Intermeccanica Owners' Club                                             L.L. Burnett
Newsletter #8                                                               R. D. 3
April, 1975                                                                       Huntington, N. Y. 11743
The Club's balance is $33.17. Expenses of $45.33 and the February deficit are more than offset by four renewals and the additon of four members:
(removed list)
 
There are 20 active members as of the first week of April. Four notices in Road and Track should add to our numbers.  I suspect that Newsletter #7 must somehow have been passed from the Post Office over to the Fiat parts network for delivery. Mailed on February 28th, they're still landing. If you missed it, we'll replace. First Class Mail from now on!
A note from Mr. Haritos says that in constructing the exhaust system outlined in Newsletter #7, you'll have to remove 4 inches from the head pipe to eliminate a curved end. Also, he has the ability to fabricate replacement grills superior to the original. Write him and perhaps he'll make you one. He says that the Super-Muff muffler, advertised in hot rod magazines may be excellent for Intermeccanica cars.
 
Ford Parts and Data
 
Mr.Don Healon, parts manager of Koener Ford of Rochester, New York will provide Club members with a 25% discount on Ford items. Member Jeff Hale, service manager, will supply any technical material or data you need regarding Ford drive lines. He can get any available data from Ford that's not on hand.
 
Points
The Mallory dual-breaker distributor used on 289 Ford engines is best adjusted on a distributor machine. Unlike stock Ford units, the advance curve can be changed to produce maximum power on high that gas, or maximum economy on regular. If you want to set the points using only a dwell-meter, hold one set of points open with a match book cover and adjust the other set for a dwell of 34. Then adjust the total dwell to 70. With only a feeler guage set each gap to .020" until you can do it right.
 
Ball Joints (again)
Mr. Frank Russell II of (removed address) has a '69 Italia couple for sale at $4500. His car is fitted with early Plymouth Barracude ball joints. Hope someone will track this down and report part numbers.
 
Driving Lessons
The Club can secure a group discount on courses teaching advanced street driving and/or competition driving from the Skip Barber School of Performance Driving. Two Connecticut race plants are utilized, Thompson and Lime Rock. Interested?
 
Synthetic Oil
Club discounts can be obtained on two brands; Chemlube and Ollmo. This lubricant is superior to standard motor oil and I think we should consider using it.
 
IMPORTER NEWS
A long phone chat with Mr.Vos yielded some interesting information. He views the Club as a potential competitor in that disseminating data on parts sources may leave him with unsalable inventory. The list of owners will not be shared. My initial reaction was to suggest that the importer concentrate on the really special sutff and the owners organization could be supportive, in a variety of ways, of any extra effort required. (For example, there are no left front fenders available but plenty of tie-rod ends.) My frustration at his position was reduced however, when he outlined just a few of the troubles he encounters at this end.  The factory is not always perfect (as those who have tried to use new replacement early suspension A-arms have noted). Italian suppliers are erratic and unpredictable. Mr. Reisner once told me of the twelve Italias with reinforced floor pans -- necessitated by the supplier switching the guage of steel in mid series (saving maybe $25) from that specified. Mr.Vos notes that the windshield maker now wants orders for 100 instead of 10.   He also outline some of the tragicomic details of his relations with the U.S.Government agencies concerning importation of the Indra. After much trouble two cars were admitted for "testing" and finally they were deemed acceptable.
But Mr.Vos had to make yet another trip to Washington with an Attorney. After zeroing in on the functionary who had the authority to permit sale, and the payment of more fees, approval to import up to 30,000 Indras was granted -- but the two cars on which approval had been based could not be sold without being reimported. Presumably it's all straightened out now but in the meantime S&V has been financing some $30,000 for a long time.So then General Motors stops supplying engines, etc., etc.  Nevertheless, the factory is still in operation, Indras are for sale, and S&V can supply these vital special parts. I think those of us trying to complete restorations should secure needed factory parts without undue procrastination. 
 
Magazine Articles on Intermeccanica
With the members' help I'm collecting xeroxs of all articles of interest. I don't have the August 1970 Sports Car Graphic article on proportioning values -- an add-on item which might be useful for early cars.
 
Used Parts
All members should inform me of parts they have available to others -- and of parts they need. Describe condition and application of each.
 
Steering Arm
The right steering arm from the Torino wreck which was provided to Mr.Vos (who needed it to complete an order) carries the number: 849064 -- sounds like Fiat?
 
Historical Note - Apollo, Vetta Ventura
Member Jack Triplett (Apollo #9) has been researching the Apollo era of Intermeccanica production, meeting with some of the people concerned and collecting as much information as possible.He requests our help in locating owners and info.  From his correspondence I've learned that in the early 1960' partners Milton Brown and Newton Davis began building and testing the prototype chassis, Brown designed, in Oakland, California. The chassis was shipped to Intermeccanica for body mounting and returned. With Intermeccanica constructing body and chassis, and Apollo installing the running gear, 66 cars (2 convertibles) were produced in Oakland. A successor corporation in Pasadena sold about 25 Apollos. About 20 bodies were provided to Vanguard Motors Corporation in Dallas, Texas and appeared as the Vetta Ventura.
Mr. Triplett's car is a 5000 GT with Buyick engine and rear drum brakes, and Studebaker front disc brakes (using Jaguar pads). The Apollo 3500 had a 215 C.I.  Buick engine and Buick all drum brakes - and Buick suspension, I believe.  These Apollo cars also had problems with parking brakes. The Vetta Ventura was advertised as using a 300 C.I. Buick V-8, 175-400 tires, 3.08-1 axle, Jaeger instruments with oil temperature, Dunloe-Bendix power front disc brakes, leather bucket seats, 3-speed standard transmission. The Coupe cost &6900, the Convertible $7240. Options list included 4-speed transmission and solid state ignition. (Feb.1965)   As you know, evolving from the Apollo came the Griffith, then the Omega of Steve Wilder. Next Newsletter maybe we'll have some data on "America's First Rear Engine Sports Car", John Fitch's PHOENIX.
 
REAR DISC BRAKE REPAIR
Member Dennis DeBano, restoring '68 Italia #58, had trouble removing the rear discs. Finally he pulled the whole axle shaft out complete with disc in place. He had to drill an access hole through the hub in order to remove the bolts and a template for this is reproduced here. You will have to look behind the disc to where axle flange and disc meet so the two holes will line up. According to Mr. DeBano, "The reason my discs were stuck was rust build-up inside the hub portion of the disc. Would suggest having this area turned also when the disc faces are turned. (Take off at least .010, or until the rust is cleaned off.  A little extra clearance in this area might keep it from rusting tight again).
 
Here are my rear brake specs:
 
Caliper No's: left - 64325723 right - 64325724
Piston No's: large- 64325436 small - 64325863
(Each caliper has three pistons - one large opposing 2 small)
 
Piston Dia's:  large- 1.685 small - 1.187
Old seals:      large- O.D. 1.940 I.D. - 1.700 (These are sizes of my worn parts)
                    small- O.D. 1.420 I.D. - 1.175
nl8hub.jpg (35494 bytes)
 
I called S&V. They recommend rebuild kit #2524. I gave Lucas my caliper no's.  They ordered a rebuild which was totally wrong. The rings were 1/8 inch too big.  They sent that one back reordered another. This second one had the correct dust covers, but the seals were still too big. I kept the dust covers hoping to find the seals at another source, but still no luck.
 
Get Together
Please mark May 24th Saturday down on your calendar for a meeting on Long Island. Specifics follow.
 
[return to Newsletters]