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Camshafts - March 2002

Over the years we have sold around 1200 pairs of modified camshafts for Alfa Romeo cars, in fact many of you reading this page will have experience of them. Nowadays, sadly the vast choice is no longer available, but twenty-five years ago it was possible to buy a set for virtually every model of Alfa from the 1900 SS and 2600 to Giulietta Sprint and Giulia TI.

But in the UK in the 1960s thr choice was very limited, for example 10106 Veloce camshafts could be used to modify a standard 1300 engine, or 10121 'SS' camshafts for the 1600, although the latter tended to be peaky and lobe life extremely short. There were alternatives, for instance at Rob Walkers' famous Corsley Garage, where I worked in the 1960s, we used David Newman shafts which were ground to, believe it or not, Lotus profiles---these only really worked well at high rpm and, life all reground camshafts came with that age-old headache of requiring especially made thick adjusting shims. Furthermore, as is again always the case with reground camshafts, cam follower (bucket) life was shortened considerably.

For the very affluent there was an alternative which really worked, the only worthwhile method of achieving added performance while retaining flexibility. This mystical, yet much desired method of motoring could be attained by ordering a pair of Autodelta camshafts, which were available, at considerable expense---and a lengthy wait, through Alfa Romeo (Great Britain). Just one style was available for road used, initially for 1600 engines but later also used in the 1750cc, this was the 10.5mm lift with 70/30 30/70 timing which, for fast road driving, offered far superior performance than the older 10121 "SS" camshafts.


V6 Dyno Test
Click to enlarge

In order to avoid confusion, although providing a lift of 10.5mm these camshafts were (and still are) referred to as the "10.6 type". In my collection of Autodelta factory literature I have a performance dynomometer chart 'elaborazioni stradali motori' which shows 10.6 camshafts in a 1600cc engine producing 137.2 bhp at 7000 rpm, the only other modifications being free-flow air filters and a GTA exhaust manifold. Apparently GTA swivelling trumpets (which we still sell at E.B.Spares) added a further 7bhp at 7000 rpm !!

I am often asked which camshafts would be suitable for a totally contemporary 1960s or early 1970s road/rally car (1300, 1600, 1750). For authenticity it can only be the old '10.6' type, although the 11mm, which arrived in the mid-1970s, offered some useful improvement, in fact we have sold more of the latter than all the others added together.



(Camshafts are still manufactured by the original Italian company)

We do not publish lists of camshafts as we want to advise which pair would be most suitable for your requirements. Camshafts make such a tremendous improvement to the Alfa Romeo engine but they can also make it untractable, so you must receive the correct information---which is where we come in ! Ask for our help, we will ensure you purchase the correct pair for your requirements.

We stock camshafts for 1300/1600/1750/2000 engines, 75 TS and 3.0 and 164, road, rally and race specifications are available.

Latest to arrive are high and medium RPM fast road for 16 valve engines - 156,new GTV and Spider.

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