Pacific Northwest USA Alfa Enthusiast
My name is Jef and I'm an Alfaholic.
Have been for some years. Although it all started with a Lancia beta coupe back in the mid-seventies. Fell in love with Italian cars; especially ones I could afford. Kind of. I once described my first GTV6 (1982MY owned 85/86) as 'an expensive ***** that chewed you up and spat you out'. Only had it a year.
Alfa life started with an 83 Giulietta 1.6. My first new car. Fun but as I got used to it I realized the magic of Alfa Romeo was more historic than current. It even had an overdrive 5th!
Not a great introduction to the marque. I destroyed 2nd gear synchro by abusing the gearbox when cold. 10,000 miles and I needed to double declutch......
However, there was that classic four with Dell'Orto carbs.
And the handling. Unfortunately, I lacked the skill to understand that, when I found myself heading toward an off-ramp barrier at 90mph, the car could recover from a stupid mistake. Too much brake (it was raining) sent me backwards into a deep ditch at around 50 mph.
My next Alfa was the first GTV6 known as Gina.
That was in the UK. 20 years later, having moved to the US (Massachusetts) in 1990, I found myself in Portland, Oregon. Somewhat settled (no job and way too much time on my hands even after hiking and biking the areas bounty) I was in need of a car project. Seriously investigated Porsches. 911 and 944/968.
Then I remembered the GTV6. That was the way I had to go.
After several months browsing eBay etc. and talking to a local Alfa specialist (Nasko's Imports in Portland) I decided to go for a 1985 GTV6 located in New Hampshire.
So, even after Nasko said "be patient, one will turn up" I flew to NH and decided this was the car.
One PO, Shankle cams and headers. Oz Racing wheels and a little rust in the rear front fender area. It was in pretty decent shape apart from a poorly repainted passengers rear quarter.
The plan was to drive it back to Oregon. 3400 miles beginning on Halloween 2004. After only covering 1100 miles in the first day and a half I needed to get it on as I was in the middle of a HR Block tax class and needed to get back by the following Wednesday.
So the second full day 'we' did 1100 miles that took us to Laramie Wyoming. The one real issue was the weather, I was using Highway 80 so I was pretty far north. Weather cooperated though. Some flurries outside Laramie after a 5:30am start spinning out of the motel parking lot on packed ice.
It was November 4 2004. Election day. 1200 miles later I reentered Portland. All I needed was a hot shower, warm bed and Kerry as president. Only got the warm bed.
5 days later, with Nasko's words of wisdom a distant memory, I browsed Craig's List and there was another GTV6 for sale locally. I had to check it out. $2100, a lot of service history, pretty sound but a few dings and no front air dam. I offered $1500 and it was accepted. $5K in the hole and 2 Alfas and no job in sight. They became Gina 2 and Gina 3.
Using G2 as a daily driver right now (11/08) and G3 is undergoing a refresh (just installed a Platinum transaxle and rebuilt the rear suspension with poly bushings).
G2 has some ominous journal noise when hot so I need to get the other gal back in commission.
Still no regular employment. Still love Portland. Still an Alfaholic.