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Alfa Romeo Alfasud 1.2 Lusso - Small miracle: Stainless Alfasud

Hardy Mutschler
Restoration Alfa Romeo Alfasud 1.2 Lusso
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Love doesn't work according to the laws of reason. You fall for beauty or quirkiness - and charm, of course. Without him it will be very difficult. Since the A lfasud good cards. Of course, he was a notorious roster. Yes and? You can also love a woman, even if she is constantly buying shoes. Then other things have to be right. Not just the big show, no. It's all about the details. Refinements often reveal the true character. It even counts for cars. A water temperature lamp, for example, says Gaudenz Fischer, which remains on after starting until the engine has reached operating temperature. That's care.

Notorious roster - and yet extremely lovable

Gaudenz Fischer is 35 and lives in Zurich and has been Alfa Romeo expired. More precisely: the Alfasud. He recently gave up his job as an optician in favor of training as a carpenter. According to his statement, he finally wanted to be able to devote himself to more extensive projects. That's not a bad attitude when considering a restoration. Fischer had bought his first Alfasud in 2000, a red four-door that had already been restored. He experimented with a sports suspension, with sharper camshafts and with a larger engine. 'The Alfasud kit offers many options, even Alfa 33 technology still fits.'

Alfasud salesman: 'You will think you are standing in front of a year-old car.'

But red was not the color of his dreams. He had a different goal in mind. 'I wanted to find an unrestored Alfasud', so the memory, 'one from the first series. One that I don't have to weld - and that isn't red.' There are easier tasks. Gaudenz Fischer surfed the net, clicked here and there, and after a long search came across a 1976 Alfasud Lusso version offered by a German dealer. In Giallo Pompei, a greenish yellow, with 31,000 original kilometers on the clock. The Alfasud salesman promised what all salespeople promise if they think their offer has come out passably over the years. 'You will believe,' he called out to FischerClose the phone, 'to stand in front of a car of the year.'

But what does that mean? For some Alfasud, the death sentence was already announced after the first year. However, this copy came from the first Italian hand. Maybe there was a chance. And indeed: 'The brew was really good,' says Fischer, 'I knew exactly where to look. And there was no nasty surprise.' He found some rust film in the area of ​​the Alfasud underbody, the sheet metal had a few dents and traces of swelling rot in the area of ​​the fender screw edges. That's it. 'I knew,' said the Alfasud fan, 'that I had to invest work.' His plan was a gentle, conservative restoration of the Alfasud. He wanted to intervene as little as possible in the existing substance, but on the other hand he wanted to create a secure base that would enable the Alfasud to continue for the next 30 years without the risk of far-reaching damage.

Ambitious plan - finish the Alfasud restoration before the birth of the daughter

In mid-August 2006 he started restoring his Alfasud in a friend's workshop. There he found not only tools, but even a lifting platform. There was no pressure because the friend had to stop screwing for months due to an injury - ideal conditions. Only his girlfriend reminded him of an appointment: their daughter was due to be born in mid-November. 'I really wanted to be finished by then,' was his resolution.

The Alfasud body was cleared quickly. Engine and transmission out, the interior as well, including the chassis. Fischer had all Alfasud sheet metal parts, the wishbones and the springs, the wheels and the housing around the fan, chemically stripped. 'That worked brilliantly.' Without any manual work, he received the parts clean and pore-deep. Every free evening and every weekend, the man from Zurich invested in the Alfasud restoration. He thoroughly cleaned the empty body with a steam jet. Then he could breathe a sigh of relief: Here, too, no further yellow was hidden.

Small miracle: Only two sheets of metal have to be welded into the Alfasud

Only the screw edges of the front fenders of the Alfasud and their lower ends showed signs of corrosion. On the underbody: nothing. Even parts that were at risk, such as the A-pillars, were not found, although Alfa - like some other cavities - had once filled with foam. With the best of intentions, of course: The deliberately light Alfasud construction was to be deadened, and the PU foam prevented rusting from the inside. At least as long as he kept a close connection to the sheet metal. Because it often ended early, the crevices were full of water - the consequences are as fatal as everyone knows.

Gaudenz Fischer cleaned the corroded areas with a miniature sandblasting gun. In the lower area of ​​the Alfasud fenders, he welded two sheets - nonebigger than a postage stamp. He dented the dents with a nylon hammer, and a self-sewn sandbag provided support. 'It took me two evenings to make a dent - a plumber might have done it in half an hour.' But the result is convincing: He neither had to fill his Alfasud with a spatula nor fill it.

The color of the Alfasud, the green-yellow Giallo Pompeii, was mixed by a painter according to the recipe. It was a perfect fit. 'Whether in artificial light or under the sun,' says Fischer, 'you don't see any differences to the old paint.' Perhaps it is actually because the clay only consists of five basic colors and not, as is common today, a dozen ingredients. Fischer repainted the damaged areas at specific points. The Alfasud rear apron alone has a new color across its entire width. Because it consists of a hollow profile, Gaudenz Fischer had to use a pulling device here: He welded on pins and thus pulled out the dent.

The little Alfa boxer remained unopened

Fischer did not open the boxer engine of his Alfasud. Why also, after just 31,000 kilometers? The easy-to-turn four-cylinder - 63 hp at 6,000 rpm! - gave no reason for it. He was satisfied with the replacement of the crankshaft oil seal and the two toothed belts. Fischer replaced all hoses and rubbers, as well as the clutch and brake hydraulics on his Alfasud. In the end, despite all the appreciation of the originality, he succumbed to the lure of the Boxer construction kit: A Weber register carburetor of the Alfasud TI model promised an increase of five horsepower.

In the end, Gaudenz Fischer got exactly to the point Not. On his penultimate weekend as a mechanic, girlfriend Pia called him home. Daughter Edona was born on Sunday - she was most of the 7,000 Alfasud kilometers on board so far. Gaudenz Fischer had specially fitted automatic seat belts from an Alfa 33 in the rear for her child seat. 'The Alfasud is tremendously fun to drive and still an ideal family car,' he knows today. 'It is quiet, spacious and absolutely suitable for long distances.'

This is how they spent their first vacation together in Denmark. As an aside, it should be noted that an Alfasud meeting took place there - and the visit was worth it: The Lusso was voted the most beautiful.


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