The annual Coastal range Rally was held this past weekend, and there were no less than three transaxle V6 Alfas present!
Here is some more info about this rally:
Rally ? DWA!
It is "curated" in that the cars and drivers are hand-picked by the organizers, but it is generally a younger (mostly 30- or 40-something) group of guys than at most such rallies, and the variety of cars is impressive. Besides the usual sports car rally fixtures like Porsche 911s and BMW 02s and Datsun 240Zs, there were turbocharged '80s and '90s FWD VW hatchbacks, Porsche 944s, modified 240-series Volvos (one with a Chevy LS engine swap), Honda S2000s, an Acura NSX, Fox-body Mustang, a Shelby Cobra replica, several BMW E30s, a Peugeot 405 Mi16, and even a German-market Ford Consul GT!
I brought my junkyard special turned Lemons Rally car turned daily driver '81 GTV6 (with stock suspension and brakes), another participant brought a beautiful '82 Balocco with a stock engine but a lot of suspension and brake modifications, and none other than Paul Mitchell (of the European Car magazine Project GTV6 series) was there with his pristine Milano Verde. Other notable Italians were a Lamborghini Jarama and a Ferrari 308 GT4.
We gathered in Palmdale on Friday morning and took off through the California high desert and hit Angeles Forest Hwy, Big Tujunga Canyon Rd, Little Tujunga Cayon Rd, and Soledad Canyon Rd on the way to a lunch stop in Agua Dulce. Then more excellent roads with a "Canyon" suffix (Vasquez, Bouquet, Spunky, and San Francisquito) before hitting Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes. We stayed overnight in Ventura, which is familiar to me and has good restaurants and breweries---plus one of the participants sets up a "car bar" in the trunk of his BMW E30 in the hotel parking lot each night!
On Saturday morning we hit the always-excellent Highway 33, and then Lockwood Valley Road, which I had never driven before. It was fairly bumpy and had dips and potholes, but was quite fun with all of its undulations and water crossings. After passing through Pine Mountain Club and heading west towards CA-166, perhaps the most perfect GTV6 road of all time revealed itself: CA Forest Highway 95, also known as Hudson Ranch Road. Mile after mile of sweeping, banked turns and switchbacks, all 3rd and 4th gear, amazing vistas, relatively smooth pavement. What a road! I had a bit too much fun with the tiny stock brakes and had to re-bleed them at the lunch stop in Taft (fluid was changed with fresh ATE TYP 200 right before the event). Otherwise the car was perfect and drove fantastically well. And averaged over 20 MPG while being driven very hard!
Saturday afternoon saw amazing views of the green hills (thanks to abundant winter rainfall in Southern/Central CA after years of drought) and wildflower blooms. A trek down a 6-mile dirt road afforded excellent views of Soda Lake before hitting Hwy 58, and one of the best (albeit short) driving roads in CA, Hwy 229, before heading to the evening stop in Paso Robles (excellent food, wine, and beer).
Sunday was a half-day of driving to a final lunch stop in Parkfield. Nacimiento Lake Rd and Interlake Rd are always excellent, and after an impromptu GTV6 drag race at the intersections of CA 25 and CA 198 to determine the difference between early and later rear end gearing (will post the video soon), we drove 198 (amazing) to Parkfield Grade. This is a steep mountain climb on a very narrow and twisty road, with the backside descent being all dirt and gravel, with the possibility of roaming cattle (Figueroa Mountain in the Santa Ynez Valley is similar). My GTV6's magnesium sump stayed intact, though the center muffler was bashed a number of times!
Anyway, it was an epic weekend with amazing roads and cars and even more amazing people. Both GTV6s were flawless during the rally (save for mine needing the brake bleed), and the Milano only needed a repair to a dirty connection at the fuel pump relay (I had a spare relay in my glovebox just in case).
Enjoy the pics, and I hope some of you can find and enjoy some of the roads mentioned above!