Maranello to Milano

Giulia in Milano, the home of Alfa Romeo.

Giulia in Milano, the home of Alfa Romeo.

After my day in Perugia I continued north, to Maranello, famous as the home of Ferrari. Giulia was humming along the Autostrada very happily for the short commute. I found my Air BnB in the hills of Serramazzoni, not far from Maranello.

The next morning I headed out to see the museums of Ferrari and Lamborghini, in Maranello and nearby Modena. Giulia started up on two cylinders and ran rich on my way down the hill. The engine bogged down below 4000 RPM and wouldn’t idle. It was a huge change from the pleasant drive of the day before. I pulled into the car park at Ferrari with the little Alfa coughing and smelling of fuel as the Ferrari employees looked on unimpressed.

I left the car for a few hours as I took a walk around the museum, which was slightly overwhelming. It’s strange to be in a room with a 250 GTO and an F40 Competizione and a 250 LM.

A 250 LeMans.

A 250 LeMans.

250 GTO.

250 GTO.


F40 Competizione






The Ferrari The Ferrari

As much as the Ferrari Museum was an amazing place, filled with automotive legends, the experience was certainly tainted by the Ferrari branded tour busses shipping tourists in, who have decided that they need to see the Ferrari Museum, because that’s what you do when you go to Italy. It’s package tourism at its worst.

After a few hours kicking tyres I returned to my wounded Alfa in the parking lot, and ran it on two cylinders to a petrol station just outside of town. I took the top of the airbox apart to have a look at what was going on, only to find fuel gushing into the barrels of the carburetors. Something was causing the metering needle to stick open and let the fuel bowls overflow on two cylinders. I drove the Alfa back to the air BnB flat-out, as only at full speed did the huge amounts of fuel ignite and let the car run on all four cylinders.

The next morning I took the top of the carburetors off to inspect the metering needles and the floats, only to find the float on the rear carburetor had sunk. The only thing to do was to replace the float with a new one. Now I should have carried spares of this type, but I didn’t, which in retrospect was crazy. But luckily I was only a few kilometres down the road from Maranello, Classic Car Central, so finding a new float wasn’t too difficult. I quickly found a classic car workshop which was happy to sell me DCOE4 floats over the shelf.

Looking for the cause of my troubles.

Looking for the cause of my troubles.

The leaking float.

The leaking float.

After a few minutes of work the little Alfa was once again running well enough to head up the Autostrada again. The weather began to turn as I headed north, with the temperature dropping and freezing November Rain lashing down as I made my way towards Milan.

After all the fiddling around with car trouble in the morning I only arrived in the city late in the evening, but after many thousands of kilometres my little blue Alfa Romeo had made it home to the city of Milan, where it was first built in 1964.

Giulia in Milano.

Giulia in Milano.


1 Comment

  1. Cesare says:

    Jethro . Wow what a way to go about things. Big big thumbs up. I stumbled across ur blog while reluctantly starting to look for some piston liner and piston sets after I just discovered days before Xmas that my little 64 1600 gt veloce has some serious engine issues (which I conveniently stuck my head in the sand about,ostrich style , just before shoving it’s engine back in some 2 years back as I was packing it into a container allong with its other neglected sisters in the form of some 60s ozzy and American vehicles that made up too much of a part of my miss spent youth and memories of long challenging garage nights with my best friends while others raved the nights away at the local water theme park in Boksburg Gauteng ,for me not to spend all I could to stack them into a well packed 40 foot container to follow me allong with all my machinery in an accompanying 40 foot container to the shores of Queensland where I relocated with all my other favourite things in the form of my wife and then 2 kids at the time. Any way what struck me most once I got over the stupid excitement of finding out that some 23 year old from the old country ,just a short drive from one of my best mates home town near the valey of 1000 hills, somehow shared the delusional belief that these little budget Italian machines should be used as much as possible to appreciate there true beauty and simplicity,was how excited I was to see a 23 year old choosing to rather be nieve and brave at the same time as ignoring what’s sure to be an onslaught of negativitype from people who I’m sure said it could not be done. Above all I’m amazed how ur little step nose and ur passion for this challenge reminds me of both what I’ve needed to be like in the past and more importantly what I need to dig deep down inside of me to find once again if I am to succeed at raising what is currently a struggling little mom and pop workshop in the country making brakes for a couple of high end show cars and old school targa racers every month into the all Australian based manufacturer of boxed billet brake upgrades I’ve been working at for 10 plus years in SA first and here now in Sunny Australia for 2 years to the level of one day being recognized internationaly as a seriouse alternative to some of the brakes out of the states or England. Any way basicly I just couldn’t help but let u know that ur little trip in a little blue alfa has moved me very much. Not least of which is that on the day I told my self I should make peace with the possibility that my little GT Veloce was never meant to be an alternative form of daily transport to say a 2500 dollar KOREAN beater which is most likely to be what I’ll need to spend to get her back on the road (without giving her the Diy Paint job I’ve promised her since the day I first took her home with me some 3 years back ), you’re story has inspired me to ignore good sense and follow my heart … almost any cost. So ……..thank you ……thank you …..and thank you. Hope ur days in Italy ( my families original home country) is rewarding. And see if u can’t make ur way to Torino and see if u can’t visit Fiat’s original factory with a test track on the roof don’t know if the public still has access but even if u lay eyes on it from surrounding apartments it’s pretty cool. Enjoy

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