BE­HIND THE GARAGE DOOR

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words by Ge­off Mof­fett

TAK­ING A PEEK AT READ­ERS’ ON­GO­ING RESTORA­TION PROJECTS

Driv­ing Italy’s fa­mous Stelvio Pass as part of a con­voy of Alfa Romeos, all of them pro­duc­ing twin-cam mu­sic on the alpine road’s 48 switch­back cor­ners, infected Nel­son’s Alan Brad­nock with an in­cur­able Alfa bug.

With his brother Peter in a 1965 Gi­u­lia, Brad­nock joined 30 other Alfa Romeo own­ers in a trip of a life­time last June, trav­el­ling through France and Italy to Mi­lan and back to Lon­don. He says he fell in love with the Alfa ex­pe­ri­ence, and in par­tic­u­lar with a pretty Gi­uli­etta 750 se­ries Spi­der that was part of the clas­sic Ital­ian con­voy.

“I was smit­ten,” Alan says, “and when I got back home I started look­ing for one.”

He struck the jackpot when he saw an ad­vert in Hem­mings Mo­tor News for a 1958 ex Cal­i­for­nian barn-find car — one that had last been driven in 1967 and had only 60,000 miles (96,560km) on the clock.

De­scribed in the ad­ver­tise­ment as a “time cap­sule”, the Gi­uli­etta Spi­der was near com­plete, orig­i­nal and cor­rect — but di­lap­i­dated. Brad­nock, owner of Nel­son-based Plus 4 In­sur­ance, thinks there may only be three oth­ers like it in New Zealand. He re­lied on a lot of pho­to­graphs of the car to check it out, and got opin­ions from sev­eral Alfa 750 own­ers. “They all gave me the big nod on the car, say­ing it’s a beauty.”

The Pin­in­fa­rina-de­signed Gi­uli­etta 750 de­buted at the Turin Mo­tor Show in 1954 and was a top-sell­ing sen­sa­tion, its 1290cc twin-cam all-al­loy en­gine and four-speed gear­box al­low­ing for zesty per­for­mance and stun­ning han­dling in a car weigh­ing only 860kg.

It was up­dated by the restyled 101 se­ries in 1959, al­though Alan says purists think the 750 was the last ‘true’ Gi­uli­etta Spi­der — dis­tin­guish­able by its smaller tail lights. From 1962 the car was fit­ted with a larger ca­pac­ity, 1570cc en­gine.

Alan paid US$25,000 for his barn-find red con­vert­ible, and says it cost a bun­dle to ship it home. He’s or­dered a vir­tual nut-and-bolt restora­tion, giv­ing the job to Vic­tory Au­to­mo­tive in Nel­son, but says he also wants to spend time work­ing on the car him­self.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about see­ing it re­turned to its orig­i­nal glory. It just needs a lot of love — and quite a few dol­lars, too!”

De­scribed in the ad­ver­tise­ment as a “time cap­sule”, the Gi­uli­etta Spi­der was near com­plete, orig­i­nal and cor­rect — but di­lap­i­dated

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