Introducing the Brown Hornet

A ‘rust-free’ early Sud sedan huh?  The message came through the club that I should go and collect this early sedan from a chap up in Myrtleford (in the Alpine region of Australia).  We thought about it for a while, and then decided why not do a family trip to have a look?  The previous owner is a club member who heard about me collecting the Sud Ti out of the shed in Parkes this year and thought I might offer his baby a good home.  At first sight it looked awful, with paint peeled off the roof and lots of rust.  When I looked closer however all the usual Sud rust traps appeared sound – the windscreen pillars, sills, guards, and boot.  A respray many years ago had been done poorly and the paint on the roof had eventually cracked and lifted leaving bare metal, but otherwise the car is sound.  One door and the boot were also creased and needed repairing, plus a dent in one guard.  All (relatively) easily repaired however.  We loaded our new project onto the trailer and brought it home.


From Centro Documentazione:

Dear Evan,
with reference to your request we are informing you as follows.
According to our documentation files, the chassis number AS 5141106 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo Alfasud 1.2 (901A), manufactured on the 18th July 1974 and sold on the 22nd July 1974 to Alfa Rome Australia.
The body colour is Capodimonte white, with black tex interiors.

Yours, Sincerely,
Marco Fazio

So now to look at the mechanicals needed to put the car back on the road, which shouldn’t be too hard given the car was last driven in 2012 (only a bit over two years ago).  The original 1.2 engine and 4-speed gearbox had been swapped for a 1.5 with 5-speed box many years ago.  That’s much nicer for general drivability, and I don’t think we’ll ever be keeping this car strictly original.  The fuel pump was dead, so replaced.  Then with a fresh battery and some fuel the engine roared into life on first turn of the key!  One caliper was half-unbolted, and the steering rack was loose on the firewall with a broken thread needing a helicoil.  Then I could take the car for a spin around the block, and it drives beautifully!

I’d forgotten how nice a standard Sud is to drive – not a lot of castor so the steering is very light and direct.  The 1.5 burbles along quietly and happily, and it handles quite nicely on the skinny little standard wheels.  The car will need a few things sorted before it can get a roadworthy certificate – suspension bushes are all shot, and the exhaust needs some repairs.  Surprisingly all the lights, indicators, even the window washer works…

Now to get that bodywork and paint sorted.

Author: Evan

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