Alfas are classics for guys who do their own work, more so than most "classics", jags, porsches, etc. Working on cars is loosing interest with the younger generations, I'll bet the average age for this bb is over 50, so there is a lot working against a business trying to satisfy this market. I'm lucky to have Centerline 3 miles from home, I don't know how you guys do it from a distance. Congratulations, Joe, and good luck.
Good points. We certainly see something similar happening with Lotuses and other 60's sports cars---really any group of cars which have a long history of owner fixin'. But, similar things and similar dilemmas happen in other endeavors, also. A perennial worry of music schools and art schools, for instance, is where the next generation of performers and artists will come from. And, yet, they show up and become as in love with the music or art as their predecessors. Can young kids raised on rap and hip-hop get interested classical music, oil painting, and sculpture? Yep. Lot's of 'em, in fact.
Just today I saw a young guy, about 20 or so, in a work-in-progress old BMW. I gave him a horn honk and a thumbs up and got a big smile in return. When I was still teaching, the tuner-car kids in the school parking lot were very interested in the fact that I liked old Alfas. As I got to know them I found that their extended networks of gearheads, friends who shared skills, parts, and shop space, was identical to what I'd always been used to. It was really deja-vu all over again. . .!
But to return to my music school analogy, I think there are new generations of guys (mostly) who enjoy working on their CRXs and old BMWs and pickups. That they haven't discovered old Alfas or Lotuses yet is sort of like music students schooled on Beethoven who suddenly find their way to Bartok. It sometimes just takes a little longer for some people to get there.
If my analogy holds true, as long as old Italian cars are so intrinsically interesting, there will always be a demand for Alfa parts.