The battle to get the 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta looking straight and true continues, with Stu now turning his attention to the car’s chassis legs. The rampant rot infesting almost every panel has been covered here extensively, but in some respects the structural damage, a legacy of multiple bashes, crashes and poorly judged overtakes, is a more challenging proposition.
The scale of the challenge represented by the battered front-end is only partially due to the extent of the damage. Just as tricky is the lack of accurate reference material available, and while we do have the original Alfa Romeo workshop manual to work from, it has proved less than comprehensive in a number of key areas.
We have at least managed to ascertain the correct angle and position of the front chassis legs, both of which are out by several degrees. We’ve known this for some time and have now taken steps to rectify the issue, using a dozer to carefully prise the chassis legs apart, some footage of which we’ll be able to share shortly. As you might imagine given the age and condition of the rest of the car, applying this degree of physical pressure is not without risk, hence why we worked incrementally (having already welded extra braces and strengthening plates to key areas of the Alfa’s front end) to slowly tease the half a century old steel apart.
Not that merely applying force between the chassis legs has put them back to anything approaching their ‘standard’ position, not by a long shot. Stu has since spent a sizeable period of time with the self-levelling 360 degree laser, pinpointing where exactly our car differs from Alfa’s original design, a task made that much tricker through the relative lack of suitable reference material.
Stu’s efforts have at least been rewarded, the distance between the two chassis legs at the factory reference point now being precisely 617mm rather than being 17mm adrift of this measurement as they were prior to commencing the straightening work. Careful analysis of the additional reinforcement plates attached to the inner wings has also revealed a discrepancy between the two sides, the offside canted at an angle of 89.2 degrees. This means that not only were the legs further apart than they should be when viewed latterly, the inner structure of the wings themselves (and associated paneling) had deviated from the vertical angle mandated by Alfa Romeo all those years ago.
We’ve discussed Stu’s ability to rectify even the most battered of body shells in the past though, and he’s once again risen to the occasion here, porter-powering the chassis legs into position before hacking out much of the rotten steel shown here. As has been the case with this Giulietta from the get go, it’s going to look much, much worse before it gets better!