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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Where's "Benjamin"??

So the jury is mixed on "No, Not Again!". But I'll do another trip blog for those who want it on this 6 week trip. After all, the last one has gotten over 8100 hits . . . .

The plan is to pick up the Holland Blue Giulia Super 1600 from Italclassic in El Campello, Spain April 21st. More on the car in a while; it's in final resto now. We'll visit Ben & his son John there for a couple of days (Ben says his wife makes a mean paella) and tour the area. Then we'll head to a small village in France for several days. Drive though coastal France a to Italy and hit 4 areas in Italy over 3+ weeks (Cinque Terre area, Florence, Bergamo including the Mille Miglia, and then Venice. We'll hook up with a gaggle of Alfa Swedes at the Mile Miglia led by Willie. Then head over the Alps to Innsbruck, Austria for a week and then wander back through Switzerland and up eastern France to Belgium for a few days visit with Roland and Liesbeth and sights there. April 20 to June 7. All is pretty much booked but the few days from Austria back to Lommel.

The general plan is below. Google says 3700 km on the main route but with side trips and tours, that should clear 6000km or pushing 4000 miles. About half of the last trip! CU here!! Bruce
 

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Me too!!! I'm subscribed :D. Be safe and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Depart Tomorrow - Teaser Shot

Here's a teaser shot of our steed for the trip taken a couple of weeks back (progress shot, not complete). Ben is holding any final details as a surprise! Looking good. Details to follow.

The white rally-prepped car (in the Squadra Blanca style, 2L, 4.30, more) in the back is for sale.
 

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It looks like Ben did a great on Benjamin. Are you sure you want to sell this one when you get back? This Super is a real head turner, especially with the freshly painted Turbinas. More photos!! Let's get this show on the road! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hey Ya´àll

Alright, alright all you vicarious vacation vouyers. We´re baaaaaaack! But no pics from me just yet. Guess who forgot his camera battery recharger . . .

Weve been having a ball with Maria Carmen, Ben and John. Tappas and toddies-wine-beer to middnight then up early to talk, look at and work on . . . what else, cars!! The little blue Benajmin turned out really well. He´s been a rolling resto over many years now and is smooth as a glove mechanically. Even a newly rebuilt steering box with new bearings. Who does that? We´re making some last minute adjustments this AM actually and it´s supposed to rain hard today and tomorrow. The WiFi at the hotel has been down but the view of the ocean directly across the beach walk esplanade is gorgeous. El Campello is a very nice resort town and not too big like Benidorm, Alicante or Calpe. It´s a great place to start a trip and our hosts have been no less that superb. Home-made paella the first day and all. Mostly locals and not foreigners (like us). Altea (from our last trip.) is nice also. So one more working teaser shot before some glamor shots. Ben has an immense inventory of really cool stuff for out old cars. Just ask. B&K

PS: And lookie what I found out in the parts shed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Some Pics

For a holdover before we get to a pretty location. Leaving soon from the shop to start more festivities. Why not, it´s Spain, land of non-stop festivities! That works well for us on vacation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
And more . . .

PS: the rear wheel arch area has been gently pushed ut a bit to accommodate a wider wheel/tire combo and/or with more offset. Perhaps Ben can advise what maximum tire/wheel/offset wheel/tire it will take.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Ok, a few more since you twisted my arm . . . just started to sprinkle too.

BTW. They have many cars for sale so you can plan you own trip starting here. Ask for the same hotel and rom (101) with a very nice view. Put that car rental toward a nice Giulia!! They are working on a rotisserie resto of a GT to make a GTAm replica now.

That is John, Ben's son and accomplished apprentice.
 

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Looks like Ben did a very nice job! Is that him in the last photo? Can't wait to read about your adventures! I'll FedEx you a battery if you can't find one :D.
 

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Wow, Bruce. Your new Super is georgeous. The Nuovo interior is a little more upscale than the middle Supers, closer in intent to the interiors of the original Supers like your white car.

If you really sell it, somebody's going to get a great car. Ben's shop is a hidden treasure for Alfa gearheads! Maybe we could trade . . .? Maybe I have room for 2 Supers? Maybe Randy has room for 3?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Left El Campello, Spain

On Monday, a day after planned, we left El Campello and the fine hosting of Ben & Carmen. There was a ton of traffic as it was the travel day after many days of holiday and festivals - "Spring break". It added 1-2 hours to the trip to France with traffic heading north to Barcelona, stop and go for 1000 km's. Who knew. The car performed well with a little vibration arising in the driveline perhaps. (Some u-joints will be delivered tomorrow). The 1600 is surprisingly nimble and has plenty of power to pull 340 lb. of gristle and 150 lb. of luggage and stuff. And a bunch of parts Ben sent with me.

We said goodbye to Carmen when we picked up Benjamin at the compound they live in and to Ben and John at their shop on the way out of town. After a 1045 km 13 hour day (660 miles) all on Autoroute (most toll freeway), we arrived in Viens, France (60 km east of Avignon) late after a couple of really strong thunderstorms on top of the traffic as well. Very sore and tired. This was the longest leg and traffic for the whole trip and storms did not help.

Some parting shots of El Campello. It was a big time in the area and elsewhere for festivals.

Pics: BIG and good meals at Ben's with Carmen, John and us. Very special. Plus two good meals and a tapas dinner out. Religious procession with 4 "carried" icons, and a band that John played in. And Kristy at the beachfront walk.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Leaving El Campello

A few more parting pics: a small village, Busot, above El Campello in the hills which like many here, have a Christian versus Moslem battle depiction (note crescent and cross). The view from our hotel room window. A bigger procession in Alicante Easter AM. And one of the GT to GTAm repro resto, very early. And Ben & John in thew showroom with a rotisserie resto Spider.
 

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A run through the Hill Country in the Supers and then sunset on your back deck with Paella and a good Rijoa . . . . :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
He's Baaaaaaccccckkkkk Too

Guess who we found stowed-away in our luggage - - - Roberto Esponge (Eh-spon-ha), but now a teenager with a bigger appetite. As long as he keeps quiet we'll keep him on-board.

Hey Jim, backatcha! Just finished a dinner snack and the pace has slowed down a bit here for a few days of rest. Carmen had us running all the time to see great things. And with lots of packing and details on the car the last two days. Met a neat guy Phil (posted above) at Italclassic who owns and has owned lots of Alfas. Lots of guys stop by Ben's shop for a coffee, talk and look around at the many classics, including a 1900 Boano Primavera Coupe, very rare. It would be great to have a shop like this back home with an up-and-coming mechanic and restorer like John and master like Ben.

Here's a few shots: loaded down with 150 lbs of luggage before departure, Bob, a 5 mile traffic jam at the final toll station before Barcelona with half of that town returning from the south, of today after lunch in a small local cafe and a place where Pinyo had some shots last year in May.

Signing out now. Happy hour!

PS: rear "Giulia" script pending.
 

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Lots of guys stop by Ben's shop for a coffee, talk and look around at the many classics, including a 1900 Boano Primavera Coupe, very rare. It would be great to have a shop like this back home with an up-and-coming mechanic and restorer like John and master like Ben.
You're describing Bob's old shop, ZAP Motors, at 6th and Rio Grande back in the day. The only real difference is that, instead of coffee, we tended towards mellow, consciousness alternating substances which were patiently tollerated by the neighborhood cops. Halcyon days . . . :)
 

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Jim, that's far out, man. 5-oh is like all over you here in Dixie, man what a drag! They even voted out home brewing here today.
 
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