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Our very popular annual New Year’s Drive will be held Saturday, January 3rd giving people a chance to see a little football on New Year’s Day.
Our start point will be the same place as before, the Starbucks near Mill Creek exit from I-5 just north of Lynnwood.

Start Point: Starbucks 1330 164th St SW Lynnwood, WA 98087
Start Time: 8:30 AM driver meeting!


As the route leader, I’ll hand out route guides at our driver/navigator meeting prior to heading out. Our drive takes us on scenic roads up to Skagit County to our host, Fred Schuddekopp at Autostrada in Anacortes. Fred usually has a variety of road and race cars in differing stages of build as well as a few rare cars for us to enjoy. We’ll have a lunch at Fred’s, and then we’ll also get the chance to visit Ingram Enterprises. This is also an amazing treat as Wes Ingram and Herb Sanborn have a worldwide reputation for being SPICA experts, as well as great engine builders, and overall Alfa car guys. On top of that, they may be the two nicest guys in the Alfa club. I’m not sure, but we can ask them when we see them.
The timing for the after lunch is up to you to return home when and how you’d like.
Lunch / Tour: Autostrada 2900 T Ave Anacortes, WA 98221
Bonus Tour: Ingram Enterprises 15613 Peterson Rd Ste C Burlington, WA 98233

Though the forecast looks fine, if the weather turns snowy or icy, the event will be cancelled right here on AlfaBB!
 

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Fred & All,

Was planning to join, but it seems work has other plans for my 'free' time instead. Enjoy the sites and roads, plus Fred's and Wes' shop visits.

Maybe next year...
 

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Even without Ron, it is forecasted for low 40's and partial sun. I hope the clouds that are around are like most Washington and Colorado residents... a little high. We have mountains to see on our drive!
 

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Here are a few more shots from the nice drive on Saturday! After gathering at Starbucks for some Go-Juice, then heading up past the tragic Oso mudslide, then the chilly roads along the Sauk River. Thanks to Eric H, Kory S for some of the photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The drive made a stop for lunch and tour of Autostrada in Anacortes with the owner and Alfa restorer, race prepper dude, Fred Schuddekopp. He and his family supplied a nice lunch for all of the people! We then wandered over to the legendary Ingram Enterprises for a visit with the dynamic duo Herb Sanborn and Wes Ingram. A Happy New Year indeed.
 

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Open house-

Thank-you Fred for your kind words and organizing the group. We enjoyed hosting and were pleased so many of you took the time to make it up here. As I mentioned in my little talk it's great to see the brand being supported during this "vacum" period. Lets all hope it won't be too long before the situation improves and we can have access to more new Alfas to drive and enjoy besides just the 4C. All the best for a great driving 2015, Fred Sch.
 

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Wonderful Drive!

Yes, thank you for putting on such a fun drive. I enjoyed the trip, meeting some new folks, and seeing the great variety of cars. I took only two pictures during the day - here's one of everyone getting in line to leave the coffee shop. Nice to see so many 164s represented! Four in this picture, including the one I'm sitting in.
 

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The "After Drive"

And below is the second picture I took...this could have been much, much worse than it ended up...

So the drive - long winding drive through many two-lane highways up through Arlington, Darrington, and the rural spaces in between. Very scenic. Plenty of areas to easily get on the accelerator and little too much. Plenty of places to take corners quickly along roads lined with large trees & ditches. My car performed flawlessly during the drive without a hint that anything was going wrong.

After the lunch in Anacortes, I headed home, via hwy 20 and then south bound I5 toward the Marysville area. Normal highway speeds on the way home of 70-80mph. During the last 10 minutes or so on I5 it almost felt that the suspension was in sport mode...it felt like I could feel more harshness from the road surface. It didn't feel like a flat tire, but something certainly started to feel a little rougher than usual. As I slowed for my exit, I could feel and hear a tire thumping - no pulling or anything, just a thump as it rotated. Figured I had picked something up in the tire and pulled over at a safe spot after the exit to have a look. I was missing a 2" x 2" chunk of tread on the tire. It was still holding air, fully inflated, but steel belt material showing where the piece of tread was missing.

I'm about 2-3 miles from home at this point. The remaining journey includes only slow country roads that are not busy at all. I figured I could limp the car home slowly just fine. I figured wrong.

About two blocks from I5, there's a terribly narrow road that I take to get to my house. 4' deep ditches on each side with absolutely zero shoulder. So narrow that when the County comes out to re-stripe the white fog lines, they stop in places, because the edge of the ditch is where the fog line should continue. I was doing maybe 20-25mph along this road when the tire blew. Sudden and loud. I had never had a tire blow out, and It was surprising, given my slow speed, how much the car pulled when it went. Scanning the sides of the road led me into the nearest driveway to park, inspect the damage, and change the tire.

Tire absolutely destroyed. In addition to the blown area, obvious tread separation and bulging in other areas around the circumference of the tire. Opened the trunk, pulled all my tools and other items out to get to the spare, grabbed the spare....and its flat. Flat, flat. I thought I had prepared well for a long drive - I had checked tire pressure on all the tires on the car, checked all fluids, I had given the car a good drive two days before, and I had enough tools with me to replace an engine on the side of the road if I had too, but I hadn't even thought of checking the spare.

I had two options at this point, walk home and then carry a spare wheel the 2-3 miles back to where I'm parked, or call a tow. I have free towing with Haggerty, but they insist that you call them to arrange it, which would likely mean an hour or two wait for the tow to be dispatched from Everett or somewhere far away. Seriously considering walking, I figure I should make contact with the folks who own the driveway I'm sitting in, to let them know what's going on. I look up and see all the no trespassing signs. Sigh... This is just down the road from the guy who has the "Stop or you will be shot" sign in his front yard. Still trying to figure out the best course of action that would get me and the car home in the quickest amount of time, I see the owner of the place I'm parked in come out of his garage holding a can of "fix-a-flat" in one hand, and a small portable air compressor in the other. Good things do happen. After putting air in my spare with his compressor, I thanked him profusely, swapped the damaged tire for the spare, and was on my way limping the rest of the way home.

No damage to the car, no damage to the wheel, and I had other sets of wheels/tires that are now already on the car. The tire that blew had only 4500 miles on it, and I'm still not certain if it got damaged from an object in the road along the way, or failed due to separation because the tires are old and it sits too much (I'm embarrassed to say how old the tires actually were). Lessons learned include not driving on old tires, regardless of whether the tread still looks good, and always checking the spare.

I feel so fortunate that it happened where it did, and not at speed on one of the roads I was on earlier in the day...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Andy.... wow! Sorry that happened but nice to not have it go on a turn near the Skagit River, or on I-5 at 80 MPH. Nice job of being aware as you drove and identifying a problem when you did. I had a blow out during the Tulip Rallye in my 164S. Almost immediately another NWARC member stopped... not to help, but to snap a photo, laugh a little, make some comment about competition to win, and drive off (You know who I'm talking about Mr. Kingstone). Be glad you didn't have Alfisti around you. They can be tough on you. :)
 
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