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In 2018, after 35 years of owning my beloved GTV, I sold it to a collector who lives on the east coast. It was not an easy decision, but the time had come. Why, you ask? When I bought it I was in my 30’s and loved nothing more than to take fast drives on winding mountain roads. I was good at car control. A favorite thing was to enter a curve at speed and, just for the sheer fun of it, kick the tail out, drift the car through the apex, feel the tires bite and then shoot forward out of it. As the years went by, I put a lot of time and money into modifications that improved the Alfa’s power and its ability to stick to the road. Yes, it was restomoded. Except for being a little lower to the ground and having fatter tires, it looked stock, though it was far from it. The mods enabled me to drive the Alfa even faster than before. Rev matched heel and toe downshifts came so naturally, I didn’t realize I was doing it, including when driving around town. As a result, even my Sunday-best right shoes had odd wear marks on the side.

As the car aged, the originality and rust free nature of its body made it more rare and more valuable, and I became uncomfortable leaving the Alfa parked on city streets or in parking lots, especially when traveling. And then there was the “me” factor. When I got into the Alfa I could not make myself drive it like the old guy I’ve become; it always brought out the hooligan in me. So, after finally deciding it was time to let the car move on to its next caretaker, I made sure to give all the grandkids rides, which we recorded on video. After one last wash, it went on a transporter and headed across the country.

It’s not all sad, though. I still need a manual tranny car, just to maintain some semblance of my lost youth, so the Alfa was replaced with a 2008 Porsche Cayman S. I then switched out the Porsche’s cheap plastic gear shift tower for an all aluminum custom unit from Numeric Racing. The sloppy Porsche shift is cured now, but I’m still learning to heel and toe the Cayman.



I’ve never named my cars, but after seeing this snapshot, the Alfa became “Twiggy” and the Porsche became “Kimmy.” Figure it out, folks. Think skinny model and publicity-hungry woman with wide caboose.


Discovering the Teen Jesus, By Felicia Silcox

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What Did Jesus Do All Day?, published by Church Publishing, Inc., bridges two worlds―the one we know today and the one Jesus knew in the Holy Land under Roman rule. Archaeological discoveries, historical writings, and early-Jewish studies continue to uncover what everyday life was like back then. Surprisingly, as the distant past comes into sharper focus, similarities emerge that are far beyond sharing basic needs like food, drink, sleep, companionship and housing. Like us, Jesus’ contemporaries worked and studied hard, worshiped in community, and observed holidays with family and friends. Like us, they struggled with temptation and sin, failure and loss, political upheaval and war, betrayal and violence, sickness and death. Somehow, the closer we look into Jesus’ world, the more familiar it feels―and the more his words ring true.

Raelene and Gary Williams highly recommend this book! You can order a copy from Amazon, or … Click here to go to a website created by the author.

On the website you’ll find a variety of excellent resources that cover what the world was like when Jesus was growing up. Topics include: Biblical Archaeology, Dead Sea Scrolls, Ancient Writings, Jewish Culture and Holy Land News.

Seriously Folks, let’s all try to keep the rubber side down!

   

While this trio of Alfas was out for a drive, the owner of the red ’67 GTV hit a bad stretch of pavement and rolled the car.  Driver and passenger walked away, shaken but not broken.  Still, this photo gives me serious heartburn.  Take a look at the license plate on what is now an expensive parts car; it reads “GTV 67.”  My garage holds an unsmashed red 1967 stepnose, like the one in the photo,  my California license plate used to read: “A67GTV.”

 

See nearly 20 pages of Alfas and other Italian cars and bikes. Find the links in the right column, under “Categories.”

The following is a list I made for myself to use when removing and reinstalling my 1967 GTV’s 2L motor.  While it is specific to my car, which has many custom pieces, this list may serve as a starting point for you.  Note that I don’t have heater lines to remove, because mine were taken off in 1983 to make the engine bay less cluttered (California delete option).  I also moved the fuse block inside the car, under the passenger side of the dash. 

Before dismantling anything, put the motor on TDC  (P) — with cam lobes pointed out and distributor rotor pointing to cylinder #1. This makes life easier if you’re going to remove the head or even if you plan to remove the timing chain.  The rotor moves in a clockwise direction, in this order: 1, 3, 4, 2.  Depending on how the oil pump was indexed when installed, your rotor may point in a different direction than my car when it is aimed at #1 .  The key is to have the cylinder #1 cam lobes pointed out and the distributor rotor on cylinder #1, when the engine is on TDC (P).   Check the your plug wires as they fit into the distributor cap, beginning with #1, and proceeding around the clock to 3, 4 and 2.  On my car, the rotor is aimed down on #1 (6 o’clock).
Take pictures of wiring before removing any to aid reinstall process
Take off the good lifting bracket and put on the old, scratched bracket
Remove hood
Remove front sway bar
Drop one side of steering center link
Disconnect and remove battery
Drain sump
Drain radiator
Remove radiator thermostat sensor from radiator (I have an electric fan)
Detach wires from radiator fan (one slip-on and on ground to same post as battery ground)
Remove radiator

Passenger side of engine
Remove spark plug wires and distributor cap
Disconnect oil temp and oil pressure wires
Disconnect fuel line and linkage to carbs (when reassembling, don’t forget to attach the carb to block ground)
Remove  carbs (easier to get motor in and out – my carbs are attached to long aluminum mounts)
Remember to reinstall the ground strap from rear carb to block.
Disconnect wires from coil to distributor  (note which goes where – a photo helps those of us with aging brains)
Detach oil vapor line from cam cover & remove vapor canister
Detach vacuum line at rear of engine
Disconnect wires from starter, after first noting what goes where
Disconnect bolts that hold motor mount to frame
Remove bolts to tranny, which removes starter (be careful to note which is the starter shoulder bolt and remember which bolts are longer, which have nuts on end)  When reassembling, don’t forget to reattach the block to frame ground.

Driver side of block
Unhook wires to alternator (one main and one slip-on for ammeter warning light)
Remove alternator (not necessary, but makes life easier)
Disconnect bolts that hold motor mount to frame
Remove good engine lifting bracket from cylinder head and replace with old one (to keep the good one from getting scratched)
From under car, remove as much of exhaust system as necessary to disconnect it from the exhaust header.  (My header won’t come off until the engine is lifted slightly off its mounts.  Installation also requires the engine to be lifted slightly. It also helps on my car if I have have an assistant under the car to slide the header tube into the exhaust pipe)
Remove the lock nuts from the exhaust header with 10mm small socket set and end wrench.  Leave header on the studs until the engine is lifted slightly, so there’s room to pull it off. (Custom header)
Put at least 4” of wood block spacers under the two front tires, to lift the car enough so the engine hoist feet will slide under the car
With rear of car on ground, engine should lift right out using a standard portable hoist

Engine install notes
On my block, there is one sensor on  driver’s side near bottom of engine that is for a 2L car’s warning light.  The sensor is there to fill the hole; it gets no wire)
If the oil dipstick housing was removed after the engine was taken out, reinstall it before the engine goes back in
Lightly grease the transmission pilot shaft
If you’ve used a pilot shaft alignment tool to install your clutch and pressure plate, installation of the motor should not be difficult, though it may take some fiddling to slide the clutch onto the pilot shaft
DO NOT FORGET TO DROP THE STEERING CENTER LINK.  If you don’t, the motor won’t go in and you’ll bend the link trying

After the engine is in
Check that oil drain plug and oil filter are tight
Add engine oil
Put assembly lube on the cam lobes
Fill the cylinder head galleries with oil
Install rear cam cover oil seals with light coating of sealant (Ultra Grey is good)


By Hillarie Williams
Written as a 20-year-old college sophomore

I adore my car.  I can tell you honestly, without a doubt, that I love my car more than any other possession I own.  I don’t love my car merely for its looks (sleek and red), for how it drives (very fast, especially around those freeway clover leafs), or even for what it is (a 1971 Alfa Romeo Spider).  I love my car, because my Dad built it for me.

My dad has always owned Alfas.  He knows how to fix almost any problem with them.  He also knows how to put them together.  When I was about 12 he bought two Spiders to use as parts cars for still another Alfa, some kind of rare convertible, a GTC I think.  Then he began to talk about using the Spiders to make a convertible for me.

img276 Hill's Spider & dollhouse

I was a little young to think seriously about driving, but after a while I began to picture myself at 16, driving to high school in my hot red car, with the top down and the breeze blowing through my hair — attracting the eyes of every adolescent guy worthy of my attention.  I didn’t think ahead to the hours and hours of hard work putting together a car would entail, or to the six long years it would take to pay it off.  Yup, my car was headed to the junk yard until I magnanimously saved it from an untimely demise.

Dad started working on it and I started working to pay for it when I was in the seventh grade.  All dad asked for was $2500, although he spent thousands more.

As he tirelessly built my car, I tried to help him as best I could, though I’m afraid I wasn’t always as helpful as I should have been.  I can remember Saturday mornings sitting on the cement driveway, looking through buckets and buckets and buckets of bolts, searching for that precise one to fit the frame for the convertible top.  As my friends spent their adolescent weekend hours at the mall shopping for trendy ESPIRIT outfits, I attempted to play the grease monkey at home.

Those were the days of holding the slotted screwdriver for my Dad as he peered into the engine compartment, trying to maneuver around the transmission to screw in some rebellious screw.  Or my dad, asking me for the 13 mm socket for the socket wrench.  Where is it Dad?  And what exactly is a socket again?  He must have been so frustrated with me, but he never gave in despite the occasional argument about whether I should go to the beach on Sunday or hold the screwdrivers and wrenches as he installed the steering wheel and console.  Dad usually won.

Finally, in October of my junior year in high school, my car was finished; a racing red Alfa Romeo, tan interior, tan top, fat tires, aggressive sounding Ansa exhaust.  I must admit that I look pretty good in my car, and I’ve gotten more than my fair share of whistles and comments — though none from those adolescent high school boys I had dreamed about.

It’s amazing the number of people who think they can talk to you about anything if the convertible top is down and you’re stopped at a red light.  One old guy asked me for directions to the nearest Longs Drug Store.  Some other gentleman wanted to know the life history of my car.  Others just chat about the weather or traffic conditions.

I like the friendly waves from other Alfa drivers.  It seemed a little odd at first, waving at strangers, but now it makes me feel like I’m part of their big, happy Alfa family.  And I enjoy the attention.

It’s been five years since I first drove my car, five years of powering through corners, cruising top down around town, visiting the sunny California beaches from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz.  It’s also been five years of oil changes, minor glitches, and major repairs — all performed by my faithful dad and a couple of his Alfa friends.  In fact, no one except them is allowed to fiddle with the engine or make other repairs.

As with all Italian cars, the road to vehicular perfection is a long one indeed.  There is always some sly hose or belt that breaks at the most inopportune moment.  Like the time I was trying to go to a movie with a friend and the fuel line split open.  I had just picked up Rebecca.  We were in the car, ready to go.  I turned the key and … nothing.  No powerful 1750 engine roaring to life, just silence and a brief moment of panic.  Becca got out to look under the car as I prayed that it would start, prayed so hard I thought blood would ooze from my skin instead of sweat.  Still nothing.  We called my dad.  When he arrived, the first thing he pointed out was a huge puddle of clear liquid flowing down the gutter — the gasoline from my precious car.  How did we miss this?  The fuel line had broken under the car, right next to the hot exhaust pipe and it nearly blew us to Tahiti.

My car manifests yet another problem when it rains — it leaks, badly.  For this reason, I have two car covers; a faded green one for assuredly clear weather and a blue plastic tarp for rainy weather.  Unfortunately, the forecaster occasionally misjudges the chances of rain, and I am forced to quickly blue-cover my car, or suffer the consequences, seats squishy with water.  I also have a cream-colored plastic bucket I must place under the floor pedals to catch the rainwater that leaks from who knows where under the dash   I also have stacks of towels ready at all times for those surprise spring showers.

Take last Thursday for example.  (It wasn’t the first time we were caught unaware, only the most recent.)  My college roommate, Karen,  leaned over from the top bunk and croaked those dreaded words, “Hill, it’s raining.”  I rolled out of my warm bed like a log down a grassy knoll, put on my tan Keds, grabbed my purple rain coat from the hall closet, and put it over my green nightshirt (hoping no one would be awake to see me at 4:30 am).  Then I ran to the kitchen for a flashlight, raced to the car, and tossed the bucket under the floor pedals, where it could catch the gallons of rain water I knew would find their way into my car to create havoc, rust and general messiness.   (Father’s note:  On a subsequent visit home from school, we found the leak, a broken hose on a cowl drain that runs under the dash. It was repaired in 10 minutes).

You may wonder why I keep such a mishap-prone car. The answer is easy on a sunny Northern California day or when I’m taking a fast corner.  Alfas are great fun.  Even so, the time has come for me to sell my beloved vehicle.  It makes me sad to think of parting with it, but what I really want in my next car is weather proofing and automatic door locks.  It takes me forever to get out of my Alfa — put on the CLUB, lock the CLUB, take off the removable face of my anti-theft car stereo, put it in its box, put the box in my purse, take off my seat belt, get out of the car, shut the door and check that no valuables are left in view.  It’s like Tammy Faye taking off her makeup  — chisel off the blush, scrape off the eye shadow, gingerly remove the ten-inch fake eyelashes …the process just keeps getting longer and longer.

It’s time now for me to move into a new phase of car ownership, one with fewer near explosions and leaks, and most definitely one with power door locks.  I’m ready to trade fun for convenience. Perhaps I will buy a gold BMW 325 or a metallic blue Geo Prism.  Something less demanding than an aging Alfa; something more fitting for a school-teacher-to-be than a bright red convertible.

(Hillarie sold the Spider after graduating from college and taking her first teaching job all the way across the country in Atlanta, Georgia.  Her next car, which Dad helped to choose, was a used Audi 4000S, which combined a bit of sportiness with the other features she was looking for.  She next moved to a new Saturn.  Now that she is a mom, with husband, house and two young children … she drives a minivan.  We’ve never seen the Alfa since the new owner drove it away, which is sad.  It came to us as a completely stripped rolling chassis, was a fun father-daughter project, and turned into a beauty of a 1750 Spider. )

For more information, please see:
http://www.greend.com/

Are you looking for a memorable domain name?  Talk to us about acquiring Green D.   It’s a name that’s easy to remember, easy to write, and easy to say.  

Contact gary at greend dot com


Gary’s Hollywood Stars t-shirt and hat, Los Angeles Angels hat, first glove, and little league shirt, all circa 1953-55.  The model below is our 7-year-old grandson (photos taken June, 2017).

What Genesis, Jesus & his apostles
teach about being male & female
in a troubled world, by Gary Williams

This book is now available from Amazon and other book retailers.  To order your copy, click on the left book cover below.  For a free discussion leader’s guide, click on a link to the right

BOOK                                                          LEADER’S GUIDE

  

A few sample pages:

Click here to buy the book

There’s SNO cars like our cars for track and street

The crew of Bonnie, the world's fastest Alfa, gathers on the lawn at Concorso Italiano in 2005.  This car has run just a hair under 233 mph at Bonneville.

The crew of Bonnie, the world’s fastest Alfa, gathers on the lawn at Concorso Italiano in 2005. This car has run just a hair under 233 mph at Bonneville.