My Italian car fixation
Those who know me know of my passion for Italian cars.
I don’t know what makes a person develop a passion for certain things. For me, my first memory of a car that sticks out in my head was my uncle Teddie’s early 60’s Cadillac. Back then, these darn things were the ultimate American luxury car, which didn’t mean as much to me as the fact that everything in this car was electric – power windows, power door locks, power convertible top, .. Even as a kid I knew that this car was something different. I can remember sitting in that car with my cousins and playing with the windows. Somewhere during one of those moments, the ‘car nut’ neuron got hard wired in my brain.
After my first car, a lowley Datsun B210 Hatchback, was totaled by some yahoo who ran a red light, I was turned on to an Alfa Romeo Berlina that was being sold by the boss of a fathers friend. My first thought was “Alfa Romeo, I can’t afford one of those”, however all Alfas are undervalued and this one could be had for $1400.
Ven Fonte, local club hot shoe and holder of many incredible lap times at various tracks in his ’75 Spider (a car I would end up owning), gave me my first ride in an Alfa. Ven did things with that car that I could not believe any car was capable of, and all this in a four door sedan that resembled a Volvo. It was during that ride, probably as I stumbled out of the car, that the ‘Alfa Romeo’ neuron got hard wired in my brain. I was hooked, and remember telling Ven that he needed to drive slower when I came back with my father, whom I was hoping I could convince that an Alfa Berlina was a safe, mundane, family sedan.
The rest is history. I owned that Berlina, then another one. I talked Ven into selling me his ’75 Spider, a car which I completely fell in love with and which broke my heart when it went up in flames years later. I replaced the ’75 Spider with a ’72, into which I transplanted the heart and soul of the ’75 (the Wounded Warrior lives on!). I’ve had many Alfetta Sedans (one of which I sold to Vens son Nick many years later, and in which he continually kicks my butt out on the race track), a couple of GTV’s, GTV6’s, Milano’s, and have recently branched out into a Maserati Bora.
Finally, my heart has been yearning for another Berlina, my first automotive love. Well, I’ve recently picked up a ’73 Berlina, Mortimer II, a race prepped example that is ultimately unique.
The following list chronicles some of the more interesting ones. I’ve tried to list them all, and include links to the more interesting ones. Simply assembling the list has brought back many fond memories, each of them has left it’s mark on me in one way or another.
I’m not a graphic designer, or a web page guru. All that follows is pictures and text.
I hope you enjoy it.
And this one wasn't quite mine, but..
Some other stuff:
And, the Six Laws of Italian Sports Cars.
Last updated: April 8, 2017