Saturday, June 14, 2008

Under the rear: my GTV

Originally uploaded by gtveloce
My all-time 3rd most popular photo on Flickr! And it's just the rear end of a production coupe... not a supercar or something rare at all.

Anyway it's a look underneath my 1982 Alfetta GTV showing the rear mounted transaxle, de Dion tube, Watts linkage and inboard disc brakes. Most cars of course don't have de Dion tubes, so that's a bit special. The Watts linkage is more common. The rear mounted transmission is much more rare and gives the car better weight distribution (ie 50:50) and a polar moment of inertia that lends the car stability rather than twitchiness.

The inboard brakes are also unusual on a road car, but were an Alfa specialty in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, both with their rear and front drive cars. On this car it meant that even the rears could overheat a tad on mountain descents... but OTOH the rear wheels didn't have to carry the extra unsprung weight so an Alfetta could menace much more powerful cars around corners. (The Alfasud from this era had inboard front brakes, which probably worked better than the Alfetta's rear brake arrangement and helped to make the 'Sud a great handler - but suffered from the occasional accidental ill-placed drop of engine oil... ooops.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

There's an Alfa in here somewhere

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Alfa Giulietta 1.8 at Oran Park, '82

My Giulietta at Oran Park, NSW, Australia in 1982. Nice understeer... It's an Alfa Romeo Owners' Club event, probably a lap dash. If you don't know BP corner then you haven't lived. Basically you come hurtling out of some fast bends, go down into a ditch, come up and go hard left into a long straight. So you've picked up some speed, bottomed and released the suspension and then chucked it left into understeer territory. You can see how the rear wheels remain planted square to the road by the deDion tube and the fronts are trying to get the car around the bend... and not into the wall.

Once out of BP you pick up speed (on the GP circuit) and the 1.8 litre Giulietta was good for 160km/hr (in my hands) by the kink. Then hard braking, hard left, mind the concrete wall all over again and into the twisties.