The oven is closed for now

It is now November and soon approaching the end of 2014 were for me, thus far, has been a year of nonstop activity. Although, we have been performing metalwork at our shop for about a little over three years now, the final results of those years in the making had been just finalized within the past four months.

To begin with, been able to paint five of the six cars we completed metalwork, during the past three years was indeed a major milestone.

The first car we painted was the Green 1963 Giulia SS to its original Green color as depicted on photos as before and after.

Second car painted was the 1961 Giulietta Spider also to its original color Graphite Grey. Lovely color and happy with the results.

Third car was: the 1958 Giulietta Spider Veloce painted Red as original, but I used the Ferrari Rosso, which I find to be a spectacular choice.

Classics towing classics 1958 Spider Veloce being towed by 1973 Wagoneer and 1961 Spider being towed by 1973 Land Rover


Fourth car was the 1959 Giulietta Sprint 2+2 originally Red, but I went Graphite Grey. I am just tired of looking at too many Red Sprints and could not handle another Red Sprint

Photo as I once listed the car on ebay.

 

Fifth car was the 1958 Giulietta Sprint Veloce 1st series, painted to its original color Azzurro Chiaro Nube, the very last first series car produced as 1493*06611.

Now to the assembly process where I am starting to sort out all the interior work before I place my order for the new upholstery kids. Currently, we have grown to four people working at the shop but for now, our goal is to focus on my personal collection and thus our shop remains a private one. Wiring harness manufacturing, metal fabrication, reproductions and some other specialties will continue to be part of our intended focus.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Update: AR381173 – One bun fresh out of the oven

August 28th was for me the longest day since College where I burned the midnight oil studying for a final exams; that was what it felt like last night. Rigo my painter and I had a respectively  long day of work. Rigo arrives at the shop around 6:30pm after leaving his day job to get ready to paint the Giulia SS. We have been working on the vehicle preparation for some days now, and we still had to go back and re-check everything  before we moved to the next step. One of the hallmarks of a good paint job is preparation, and that does take the bulk of the time. Taping, cleaning, sanding, checking, and re-checking and so on is a process that goes to the nth of degree and still, we felt that were  leaving details behind, and that was what we felt last night. After the cleaning and the taping was done, the first step was to apply the paint sealer. Rigo is used to paint with both Spees Hecker and Sikkens paint products, and this was his first go around painting with Glasurit products. The Glasurit sealer went on very well, and Rigo likes it. Once the sealer was applied we walked around the car to see how it looks. It looks great. However, we managed to spot some imperfections, and he had to do some block sanding in order to remove the impurities; that was around 2:30am. Now it is ready for the final top coat, and by 3: 45am the final coat of the green paint was on the car. We were both exhausted, and we called quits by 4:00am. I went home for a nap and by 9:00am I was up back at the shop.  After one long year, the paint and body are done. Soon after we finish painting three additional cars we will start the assembly process on all four cars in tandem.  So, one car down and three more to go or maybe even four more to go….

 

 

Rigo getting ready for the green primer

Green paint here we go…

 

It is finally Green again!!!!

 

I am happy with the final results.

 

This is what I expect my Green Giulia SS will look like when done. Green with a Camel interior is a rare and stunning combination it makes for a graceful looking vehicle.

Posted in AR*381173, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Sprint Speciale Auction Bonanza

The month of August was indeed unusually high with auction activities for the Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale. There were a total of seven auctions going on ALMOST simultaneously! That in itself was incredible.

I find the SS to be the elusive car that has been under the radar for the longest time as the most unappreciated car at the Alfa Romeo gatherings where most don’t care to identify.

The SS was unique and avant-garde model that many found too radical when first introduced in 1957 and last produced 1965 and, as a result, it fail to captivate the souls and mind of the general audience. The Sprint Speciale loyal following had been small. And for that reason many managed their way into neglect and abandonment for the longest time until recently, the lovely SS is finding its way back into the mainstream and appreciated for what it is, a real classic and a work of art.
Personally, I attribute the sudden change and shift as a result of the 2011 Amelia Island lot 32 Goodings auction 1961 Giulietta Sprint Speciale  such a sale set a new record. This auction opened the floodgates for other SS market when it sets new pricing precedence and at one point it seems that SS’s were coming out of the woods thus “flooding” the market with many cars becoming all available in all sorts of conditions. Market since then has been leveled off.
Let’s leapfrog to August 2014 and review today’s SS market after looking under the microscope on the most recently completed auctions:
Auction #1;  The Bring A Trailer listed SS better known as the Vespa SS. In my view, and, generally speaking, I expected to see this car go for around $145,000 to $175,000 given it was a fully documented restoration that actually happened live under the watchful eye of a generally sympathetic audience. Not particularly keen on speculating or dwell why it did not sell; nevertheless, comparable SS concurrently running at various auctions managed to perform significantly better with completed sales.

UPDATE: The Vesta SS is back on Bring A Trailer for auction. Hopefully, it will do better this time around despite of my believe that Bring A Trailer is not the ultimate auction setting for some cars and in particular this one. I wish Vespa the best of luck.

Auction #2; Bonhams Auction Lot 300
1965 ALFA ROMEO GIULIA SPRINT SPECIALE

Chassis no. AR 381354
Engine no. AR00121*01353  Sold for $77,000 including buyer’s premium. Poorly presented by both the owner and auction house missed an opportunity to reach it potential given that it seems like a good restoration candidate.
Auction #3; Goodings Auction Lot 25
Sold for $198,000 including buyer’s premium
Auction #4; RM Auction Lot 258
Sold for $165,000 not sure if this number includes the buyer’s premium.
Auction#5;  Ebay Auction
This one sold on eBay with a final price of $85,000. A real bargain for the condition and completeness of this car. This SS virtually walked away under the radar at a  relatively steal when compared to similar samples available. Whoever purchased this car most likely will be happy.
Auction #6; Mecum Auction at Monterey Lot S138
This one sold for $130,000 and again, not sure if it included the buyer’s premium.
And last but not least,
Auction #7; Russo and Steele Run # S618
Final selling price if it managed to sell still unknown. The Zat mobile although interesting it does not spark any emotional interest.
Despite the doom projections of the SS flooding the market, crashing, or the bubble bursting proved to be nothing more than a general public over-reaction of future market behavior.

My view, on the other hand, seems like the SS market will remains stable with continuing upward appreciation.
One final note on what we have learned on these auctions:
It’s overwhelmingly clear that the venue selection needed for promoting the sale of these cars will have the biggest impact. That said; Not all auctions venues are created equal. Likewise, presentation and condition are crucial. Thus, I would stay away from personal liberties such as interior colors and other distracting modifications. Originality and good taste will always prevail.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Giulietta Spider 08578: Saved from the crusher?

Last Summer I purchased this Giulietta Spider that was destined to find its way to the crusher. The purchase price was a nominal fee of $100 and for me, it makes perfect sense given that I have all the needed parts on hand to complete the vehicle. To date, we have successfully completed metal fabrication, bodywork on six vehicles during the past two years and now we are getting ready to start on vehicle number 7.

Thus far, we have cleaned the shell, located and sorted all the parts needed to complete the vehicle. I will have to say that this particular vehicle will take a little longer to complete than the other spiders we have completed thus far. This one has a lot of work but it will be a nice car when done.

Therefore, as soon as we finish our Celette like bench table we will be able to tide down the shell and begin with all the necessary work.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Metal Fabrication, Restorations | Leave a comment

We have moved

It has been a while since I last updated thegiuliettashop.com progress diaries due to lack of spare time. There is much to report, and I will try to bring all the information at hand to date in no specific order.

Let me start with our last major project which consisted of upgrading the wiring shop. For the past ten years I have been operating classicwiring out of my home garage which I had remodeled with the intent of creating a well lit and comfortable place to work. Since then, I have outgrown the place and relocated to a much larger space where I can have multiple work tables as well as increased storage capacity.

Work in progress at the new shop. Now I can work multiple harnesses at a time.

 

Working on new looms while getting everything in place.

Orders ready for my July 2014 deliveries.

For me, the hardest part was the move and now I am organizing the space. Now that I have consolidated all of the operations into one common area, our new wiring shop will be in a 8,000 sq ft building.   An adjacent 4,000 sq ft building behind it houses our restoration work shop.  The benefit is that I will be on site 8 to 10 hrs per day thus eliminating the trips back and forth on a regular basis.

 

My next goal is to hire suitable candidates to help with wiring harness manufacturing and restoration. Until then, I have made the decision not to take on any additional projects and focus on our basic core business.

The future plan is to streamline the process more effectively  to ensure the highest quality standards for all major work such as upholstery, bodywork, painting and mechanical.  Necessary support staff would be hired to work on-site versus utilizing outside parties for essential work.

Our biggest challenge in achieving our goals are outside distractions, therefore our shop will remain as a nondescript building by appointment only at this time and will be closed to the general public.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A day for celebration

Trying to get caught up has become an insurmountable task since returning home from  a well deserved “vacation” in Spain. Note that I included quotations to the word vacation because I did manage to do some work on a couple of Giulia spiders while in Spain.

But for now, it is time to celebrate a significant milestone on our own Giulia SS, the final primer is complete and will be followed with a top coat of single stage dark green paint. Next car in line will be the 1958 Giulietta Sprint Veloce 1st series to be painted in Azzurro Nube; the 1958 Giulietta Spider Veloce will be painted Cardinal Red; and the 1960 Giulietta Sprint 2+2 to be painted Bertone red.

Hope that all four cars are painted by the end of September which means that there will be no more metal work for the rest of the year. Next post will be about previous projects and experiences. Enjoy the photos until next time.

Lets celebrate with the finest Rum in the World.

DSC_0182

DSC_0174

DSC_0169

DSC_0174

Additional photos can be viewed HERE

Posted in AR*381173, Metal Fabrication, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Alfa Romeo 2600 Zagato Old and New Wiring

Albeit, I have been exceedingly  busy with the diverse tasks of work ranging from wiring harnesses, metal fabrication, moving the wiring harness shop to our 12,000 sf facility, perpetual task of organizing the facility, tool kit reproductions as well as other reproductions to be announced at a later date, I still find time to enjoy my work and still manage to diversify my work schedule.

As of late, I have been working on wiring harnesses for three 2600 Alfa Romeo Zagato models. The advantage of having three original looms at one time is that I can see all the alterations that had been made to all the looms throughout their lifetime and still be able to reconstruct them to their original glory. Additionally, I do not know if I should call this an accidental discovery, but while at the hardware store looking for paint stripper I stumbled into this product called Metal Rescue.

After reading the label I decided to try one out for loosening up those stubborn fuse block screws that previous methods of removal were mixed. ( busted fuse blocks, stripped the slanted screw head, drilled new holes, etc… ).

After soaking the fuse panel overnight I was able to loosen up some of the screws.  Some fuse blocks required additional soaking time and after several attempts I was able to remove most of the screws leaving the fuse box looking like new again after a gentle cleaning with a toothbrush size stainless steel brush.

These subsequent videos depicts the look of before and after

Old wiring

New wiring

Posted in Wiring Looms | Leave a comment

Update: 1959 Fiat 1100cc 4 doors

Here is some good progress on the 1959 Fiat 1100cc project. Since work started late last Wednesday, all the rust on the car has been removed, new patches and fabrication have been completed and welded in place. Final work, which include some lead work will be completed tomorrow. All four rear fender wells lower corners were rusty, but some were worse than others. Here are some photo updates

 

Next week will be the final update and completion . Stay tuned for the final work details.

Posted in Metal Fabrication, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The wiring installation process

Although I have been making wiring harness since my college days or just about 27 + years, I have only had managed to personally install around 10 during that period. Installing a new wiring harness on a Giulietta is simple and fast. I have been able to install a complete new wiring harness in a Giulietta in one day. That said, it should not take the average mortal more than a couple days at worst to properly re-route and connect a new wiring harness on a car.

There are some simple and basic steps to follow when  preparing to embark into the Spaghetti sorting process and the best way to prepare for the task is simple:

First,  I always tell my clients to familiarize themselves with the provided wiring diagram. The diagram will provide a general guidance while you work throughout the electrical system.

Second, once you have laid the new wiring harness in the car everything should fall into place and you can see where everything goes from that point.

What appears to be the most daunting part of the installation is the wiring of the gauges, and more specifically –  the tri-gauge.  You must  study, and prepare your ground work beforehand and by doing so you will have the general path to be followed.

In order to assist my customers I normally re-attach the original fuse panel to the new wiring harness. This is something I usually don’t do but I usually find that it will helps the installer successfully complete the new installation since all the wires are already connected to the panel. Additionally, I do offer a fuse panel restoration services where I replace the bad board with a new one, sandblast and paint the bracket, clean and repair the original fuse block when the studs become ceazed due to corrosion as well as replace damaged studs and screws.  This is a time consuming process and the $100 I charge is well worth the price.

 

Taking inventory of fuse panels to be restored

Taking inventory of fuse panels to be restored

Another shot of the panels to be restored

Another shot of the panels to be restored

 

Sometimes those stubborn screws refuse to butch and we have to drill them out

Sometimes those stubborn screws refuse to butch and we have to drill them out

Fully restored panel attached to the new wiring harness

Fully restored panel attached to the new wiring harness

A completed new wiring harness with a restored fuse panel ready to go home

A completed new wiring harness with a restored fuse panel ready to go home.

I strongly recommend restoration of the original fuse panel. I have discovered that purchasing a new reproduction fuse panel should only be done as a last resort. The reproduction panels are most definitely poorly made and cheap looking. Just review the photos and you should be able to make up your mind.

This is the reproduction panel that you will find on the wiring harnesses coming out of Italy. Note the low grade steel screws.

This is the reproduction panel that you will find on the wiring harnesses coming out of Italy. Note the low grade steel screws.

Here is a comparison of the reproduction fuse panel against the original panel.

Here is a comparison of the reproduction fuse panel against the original panel.

Note how skinny are these reproduction panels. Also notice how these were linked together by a soldered wire.

Note how skinny are these reproduction panels. Also notice how these were linked together by a soldered wire.

 

Another view of the reproduction fuse panel to the original Giulietta fuse panel.

Another view of the reproduction fuse panel to the original Giulietta fuse panel.

Well I must admit that I got my work cut out somewhat. Getting ready to complete restoration of 35 new fuse panels.

Well I must admit that I got my work cut out somewhat. Getting ready to complete restoration of 35 new fuse panels.

I do try to be very cautious when restoring a fuse panel but, sometimes they do break.

I do try to be very cautious when restoring a fuse panel but, sometimes they do break. That is especially the case when the bakelite is old and bridle.

This is enough for today. Next time I will be talking about the correct fuses to use on a new wiring harness and other topics of interest within the same subject.

Posted in Uncategorized, Wiring Looms | 2 Comments

Arrival of 1959 Fiat 1100 4 door Sedan

Since our first publication the giulietta shop continues to receive a number of inquiries about our metal fabrication, metal restoration, and other related restoration services. Earlier this week we welcomed the arrival of this 1959 Fiat 1100cc four door sedan to our facility. It is a nice little car with its original black paint, fairly straight, and mostly solid body. There were some areas of concern, and so the car was brought to our shop for some repairs.

Here are some photos.

The Fiat is expected to be with us for about two weeks while the rust repairs and metal fabrication work is being completed. All the requested work will be completed without the use of any filler.

The work to be completed can be viewed here .

Additionally, we are in discussions with a number of customers who are interested in bringing their cars in for us to compete some work. Not all of these cars are Alfas and we are very excited to bring in other cars to the mix. Upon completion of the Fiat we will be scheduling some out of state customer cars such as  some 750 and 101 Spiders that will be arriving soon. This is the start of a very busy year as we continue to expand our services and product lines.

Stay tune more to come.

Lionel

 

Posted in Metal Fabrication, Uncategorized | Leave a comment