So this page will be dedicated to my actual Trackday project car. The car itself is a work in progress right now. And because I have no idea if it appeals to my jdm-oriented blog readers, I decided to keep it on this separate page (for now).
So today I decided to start a write-up of my Giulia adventures.
Chapter 1: the idea
But let’s start with some history, decisions and thoughts I had before buying this car. It’s now about 8 years since I discovered the need for a dedicated trackday tool. Before I did some tourist laps on the Nurburgring and Hockenheimring, but always with my daily drivers. But that’s just a compromise which never works.
So about 6 years ago I got myself a 1984 Toyota Corolla AE86, modified it whenever the time and bank account allowed me, raced it, broke it, fixed it,…repeat. Some years later I came to a point most of us know. The need for big power. So I sold the Toyota and got a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5 GSR and 2 years later an Evo 6 RS. F*cking fast cars! You can easily drive with 90% of the Porsches and BMW M cars on the track at a fraction of the cost. But then one day it happened, I felt boredom. I wanted my driving experience to be more pure, more raw again. So what to do? Back to a Toyota AE86? No, that’s weird to buy an identical car as before. And the new owner wouldn’t sell me my ex-car back 😦
So I did quite some brain storming on what could be my next project, made a list on what the car should have and what not. As I pretty much have a giant sweet spot for old/vintage cars I decided it had to be late 60’s till early 70’s (chrome bumper era). Of course it had to be rear wheel driven, carburetted, disc brakes all around, 5 gears. There should be an available market for aftermarket parts and real easy access for spare parts because it’s critical to get parts fast when breaking something at a Trackday. And of course the looks, it had to be cool looking with lots of potential of course. Unluckily all these criteria disqualified all the Jtins I were used to. Basically it came down to these 3 cars:
Porsche 914, BMW 2002 and Alfa Giulia Super.
After realizing I couldn’t afford an 914-6 (914-4s’ are just to slow in +- standard form) and realizing the market for BMWs was quite weak at that particular moment I sold myself to the Alfisti community 😉
As usual the hunt for that one car began. Started to check German, Belgian, French and Dutch sites on a daily basis for good and “rust free” examples that would fit my budget. To be more precise I did not search for a really early example because of un-useful things like column shifters and mechanical clutches,… During a short trip to the Netherlands I realize that I had quite a task to find something that would fit my budget and was clean and tidy. So the search continued for some weeks until I found a fair example in Belgium. Very early 70s example, private seller, white, 2.0l engine conversion, some minor mods nothing fancy, some rust on lower doors, sills,… But nothing really bad. It was to expensive but I tried my luck anyway.
Pics from the ad:
Chapter 2: visiting and ending up buying the car, bringing it home, get it registered.
So in october last year I went so see my actual car. Seller was a nice older men, he used it for weekend trips, touristic rallies and tried to maintain it himself as good as he could. When we arrived the car waited outside of his garage. It rained heavily, so I couldn’t really inspect the car as I would. The car was hot as the owner just did a 20km trip to fill up some gas. Therefore the car was wet and dirty, so yeah I didn’t see some of the paint flaws and rust bubbles. Did my best I could to inspect it, drove it, chatted with the owner and believed what I was told.
But as always, I’m just like a child on christmas when it comes to buying a car. This is a bad habit, because it puts some pink glasses on your vision and everything appears better as it is 😉 Don’t get me wrong here, the car is still in good shape, but not rust free or concours state.
So we arranged on a price and fixed a date (2 weeks later) for the pick up.
2 weeks gone, so I went to pick it up, car drove faultlessly (still does until today) and a few hours later it was at its new home.
As winter was still some weeks away, I decided to fix some minor things (wrongly connected headlamps, non working horn, suspension geometry) and get the car registered to my name. The car passed SNCT MOT on first try. The inspectors were quite satisfied about the technical condition of the car. So the next day I brought it to the shelter and got out the work and modding and wish list. But don’t be fooled, after the winter there were 3 lists hanging on the windscreen. So much work, so little time…
Chapter 3: let the fixing and modding begin:
I decided to rip out the engine, the interior, the suspension, axle,… to get better access to these areas. So I was able to sand, clean, paint, restore. All these are quite boring jobs, super time-consuming. But you gotta love the results! So I won’t bother you with too much text and will just put some pictures:
The more fun bits are things like the engine, I just like working on them. But for now I didn’t want to go all out straight from the beginning. So what happened during the winter 2014/2015 was the following:
2000cc engine from a berlina, refreshed pistons and liners
all stock but changed for aluminium carb mounts, alfaholics trumpets, pipercross filter
exhaust side I went with a full csc marmitte exhaust and headers in stainless steel.
and of course, refreshed the engine itself.
End 2016, the car still runs like a champ, never missed a beat, no breakdown what so ever in 2 years! Technically this car is just awesome and in great shape. The body rust is a bit worse than before, but still OK for my purpose. I now need to decide if I gonna sell the car or if I gonna hand it to an expert to get the body back to ‘rust free’ incl a new paint job,…