Bill Jones on the left, Rick Hardy on the right, yours truly taking the photo

On Saturday the 17th of May Bill Jones and myself made our way to Stirling, in the Adelaide Hills, to pick up an Alfa 2600 I had purchased for A$250. Bills trusty old A$300 Toyota Crown with a sluggish auto box and a lot of neglect, did a fine job and made it up the steep hills with this heavy car and trailer. Alas this was the last time we were to use this car, Bill sold it soon after for A$300.

We did not expect much for A$250 and we were not disappointed with what we saw. Both doors had no bottoms, the right hand door pillar was rusted away, the bonnet (hood) had a large hole in it, and the boot (trunk) lid is a bit worse for rust. The floor on the right hand side was mostly hole, the bumpers are bent, the front seats look like they have exploded and the wheel arches all have rust holes in them. Something heavy has fallen on the left hand front wing, the grille heart is smashed and the headlight surrounds have almost vanished into rust .

This expedition started a couple of weeks before when Rick Hardy, a long time member of the AROCASA, was visiting my place for a post Alfesta meeting, and he asked to see my cars and workshop. Almost in passing Rick asked if I would like a 2600 Sprint to restore. Is the Pope a Catholic ?.

The car on the trailer

The first look at the right hand door. The left hand door is better.

The rusty bonnet (hood).

In spite of all the rust the body is straight.

Once we got it home, we inspected the side sills and found these to be not too bad. The ends are rusty and will need to be replaced, but they are not rotted through. Only the drivers side floor is very bad, the rest of the floor is quite good. The boot (trunk) floor is not too bad, as are the rear quarters. In the Glove box I found new power window switches, and in the boot (trunk) I found part of a power window mechanism. Are they both still there in the doors ?.

Does the motor run ?

I have been offered real money for some of the bits and my pocket book says cut it up for bits, and make some quick money. Being a real Alfisti, and having a soft spot for rusty old cars, my heart rules in most cases, and it is saying fix it.

Saturday the 14th of June we put a battery in and turned on the power. The electric fuel pump started and we were greeted with a shower of very old petrol out of the rotting fuel lines. This meant the carbys were full of this old petrol and any attempt at starting the engine would have to wait until the next day when we could get some "live" petrol into them.

The next day I went down and got a can of engine start and our next attempt at starting was successful. We had 75Lb oil pressure, all the instruments worked and the engine gradually came up to temperature. A check of compression when the motor was warm showed 160 plus pounds in all cylinders. Even the heater fans and wiper motor operated.

Here is the motor with its three Solex carbies.

With all this success we decided we had better have a closer look at the project. With the motor looking good it is almost a proposition. Time to look at the extent of the rust. We took the door trims off and looked behind, are the power window mechanisms still there ?, and how far does the rust extend into the rest of the body ?.

The 2600 Project index A look at the extent of the rust Chapter one, work has begun

Written by and Copyright ©, Phil. Storr, last updated 4th January 2005