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The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

There are rumors spreading in the dark alleys of the red light district about a man who went off the deep end buying a dilapidated 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider that was better off dead.

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He had traces of the neurotoxin “Alfa Love N237" coursing through his veins, losing all rational thought and reasoning...fueled only by a lustful passion to find an Alfa to call his own no matter the costs.

Once the toxin broke down, only then did he begin to comprehend what he’s done. The monster wasn’t him, no, the monster is what’s lurking beneath the Alfa sheetmetal....

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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

Err, or the lack thereof! Classic Alfas like to rust, that’s an absolute truth in this world. What we’re seeing here is what’s supposed to be the driver’s side floorboard. The car went all Flintstones on me and underneath my feet is the exhaust and unibody rails.

At least the exhaust has a hole in it so I can pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning to forget my mistakes.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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The passenger side floorboard is still kinda there. There’s a massive hole in it, I think they call that “Superleggera” in Italian.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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The only upgrade I’ve done so far is replace the front passenger side coil spring with a block of wood. You read that right.

Funny story. The control arm steel dilapidated from sitting outside for 20 years, so the coil spring punched a hole right through it. I needed to tow the car 40 miles and this was my way of stopping the wheel from bottoming out. I’m somewhat of a genius in pinch situations.

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Also the car has no brakes because the brake lines rusted away.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Well there’s the boot, it doesn’t seem so bad....let me stop you right there.

You can bet your toboggans that there is a gnarly rust hole underneath the spare.

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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

Also the fuel tank has a rust hole that I punched through with my finger on top.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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The metal skeleton of the seats rusted away. I threw out the foam cushions because they were gross. We have the technology to get replacements.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Upon inspection of its paint code sticker in the trunk, the car originally came from the Italian factory in yellow (paint code 119). My Alfa clearly got repainted sometime in its life to the more iconic red.

I am a personal fan of its original yellow.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Alfa Romeo
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I will be returning her to yellow because I like it better. Red Alfas are a dime a dozen and kinda bore me if I’m honest. Let’s have some fun and go wild.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Look, this car has A LOT going on and quite frankly a train wreck. But I love it.

I find this car to be beautiful in the truest sense of the word.

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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It has seen better days but that’s why I exist here and now. My goal is to return it to those days.

This car should absolutely be junked and taken to car heaven because financially, it makes zero sense.

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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

The Alfa Spiders aren’t worth much to begin with (the boat-tail Duettos are a different story), so why bother with a car headed towards the event horizon?

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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

That’s a good question. All I can say is that I’m this Alfas biggest fan.

This car existed a full 13 years before I was born. I’m suckered in by how advanced it was for its day. An all aluminum DOHC engine and 4 wheel disc brakes in the late 60s/early 70s is nothing short of amazing!

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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

The Spider is a breath of fresh air. Every car I’ve ever driven has had an onboard computer calling the shots. As the years go by, the computer is calling more and more of the shots on what goes on when you drive.

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It’s interesting to go back in time where the brains of the car was mechanical wizardry.

Exhibit A: The Alfa Romeo SPICA mechanical fuel injection system

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Alfa Romeo
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Lastly, I think this car is just flat out cool. I’m definitely in for some pain with this project and am well aware of how truly horrible the condition of this car is.

I’m always the optimist and will adjust my sails aiming for fairer seas...or just tie me to the mast and pray I don’t capsize.

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Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics!

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection
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Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

Bonus pic, my other car getting it’s transmission/diff oil serviced in my free time because I’m thifty:

Illustration for article titled The Alfa Blues, Just the Way it is...
Photo: Author’s Personal Collection

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