A New Space. A New Era.

It’s always a little nerve racking to step into the unknown. Simultaneously, by nature, I’m on the conservative side when it comes to making significant financial decisions, and as a consequence, I had some genuine trepidation at the thought of signing a one-year lease on work space for my Alfa. How much is my hobby worth, after all? The prospect of moving into a shop forced me to put a dollar value on that question. Whatever nerves were there though, pretty much evaporated yesterday as I spent my first day in the new space working on the car. Sublime, is … Continue reading A New Space. A New Era.

Carbs on a diet

I’m afraid to say the past couple of weeks haven’t brought obviously huge gains to the Alfa. Each weekend I continue to chip away, a few hours at a time, but to the casual observer the progress would appear glacial, at best. While I have been reluctant to accept this pace, the fact that I recently registered for a certificate of non-operation, vs. paying standard registration, is an indication of the progress rate I am able to maintain. The left front wheel well is finally almost ready to have some shiny refurbished suspension parts installed, and the front passenger floor … Continue reading Carbs on a diet

A Family Heirloom

A much unexpected treasure trove founds its way to me this Christmas, and while I’m delighted to have it, honestly I’d prefer that it never had reason to make its way to me. The item is an old toolbox, filled with beautiful old machinist tools, dial indicators, calipers, and a plethora of other items. Back in November, completely unexpectedly, my step-brother Scott passed away. Scott and I had been family members since 1983 when I was 11 years-old, Scott about 20 at that time, the result of my mom marrying Scott’s dad. Since first meeting, a passion that Scott and … Continue reading A Family Heirloom

Time to Weld

I must have been a very good boy in 2013, as Santa brought me exactly what I wanted for Christmas: a MIG welder. Coincidentally, it’s precisely the same one that my research turned up as the “right” one for me, a Hobart 140 “Handler” set up to run solid wire with a CO2/Argon mixture. Who knew Santa was such a tool geek? A couple of years ago my wonderful wife bought me a gift certificate to an “Intro to Welding” class at The Crucible, in Oakland, and there I received a few hours of MIG instruction. Since then however, I’ve … Continue reading Time to Weld

What’s in a Door Handle?

My Giulia Sprint proudly sports no door handles at all, just large gaping holes in each door, the result of the previous owner taking them off for some reason shortly before my buying it, and I have yet to put them back on since it’s just sitting idly in my carport. In time, I hope to move the GTA style door handles. Yes, yes, I know they aren’t original to my car, but I just love the look and feel of them. The simplicity and elegance of the design, matched with the slight yet solid feel of the pull and … Continue reading What’s in a Door Handle?

A River Runs Though It

The weather is beating me down today, my friends. After weeks and months of waffling, I finally picked a couple of weeks to take off of work, with my primary goal being to make some good forward progress on the Alfa. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ve had a beautiful fall with crisp but clear days, absolutely perfect for everything from bike riding to car tinkering. Except of course, right up until I decided not to go to work. The past two days it has been raining practically non-stop. How this impacts me is that I do not … Continue reading A River Runs Though It

Trailing Arm Bushing Refurb

I’m in the midst of sprucing up suspension components both front and rear. Part of doing this has involved removing the rear trailing arms, cleaning them up and replacing the worn bushings with fresh OE ones. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that underbody components get lots of dirt build-up on them, but nonetheless, it was pretty eye-opening to see the degree of grime built up on the trailing arms, the photo below shows the amount of dirt that peeled off as the putty scraper slid along the arms like a tractor plowing a fertile field; easily enough gunk … Continue reading Trailing Arm Bushing Refurb

Skill Envy

Have you ever felt underwhelmed by your own skills? I have. About eight years ago I was having a nightmare of a time with the Weber 38/38 downdraft on my 2002; it would run-on after turning off the ignition, have internal back-fires periodically, ran too rich, you name it. One day, while walking around the corner from my old office, I walked past the open door of Conrad Stevenson’s shop and there he was, tinkering away on one of his customer’s beautiful old Alfa Romeos. Conrad and I had exchanged pleasantries a few times prior as I’d ogle at the … Continue reading Skill Envy

Six Degrees of Separation

There is a theory, apparently originally put forth by Frigyes Karinthy, known as the “Six Degrees of Separation” which, in essence, suggests that any individual on earth can be linked to any other individual by no more than six relationships or connections; sort of like the “friend of a friend” concept taken to extremes that could theoretically connect me to a Masai tribesman in Africa, for example, through no greater than six personal steps of relation or acquaintance. While wielding a putty knife to scrape 50-ish years’ worth of road grime from the undercarriage of my car yesterday, just above … Continue reading Six Degrees of Separation