PDLJMPR Web Magazine, February 20, 1999
Here are a few pictures of "the hole in my pocket" that's kept me occupied for the last twenty-three years. I purchased the car when I was living in Battleground, WA for $500. Obviously it was in rough shape, having been used in SCCA H-Prod racing. It had a straight frame, all steel body, many coats of paint and some off road excursion repairs to the rear panel area. The car had Raydot mirrors, Brooklands screen, a very tired full race engine, huge Firestone slicks on reversed Vega rims, a Tachometer, oil pressure gauge, racing seat and nothing else. I saw great potential.
I've always been partial to BMC cars. My first Sprite was a 1968 MK3 purchased right after high school and unfortunately 'totaled' a few months later. Next came a "Big Healey" BJ8, also purchased in WA, and later a '58 MGA (don't ask my wife what happened to that!) when I moved back to my birthplace in CT. After restoring and driving these for years I was looking for another project.
A friend had a '69 GTV Alfa Romeo that he wanted to get rid of with a 'rebuilt engine' and a good dose of New England cancer. One look under the hood and I was captivated. What a marvelous looking engine; if nothing else I was going to make a coffee table out of it and plunk it in the living room. I purchased the car, saved the engine and transmission, put the wheels and tires on my '76 Pinto wagon and threw the rest away.
One boring winter day a few years later I made an engine stand and decided to get that Alfa engine running. Hearing that wonderful cacophony, I got out the old measuring tape and from that day forward the only thing I haven't modified is the color of the car.
Thanks to my father, who would build tractors in the winter and sell them in the spring, and my profession as a Marine Engineer (keeping 28,000 Hp diesels running along with the rest of the ship), I've been able to do most of the work myself. I'm thinking EFI as the next step but hesitate to clutter up the engine compartment with all the wires and sensors that it would entail.
If you liked Frank's article, why not e-mail him a note saying so, or visit his web page and hear his car!