1963 Guilietta Spider project
For a while now I’ve wanted a ratty spider racer for the street, a hooligan car with rat-rod race patina. Well, at this years Alameda all Italian car show Matt and Aaron and I all started scheming about our junkshows. I had a 1966 Stepnose GTV rolling chassis and a modern Twinspark motor, that I had lost interest in. Aaron has always wanted a GTV and after seeing this one I could see his cogs turning. Matt had a ratty Spider that he had harvested from a barn and gotten a few choice parts for his project SS. Needless to say the wheels started turning for all of us and a plan started to develop.
We ended up driving down to Matts warehouse and inspected what appeared to be a very ratty spider indeed. Still, my vision was for a bare bones, rough around the edges, lightweight. Things that made this car a project for only the super motivated and wealthy restorer, also made it a perfect car for my hooligan dream. No deals were made that day but we had planted the seeds for a dream and the dream became an obsession..
I spent a good deal of time online researching exactly what I would want to do with the car and what was possible.
In the end we made a deal in which Aaron took the GTV chassis from me in exchange for cash, and Matt took cash from me in exchange for the spider.. For me it was a pretty clean swap as I had just moved from a stalled project, to an equitable one that I was really pretty excited about. I ended up selling the TS motor for enough money to dedicate to finding an engine and 5-speed transmission, to power the tub.. (I had toyed with the idea of using the TS to power it, as far as I know no-one has done this swap yet, but the cost and time required for such a proposition was prohibitive.. for the time being)
Matt was good enough to hold the tub at his shop for a while as I got my space a bit more in order to receive another project. In the meantime Aaron (on a serious binge) bought a sweet Giulietta Sprint that needed some reviving from a 20 year slumber in some Berkeley garage. Finally the stars were all in alignment and Aarons sprint was delivered to Matts shop where it would inhabit the space where my spider was. The AAA tow guy had a busy day dropping and picking up cars, but we couldn’t have played it any smoother logistically.
Strange thing about this car was the layers and layers of spraypaint on it, It looked straight enough but ugly as he-double-hockeysticks. interestingly enough, underneath all that nasty drippy rattle-can was beautiful factory original Grey paint. I spent several hours into the wee hours scrubbing with acetone then wetsanding with fine grit to get it into a mostly uniform factory original color.
This exercise also illuminated the rest of the bodywork needed to save the car. There will be some serious welding and fabrication in my future. While I’d like to save as much of the factory gray as possible, in full ratty patina. Some parts of this car will eventually require some respraying..