Projects - 33 1.7 SportWagon 1994 front accident repair

May 2011: The pictures below are an awful sight to look at, this 1994 1.7 SW came into unintended contact with a truck on the right front corner. It looks like the truck has won the first round of the fight. Luckily the driver had no injuries which is of course the most important. Another challenge to fix this and regain a solid structure of the body with no visible repairs. Although the pictures below may come across as pretty severe there is no damage to the body which requires a time consuming and expensive directing of the body (not sure whether that is proper English for this operation).

Quite some damage after unintended contact with a truck.


At a first sight the front transversal beam, right front wing, right headlight & indicator and bonnet have to be replaced at least.


This right side front fender is not worth trying to repair anymore.


The extent of the damage become a bit more evident.


Finding the required body work is difficult and easy at the same time. I want to keep this repair as affordable as possible and therefore don't go for new parts. As if someone is pulling some strings a green coloured 1.7 SportWagon which failed its yearly roadworthiness check is offered in June 2011 on the Dutch Alfa club forum for a fair price. That car needs quite some attention to enable passing the yearly roadworthiness check therefore the seller is more or less offering it as a project or parts car. The price is okay and therefore I purchase this vehicle to serve as a donor for the damaged SportWagon. The front end and front wings for which I need the parts is solid enough to be re-used into the damaged SportWagon. The reason why the donor vehicle failed to pass the test is because of rust issue, mechanically it is in sound order.


Cutting away the front end of the damaged 33 SW.


Front end removed from green coloured donor 33 SW.


The green coloured donor 33 SW without front end.


Donor front end tack welded into position on damaged car.


Donor front end completely welded into position on damaged car.


Welded area cleaned up to create completely flush surface between original & donor geometry.


Whilst continued examination of the damaged car it becomes evident that also the lock of the bonnet need to be replaced. This section was completely ripped out of the body due to the impact of the accident. The donor vehicle will serve well for those purposes. I always aim to get near to perfect flush surfaces on my repairs so that no or very little filler is required, lets see if I can succeed my self set target this time.


Bonnet lock completely ripped out of the body due the accident impact.


Luckily the donor vehicle has a solid section available, so I cut it out.


Donor bonnet lock and accident damage lock, can you guess which one is which?.


Bonnet lock destroyed section.


Donor bonnet lock section trial fit, holes added for welding purpose.


Donor bonnet lock section butt welded into position.


Welding of bonnet lock section completed, again a completely flush surface.


Final operation after welding is to treat the particular section with anti-corrosive coating.


Now that the front end and bonnet lock are repaired the next task is to treat all repaired sections with anti-corrosive coating and to make a trial fit to see what the car will look like with the parts of the donor vehicle will look like. The bonnet, the right and left front fender and the right hand side headlight require a confirmation regarding their fit to the vehicle. In addition the front bumper will also be used and the grille. The parts fit nicely, the gap between the bonnet and the fender is as it is supposed to be on a factory original car. After this trial fit I will do the paint spraying of the non visible parts myself to keep the repair budget to an acceptable level. The stickers on the front end I cover with tape so they will not turn the smart silver-grey colour of the body. Potentially this is considered as not necessary, but I like such kind of details and I am targeting the least visibility of any repairs, being welding or paint spraying. All in all I think the painting result is not too bad for a person who is not a specialist.


All repaired sections treated with anti-corrosive coating.


Trial fit of front fenders, right hand side headlight & bonnet from donor vehicle.


Front end stickers masked with tape to avoid the body colour on them.


Front end re-sprayed without the use of any filler, original stickers also still visible.


Bonnet lock section re-sprayed in original body colour, again no use of any filler.


The repairs are starting to take shape.


Gap between donor bonnet and donor fender seen from the front, looking good.


Gap between donor bonnet and donor fender seen from the top, okay to go to the painter.

The visible parts of the painting will be done by a professional. The non visible parts have come out quite nice, but the visible parts I will leave up to an expert. Everybody has their own specialism, painting is not mine. Upon return from the painter the car is looking very nice. Even though the geometry was close to perfect when it went away the adjustment of the colour gives a completely different impression. Now the time has come to assemble all the components and have a look at the small damages occurred to the factory original air conditioning. A factory original air-conditioning is a very rare option on an Alfa 33, this originally Swiss vehicle must have been from a well situated owner when it was bought new. With all the parts assembled the accident damage is completely gone. The car looks good again and is ready for many kilometres to come. The budget used for these repairs has remained at a quite good level. The final step is to take the donor vehicle to its last resting place which will be the scrap yard. Since the car was driving very nicely I took out the engine with computer and wiring. Perhaps I will use that at some point in time. In order not to spend unnecessary money on renting a car trailer I tie the donor to a normal double axle trailer. To be honest with it looks quite funny that way.


Car back from the paint shop, big difference.


The end of the project is approaching.

Also when the bonnet is opened everything looking okay.


Smart looking Alfa 33 SW, ready for the next years of loyal service.

Donor vehicle on its way to its last resting place, the scrap yard.

Last update: January 22nd 2017  

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