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wayne d

Lancia bodywork

6 posts in this topic

First post here, so hello to all.

Watched Top Gear the other night and they had a big section on Lancias and how good/bad they were.

It reminded me of a story told told to me by a plumber who I hired earlier this year. I don't know if it is one of those legends that gets passed around.

He told me about a friend of his who owned a new Lancia in the eighties which inevitably turned orange with rust soon after being bought.

This friend had a member of his family who was some kind of scientist and worked for ICI. The scientist suggested he took part of the rusting metal to work where he would analyse it.

The Lancia owner agreed, duly pulled off a bit of the rusting bodywork and gave it to his clever relative.

After several weeks the boffin got back to him and said having done some tests on the sample he had come to the conclusion the car body was made from melted down old ships.

Surprised the Lancia owner asked how he could possibly know this, to which he got the reply, there was lots of barnacle DNA within the metal!

I've no reason to doubt the plumber who told me, but has anyone else heard of this?

Thanks....

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What a great story. Doesn't ring true to me though. The barnacle DNA could have occured from the shipping of the cars?

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Why would you DNA test a piece of metal?

Was DNA testing even possible back then?

The theory was, that Fiat group (Alfa, Lancia, Fiat etc) were building the cars out of cheap Russian metal that wasn't refined well, and hence contained many impurities that sped up the rusting process.

This only happened for a few years before the supply was changed to better quality metal, but the damage was done, and Italian cars were stereotyped as being rust buckets forever more, which was a little unfair really, as they went to huge lengths to ensure good quality metal was used, and actually, most Italian cars from the 80's/early 90's will rust less than pretty much any other marque.

Edited by Tipex

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The theory was, that Fiat group (Alfa, Lancia, Fiat etc) were building the cars out of cheap Russian metal that wasn't refined well, and hence contained many impurities that sped up the rusting process.

Less publicised is the VW story. VW sold a load of stuff to Russia in the 70s, Russia couldn't pay so paid them in steel. A huge batch of cars were produced before they found the steel was an inferior grade and were rotting away.

Ship steel is completely different stuff to cars. Old ships gets cut up and used as ballast, they don't recycle them into cars, although it makes a good story.

DNA testing ? You'd need a X-Ray spectrometer thingy, they're about £10k now, I really want one, you point it at a material and it gives you the chemical composition. I just know my MX-5 is 50% rust, 40% filler and 10% no more nails. :(

Welcome to Tyresmoke by the way +++

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I thought they used rectcled metal - from washing machines!

However, when I had my Alfa in '87, it went in for brake caliper work. the Alfa guy told me that he had NEVER had to weld an Alfa less than 3 yrs old but had had to weld the sills on many a 3 yr old Ford at that time!

Amazing the consequences a bad/wrong decision can have!

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You'd need a X-Ray specs, I really want one,

Me too, I'd never leave *insert girly places here* and I'd be blind or behind bars within days!

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