Push hard and live
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Carson City, NV
Many, if not all, industries go through game-changing shifts from time to time. The Classic Alfa business model has taken its toll. Outstanding customer service, very wide parts availability for even the unusual models, super-competitive prices, and delivery speed and cost that apparently can't be matched by domestic vendors. I recall a company I once worked for that did a lot of things very, very well, but a direct competitor was enough larger that they negotiated a deal with UPS that EVERY package that shipped would be charged something like $5.00 without regard to size or weight. To get this, the competitor just had to guarantee they would pay a flat rate for an entire container of boxes every day. We couldn't make that volume, so had to pay the going per-box rate. It was a powerful inducement.
A lot of old-line parts vendors grew up believing that a warranty claim should be honored only if it was truly defective, and that returns would be limited and charged a restocking fee. Customers would be challenged for the honesty and accuracy of their claims. While these things make perfectly good sense, the "Wal-marting of America" has changed customers' expectations, particularly in the retail market.
So, whatever drove this acquisition, it is in the normal scheme of things. Industries will always consolidate from time to time. The overseas competitors are stronger than ever right now, given the exchange rate imbalance, and some of our cars are enjoying upward trends in market interest.
Not a bad time to be restoring an Alfa, I think.
Carson City, NV
59 102 Touring (first Alfa $500 running)
65 Sprint GT (2nd Alfa, $500 daily driver)
102 Sprint (never did anything with it, but wish I had)
74 Berlina (first new car - now certainly rusted into oblivion)
61 Giulietta Spider G-Prod Race Car (where is it now?)
84 Spider Veloce (rarely drove it, so sold it)
86 Quadrifoglio (Dull car - no more 115s for me)
1971 Montreal "The Full Monty". Fair winds and following seas
59 102 Touring Roadster - restoration complete, enough Alfa for any rational man. Or irrational, for that matter
Two 1946 Stampe SV4C (c/n 294 "Rocinante" - wife's favorite airplane. RIP), and c/n 235 "La Bon Temps Femme" (gone to a new home, but never forgotten)
Zlin 50LA (+9 -6 gees, titanium spar, 1200 lbs, 260HP rumored to now be in Brazil)
1946 Luscombe 8A
Starduster Too (recently spotted at the Nevada City, CA airport - over 20 years and an entire continent separating it from our stewardship in Binghamton, NY)
1955 Cessna 170B (wife taught me to fly tailwheel in this)
64 Mooney M20E ("Rambo". My faithful steed for over 30 years) Nearly 50 years old, and just returned from a trip to Argentina in him
Newest in the fleet
1967 Piper Super Cub on Wipline amphibious floats (a true "all terrain vehicle")
2010 Triumph Thunderbird
You can snap roll an Alfa only one time...