Sunday, June 22, 2008

Italian Motor Expo Photos

Italian Motor Expo 2008 - Sunday 1st June 12.00pm to 4.00pm Southbank Parklands The Italian Motor Vehicle Clubs showcase Classic and contemporary Italian Motor Vehicles. Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ducati, Maserati and Lamborghini's. The respective motor vehicle clubs put on display a range of Italian motor vehicles, motorbikes and scooters from private collections, dealers and distributors. Produced by Alessandro Sorbello Productions for New Realm Media

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Maserati Club of Queensland

Welcome to the Maserati Club of Queensland Inc.

Our aim is to foster the spirit of the great Maserati marque throughout Queensland and social connections amongst members. We have grown from strength to strength and encourage new members to enjoy further the mystique of the Maserati

The Maserati story
Introduction - The name Maserati evokes strong images of a great motor racing past. This emotion culminated in Maserati winning the World Formula 1 Constructors and Drivers Title in 1957. However, what started out as a small workshop specialising in the preparation of race cars for the Italian elite, is now renowned for crafting one of the world’s most stylish and fastest sports coupés, the 3200GT.
Due to its experience gathered from decades of world motorsport, Maserati is also responsible for engineering innovations that form the basis for ordinary road cars today. Among its innovations, the world’s first hydraulic brakes appearing on the Maserati 8C/8CM in 1933. After experimenting with innovations such as disc brakes and fuel injection on the all conquering Maserati 250F race car, these technologies were first introduced to production road cars with the Maserati 3500GT in 1961, template for the current 3200GT coupé. Throughout its 75 year history, Maserati has collected nearly 500 outright race wins, 23 World Championships and 32 Formula 1 Grand Prixs.
Whilst financial mismanagement has seen the famous trident brand pass through various hands over the years, the passion for building beautiful motor cars has never faded. Stunning models of the 1960’s like the A6 1500 Sport, the 3500GT and 5000GT. Striking designs like the Maserati Indy, Bora and Merak all found homes in the driveways of the rich and famous in the 1970’s.

The Maserati story

The name Maserati conjures different images to different people. If, say, you remember the first Mille Miglia or other races of the day, you may remember Alfieri or Ernesto Maserati as builders and drivers of some of the best race cars of the era. For some who remember this era, it was the ever-talented Nuvolari who was the only person able to beat the all-conquering Mercedes/Auto Unions, at the wheel of his Maserati. For some, the name brings back images of the golden years of F1, the Tipo 250F, and all of its successes. Still for others, it was the brilliant GT cars of the sixties and seventies. Exotic, but seemingly very practical when compared to their cross town rivals at the time (Ferrari).

The name Maserati, first and foremost belongs to the family that produced the Maserati brothers. There were seven Maserati brothers (born in Voghera to traindriver Rodolfo Maserati and his wife Carolina Losi): Carlo b 1881; Bindo b 1883; Alfieri b 1885 (he died in infancy and his name was given to the next son); Alfieri b 1887; Mario b 1890; Ettore b 1894; and Ernesto b 1898. All of the Maseratis were involved in the engineering, design, and construction of cars, except for Mario, who was a painter and is presumed to have invented the company trademark, the trident, borrowed from the statue of Neptune in the square of the same name in Bologna.
Carlo, the eldest brother, was the first to become involved with engines. He worked in a bicycle factory in Affori, near Milan and designed a single-cylinder engine for a velocipede, which was later manufactured by Marquis Carcano di Anzano del Parco. Carlo Maserati also raced on Carcano bikes equipped with the engine he had designed, winning a few races and setting a speed record of 50 km/h (31 mph) in 1900.
Carlo moved to Fiat in 1901 when Carcano closed down and then, in 1903, to Isotta Fraschini, where he worked as a mechanic and test driver. He also managed to have his brother Alfieri taken on at Isotta, despite the fact that he was only 16 at the time. He then worked and raced for Bianchi, and went on to become General Manager of Junior. Carlo was the first to actually build a car. This single cylinder engine with the very simple chassis was the first ever Maserati. He built not only cars, but was actually commissioned to build aircraft engines as well. While working for Junior, Carlo raced cars himself. ( Carlo raced a Bianchi at the 1907 Coppa Florio. Unfortunately, he had to stop often to replace the low voltage ignition breaker arms. He still finished seventh. After that, Carlo began replacing low voltage systems with high voltage ones, which alleviated these problems.)

Carlo resigned from Junior, and he took over a plant formerly devoted to pharmaceuticals. There Carlo, with Ettore, converted many ignitions to the high voltage type for private customers. Carlo was working on a radial aircraft engine that he was commissioned to build during this time. Carlo's brilliant but ultimately short career ended in 1929 when he fell ill and died at age 29 - the radial engine was never finished.

Alfieri soon emerged as Carlo's spiritual heir, with the same extrovert personality and skills as a technician and driver. In 1908, Isotta entrusted a car to him which he took to 14th place in the Grand Prix for Voiturettes in Dieppe, in spite of the carburettor breaking. In the meantime, Bindo and Ettore had also joined Isotta Fraschini, where Alfieri had started out as a mechanic and progressed to driving. In 1912, after having represented the company in Argentina, the USA and Great Britain with his brother Ettore, Alfieri was put in charge of Isotta’s customer service structure in Bologna.

The wide-ranging experience he had built up in his career convinced Alfieri that he was ready to explore the possibility of going into business in his own right to exploit his talents and creativity in full. In 1914, he rented office space in Via dé Pepoli, in Bologna’s old town centre and this went on to become, opening on 1 December 1914, the first headquarters of the Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati.

At Societá Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati, Alfieri specialised in Isotta Fraschini's and after the war founded a spark-plug factory initially at Milan, later moving it to Bologna. However, Maserati was little more than a garage run by a family of motoring enthusiasts who had a tradition of superlative craftsmanship and a passion for cutting-edge engineering. It was there that the first race cars were built, using the chassis' from Isotta Fraschini coupled with aircraft engines. Cars from Diatto were also modified for a short time. Suffice it to say, Maserati was on the map, building cars for customers and winning races. Thus Maserati started building race cars. Currently only 4 automotive manufacturers exist that were founded on racing. These are Maserati, Ferrari, Lotus and McLaren. Of these four, Maserati is the oldest by far.
(Alfieri began his career as a racing driver and soon proved his worth, winning on the Susa-Moncenisio, the Mugello Circuit and the Aosta-Great Saint Bernard. Diatto offered him a chance to design cars for the company and even to race with them. Unfortunately, in 1924, having dominated the San Sebastiano GP, he was disqualified for five years, even though he had retired, for having replaced the 2-litre engine in his car with a 3-litre unit. The penalty was lifted a few months later. Away from the racing world, Alfieri dedicated himself entirely to the workshop and in 1926, after leaving Diatto, he produced the Tipo 26, the first all-Maserati car, and the first to sport the trident trademark.)

But the real route lay in constructing one's own vehicles, and thus they built their first complete car, with an 8 cylinder dohc in-line 1.5-litre engine fitted with a Roots supercharger. This first true Maserati "production" car, the Tipo 26, did not emerge until 14 April 1926. Where better to premiere the first Maserati, but at the racetrack, where it won the Targa Florio on 25 April 1926? This was the birth of the Maserati trademark as we know it today, being the first car to bear the Maserati Trudent. The symbol was taken from Giambologna's Neptune designed by his brother Mario, and was to become the signifying feature of future Maseratis. Alfieri drove brilliant races, first in class, and ahead of many other larger displacement machines, even though he had to stop once for a burst radiator hose!!

In 1927, Alfieri had a serious accident in the Messina Cup with the Tipo 26B, after taking third place at the Targa Florio. But even with him sidelined, Maserati still won the Italian Constructors' Championship and Ernesto Maserati, the Italian Drivers' title. In 1929 the V4 appeared, with a 16-cylinder engine, making its debut at the Italian Grand Prix and setting the world Class C speed record over 10 km at 246.069 km/h in Cremona, with Baconin Borzacchini. The record set by the V4 helped to enhance the company’s image and guaranteed a considerable influx of funds, allowing the company and its activities to expand.

The rapid rise to engineering and racing supremacy was celebrated in magnificent style in 1929 when Maserati shattered the world land speed record over 10km with a speed of 246.069 km/h. The car was the V4 powered by an amazing 280 BHP 16-cylinder 3961cc engine and was driven by Baconin Borzacchini. The same combination racked up Maserati's first Grand Prix victory at Tripoli a year later.

Meanwhile, the Maserati operation expanded in all directions. The first Maserati Grand Tourer with a Castagna body made its debut at the Milan Show in 1931. Count Theo Rossi di Montelera also employed a Maserati engine on his powerboat, which went on to win the world water speed record in the same year. This was the first record in a long series of Maserati successes in the powerboat sector.

In 1931 came the 4CTR and the front-wheel-drive 8C 2500, the last car to be designed by Alfieri Maserati, who died on 3 March 1932, aged 44. An enormous crowd attended his funeral in Bologna, including workers from the plant, famous drivers, and ordinary people, who wanted to show their affection for the great man. Alfieri's death did not discourage the Maserati brothers; Bindo left Isotta Fraschini and returned to Bologna to continue the great venture began by Alfieri, with Ernesto and Ettore. The remaining brothers continued the work with successful models such as the Tipo 8CM and 6CM emerging under their direction. However, from 1932 till 1939, after Alfieri's death, Maserati cars were built and raced principally by Ernesto. Ernesto was also the sole engine designer after Alfieri's death. He drove the cars with some success and this led to many of his sales.

In 1933, Tazio Nuvolari joined the team, making a significant technical contribution, particularly in the fine tuning of the chassis, adapting it to the characteristics of the new engine; Nuvolari won the Belgian Grand Prix, and those of Montenero and Nice. That was when Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union began a sustained assault on the racing scene, making life difficult for Maserati in the more important races.

However, Maserati's racing activities continued to be intense and successful. Maserati cars were winning races on tracks all over Europe and the brand was rapidly gaining a reputation for advanced engineering. Among its innovations, the world's first hydraulic brakes appeared on the 8C/8CM in 1933. This was the same car that Giuseppe Campari drove to victory in the French Grand Prix and Tazio Nuvolari did the same in the Belgian and Nice Grand Prix. 1934 brought another world speed record (222km/h) in the 1100cc class. The car was the 4CM, the driver Giuseppe Furmanik.

This success led the brothers to direct output toward this area. In 1936, they found a patron in Gino Rovere who invested a great deal in the company and appointed Nino Farina, his "protégé", as Chairman. The 6CM appeared, which gave Maserati the competitive edge in the voiturette class.

In 1937, the Maserati brothers handed over the financial management of their company to the Orsi family, while keeping their hands on the engineering side of the business. As stipulated in the contract, the Maserati brothers continued to work with the Orsi family for ten years. Note should be made of the 1939 and 1940 victories at the Indianapolis 500 with the 8CTF, a 3-litre eight cylinder with twin superchargers. They remain the only Indianapolis victories by an Italian marque.

The Orsi family control opened the way to operations on a much broader scale, which bore fruit in two successive race wins on United States soil. In 1939 and 1940, Maserati won the Indianapolis 500 with Wilbur Shaw in an 8CTF. That made Maserati the first and only Italian constructor to win the legendary American race.

Meanwhile in 1939, the firm moved to its now celebrated premises on Viale Ciro Menotti in Modena. It is here that its extraordinary creativity was deployed in the service of the Italian war effort as it converted to the production of machine tools, electrical components, spark plugs and even electric vehicles. Once the war ended, Maserati got back to its normal business, creating the Maserati A6 1500 Sport, around which Pininfarina built an elegant coupé body. The racing version was the A6GCS, a highly original streamlined barchetta with offset engine and motorbike-type wings separate from the body. This is the car that Alberto Ascari drove to victory on its first outing at Modena.

The Orsi family wanted to build road cars, and thus the families fell out, the remaining Maserati brothers leaving the firm that bears their name in 1947 to found OSCA.
The A6 emerged in 1946, followed by the A6G and the A6G54. These cars were still really a sideline to the motorsport side of the business, and were used in many races, as well as forming the basis for more potent competition cars. These years saw the last real effort in motorsport by the Trident, concentrating on the newly formed Formula One championship with involvement also in the Sport category.

In 1947, Ferrari and Maserati launched an exciting all-Italian duel on the racetracks all over the world. After several wins, life became less easy for Maserati in the 1950s as Alfa Romeo and Ferrari were extremely competitive. In 1953, Gioacchino Colombo was appointed Chief Engineer and modified the A6GCM. The team was also strengthened by the arrival of drivers of the calibre of Fangio, Gonzalez, Marimon, Bonetto and de Graffenried, and brought home some important victories in the 1953 season; in fact, Fangio won that year's Italian Grand Prix from Ascari and Farina in Ferraris. Colombo also laid the foundation for the Maserati 250F.
However, if these were the years of a Maserati revival, they also saw the arrival of a powerful new rival. In 1953, the Maserati A6GCM 2000, with Juan Manual Fangio at the wheel, came second in the World Championship behind Alberto Ascari in a Ferrari.

1954 saw the debut of the legendary Maserati 250F with a 2500cc 6-cylinder engine and transverse rear gearbox unit. This was the car that started out by winning Fangio the Argentine Grand Prix and ultimately the World Drivers' title. At the same time, several A6G spyder and coupé models with bodies by Frua, Allemano and Zagato came out.

In 1955, an aerodynamic 250F with a wrap-around body was created for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. In the meantime, Maserati was experimenting with advanced engineering systems like disc brakes and fuel injection. Maserati brought its Grand Prix career to a glorious finale in 1957 at the end of a triumphant season, which started out with the first three places in Argentina and ended with Fangio's world title in the 250F. That same year, Maserati designed a 12-cylinder 2500cc engine for Formula 1 and previewed the 3500GT 2+2 seater sports coupé at the Geneva Show. It was the start of a new era for the trident marque - concentrating on producing the world's best coupés and sports saloons.

The 3500GT remained in production until 1964 and was responsible for introducing a whole series of important innovations, such as twin-plug ignition systems, disc brakes and fuel injection. Maserati's advancement in technology on the racetrack was the start of using racing experience for future road going motor vehicles.

All this expenditure, however, left the company's finances even weaker than before and so in 1957 they ceased all motorsport activities (apart from continuing to support clients). That year also saw the launch of the first true road car, the 3500GT. This was a luxury GT coupe and was built in much greater numbers than any of the preceding models. Later, in 1964, a variant designed by Vignale became known as the Sebring.

However, the departure of the official Maserati team from racing did not end the firm's interest in motor sport and in 1958 it launched the Tipo 60 (2 litre version) and Tipo 61 (2.9 litre version). It was nicknamed the 'Birdcage' after its revolutionary chassis that was constructed out of a trellis of slender tubes. These were rapidly replaced by the rear-engined Tipos 63 and 64. For the 1962 Le Mans, there was also born the Tipo 151, but it did not achieve its aim. When a special 500 mile invitation race was organised on the Monza high-speed track for Indy specialists, Maserati was there with a special car (the Maserati Eldorado) with a V8 engine driven by Stirling Moss.

That same engine appeared on the 450S powerboat, which ruled the waves in its day and also powered the prestigious 5000GT with touring body that was created for the Shah of Persia. In the sixties, Maserati expanded its GT operations as the Sebring (the final development of the 1962 3500GT) was followed by the Mistral in 1963. Named as the fastest saloon in the world, the Quattroporte was also introduced in 1963.

However, while officially retired from motorsport, Maserati had not stopped engineering racing cars, which included special Berlinetta models for the Le Mans 24-hour race. This included the Sport Tipo 65, with its rear-mounted engine and the highly original transverse V12 engine it created for the Formula 1 1500. In 1966, the Ghibli coupé, the first Maserati entirely designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, went into production and a new 3-litre 12-cylinder Formula 1 engine was developed. In the first year of the new formula, the Cooper-Maserati driven by John Surtees won the Mexican Grand Prix, as well as taking second and third places in the World Championship.

Maserati also continued to build racing prototypes for private teams, and to supply engines for the Formula 1 cars of other constructors, such as Cooper, for which it developed a 12-cylinder, three-valve engine with triple ignition in 1965.

In 1968, Maserati turned out a record 733 cars and acquired a new shareholder in Citroën (although Adolfo Orsi remained Honorary Chairman of the company). That same year, it launched the Indy 2+2 coupé and started production of the new V6 engine. This was the engine that powered the revolutionary Citroën SM that went into production in 1970. This era might be described as the low point for the Maserati marque, where it suffered the indignity of having its Italian body stuffed with Gallic hydraulics, all the while receiving no mass marketing support.
At the 1971 Geneva Show, Maserati launched the Bora, a two-seater, mid-engined Grand Tourer that gave way to the very similar Merak 2+2 seater with V6 engine a year later. That same year, the SM won the Moroccan Rally, giving Maserati its first ever success in that type of race.
In 1975, the effects of the oil crisis forced Citroën to draw in its horns. On 23 May 1975, Citroën announced that Maserati had gone into liquidation (the French car maker had signed an agreement with Peugeot but it had lost interest in the Modena company). Pressure from the industrialists’ association and the local and provincial councils succeeded in persuading the government to intervene, and Maserati avoided closure by handing over control to GEPI (a government agency that financed companies in difficulty in order to save jobs).

In an agreement signed on 8 August 1975, most of the company's share capital was acquired by the Benelli company, and Alejandro De Tomaso, an Argentinean former racing driver who had also competed for Maserati, became Managing Director. Alejandro De Tomaso, described charitably as a charming entrepreneur, took control of not only Maserati, but also Moto Guzzi, Benelli and Innocenti. He had previously also owned both Ghia and Vignale. Part of De Tomaso’s deal was a pledge to the Italian government to increase production numbers to expand employment, a promise that gave birth to the Biturbo.

Under GEPI's management, the firm produced a 2000cc version of the Merak and in 1976 it launched a new version of the Quattroporte. This went on to become the best selling Maserati of all time. The Quattroporte was also famous for being the vehicle of choice for successive Italian presidents.

Shortly thereafter, Chrysler and Maserati got together to build the short–lived Chrysler TC by Maserati, an arrangement that produced just 7,300 cars. This endeavour was rooted more than just a little in the friendship between the 'charismatic' men in charge of the two companies, Lee Iacocca and De Tomaso. Iaccoca once said that De Tomaso was the worst plant manager he ever saw, but wished he had a dozen negotiators just like him. As a result of De Tomaso’s brilliant skills, Chrysler purchased 16 percent of Maserati and provided new manufacturing equipment to build the ill–fated Chrysler LeBaron–esque TC.

The eighties brought many changes, not least the creation of a model destined for mass production. That was the surprising Biturbo, a performance saloon with a 2000cc V6 engine that was launched in 1981. In 1984, an impressive 6,000 Biturbos were constructed. Further development of the turbocharged V6 engine led in 1989 to the launch of the Shamal that featured the first Maserati V8 adopting twin turbos.

Fiat purchased 49 percent of Maserati in January 1990. (De Tomaso suffered a massive stroke during the negotiations, never fully recovered, and died on 21 May 2003.) The Italian auto conglomerate purchased the final 51 percent in May of 1993.

In July 1997, Ferrari purchased 50% of Maserati (increased to 100% in 1999). Work began on the new Maserati factory on 1 October 1997 and Ferrari spent a much–needed $200 million upgrading the 66 year old factory in Modena where all Maseratis are built today. The Quattroporte Evoluzione came out in 1998.

Utilising the talents of the Ferrari group, and its driveline and suspensions as well, the Maserati 3200GT coupe was also born in 1998. Stylish though imperfectly constructed, it gave Ferrari an “entry–level” Italian exotic. The 3200GT used an all–new chassis and Giugiaro–designed body, and was powered by a “new” turbocharged engine, which was really an evolution of existing designs. The 3200GT coupé was launched at the Paris Motorshow. It was both the first Maserati of the new era and a revival of a 4-seater Grand Tourer tradition that began forty years earlier with the 3500GT. The 3200GT was first shown to the Australian public at the 1999 Melbourne Motorshow. The 3200GT instantly captured the attention of Australian automotive aficionados, as the entire yearly production set aside for Australia was sold even before a single test drive took place.

The new millennium opened with the complete reorganisation of the Maserati sales network. In the constant search for improvement and growth, the Viale Ciro Menotti factory underwent major expansion work. At an estimated cost of 25 million Euros, the plant expanded to 51,000 square metres including 30,000 square metres of buildings. In a bid to keep up with international demand, an additional ultra-modern production line was completed at the end of 2001. In 2001, the new Spyder appeared, and was unveiled for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show, during which Maserati also announced its intention to return to the North American market. This decision was confirmed in January 2002, when the Coupé made its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show. Like the Spyder, it introduced a number of important innovations, from a new 4,200 cc 390-bhp V8 engine, to its suspension, chassis and F1-type gearbox.

More recently, Maserati has signed an agreement with Volkswagen for the German company to share its Audi division's Quattro all-wheel-drive technology (originally meant for the still-born Maserati Kubang sport-utility vehicle concept) for Maserati's current Quattroporte platform. The agreement has been made on the condition that there will be no corporate espionage or reverse engineering, since Volkswagen owns two of Ferrari's direct rivals, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

In 2004, while Maseratisti from all over the world assembled in Modena and Rome to celebrate Maserati's 90th anniversary, at Oschersleben in Germany, Maserati raced to its first international race victory since 1967 when Mika Salo and Andrea Bertolini, driving the sensational new MC12, won the 9th round of the FIA GT Championship.

In 2005, as a consequence of the termination of the agreement between Fiat and General Motors under which GM may have been obliged to buy Fiat's car division, Maserati was separated from Ferrari and brought back under Fiat's full control. Fiat plans to create a sports and luxury division from Maserati and another of its marques, Alfa Romeo. GM had to pay Fiat around $2,000,000,000.

Rumours are that Maserati in whole will be sold to Alessandro and Felix Benetton for a staggering amount of 2,600,000,000 and will be under sole management by the two brothers. Alessandro and Felix Benetton of United Colors of Benetton are the heirs to the world's largest fashion fortune and, with nearly 21 billion each, they will become two of the world's wealthiest men. With Maserati under their belt, it is said they believe they can expand the Benetton horizon through automobiles and high end design.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

1967 Sprint GT Veloce

1967 SprintGT Veloce. I painted it silver, and the only modifications are a 2000cc enginef or the 1600 it came out with plus L S D out of a later 2000 coupe.

1973 Alfa Giulia GTV 2000 coupe

1973 Alfa Giulia GTV 2000 coupe. The car is Piper Yellow in colour. The car is in excellent (though not concours) condition. The car has no major modifications and can be described in broad terms as "original" (the engine, gearbox, paint and interior are all original and have never been reconditioned).

The following is a brief history. The car was originally delivered to Mr B W Lonsdale of Canberra, ACT on 5 November 1973. Subsequent owners were Dr Michael Callam of Brisbane, Queensland from 23 October 1996, Mark Baigent of Brisbane from September (?) 1997 and Mark Mitchel from 23 May 2000

1985 Alfa Romeo 33 Quattro

1985 Alfa Romeo 33 Quattro 4 wheel drive station wagon. Silver, 1500cc. Owned since new, and reconditioned at 300,000km in 2003 to take part in Great Endeavour Charity Rally to Lake Eyre. Since competed in two more Great Endeavours to Karumba and Birdsville, as well as being daily transport.

Modifications are larger wheels and high profile tyres, under-body protection, uprated springs and shock absorbers, mudflaps, dust light, second speedometer and UHF radio.

1982 Alfetta 2.0 Sportiva II sedan

1982 Alfetta 2.0 Sportiva II sedan.

It was completely stripped and handbuilt in 2001 at Avanti Spares with all components (bar engine) rebuilt or replaced with new parts.

Body shell was fitted with a welded in 26-point roll cage manufactured by Avanti, load tested and engineer certified.

New floor modifications to take two types of six point harnesses and race seats.

The engine is a standard two litre with standard carburetors. The camshafts are PACE 2229 items and the pistons are hi compression items. Headers are custom and so are the intake trumpets (built by Avanti). A rpm limiter device is fitted with shift light.

Radiator is a modified item and is triple core plus serpentine flowed. It has twin Davis Craig fans which can be manually operated from the dash. This set up is proven to be effective when rallying in Adelaide in low forty degree heat.

Suspension consists of uprated torsion bars in front and springs in the rear with emphasis on extended suspension travel.

Shock absorbers are Proflex remote canister items manufactured by Murray Coote.

Brakes are four pot calipers in front and standard in the rear, all four running race brake pads.

Differential is uprated 4.56 final drive and is limited slip with 50 percent lockup.

Gears are Autodelta copy close ratio and straight cut items with one to one ratio fifth gear.

Other assessories include;

a. Peltor on board intercom;
b. Fire extinguishers;
c. Belt cutters;
d. Windscreen hammer;
e. First aid kit;
f. Safety triangles;
g. Video camera with lipstick lens;
h. CamelBak drink backpacks.

Car is built to Limited Modified category and retains many of its standard fittings including all glass work.

Alfa 147 GTA

Alfetta GTV race car.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1969

Giulia Super.
Details: Owner Kathy Campbell, since 1973, second owner.
Giulia Super sedan. 1969 model, no modifications away from original, colour rosso, fully restored some years ago.

Alfasud ti Series 1, 1978

Alfasud ti series 1, 1978, one of the last ones made (there are only 85 chassis serial numbers after mine), greco rocco (bright orange), has a twin weber Sprint 105bhp engine instead of the tiny 1200 previously installed(gave up).

It has a wooden steering wheel (not standard), new interior trim, 105 mirrors I think, late model Sud door handles, side and wheel arch protector strips. It is nice for people to see that Alfa also made small cars. But they don't know what is under the bonnet. The ti only weighs around 880Kg.
Great power to weight with the 105 engine. My car is kept tuned up by Barnes Performance people, the only ones who would tune twin webers.

1987 Alfa 75

This is Bernard Mangelsdorf’s beautiful 1987 Alfa 75. It runs a 24 valve 3 litre V6 (transplanted from an Alfa 164), is street registered but is an absolute speed machine on the track.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Welcome to the Fiat Car Club of Queensland

The sale of Fiats in Australia has for the most part been the responsibility of the various importers at the time, Fiat Auto as such has only on odd occasions had an office in this country.

While small quantities of cars were imported prior to World War II, the bulk of Fiat sales here were in the sixties and seventies, with sales declining through the eighties and Fiat finally leaving our market by the start of the nineties. Consequently, the majority of our current club member's cars are the sixties and seventies models.

After an abscence of around twelve years, Fiat has fianlly returned to our market with the NEW Punto. Fiat announced that it will return to Australian car showrooms on Saturday 1 July 2006 with the all-new Fiat Punto heralding a range of new cars from the renowned Italian car maker. The Fiat Ducato commercial vehicles became available in 2002.

Following its launch in Europe last year, the Punto has proven to be an outstanding success for Fiat Auto. It has driven straight to the top of the sales charts, doubled Fiat sales in markets such as the UK and made Fiat the fastest growing major marque in Europe this year. The Fiat Punto will arrive in Australia with a choice of three or five doors, four different engines including some of the most advanced diesel engines in the market and an equipment level and price combination that will place it at the top of the value for money league. The Fiat range will be sold initially from the Alfa Romeo dealer group, but, as sales grow, Fiat-specific dealers will be appointed across Australia.


The Fiat Car Club of Queensland had unofficial beginnings early in 1964. From a chance meeting of some Fiat owners prior to the Tasman Series race at Lakeside International Raceway, it was suggested by one of them that it would be a great idea to drive to Lakeside on the following Sunday in convoy.

A phone call to prominent 4BH Disc Jockey and race driver Bill Gates produced three or four announcements on his Saturday afternoon show. These asked any Fiat owners who wished to go to Lakeside to meet the next morning outside Europa Motors (later Continental Car Service).
The result was that approximately 20 assorted Fiats of the day and their occupants had their first outing together. Over the next couple of months suggestions of forming a club were brought forward and this eventually led to the inaugural meeting at the QMSC clubrooms on July 30, 1964.

The first monthly newsletter went out on August 3, and the first club events were a general meeting on August 6 followed by an Observation Day Run to College's Crossing on Sunday the 9th. Other club events in the early years consisted of Motorkhanas, Night Navigation Runs and Day Runs.

By the early Seventies the club was growing considerably as Fiats were selling quite well by imported car standards, and mainly attracting "enthusiast motorists" as their owners. Membership grew thanks to the efforts of many in the motor trade, who made new Fiat owners aware of the existence and benefits of the club.

Club events were expanded to meet the needs of the enthusiastic members, and now also featured speed events such as lap dashes, hillclimbs, rallies and sprints. By then the trek south for the annual Tri-State Motorkhana Challenge was the highlight of the year's calendar, and our team finally managed to win the Fiat of Italy Cup for the first of many times in 1976.

Throughout the Seventies and Eighties competition events were the mainstay of the club's activities, but into the Nineties as the cars (and members) got older and more tired the emphasis swung back to social events. However, the insurance issues which arose in the early 2000's have necessitated a re-think of the club's activities and the decision was made in 2003 to affiliate the club with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) to allow the running of more competitive events with appropriate insurance cover.

As of 2004 the club is now CAMS affiliated and will be conducting a wider range of events to cater for the broad range of interests of our many members. It will now also be able to offer CAMS licensing for all interested members. Membership of the club also entitles members with vehicles over thirty years of age to apply for concessional registration with Queensland transport.

The club now also has a very full social calendar, with a wide variety of events to suit all tastes. Invariably the consumption of food and wine seems to be a common factor at most events, and needless to say a good time is generally had by all! Club membership is open to all interested persons - Fiat ownership is not necessary, just the common interest in and enthusiasm for the marque.