 🙂 ) then please feel free to enlighten Piers in comments.