Alfa Romeo Lugano circa 1957 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Alfa Romeo Lugano circa 1957

Mario Fazio (of Automobilismo Storico Alfa Romeo Centro Direzionale) advises that my car (1493*E*04547) was originally sold to an American buyer (Rey Martinez of Los Angeles) c/o "Societŗ per il Commercio dei Prodotti Alfa Romeo, Lugano, Switzerland". My car was built in June'57 but not sold until the Wednesday following the Targa Florio five months later. I'm wondering if the Lugano agent might have raced it and then sold it to the American buyer without going through Hoffman.

Does anyone in the group know anything about Rey Martinez?
Does anyone know anything about this agency?
Does it still exist and by what name?
Name of agency owner in 1957?
Name of a driver who might have been associated with this agency in 1957?

-Doug Avery, Fremont CA

PS I also posted this question on the 750-101 list on Yahoo Groups. Sorry if the duplication is annoying but I think this is a broader audience.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 12:37 PM
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As far as I know, Alfa's Lugano office was the official importer to Switzerland and later moved to Agno, TI (a suburb of Lugano, if we want to call it that). The ex-Alfa building in Agno still existed last spring but I was told there are plans to tear it down for a shopping mall. I was also shown a much older building that was either this agency or a major Alfa dealer in Lugano.

You may want to contact the Swiss Federal Road Office (FEDRO -- "Astra" in German) to see if your car was registered there (they probably won't have any records if the car was licensed temporarily for re-export). Fedro has a form "AA9" available only in German, French and Italian (not English, German form here -- click on "FranÁais" or "Italiano" in the top right corner to get the page and forms in those languages) that allows owners (and only owners) to inquire about the registration history of their cars. They are a royal pain to deal with, but sometimes the results, if they have any, are worth it. If your French or Italian is good enough, use those forms. Else, I can help (my e-mail) with filling out the German form and translate the rather cryptic results, if they have any.

-Ruedi
[SIZE="1"]'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, the car in my avatar, sold as resto project to Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).[/SIZE]

Last edited by tubut; 02-13-2014 at 12:51 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 05:49 PM
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Dr. Rey Martinez

Hello Doug,

I've been meaning to look you up for some time as I've been aware of the Rey Martinez connection to your car for a while. Unfortunately, I cannot be terribly specific about what he did with your specific car.

I spoke with Dr. Rey Martinez a few years ago while researching a specific Maserati. He was based in Los Angeles (and Burbank) and was a partner with Jack Brumby from about 1957 to perhaps 1959 in a business called "Italia Motors". They sold cars, some of which they imported themselves, and raced a few of them, sometimes with drivers who were famous ... locally in any case. There were several interesting cars and I've identified only a few. I'm sure that some cars passed quickly through his hands as a dealer. Your car may have been one of them? As far as Alfa Romeo related notes, I can offer the following as a bit of a tease:

Dr. Rey was a DNS at Sebring 1957 but had entered in a Giulietta.

He was the co-entrant of a Giulietta "Super Spyder" at a few events in Southern California in 1959.

He entered (and perhaps co-drove?) a Sprint Veloce at Sebring 3/20//1960. Race #52 was 31st overall and 6th in class.

There will be some more teasing that will come later.

The ad shared here (from June 1959) will show that the focus of Motor Italia was not only Alfa Romeo.

Would you please share the Bertone body number of AR1493E*04547*?

Best of luck,

John de Boer
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 06:16 PM
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Soc. per il Commercio dei Prodotti Alfa Romeo

I would not assume that a car was used for an event simply because it sat around at Alfa Romeo or a dealership for a time. Some cars might have been delivered on a quota basis more than an as-needed basis and this kind of imbalance in product availability sometimes resulted in cars being sold through channels that seem improbable to us today even though it still happens. And, sometimes a car could be sold on the books without the car ever setting tires in the premises. We should not make any assumption even if certain timing coincidences foster certain "could-be" ideas of possibility.

That caveat mentioned, it is always possible that Dr. Rey attended the Targa Florio, met someone from Alfa (or a dealership), expressed an interest in buying a car of a certain type ... maybe in a certain color(?) and the car with the Swiss dealership came up as a possibility? it is no less likely or more likely than a number of other potential scenarios that are all possibilities. The possibility of it having been a Targa Florio participant, if that is your fantasy, seems quite remote.

We should also keep in mind the fact that the sale date reported to (or recorded by) Alfa Romeo for Rey Martinez was perhaps only a record date for book-keeping purposes and the actual sale date might well have differed by a significant time period. The only date that might seem somewhat certain might be the delivery date to the dealer but even this can be shown to be open to some interpretation in some cases. This is the way of things when clerks try to keep the bureaucracy satisfied even though there can be many complications in real life that don't match clerical expectations. It is nice to have records, but sometimes we cannot trust such records to tell us what we wish to know in precise terms.

Happy studies!

John

Last edited by iicarJohn; 02-13-2014 at 09:57 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 07:24 PM
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I agree with John that the date of the sale and the date of delivery/possession may be significantly different -- and that adjustments could have been made. What would be interesting to know is whether the information in the hand-written records appears to be one with or without annotations, deletions (white out), corrections or adjustments, etc/ -- but I believe Alfa policy does not permit Marco Fazio to talk about any such appearances. I believe he is only allowed to convey what the last and therefore official record says.

If we wanted to speculate about how a transaction may have happened, I think it's quite unlikely that a car delivered to Switzerland would be reassigned do another buyer. This would be easily possible for cars delivered on consignment to an agency in Italy (remaining the property of Alfa Romeo until sold) but not for a dealer that outright bought and certainly not for trans-border transactions. In my mind, the most likely scenario is that the car was sold to a US buyer who picked it up at a contractually agreed-upon location in Europe (Switzerland in this case) and that the Customs documents were prepared accordingly (temporary import and re-exportation in less than a year from the date of import, etc.).

-Ruedi
[SIZE="1"]'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, the car in my avatar, sold as resto project to Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).[/SIZE]
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:19 PM
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Jack Brumby, partner in Italia Motors

"Jack" was actually "John Hayden Brumby" and may have been the driving force behind Italia Motors even before Dr. Rey Martinez became involved?

Of possible interest to you, Gary, is the entry I found showing a race entry at Santa Barbara (September 5-6, 1959) where a certain Bob Curtis entered a blue "Alfa Romeo Veloce Super Coupe" under race #260 for Jack to race. We should not assume that Bob Curtis was the owner of the car but it is possible. There may be other similar entries to identify ... and then the task of trying to determine if any of them might be your car.

This is perhaps quite close to the imprecise time period which Dr. Rey Martinez remembered (without any apparent bitterness) that Jack took a good portion of the holdings and assets of Italia Motors and "disappeared into the hills" for a time. Dr. Martinez remembered being left with a Maserati ... until the tax man came and seized it in lieu of some overdue taxes owed by the business.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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John,

Bertone number is 77529
VIN: 1493*E*04547
Engine: 1315 30622
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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By the way, does anyone have engine# 1315-30622 lying around with a hole in the side? I think it is long separated from chassis 04547 but might be lurking in someone's archives.

If not, does anyone have a 750 block with and engine# close to that to sell for a "correct car" project.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 02:09 AM
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from personal experience you can order a car from outside of Italy and Germany (probably other countries too) with specific country requirements for delivery to a third country: order an Alfa in Italy through an gent or directly from the factory to US specifications for delivery through an importer (Alfa Romeo Switzerland is still in Agno) or dealership; the car can be registered in the country of delivery to a non-resident for a year (renewable).
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