Greetings from Maine

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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:25 pm

Greetings from Maine

Post by Sjt2014 » Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:26 pm

Hello All,

Greetings from beautiful Maine! I Just joined the group as my wonderful wife surprised me with an early Christmas gift in the form of a 1978 124 Spider. It is a project car for my son and I. A little about myself. I spent most of my early car years growing up in Southern California driving in a 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV. Which I bought in 1993 for $1000 off of an old man who had it parked in his garage for many years. Body was near perfect, it needed a good tune up and cleaning, but was absolutely beautiful. My father had always had Alfa's ( he too was driving a '74 GTV as well), Triumph TR-3s, Ford Cortina's and a E type Jag.
The Alfa bug bit long and hard for me. After graduating H.S. in 1995 I went on to school and got my degree in auto mechanics. Upon completing the year long associates program I got offered a job working on Alfa's at a shop in Southern California. I spent about 3 years there being the consummate apprentice. I swept floors, tore down cars for restoration and parts, was a grease monkey, and learned the ins and outs of classic cars from a true master. I bought many Alfas from the shop to include a '78 Spider, '81 GTV-6, I purchased a 1961 Morris Mini, and a '88 Milano Verde 3.0. It was a great gig and really a dream come true.
That is until I got bored living in California and decided I wanted to see the world. So in 1999 I left the shop and I joined the Air Force. I became the propulsion specialist on C-130 Gunships stationed at Hurlburt Field in Florida. During my time there I acquired yet another couple of Alfa's in the form of a '87 Quadrifoglio Spider and another Milano. I ended up deploying to Afghanistan, it is a total different experience on a Gunship to say the least. I would say my sense of humor became finely tuned while on these deployments.
Anyhow classic Italians have always been my passion. I was seduced away for a short time by a new 2002 Subaru WRX, however the affair was short and as a marriage and family grew, I had to get more utilitarian cars, and like many they became the standard for myself for a while. My stable of Alfa's disappeared as did my Morris Mini. However after an 11 year drought of Italian steel in the garage, I bought a new 2013 Fiat 500 and I purchased my wife a new 2014 500L! The best family car we have ever owned. Now my wonderful wife has surprised me with the little red 1978 Spider to be my project for the foreseeable future. She has always supported my love affair for cars and my desire to once again rebuild a car to it's once former glory....or better.
The car needs some body work (it has some holes in the floorboards and on the inner rocker area. The typical stuff. I will not have them patched I want replacements to do it correctly), Maine is not kind to somewhat questionable steel quality no matter the vehicle, it needs a complete interior overhaul, the engine is well sorted however as is electrical side. The whole car is going to be torn down though so that my son can build a car with me and learn a thing or two from his dad.
I do have some questions however pertaining to body panel sources. Has anyone had any experience with the Wolf Steel parts? They seem a bit cheaper than Auto Ricambi and Mr. Fiat. If anyone has used them, is the fit good or is there a lot of working the metal to make them fit correctly, as opposed to going through Ricambi or Mr. Fiat for these parts? I am not going to be doing the body work myself. I can fix anything mechanical or electrical, but I cannot weld to save my life! Any other body panel sources anyone might know of as well?
Anyway I have bored you all enough for one day. I will be posting pics as the restoration goes forward, and I will gladly share any knowledge or findings as we go! I look forward to being part of yet another great Italian car community.

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