Restoring an Alfa Romeo 75

Every true petrolhead at some stage thinks about restoring a classic car, the idea of taking something thats seen better days and bringing it back to near showroom condition is very appealing, however the reality can be far from it. Not only having the time but sourcing parts and in some cases the cost involved can either put you off or leave you with a car gradually rotting on the driveway, hidden underneath a sheet with the promise to ‘start it soon’.
However for our friend Chris Cousins, restoring Alfa Romeo’s is a true passion, thank goodness for guys like Chris who do so, enabling the rest of us to still see classic Italian cars at shows and in some cases on the road. Here Chris gives us his insight into his latest project…
“I’m a fairly experienced Alfa rescuer and try to do half a dozen projects a year in my spare time, some small and simple and others less so….

I tend to favour 15-20 year old projects simply because they are cheap to buy and less financially risky.  However when this Alfa 75 3.0 V6 Cloverleaf came up i couldn’t refuse, even though the purchase price was much higher than the selling price of most of my projects!  Even at that money the 75 was a rusty non-runner with loads of parts missing. 

I’m fortunate enough to have my own trailer and Jeep Cherokee for towing so collecting the 75 from Bedfordshire and getting it back home to Yorkshire was no problem.

The interior and boot were full of race car parts but once emptied, the shell wasn’t as bad as I feared – the rear wheel arches were rusty as was the spare wheel well but other than those areas, plus a few patches, the metal was pretty sound.

 However the car needed to run before it could go for welding! An auto-electrician was engaged to remove the alarm and immobiliser and following that things were pretty straightforward – new fuel pump and fixes to previous wiring bodges had the car running for the first time in more than ten years.
 The mechanical jobs were fairly standard-issue too – a new cambelt and full service had the engine running well and new Eibach rear springs to complement the Koni shock absorbers had the suspension sorted.
The inboard rear brakes are difficult to set up correctly on the 75 so refurbished rear callipers were fitted and the MOT centre tested the car with only the driver’s seat fitted.
 In the meantime I’d managed to find most of the interior and fitting that took a weekend. The car was then ready for a 400 mile round trip to National Alfa Day which it completed with no major issues.
 Driving a 75, particularly a V6, is an amazing experience compared to today’s electronically controlled grip and braking systems, but very rewarding too.
There aren’t many 75s left on the road now and the Cloverleaf is a very rare version so I’m proud to have saved this one. I expect to put another few hundred miles on it before selling it to fund the next project.”
A massive thanks to Chris for his article, it really is fantastic to see guys like him keep these Italian cars alive.
*Have you a classic Italian car you’ve restored or an ongoing project? Why not drop us a line we can help share your passion with other Italian car enthusiasts*

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