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  • Evan Klein unlocked the badge Reviewer
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  • No brakes in the rainfall
    CAR: 1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / 1967 / Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / Alfa-Romeo

    OWNER: Evan Klein

    / #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina-Type-105 / #1967 / #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105 / #Marelli-Plex-electronic-ignition / #Marelli-Plex / #dual-Weber / #Weber

    That’s right, it’s 100% reliable. At least that’s what I tell everyone. Seems Alfas run great for short periods of time. I’m starting to become embarrassed when the car breaks; it doesn’t leave me stranded, it just, well, doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. And if I do tell anyone, I have to put up with the ‘Why don’t you get something new?’ speech.
    Last month, at the height of the Los Angeles rain-storms, the brake master cylinder failed, leaving me without brakes. OK, no problem, I’ll just carefully drive to the shop using that horrible under-dash handbrake. The traffic was horrendous, bumper-to-bumper, rain coming down in buckets. At one point I was following a motorcycle officer. If he only knew. Fortunately I arrived without incident. We lifted her up and pulled the brake master. A rebuilt Bonaldi unit was standing by; we put it on but it didn’t work. No pressure. What to do now? Its not like these single-circuit units are off-the-shelf items.

    We searched the shop, and with a stroke of luck found an original ATE rebuild kit. So we rebuilt my original, bolted it in and it worked. I had brakes, glorious, glorious, brakes again. King of the Road. We ate doughnuts to celebrate.
    That was Wednesday. On Thursday the brake pedal became very hard; the brake servo had decided to quit. Back to the shop. Have you priced a servo lately? Executive decision: let’s get rid of the servo and run a straight line.

    Now I had brakes again, test drive around the block, perfect. But I got a ‘Pop the hood’ request upon returning, the engine sounding funny and running on two cylinders. Bad gas? Carbs out of sync? Time for yet more fiddling. If it wasn’t for Guru Benny I would be driving something new. Everything is sorted now, I don’t smell of gas, my hands are clean. I have told no one; as far as the wife knows, the Alfa is 100% reliable.

    Above and below Giulia gets uncharacteristically wet during los angeles rain-storm; original master cylinder now rebuilt.
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  •   Evan Klein reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Anger management

    CAR 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Saloon

    OWNER Evan Klein

    / #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina-Type-105 / #1967 / #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105 / #Marelli-Plex-electronic-ignition / #Marelli-Plex / #dual-Weber / #Weber

    The guy was standing in the middle of the parking lot with his back to the car, wearing goofy red gym shorts and a puffy green jacket. To get his attention, I did what any gearhead would do with unfiltered dual Webers and a straight-through exhaust: I blipped the throttle. He spun around with a startled look and we locked eyes – it was actor Adam Sandler. He looked down at the Giulia and a huge smile spread across his face as he pointed at the car. I blipped again and smiled back.

    That’s the thing about classic cars: you can’t get mad at them. And it’s why I love the random nature of Los Angeles. Sure, I could have jumped out of the car and chatted to him, but no, a smile would do.

    The Giulia has had a busy month, trying to keep up with exotic cars in La Jolla at the concours show, and getting some new parts. I’d fitted a set of sport cams from Alfa guru Richard Jemison, then noticed one carb was having problems. No matter what we did, the air/ fuel mixture screws weren’t responding. We cleaned it and tried again, but still no go.

    Hmm. A rebuild? All the labour and parts would cost the same as a new carb, so, executive decision: new carbs. Done. And the car fired at first try. Once it had warmed up, the difference was Jekyll and Hyde; this thing was a little monster now, although I noticed a slight hesitation on initial throttle.

    Time to check out the distributor, #Marelli Plex electronic ignition, and idle jets. I compared my car’s distributor with another, on which the weights swing further out and the springs are smaller, giving more advance. And so we swapped the parts, checked the timing, and decided to go down a size in jets.

    Time for another trip around the block. Yes, it’s still fast but this time there’s no hesitation on take-off, and it pulls to the redline and then some without fuss. It is everything it should be. And I’ve now got my hands on a European airbox too, which will complete the look under the bonnet.

    As for the old carbs, once they were off, we saw that gas had been blowing against the back of the butterflies and not into the chamber. Easy fix, maybe. But the Alfa runs great and that’s the goal: more time driving, less time fixing.

    Above and below New cams, new carbs, and an ignition rebuild. The result? Hotter performance for this LA daily driver.
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  •   Mark Sommer reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    The good, the bad and the Super

    Car: #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina-Type-105 / #1967 / #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105

    Owner: Evan Klein

    The Giulia has been earning her keep. I took her up to Monterey this year for Pebble Beach and did all the usual stops: McCall’s, The Quail, Historics at Laguna, Lemons, and Concorso Italiano. I must say she did wonderfully, didn’t miss a beat. The nice thing too is that, when you drive a classic, they have a tendency to wave you in, with a lot of ‘Please sir, right this way’.

    One trick I learned was that parking at Pebble is horrible no matter what time you arrive. I got there at 4am (it was still dark), parked as close as I could and walked down to the field. Here’s the trick: they’re going to tow you, and you must accept this as fact. The car is 50 years old and it’s an Alfa; it’s not like it’s never been towed. But at Pebble it’s a complimentary tow. To a private, secure lot five minutes away. More like a valet service than a punishment.

    The Giulia’s other big adventure was the Targa Baja rally in Mexico, for which 32 classics met in San Diego and crossed the border into Tecate for four days of high-speed driving on the best roads in Mexico. From Porsches and BMWs to Alfas, any classic is welcome to enter.

    We climbed the mountains and followed the coast, the federales escorting us through the congested parts so we could parade quickly through the cities. In Tecate we stopped to gather at the main square for a welcome from the mayor and made the news – the locals waved flags and everyone was friendly. From there we headed up La Rumorosa, a stunning and treacherous drive on a desert mountain road, where it’s not uncommon to see 18-wheelers on their sides. We finished by the water in Ensenada, with a line-up of classics. Very impressive.

    On day three, the group headed into the mountains and an altitude of 9000ft – but, as we made our way out of town, the Alfa started backfiring and wouldn’t rev beyond 3500rpm. Oh no. So I pulled off the road and we gathered around the open hood. It was the ignition system. It had failed.

    Navigator Nick and myself decided not to hang around Mexico and to flatbed the Alfa back to Los Angeles. All my #Alfa-Romeo stories seem to involve a flatbed. Back at the shop on the Monday, we swapped the distributor back to Marelli Plex, cranked the ignition, and she was purring like the car I adore. And now it’s time to make a run to the grocery store, because she still has to earn her keep.
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  •   Mark Sommer reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Time to fire up the Alfa

    Car: #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Saloon-Type-105 / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Berlina-Type-105 / #1967 / #1967-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super-Type-105

    1967 ALFA ROMEO GIULIA SALOON

    OWNER: EVAN KLEIN

    IT’S 5:43AM. The pounding on the front door is so loud I think the police are about to break through. Leaping from my bed, I shout ‘What?’ ‘It’s Don, your neighbour… FIRE!’

    It’s still dark outside but the hill across the street is filled with orange flames. The neighbours start gathering; I grab my camera and we watch the flames. What do we do?

    Fortunately, the winds are blowing towards the ocean, keeping the flames from moving towards us. One person says they won’t start dropping water with helicopters until sunrise. That’s at 6:48. I run inside and turn on the TV; the other side of the hill is in full flame and they’ve closed the freeway. While my wife starts packing things and throwing them in her car, I grab jeans, shirts and camera stuff and throw it all in the trunk of the Giulia.

    Back outside, we try to assess how quickly the fire is moving and how much time we have. This is Bel Air… surely they’re not going to let it burn! Where are the fire trucks?

    The flames are getting very close to the houses now, and as the sun rises the fire trucks start making their way down our street. Our house shakes as helicopters fly over, but why aren’t they dropping water? My wife says: ‘I’m going to work; let me know what happens.’ I hop in the Giulia and head to the end of the street.

    There are giant plumes of smoke, the flames on the hill are much bigger, and now I can feel the sense of urgency as the helicopters constantly pull water from a local reservoir and unload it at the fire’s leading edge. Four large tanker planes are also dropping retardant to contain it from spreading, while 500 firemen are clearing brush ahead of the fire.

    Police start evacuating the neighbourhood. I ask to stay; they take my name, address and phone number, and comment on how cool they think the Giulia is. They just want to make sure I’m OK.

    It’s amazing how coordinated the effort is. A single aircraft flies in circles at a higher altitude to give directions, so that planes and helicopters don’t collide. Firemen are given instructions and positioned. Meanwhile, homes in the valley are burning.

    At 4:30 the winds shift. The last home on our street has flames feet from its structure. The police are given the order for full evacuation and the fire department says we have less than 30 minutes. I grab the dog and sit her on the Alfa’s front seat. As I run to the driver’s seat, memories of cracked radiators, bad distributors and faulty alternators fill my head. I stare at the ignition key. Please, dear Alfa, all I ask is that you start. I put the key in, pump the pedal, and with a twist she starts. I look at the dog, she looks at me, and we’re off.

    I drive between the 15 police cars stationed at the end of our street and head to another hill to watch the fire. When it gets dark, I drive back to my street, and the police recognise my car. I keep it running. As I talk with the officers, they tell me that windblown embers are now their biggest concern, because they can start fires again randomly. I feel relieved that we live next to a fire hydrant.

    Next day, after spending the night with friends, I return. I feel proud: the Giulia hasn’t let me down, and at one point I come outside to see a group of firemen taking pictures of it. You don’t realise what’s important until you’re forced to decide. If this happened again, would I do anything different? Not at all. I’m just glad I only have one Alfa – otherwise I’d have to make a choice.

    Clockwise from facing page, top This was the view from the end of Evan’s street; Alfa about to become a getaway car; aircraft and helicopters fight the fire.
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