29 October 2012

3.7 V6 Alfa Spider - Demon Arachnid

"But still she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-dûr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving webs of shadow; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness."
The passage above describes Shelob, a fictional giant spider and from The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien's seminal Middle-earth saga; it's taken from The Two Towers, the second instalment of the saga, but could have easily been written about the 1991 S4 Alfa Romeo Spider above. An "evil thing in spider form...[the] last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world", living high in the Ephel Dúath mountains that border Mordor. There are numerous references to her being ancient, and is unrepentantly evil.
Well the Alfa Spider can be described as being ancient, as the Series I was launched in 1966. Evil? well not in standard form; a lot of positive adjectives for sure, but certainly not evil.
This one, on the other hand does. Not so much looking to munch Little Miss Muffets's curds and whey; more like gobble her up without a second thought. 
The spec of this car points to its demeanour to start with; it's powered by the classic Giuseppe Busso-designed Alfa V6 out of a 164 pushing over 300 bhp. Built by Glenwood Motors in South Africa (SA is an historic font for hot Alfa V6 action), it features such goodies as a long-stroke, 3.2 litre 156 GTA crank, an over-bore to receive brand new 120 mm OD steel liners to take it out to 3.7 litres, Ross Racing aluminium pistons, custom forged steel tapered wrist pins and double retainers, Total Seal Competition piston ring set, forged, chrome-molly steel connecting rods... Right, thats enough, we're getting all hot and sweaty just typing it. Breathing is taken care of by 6 individual throttle bodies and a Gotech PRO fully-programmable, standalone engine management system. Gearbox is a beefed-up 105 cog-stirrer feeding a GTV6 LSD at the rear.
Getting all that power to the road is critical and it's going to take the best suspension out there to tame this Spider. To this end the owner has fitted Ron Simons Racing Fully adjustable racing suspension for Spiders. Coilovers are used for the rear, while separate springs and shocks along with a 30mm anti-roll bar dial in the front. Extra bracing has also been attached to the chassis to cope with more power than Battista Farina had in mind.
The spec so far is truly tasty; but the body shell isn't about to be upstaged by the innards. The body kit is a one-off, designed by the owner; highlights include the rear diffuser, styled after the one on a Ferrari F430, the front bumper that apparently took multiples mock ups before he was happy with it and the bonnet, which has been cunningly reshaped to contained fully the beast living underneath.
Check out the 280+ page build thread on alfabb.com for all the details. Just beware of spiders that sit down beside you at the computer desk.

And it just wouldn't do to not have a sample of that 3.7 V6 clearing it's throat a little:

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