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bshorey 12-28-2018 12:39 PM

Jim Neill aka Papajam
Sadly, it appears as though this thread will now turn into a tribute to Jim. I just learned on FB that he's passed away.

I'm still in shock. The Alfa community has lost a truly great resource, and many of us have lost a great friend.

RIP Jim,


james2000 12-28-2018 02:48 PM

I had occasion to interact by web and in person with Jim. Each time I was impressed by his unreserved generosity and kindness. In my view, he was a treasure for the Alfa community and as such an immeasurable loss.
It would be fitting for the management of the BB to pay a formal tribute to the man.


alfacrazed 12-28-2018 03:35 PM

Jim was my mentor for this young Alfisti and over the past few years both he and his wife became family. He was a good man who gave anyone a helping hand giving both time and knowledge. I am still in shock over his death and miss him dearly. For those who knew him , have nothing but good things to say and for those who didn't , when the word Alfisti or if someone asked the question , are there good people in the world, he was the answer. His contributions to this community will help future generations care for these cars. It was an honor for both my father and I to call him friend.

Tom Frasca 12-28-2018 03:37 PM

I knew he was not well, but this is a shock

GTV-074 12-28-2018 03:59 PM

From just a few days ago.....

"Just trying to perpetuate the information, knowledge and the spirit to share it"


Condolences to the family .

HeavyMetalAlfa 12-28-2018 04:13 PM

I am devastated.
I've known Jim since I joined in 03, hung with him at several conventions, talked Alfa elec issues more times than I can remember.
I am lucky and glad, that I got to talk with him at length several times last month.
He knew his time was coming and still had a good attitude and spirit.
I'm glad I got to make him laugh, and then get enthused, about my antics putting points in a GTV6 distributor.
He gave more of his time than anybody, always responded and helped so many.
And like a BB'er said above, when he answered the phone at any hour to help you in a tight Alfa wrenching spot, he always treated you like a best friend.

Farace 12-28-2018 04:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I heard the news late yesterday and am still having trouble processing it. I feel privileged to have been able to call him friend. When I got my Spider in '03 and began the process of pulling the engine to rebuild it, he reached out with advice and loaned me some specialty tools. I think he was nevertheless surprised (I know others were) when I got everything put together in time for the 2004 convention in Manchester, New Hampshire, where I finally got to meet him in person (photo below).

My partner Lorain, feeling my grief, said, "everyone misses their senseis." When she said that, I realized that's exactly what Jim was for me, and no doubt a great many of us--a sensei. He guided us and shared more than just knowledge, but rather wisdom, in the most friendly and generous way possible. And how I loved, when I'd discuss something over the phone with him and I thought a solution through, apparently to Jim's satisfaction, and he'd exclaim, "Bingo!" I wonder how many of us have enjoyed hearing that.

This hurts.

ossodiseppia 12-28-2018 04:58 PM

Jim Neill aka Papajam

It is with profound regret that the Moderator's announce the passing of Jim 'Papajam' Neill on the 27 December 2018. Jim had been ill for a while and had borne his illness with the same courage and fortitude with which which he lived his life. Typical of Jim in that when he realised that his time was running short that his thoughts would be of other people in his life and how he could lessen their burdens. Jim was a caring and loving husband, a family man, loyal and truthful, a man who gave freely of his time and his expertise to benefit others.

Jim spent hundreds of hours each year helping Alfa owner diagnose and repair their cars. At the annual AROC conventions you would see Jim driving in an autocross, slalom or racing. You would also see him in the parking lot with his head under the hood or under an Alfa of a fellow Alfista. Jim would often have parts on hand or find the parts from another owner to repair the car. Never once would he take payment for the services and or parts.

His myriad of exemplary wiring diagrams are a testament to his patience and attention to detail and are a legacy that will continue to help his fellow Alfisti for many years to come. He spent hundreds of hours on them getting the details right. Who knows how many owners have benefited from his work. He was truly a tireless individual who always gave to others. Even while he was sick, he would spend time on the phone with an Alfa owner diagnosing problems and getting the car repaired. Jim was knowledgeable about every aspect of Alfas from electrical to mechanical. His favorite was the GTV 1750.

For many years he was the custodian of the AROC USA library and his guiding hand has ensured that this repository of knowledge is cataloged and available to his fellow Alfisti. He knew the source of every manual and scanned document. He enjoyed researching through the plethora of documentation to determine the "correctness" of a part for a car.

Also, Jim was a huge Beatles fan. Jim and Jaci would spend Sunday mornings listening to Breakfast with the Beatles. Jim would play the piano while he and Jaci sang the song that was being broadcast over the radio, FM 102.9. To say he was a Beatles fan would be an understatement.

Some of us have been in constant contact with Jaci via the phone. She wants every one to know how much she appreciates the love the community had for Jim.

Our thoughts go out to his wife Jaci and his family in this time.

AlfaBB Moderators

Gubi 12-28-2018 05:01 PM

Man, I had no idea he was sick. We'd been emailing each other right before Christmas because he'd been helping me figure out the wiring and history on my GTV. So shocked and sad.

ossodiseppia 12-28-2018 05:01 PM

I'm really sorry for the delay in getting this out. The moderators had a lot to consider before making the announcement.

Please feel free to post comments and photos to the thread below. Jim will be missed by all.

ghnl 12-28-2018 05:03 PM

Godspeed to a good friend. I had talked to him recently - he told me about his health issues (I am a retired Registered Nurse) but he felt he was improving. Just feeling sad now, but glad for the friendship we shared.

BostonBertone 12-28-2018 05:33 PM

I haven't logged in for a while but for some reason felt compelled today and then saw this news. So very sad to hear of the passing of such a talented and generous Alfisti. I'm sure I am not alone in spending a fair amount of time on the phone with Jim talking about my 1750 engine and webers. It is not common for a complete stranger to give out their personal number and time like this. Those calls and his wiring diagram were a huge help in moving my knowledge forward and eventually getting my GTV back on the road. That success belongs to him as much as anyone. My condolences to his family. Jim was a special man.

Raimondo 12-28-2018 05:37 PM

I have only been a member of the BB for a little less than five years. During this time, a number BB members have passed away, and though each were fondly remembered and apparently well-liked, or respected, I knew none of them.

While I have no intention of inferring that I had a personal relationship with Jim Neil, my contacts with him were all edifying, encouraging and educational. I felt that he was glad that Alfas were important to me and though I never had the opportunity to meet him, he made me feel "welcomed".

Those of you who knew him are better for it. I pray he rests in peace and that his wife and family take comfort in knowing that they are in the thoughts and prayers of many.

Milanoguy 12-28-2018 05:43 PM

This is very sad indeed. Never spoke or saw the man but had email exchanges with him.

Deepest sympathy to his family

Alfissimo Int. 12-28-2018 05:50 PM

Heard the news from an Alfisti here in Prescott. Condolences to his family and to our Alfa Community. He was always a nice guy to deal with and had a plethora of information. RIP

DPeterson3 12-28-2018 07:18 PM

Jim called me within the last few weeks, seeking info on serial numbers for some guy’s 102! He sounded rough, but I figured all of us have those kind of days.

He was a rare treat.

velocedoc 12-28-2018 07:19 PM

Shock to hear that Jim passed away. A friend of mine in Calgary Canada sent me an email with the news this morning.
It was just a few weeks ago I was helping him with a wiring question on my S4 he needed for a wiring diagram he was making, regarding the fuse box for headlights.
His wiring diagrams were amazing works of art. If all you did was print one out and frame it you would have something to marvel at. The hours and talent to make them are beyond words.
We have all been blessed to have had contact and support from Jim's wisdom.
Thank you, Jim...

howieb4 12-28-2018 07:19 PM

Very sad to hear this. Although, I too never had the chance to meet Jim in person, we did speak on the phone and through emails when I first got my GTV. There was never a kinder voice to a newbie. I always felt as if he was dropping everything to help me out.

My condolences to Jim's family and friends.

alfaparticle 12-28-2018 07:27 PM

Jim contributed a lot to our community and he is a great loss.

Vintre 12-28-2018 07:36 PM

Such sad news and such a great loss to our community.

Jim for me exemplifies what a Mentor is.

He always took my calls, always. He never made me fell bad for asking even the most basic of questions. I could feel the pleasure he would get when he realized the light bulb went on inside my brain of what he was talking about. He was always willing to help in any way.

I was fortunate to meet Jim in person at the 2012 ARCC convention in Toronto. It was the highlight of the convention for me.

You will be sadly missed my friend.


mcola 12-28-2018 07:58 PM

I echo what most others have already said.
Jim was a great guy. He was extremely giving of his time and knowledge.
If it weren't for his schematics, I'd still be scratching my head over several minor issues.
I too met him in Toronto in 2012 based on hearing of him, and having only read some of his posts (having only owned my car 1 year at the time).
But in subsequent years I really came to appreciate what he had to offer, and always felt more confident and better prepared for the issue at hand.
He always responded to my PM's and/or phone calls, and always offered great detailed information. No question was too big, small or simple or ever appeared to bother or annoy him. In fact, he always seemed pleased to be reached out, and often asked to be updated with the outcome. He definitely loved imparting his wealth of knowledge.
This is such a great loss for the community.
RIP Jim! You will be missed.

sportiva 12-28-2018 08:32 PM

RIP papajam.

This Alfa community will miss him very much, His contribution to this forum and his willingness to help total strangers by sharing his knowledge and experience with them, He was truly one of the respected elders on this forum. A sad day indeed.

Biscione 12-28-2018 10:22 PM

Papajam, a real Alfista.

Now he can drive his euro 1750 as fast as he wants.

RIP Jim.

180OUT 12-28-2018 10:55 PM

What I'll always appreciate abut Jim was his willingness to help with Alfa problems. His wiring diagrams were, indeed, works of art and my enlarged and laminated copy has been a godsend as I fumble my way though typical Alfa electrickery. Consulting his lucid diagrams saved my butt on so many occasions . . .

It goes without saying that Jim will be missed. He was a good man, and the very picture of a dedicated Alfisti. Jim was the kind of guy that makes owning old Alfas, knowing about them, and working on them such a worthwhile endeavor. Without people like him, our experience of Alfas would be barren and sterile.

Yes, he will be missed---but, when the stories are told and the songs are sung, he will also be remembered. My heartfelt condolences go to his wife and family. RIP Jim.

richards 12-28-2018 11:26 PM

Really sorry to hear of his passing...we exchanged emails over the years; he was always generous with his time and knowledge.

RIP and sincere condolences to family and friends.


AlfistiSA 12-29-2018 12:11 AM

We have lost a GIANT in the Alfa world and in the Alfa BB Community, I'd known Jim for over 13 years, communicated many times by email sharing info and research, sadly I never met him in person, we are poorer by his passing, but richer in knowing him and in the legacy he has passed on in the AROC Library and the wiring diagrams.

Rest in Peace mi amici


spiderserie4 12-29-2018 12:30 AM

I am shocked at the news of Jim's passing.

We were emailing fairly often just these last months and weeks, as Jim was completing the new wiring diagrams for the S4 and asked a little help from me.

I always remember when I first joined the BB. I had written not many posts and Jim sent me an email and thanked me for my contribution (I have never experienced something like that on any forum!)
I thank you for the years of help to fellow alfisti, not just here on BB, but also over on the AO UK alfa forum, where he often helped those on t'other side of the pond.

My condolences and prayers go to his family and friends.

Rest in Peace Jim.


JCDK 12-29-2018 01:21 AM

Wow, what shocking news.
Thank you for the many times you sent me wiring diagrams when I started a new project, congratulating me with the purchase I did.. Many others said it before, but he had the ability to make you feel welcome without really knowing him.
Rest in peace!

AngloSpider 12-29-2018 04:52 AM

Like so many people we come across on forums, we never get chance to meet in person which is a real shame. I benefited greatly from reading Jim's contributions in many posts over the years, and he also responded directly and helpfully to queries that I had with my cars. He seemed to have endless patience and was a true gentleman. It is very sad to read of his passing. RIP.

grapppa 12-29-2018 05:30 AM

Remembering Jim
I met Jim and Jaci a few months ago and over time visited him to talk Alfa. I would stay for a few hours (which seemed like minutes) and would always make plans to visit him again. We spoke at least once a week just to catch up. He took great interest in my restoration project and was always on the look out for the parts I needed! I was acutely aware of his condition and how difficult it made simple things that we take for granted. It never dampened his spirit and he never complained. His intelligence was obvious as was his generosity. I will miss Jim greatly.

We will succeed because we were able to stand on the shoulders of giants, like Jim.

conedriver 12-29-2018 05:51 AM

If my memory is correct, they had to leave the Toronto convention due to the loss of a family member and now it is Jim. A great loss of a wonderful person. Sincere condolences to Jaci

cuorealfa 12-29-2018 06:42 AM

R.I.P Jim You will be greatly missed ,condolences to the family. spoke to Jim a couple of times regarding my car, his help was awesome ,can't thank him enough. Godspeed my FRIEND. GRANDE UOMO. CIAO

vintagemilano 12-29-2018 07:28 AM

That's sad. I never met him, only knew him through his contributions here. I feel for his wife and family, you can never be truly prepared for this, enjoy your cries and happy memories Mrs. Papajam.

sidewaysalfa 12-29-2018 07:37 AM

Recently I was asked what do you enjoy most about being a member of your local and national Alfa Club?
Jim and the help he offered is what I now reply to that question.

1750GT 12-29-2018 09:07 AM

Shocked and sad is all I can say about how I feel right now. Jim as many have attested to in these posts was a giant of humbleness and caring , never had a bad word to say about anyone. I had lunch with him at the AROC in Detroit but missed him at the AROC in Toronto (I know now why he left early). He was a rare pleasure....a true gentleman ....something that sadly is becoming very rare today. He helped me in many ways...from the wiring diagrams to spare and replacement parts....was always willing to help at condolences to his wife...and family. Peace be with you forever Jim.

bshorey 12-29-2018 11:04 AM

Still hard to believe.

A great guy and a class act. A huge loss to the Alfa community, obviously, but also a personal loss to many. Even if
you didn't know Jim personally, it's easy to get a feel for how well loved he was by so many.


RIP Jim.


Ranz 12-29-2018 01:11 PM


tubut 12-29-2018 01:15 PM

I'm still reeling from getting the message off-board a couple of days ago.

Last time Jim and I talked on the phone, he gave me a sense that his health was reasonably stable, with a chance of getting better -- so, at the end of the call, I didn't expect at all that this would in fact be our last conversation, which was, as usual, much longer than we both anticipated because we had so many different topics to talk about.

My condolences to Jaci, family and friends. We lost a great one. I'll miss him a lot.

argtv6 12-29-2018 01:25 PM

An immense loss.
His wiring diagrams were masterpieces.
He generously helped me with data and diagrams over the years.
In his respect and for the sake of decency, we should always acknowledge him when sharing any of his invaluable work or advice.
RIP Jim.


aguirola 12-29-2018 04:13 PM

A very sad loss of a wonderful Alfista and friend. Scolded me a few times too, and he was right.

Safe travels!

My sincerest condolences to the family,


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