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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How did it all start for you, you know... falling in love with that Alfa Romeo?

I still don't know how I even heard of a Alfa Romeo, and what made me purchase one. I've tried multiple time's to rewind my mind, and nothing. Sometimes I think it's because I was born in Europe, Germany to be specific, but wouldn't I be a Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedez, VW freak? And I would totally be a Alfa Romeo hater, so it's definitely not the euro in me.
I use to see older ladies driving the BMW 2002 around hollywood, and they were usually beaters (the cars), but I would just picture a fully restored one. I'd also picture me being the coolest kid in california (picturing, don't we all imagine). I began to look into the 2002, and they were super expensive, even for a rusted and not running one. Then the Subaru WRX came out late 2001, and I completely forgot about the 2002, and WRX was in my head all day for a decent 9 month's. After time, I started to see more idiot's (at least to me they were:D ) with them, people were buying the cars for 1/4 mile runs. It was basically turning to crap. But I still wanted one, but my mind started to drift away from them.
And one day I saw a Alfa Romeo GTV on the internet. How? I don't even know that piece either, wish I did. But that's when I fell in love and said I'm buying one. 4 months later I bought one, never even drove, sat, or shifted one prior to purchasing, and now all I care about is Alfa's, I think it's permanent too.

All that, and I did not even anwser the question. I honestly don't know how I fell in love. :mad:
 

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The first time I really saw an Alfa Romeo and knew what it was, was at the Monterey Historics in Augest, 2002. We saw this beautiful green Alfa Romeo GTV #58, running with these big cars like Ford Mustang's and Chevy Camaro's. The car was absolutely flying through the field and finished very respectively in the midst of all of the big block cars. I just looked at my father and said that if we ever went vintage racing it had to be an Alfa Romeo. These cars just have so much attitude and emotions involved with them that we just had to go and get one for ourselves. Four months later we found our selves with a beautiful 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV race car.
 

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How Alfa's Came Into My Life

Well, with my dad having an Alfa shop, Alfa's are cruising around in my veins since I was born. I have had my share of Alfa's but two, now three have caught my eye more than others.

The first is my 64 Giulia Spider. That car has been in the family for a while now, since 1984. It's an all orginal black plate car. I refer to it as a time capsule. For now I will leave it as it is cuz there are so few unrestored ones out there, especially in the condition this car is in. I generally use it in the summer time only.

My second "keeper Alfa" is my GT Junior race car. When i was 5, I saw a GTA race for the first time and was just amazed what a giant killer it was. That did it, from that point on, I wanted a GTA. When I realized how much they cost, I figured I'd settle for the steel body version and make that GTA killer.

The latest "keeper Alfa" is the Junior, I just got. I have always wanted a street GT and it finally happend. We'll see how this one goes, hopefully like the other two.

Next Alfa...GTA
 

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How Alfa got into my blood

An MG Midget was my first car, so small quick cars have always been my favorite.

I had admired the GTV's for many years, but I had never known anyone who owned an Alfa until that fateful day last April.

I had come home from work early one afternoon, when I saw a GTV6 and a Berlina sitting in my neighbor's driveway. There was a tow truck out front, so I walked over to see what was going on. Turns out that the cars had been tucked away in the garage for the past ten years, and since they were moving (three blocks!), they had decided to donate the cars to charity. I had never even known the cars were there. Anyway, I offered the neighbor $300 for the Berlina, which he accepted.

So, I take the car home, drain all the fluids, change the filters, new fuel line and a waterpump (just to be safe), and the thing fired right up.

I did not really know why I was doing all this, since I drive two new cars, but once I drove it, there was no going back. The car was an absolute blast to drive.

A dirty heater core fooled me into thinking that the head gasket needed replacing, which led to a Sperry head, which led to a rebuilt bottom end, which led to a color change paint job, which led to new leather upholstery, which led to new rubber and felt, dash, rims, tires, etc.....

Hopefully I will have the car back in time for the time trials in April!

Jeff

Ps. I could not wait any longer, so I bought a GTV6 to play
with until the Berlina is done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Re: How Alfa got into my blood

jthraen said:
A dirty heater core fooled me into thinking that the head gasket needed replacing, which led to a Sperry head, which led to a rebuilt bottom end, which led to a color change paint job, which led to new leather upholstery, which led to new rubber and felt, dash, rims, tires, etc.....
HAHAHHAHAHA! You have the Alfa Disease and Addiction!
 

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Re: You have the Alfa Disease and Addiction!

Great stories guys!!

Let me share mine...
I have been a car freak since I was a little boy, I can tell a car by the shape of its tailight in the dark when I was 4. There was a lime green Spider (I think it's a 1980s) in the town that I grew up in, I have always loved to hear its engine sound when it passed me by... ten year passed and one day I turned on the TV and it was showing DTM! WOW! I immediately fall in the love with the 155 DTM with those wide body kit and the sound that they make. I got every single model that I can get a hand on of the 155 DTM... and I learnt more and more about the Alfa history and its racing heritage...
Fast forward another five years, I am in California, and I finally got a chance to drive an Alfa, my friend's 74 Spider... the way the engine sounds, the way you turn on the engine, the way you have to talk to her to get her moving is just awesome, and I AM ADDICTED...

Compared to the VW that I am driving, it feels like an Alfa is not a machine, it's not a piece of highly engineered industrialised product, it has a soul, a soul that can be only created by Italian.

It's like comparing a Sony VAIO to a real dog.

:)
 

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I wanted a stealth car that had some space & getup & go, so started looking for an Alfa 33 Sportswagon. I couldn't find a good one for about 4 months, but having been concentrating on Alfa car ad's I noticed the Alfa 75's, so I went saw a silver 75 TS that had been owned by an elderly guy from new, it had 50,000 on the clock. Had to buy it.

It is now with a mate of mine (now 4th owner.....my sis had it before him) with 206,000miles on the clock & going strong.

As the saying goes "and it all started from there"
 

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My dad was really into small european cars back in
the sixties, we owned a little Fiat 650 coupe, and
a Fiat Dino V6(really nice car), we also owned a
MG, and a Jaguar XKE, and a Model T. I think my
dad's passion for cars really grew on me, and
since we never owned a muscle car, I loved small
European cars.

When I was in HS I really wanted to own a BMW 320i
but way to much mula. So in college, I decided I
needed a convertable to be cool. I looked at MG's,
Fiats,Mustangs, etc. They all seemed so crapy.
I started reading up on Alfa's, and with the twin
cam, FI, all disc brakes, and cool understated
Euro looks, I decided I really needed one.

The first Alfa I bought was a 78 Spider, with all
kinds of "documented" repairs/restoration. It was
painted dark green, and had that imitation pigskin
interior. A real beauty. Well, turns out the
owner ripped me off, cause the motor burned about
a quart of oil every 100miles!! And fauled the
plugs. All the receipts turned out to be phony,
and the guy was nowhere to be found.

I still loved the car. The sounds, the handling,
the sexy lines, and most importantly the chicks
loved it!! I set out to do a full resto of the
mechanicals, so had the engine rebuilt with 10.4:1
pistons, Auto-Delta cams, fully balanced, had the
FI gone thru, HD radiator, had the tranny rebuilt.
On its maiden voyage, a bolt from the front cam
cover fell off, hit the plastic fan, punctured the
radiator. All the coolant leaked under the car,
and I never knew anything was wrong, I thought I
had run over a plastic bottle. The temp guage
pegged, and I pulled over, only to find oil drooling
down the exhaust side of the head!! You Alfisti
know what that means:(

Well, another $500 later, had the car back on the
road, and this time took a trip with my girlfriend
up HWY1 to Carmel. What a great trip, the car was
just a blast to drive up the windy coast road.
BTW, got rid of the girlfriend after the trip:D

A few years later, decided to get married, and sell
the convertable. The new wife protested, but we
had three cars and lived in an apt. I just could
not bear to see the old girl rot out on the street,
especially since we lived right next to the beach.
I sold her to pay for out honeymoon. A guy came
from England to buy primo CA cars, bought it, and
shipped it back. I hope she found a nice home.

Went 6 years without an Alfa, thought I was over
that stage in my life. My wife crashed my Acura
Integra(really great car), and was this close to
replacing it with a RSX TypeS, when I decided to
not pay $25K, outragous insurance, and crazy DMV
fees on a new car. I went Alfa shopping. I had it
in my mind to spend about $10K on a really nice
GTV(need all the seats for the new family). Well
searched, and searched, but only found overpriced
peices of sh#t. Lots of rigged up cars, especially
the Spica systems, crappy paint jobs, really bad
interiors. So decided to buy a GTV in its original
state. Found one, bought it, and had it towed home.
My son(4yrs old), asked me what kind of car it was,
I told him an Alfa Romeo, he promtply replied "Alfa Tomato"?
Since the car is somewhat red(cheap respray), the
name has stuck. its our Alfa Tomato:D

This summer the car will start the resto process.
Im hoping to be done in 3 years, if not sooner.
I want her to be like new, so its gonna take lots
of time. But I hope my son will have fun doing
the resto with me. Some good male bonding, which
will lead to the coolest car on the block.
Maybe I'll loan the car to him for his prom:D
 

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When I was a kid in junior high school, my Dad bought an Austin Healey 100-4 (BN-1). It was a neat car, but after I learned to drive I found out what a dog it was mechanically and handling wise. However, I did drive it (it was the family's second car) under the proviso that I fix it as needed. Consequently I learned auto mechanics pretty quickly. Important skill for future Alfa owner.

HOWEVER, I stopped by the Alfa dealer one day and saw a new 67 Duetto in the showroom that I thought was about the coolest thing I'd ever seen in my life. I can't remember the price, but it was WAY out of my price range. I made a vow to myself that someday I was going to own an Alfa.

Fast forward 10 years. Now a 1st Lt in the USAF. Driving down the street in my 75 Firebird I see a 71 Alfa 1750 Spider on a used car lot. Hard on the brakes, cut across traffic, skidded to a stop in the used car lot. I was single, with some credit, so I HAD to have it. Bought it cheap 'cause it had a head gasket that was about to fail. Fixed it and it drove great. Got reassigned to Brindisi Italy for 2 years and naturally took it with me. Molto bella. Sold the Firebird. Met another American girl while over in Italy. She really liked the car. She married me.

Came back to the States and started USAF pilot training. Left wife behind at last base to finish masters degree. Class B bachelor, young captain learning to flying jets with an Alfa Romeo as his main ride. Oh yea, . . . I was B-A-D. Errrr. . . . . at least that's what my instructor pilots wrote on my grade sheets.

Fast forward 7 years. USAF reassigns us from California to North Dakota to fly large scary airplanes with large bombs. The Alfa didn't deserve the abuse North Dakota, so I sold it to a college kid in San Francisco. Didn't wanna, but one North Dakota winter (Sep-Jun) would have killed the Alfa D-E-A-D.

Fast forward 16 years. We now have 2 kids, errr . . . . now . . . I mean 1 so-called adult (college student) and one teenager. Going through mid-life crisis (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). See a 74 Alfa Spider on Ebay in a closeby city. Body perfect, mechanicals good. Must have it. Wife still likes car and even still likes me.

Life is good.

Why an Alfa? If you have to ask, you won't understand anyway.


If anyone's interested, I'll tell you the epic saga of getting my SPICA-injected 1750 fixed by a southern Italy Alfa shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great stories!

Roadtrip: Lets hear the "saga of getting my SPICA-injected 1750 fixed by a southern Italy Alfa shop" story.
 

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OK, it's 1977 and my Alfa is a '71 1750 Spider. I'm assigned to a small base in Southern Italy. To Italians, especially Northern Italians, that province is like back woods Alabama.

Anyway, I'm driving to work on the superstrada and suddenly the engine starts to die. When I go full throttle, however, it runs ok, so I alternate between idle and full throttle all the way to work. This is bad, I think, since it's obviously a fuel injection problem. Later that day I drove it downtown to one of the Alfa dealers to see if he can fix it . . . . again alternating between full throttle and idle. Now, if I was an Italian, it might be several months before I figured out anything was even wrong.

Arriving at the scruffy, oily shop, I parked out front and approached the big greasy guy in the filthy coveralls at the counter. Of course, they spoke no English and my Italian was combat quality at best, but, hey, you do the best with what you got. The conversation went something like:

Me: "Buon Guorno. Mi machina che una gran problema." (Good Day. My car has a big problem.)
Capo: Squints at me suspiciously and grunts at my bad Italian. "Ce va?" (What happened?)
Me: "Penso il pump iniezone e roto." (I think the injection pump is broke)
Capo: Grunts. Head lowers and eyes roll up.
Me: "Si, motore solo funcione cuando toto or niente" (Yes, the motor only operates at full or off.)
Capo: Grunts. Head rolls back and to the side. Smug look on face. "Alfa Romeo no che pump iniezone" (Alfas don't have injection pumps)
Me: "Mi machina che iniezone" (Mine does.)
Capo: Shaking his head . . ."Dove machina? Adiamo." (Where's the car. Let's go)

We walk out to my Spider and I opened the hood. Capo's jaw hits the ground when he sees the SPICA Air Box. He looks at me, then back at the car.

Capo: (Yelling back into the shop) "Vicenzo!, Pasquale!, Mario! Vene qua! SUBITO!" (Get out here right now!)

The four mechanics in greasy coveralls are now standing over my engine compartment. . . . . . yack, yack, yack. . . . . they look back at me . . . . . then back at the engine . . . . . yack, yack, yack . . . . .

Capo: (Looking at me) "Le Americano?" (You're an American?)
Me: "Si"
Capo: "Ahhhh, questa machina e Americano specificazione, si?" (This car is American spec right?)
Me: "Si"

All the arms go up in the air along with cries of glee and nods of satisfaction at each other. The Capo looked like Musselini acknowledging the cheers of crowds. After 30 seconds or so of self congratulations, I spoke.

Me: "Alora, e possible per le a riparare le pumpa inizione?" (Well, it's possible to repair the pump then?)
Capo: Still smiling and nodding with great satisfaction suddenly changes his expression to that of very serious and says . . . . . . . . "no."

To make a long story short, after much butchering of the Italian language, the Capo finally relented with a sigh that if I removed the pump and took it to him, he'd send it to Milano and have it overhauled.

About 3 weeks later I had a rebuilt pump, installed it and it worked perfectly for the rest of the time I owned the car.

______
As an aside, from my experiences living and working in Europe there are very clear cultural differences. Here's a joke we used to tell in NATO:

In Heaven and Hell everybody has a specific job best suited to their national personalities:

In Heaven,
All the policemen are British,
All the cooks are French,
All the hotel keepers are Swiss,
All the mechanics are German,
and All the lovers are Italian.

In Hell,
All the cooks are British,
All the hotel keepers are French,
All the lovers are Swiss,
All the policemen are German,
and . . . . . . . All the mechanics are Italian.

Ciao.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Roadtrip said:
Me: "Mi machina che iniezone" (Mine does.)
Capo: Shaking his head . . ."Dove machina? Adiamo." (Where's the car. Let's go)

We walk out to my Spider and I opened the hood. Capo's jaw hits the ground when he sees the SPICA Air Box. He looks at me, then back at the car.

Capo: (Yelling back into the shop) "Vicenzo!, Pasquale!, Mario! Vene qua! SUBITO!" (Get out here right now!)

The four mechanics in greasy coveralls are now standing over my engine compartment. . . . . . yack, yack, yack. . . . . they look back at me . . . . . then back at the engine . . . . . yack, yack, yack . . . . .


All the arms go up in the air along with cries of glee and nods of satisfaction at each other. The Capo looked like Musselini acknowledging the cheers of crowds. After 30 seconds or so of self congratulations, I spoke.

HAHAHAHAHA, Now that's funny!!! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA I can just picture these guy's. HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHA:)
 

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Okay, my turn.

1978: First car show with my dad. I was 14. Saw lots of nice things ( debut of Porsche 928, Mazda RX-7 ) and fell in love with 78 Spider - loved the way the shifter came out of the dash.

1987: Out of college, working in first decent paying job and looking for new car. Wanted black Milano Gold but father convinced me otherwise ( ie: wouldn't let me ! ). Almost bought Merkur XR4Ti ( major mistake THAT would've been ) but ended up with Isuzu Trooper.

1993: Married with 1yr old. Waiter/surfer friend buys pickup to better hold his boards and has 78 Spider for sale. 3 weeks later it was mine and many $$$ were flowing to Alfa Ricambi. Interior, top, gearbox, and motor were trash but the body was perfect ( white, my least favorite color ). Drive it for 2 years until I give it to now ex-wife in divorce. Regret getting rid of it ( car, not ex ) very soon.

1996: Start looking for alfa after I get new computer and discover email, internet, and the Alfa Digest !!! Sitting at work a supervisor from another area walks past me and does a double take - I was wearing a bright red Alfa 155 DTM t-shirt. Asks me if I had an Alfa. I replied that I had one and will have one again. He asks what I want - I reply a GTV. He says that he has a roundtail spider that he bought new while in the Air Force in Germany but parked it back in 1980. He was going to restore it for his daughter but never got around to it. He asked if I'd like to come by the next morning and take a look.

The next morning I go to see a rust-free ( except a little on the floorboards ) and perfectly original 67 Duetto. Everything there but needing restoration. About a month later I dump current girlfriend and buy the Duetto for $1000.

Six months later the suspension is done, I have a new engine ready but I'm itching for an Alfa to DRIVE ! 3 weeks later I meet future wife and buy black 87 Milano gold ( see 1987 ).

1997 - 2000: Get married, pump out another kid, collect parts and cash and finally get Duetto painted original ( and rare silver). Milano gets wrecked, but gets replaced by grey Milano Verde.

2001: finish Duetto but sell Verde - could NEVER get the rear brakes from squealing and self-destructing. Get astronomical $$ for Verde and get Mazda Protege5 for daily driver. I never stop complaining that I miss the Recaro's in the Verde.

2002: start itching for new project. Buy friends Bugeye Sprite for $1000 and promptly sell on ebay for $3750 ! Now I can get a GTV. Find one ( navy blue 74 )in Bay area and drive her home. Find extra undisclosed rust ( big surprise ) but decide to keep her. She'll be back on the road soon and I even found a set of Recaro's for her !


Alfa's are in my blood. The seeds were planted back in 1978 and the roots have taken hold ( wow, great metaphor ). There is nothing like them. You can get into almost any Alfa - 6 cylinder or 4 banger, front or rear wheel drive, two or 4 doors, 1957 or 67 or 77 ... - and the sounds and feel are the same. Every control falls to hand and the road beckons.

What else can I say. We all know the experience and will never be the same. I can't wait to buy a 156 GTA Sportwagon to complete my set !

Ciao !

Dan
 

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Alfa story

Well, I was 12 years old when I first saw a GTV. It was 1977, it was red and had all the right curves, it must have been a 71-74. What can I say, it was love at first sight. Life went on, coming to America, high school, a mortgage, the camaro, the two corvettes, the Jag, and many others but no Alfa! Finally, in 1999 I bought a diamond in the rough for $500.00. It was missing almost all the parts but the shell was solid. I drove to San Diego (about 120 miles) to pick her up. Dad and I planned on restoring her and taking her on drives but Dad lost his battle with cancer in 2000. So now some three plus years later and over $15k she is almost ready. I guess I have had the Alfa bug in me for the past 25 years. Happyness is: a Duetto and a couple (maybe three) GTVs on my driveway.
 

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Well my dad has had an Alfa shop for the past twenty something years so that's basically how I got involved with these fine automobiles. My first car was actually a Fulvia Zagato, but after I got that, my dad gave me the choice of getting a GTV if I sold the Lancia. So basically that GTV has been my restoration project for a little while and it's actually like 86% finished...maybe 87%. Once I got my license the first car I started to drive was a 164. That was a pretty nice car, but like eight months later it got totaled. A few days later I got a Milano Verde that I've enjoyed ever since. Unfortunately that car is in the middle of getting a new motor so for now I'm driving another 164. I have a feeling that I'll be driving this for a while since my dad gave me a choice of finishing my giulia super racecar first or my Milano. Obviously my answer was my racecar so that's we're I'm at in my life that's full of these wild machines.
 

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I was always in to cars not really into Alfa Romeo in particular but regular cars that could be made in to race cars (Honda's, nissans's etc..). One weekend i went to Willow Springs Raceway and i saw many Alfa Romeo's racing and beating many of thier opponents in to the turns, and the Alfa's had a body styling to die for. 2 weeks later i decided i wanted a Alfa Romeo GTV and found one in Northern California (Carmel). I went with my father to check it out and when we got to the owners house we saw the GTV in the driveway with it's front spoiler, and then noticed that it had sway bars, and other goodies. We went on a test drive through the hills of Carmel and the owner was driving the car through some sharp turns but the car was stuck to the ground. When we went back to his house and we obviously decided to buy the car and then drive it back to LA. It was sad seeing the old man taking a last picture of the car and then looked like he was going to cry, but we assured him the car is in good hands. Now the car is being restored and is going to be a show car. Now i am still looking for a GTV that will be my daily driver/weekend racer and when i find one i will know exactly what to do with it.
 

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Why.........

I have been a car guy. Mostly 4wds and sports.A bunch of my college buds had alfasand I thot they were cool. My 1st AR was an alfetta. I loved it cuz it had all the *****en stuff, 4wh discs, inboards, etc and it sounded great! Unfortunately, it rusted out from under me(bad surf wagon). and it was IMPOSSIBLE to get parts here in Hi., so I went back to trucks. Flash to 15 years later, a bit more income, parts and used car access thru the internet, VOILA Back in a GTV. And stoked. Paid a bit too much 4 it, but it is mech. sound, with only a bit of surface rust(lucky). Taking care of the rust now, and spending more weekend time with it than the wife would like, butwhat the @#$!. Even tho I have to take my driver out of my golf bag to fit it, the driving is where it's at.
 
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