My Alfa Romeo Project

It followed me home, Mom. Can I keep it?

It followed me home, Mom. Can I keep it?

This is the saga of my first Alfa Romeo. It's also the oldest car I've ever owned. Not the earliest (for example, I bought a new Pinto seven years before this car was made) but the oldest at the time it came into my hands. It's also the first I've ever bought that wasn't running at all and had to be towed home.

This doesn't really show how filthy the engine was

This picture doesn't really show how filthy the engine was when I got it. Nor does it show that the alternator was missing (and I missed that on my pre-purchase inspection, too). The alternator belongs directly underneath the air conditioner compressor, where the filth was blackest.

Engine from left Engine from right front

The drive belt lying on top of the engine should have been a tip-off that the alternator needed a closer look.

close-up of intake side of engine

This picture clearly shows the intake air filter for the missing air injection (smog) pump. It's that little vertical canister with the wingnut on top. The big reddish-colored tank behind it, full of red automatic transmission fluid, is a reservoir for the hydraulic load-leveler system. The special rear shock absorbers that are the guts of that system had been replaced with normal ones, but the plumbing was just capped off. The pump was still in place, driving into a capped-off pipe. It's just like a power steering pump. You can see it and the big black hose coming out of the top of it in the second engine picture. Unfortunately, it's the tension adjuster for the air conditioner drive belt, so I'm going to have to leave the carcass of it there to make the AC work.

interior, front seats Back seat

The interior was in surprisingly good shape for a 24 year old car with an engine that filthy. All original (apparently) and no serious problems with the upholstery. The headliner is stained but not sagging. The trim around the driver's door is mostly worn away. Stereo speakers have been removed from the front doors, leaving gaping holes. That long rectangular thing lying on the back seat (foreground) is the clear plastic cover for the fuses, which leads us to the serious problems, the electrics.

Wanna waste some more time on this?