I found the 1960s Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300TI you see below in a carport on the outskirts of a small village in southern France. By chance, a friend of a friend vaguely knew the owner, and I ended up taking it home in early 2010.
The owner — a man who ran a local repair shop — explained the Giulia spent nearly 30 years parked under a tree, though he never told me how he ended up with it. It had no registration stickers on the windshield and the license plates were long gone so I had no way to verify his claim, but the Giulia was so extraordinarily rusty that I believed him. To this day, it remains one of the rustiest cars I have ever seen, let alone owned.
If you think that I’m insane for buying it, hear me out. The body was completely and utterly shot, and the 1.3-liter engine was partially dismantled, but the pedal box was in decent shape and I needed a hard-to-find 1969 unit for my 1966 GTV, which I’d fitted with a 2.0-liter from a later Spider. Additionally, the transmission and the rear axle were salvageable, both bumpers were good, and the interior was remarkably well preserved.
I kept the pedal box, sold the bumpers, the carburetor, the windows, the transmission, and the rear axle to offset the cost of renting the tow truck, and traded the interior for a few boxes of 2CV parts. There was a catch… there’s always one, isn’t there? The local scrap metal place wouldn’t take the Giulia because I didn’t have a title for it. They assumed it was stolen; it was asinine but there were no two ways around it. I called a few other scrapyards in the area and got the same answer. It consequently lingered in my backyard for a few months until I got sick of looking at it; there had to be a way to get rid it.
If you show up to the scrap yard with a car on a flatbed, the folks working there immediately ask you for the title. If you show up with a small trailer full of miscellaneous scrap metal, you skip the paperwork office altogether, unload your stuff, and go home. I cut up the Giulia into pieces small enough for me to pick up by myself, loaded them onto my trailer, and got rid of it that way.