Author Topic: Proper Alfa Romeo  (Read 11779 times)

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L4OMEO

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 07:46:50 AM »
My opinion of the Sud is probably best summed up by my signature below. I have added over a million kilometers to the collective odometer readings of this lot  ;D Many arguments are used to discredit its status as a 'real Alfa', frankly I don't care. When compared with the real 'real  Alfa's I've owned it stacks up fine thanks very much. Suds are just fantastic drivers' cars.

BTW my favourite is one I've driven but not owned - the 1300 Ti from around 1978. This had the 1350cc single-carb engine which had all of the turbine-smoothness and willingness to rev of the 1.2 that was gradually lost in the later 1.5s, coupled with most of the punch of the larger engine (somewhat optimistically referred to as the 'big block'  ;) ), and was built before they started adding more rubber into the suspension and steering (ever looked underneath an early Sud? Very little in the way of rubber bushes). I love the last of the line TiQs and so forth, but nothing in the Sud series compares to the purity of this model (IMHO of course!)
2002 156 GTA

colcol

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2011, 08:43:11 PM »
Autocar said that the Alfasud was the best handling front wheel drive yet, even though that was in the 70's, it was meant to be an economy car, not something that was fun to drive, economy cars of that era had pushrod in line engines, rear wheel drive [still!], 4 wheel drum brakes, leaf springs, recirculating ball steering, the Alfasud had a Boxer motor that was overhead cam, front wheel drive,inboard 4 wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion with adjustable steering, this car was built in a new factory at Pomigliarno De Arco in Southern Italy to soak up some of the unemployment there, it was not meant to be that good, look at the economy cars of that era, Vauxhalls, Hillmans, Simcas, nuff said?, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

Evan Bottcher

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2011, 08:45:20 PM »
(ever looked underneath an early Sud? Very little in the way of rubber bushes).

Don't want to sound like a pedant, but I'm intrigued by this one - in my recollection there were no changes to the suspension layout including bushes for any model Sud?  I thought they were the same all the way through (apart from the last of the 33s which changed the rear axle trailing arms).  Happy to be wrong.

My first car was a Sud, I met my now-wife because she drove a Sud.  We still own hers, it's now 'retired' to track duty and has done countless sprint days and five 6-hour relay races.  Fantastic handling, that deliciously revvy and eager boxer motor.  Even in standard form a Sud (or even a 33) will put a smile on your face.  There's as much Alfa spirit in a Sud as any of the 'proper' Alfas.
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Evan Bottcher

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2011, 08:50:46 PM »
I like this quote from Peter Robinson (Wheels magazine) - when he placed the Sud Ti at no.33 of his top 50 greatest cars ever:

"Steve Cropley, then a Wheels staffer, spent 14 hours at the helm of the Sud ti, ferrying it back from Adelaide to Sydney, and still he wanted me to experience the magic of a little jewel so eager that, even today, my heart beats faster remembering how alive it felt. On twisty McCarrs Creek Road the ti flew. The horizontally-opposed 1.2-litre engine made just 51kW, but none were wasted and all were eager. Rust (from crap Russian steel) killed the Sud, but for those who know, it still lives. Ask Cropley."
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colcol

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2011, 09:14:07 PM »
About 20 years ago, the rubber bushes in my 33 were a bit tired, so i replaced them with 'SUD' rubber bushes, they were meant to be a bit stiffer, but from what i seen there was no difference in my experience, the only differences being that the different parts makers had slightly different specs, depending on what rubber they were mixing up that day, on the 33, they used  rubber washers on the end of the bush, this was meant to stop noise travelling from the bushes up through the subframe, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

Sportscar Nut

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2011, 09:31:54 PM »
Great to see the 'Sudfisti' replies Colin, Evan, Alister and L4OMEO (PS thanks for the front light).

The other 'pearl' piece of engineering on the car is the centre point rack & pinion steering with inboard discs making the steering feel as good as any car ever made. From memory, only Citroen & Renault (??) managed to match this engineering feat.

Evan, have not seen a 1750 update for some time?? Hope is all going to plan.

Paul

Evan Bottcher

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2011, 09:56:03 PM »
Evan, have not seen a 1750 update for some time?? Hope is all going to plan.

Plan?  ???
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Sportscar Nut

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2011, 09:59:06 PM »
Okay; I do understand :)

L4OMEO

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2011, 03:40:45 AM »
Some great comments.

Evan - you're right, there were no changes to the actual specs and parts remained interchangeable, but some of the materials used did evolve as running changes. Two examples - the top suspension mounts went to softer rubber, and there were revisions made to bushes in the steering system and/or how the rack was mounted (my failing memory cannot recall specifics, but I have clear recollection of this being the case from back in the day when I was researching and getting my hands dirty on Suds).

My first car was also a Sud, largely on the strength of those very comments from Peter Robinson and Steve Cropley. My only Sud regret was not completing my 'Sudzilla' project, a ground-up racecar build that stalled when I discovered the severe limitations of my racecar building talent. The car was bought by someone who did finish it and it's still being raced in the Trofeo series in NZ.

Rory
2002 156 GTA

colcol

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2011, 08:01:00 PM »
Top gear \ 5th gear racecar driver and tester Tiff Needall, "The Alfasuds handling was superb", Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

agent86

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2011, 04:08:09 PM »
Just to throw the cat amongst the pidgeons could it be that the Sud was the inspiration for Subaru and if you throw in the 4 wheel drive versions you have the first WRX, pity they didn't rally it!
Cheers Agent 86
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Joe Garra

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2011, 05:12:28 PM »
Interestingly, my daughter Olivia (8) asked last night which were my favourite Alfas that I had owned over the years. I replied , my 75 TS, my Sud, my 164Q and based on initial impressions , the Giulietta.
Now: 164Q
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Before : 75
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            33 16V
            Sud Ti
            99 Spider
            156 Wagon
            159 Wagon

Sheldon McIntosh

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2011, 08:05:56 PM »
One of the best proofs to me of how good the Sud is (I've only driven one, on the track, and it was sensational; but I've never driven a standard one on the road) was this article from Autocar magazine on their 10 greatest sports cars.   http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/boxer-engined-alfa-romeos/85937-autocars-greatest-sports-cars-1995-a.html#post563098

IMHO Autocar has always been the most authoritative automotive magazine.  That the only Alfa to be put alongside Lotus Elan, Lotus Esprit, 205GTi, Carrera RS, Aston Zagato, Ferrari F40, Ferrari 250GTO, Lotus 7, and Mclaren F1 as their 10 greatest sports cars, was the Alfasud, certainly says a lot.

If the rust hadn't been so bad, they'd probably be widely regarded as one of the best cars ever, much as the Golf GTi and 205GTi are.  There is no doubt that they're a 'proper' Alfa Romeo, whatever that may be.

Sportscar Nut

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2011, 06:38:31 PM »
Your welcome to join me on the regular 'early Sunday morning runs' in the Sud Sheldon!

Can hassle the bikers through the twisty stuff up the Yarra Valley on 'B' roads in the Sud.

Paul

tjb0274

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Re: Proper Alfa Romeo
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2011, 11:32:26 AM »
Alfa have always been a little schizophrenic as a marque - we tend to remember the GTs, the great pre-war sports cars and the successful racers, but throughout AR's history the cars that brought in the revenue and built a cult following of repeat customers were well-engineered, economical saloons that were also great drivers' cars. Hands-down the best 105 for me is a Super - an incredible combination of performance and practicality, and somehow they also managed better aero figures than 911 Porsche...   

The Sud is from the same mold - an inexpensive, practical small car for the European roads that is also an incredible drivers' car and had real performance. As someone said above, if AR had got on top of the quality issues, especially in regard to the steel, the Sud would likely be spoken of in the same breath as the Peugeot 205GTI and the original Golf.

Current:
1970/1990 Ricciardi-Alfa (track/occasional weekend car)
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1969 Lotus Europa (weekend toy)
2003 Peugeot 206gti (retired daily driver)

Past:
1971 1750 GTV
More Fiat 850s than I can count