Archive for April, 2017

Alfa Romeo Showcase at 2017 Targa Florio

April 25, 2017 by Sports Car Digest

Alfa Romeo demonstrated its racing heritage at the 2017 Targa Florio, the 101st edition of the world’s oldest automotive race. The Italian marque has an almost unrivalled success record in the Targa Florio; sitting second in the medal table with 40 podium finishes.

Starting at the Piazza Verdi in the capital, Palermo, the three-stage race held 20-23 April in Italy passed through 305 kilometres of Sicilian countryside, including Caltavuturo, Castellana Sicula, Petralia Sottana, Geraci Siculo, Castelbuono, Termini Imerese and Trabia.

A title sponsor of this year’s event, Alfa Romeo provided cars from its extensive collection at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese for the Classic race. Some of Alfa Romeo’s most impressive racing models from the 1960s joined the line-up of historic cars, including an Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, Giulia Sprint GTA, Giulia Sprint Speciale and 1600 Spider Duetto.
Driven by Roberto Giolito, Head of the FCA Heritage Department, the Giulietta SZ features a distinctive ‘cut-off rear’, disc-type front brakes and tapered nose, offering efficient aerodynamics that allow it to reach 200 km/h. Under the bonnet, a 1290 cc four-cylinder engine is capable of generating 100 HP.

The Giulietta Sprint Zagato has its roots in racing. In 1956, Dore Leto di Priolo, one of Italy’s best known gentleman drivers of the time, badly damaged his Giulietta Sprint Veloce during the Mille Miglia. When he took it to Zagato for repair, Dore requested that the weight was reduced as much as possible, even if it proved complex and expensive.
In response, Zagato removed the panelling from the chassis, fitted it with a lightweight tubular steel structure and covered it with an aluminium body. The result was the SVZ, a more rounded, contoured car with greatly improved aerodynamic prowess that lent itself to success of the race track.
Alfa Romeo transformed Zagato’s design into a ‘standard’ production model, based on a shorter chassis, and production began on the Sprint Zagato in 1959. The model taking part in the 101st Targa Florio is the second version, produced in 1960.

Known for its racing prowess, the Giulia Sprint GTA is similar to the standard production ‘GT’ cars with bodywork by Bertone. However, the ‘A’ in the name stands for ‘Alleggerita’ or ‘lightweight’. The steel bodywork of the standard Sprint GT was replaced by ultra-light alloy panels and 14″ magnesium wheels, cutting the car’s original weight by more than 200kg. A modified 1570 cc twin camshaft engine could produce 115 HP and a top speed of over 185 km/h.

The Giulia GTA was piloted by Fabrizio Curci, Head of EMEA Alfa Romeo brand and Giorgio Zivocci, grandson of Ugo Sivocci, who won the Targa Florio race in 1923 behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo RL. Ugo Sivocci was responsible for the iconic four-leaf clover on Alfa Romeo cars; his car in the 1923 Targa Florio race was adorned with the green four-leaf clover and his victory cemented its status as a lucky charm.

An evolution of the Giulietta version, the Giulia Sprint Speciale was designed by Franco Scaglione to be an extremely low, streamlined coupe with sleek, curvy lines. The Giulia Sprint Speciale is distinguishable by its absence of bumpers and large ‘shark mouth’ radiator and achieves an impressive performance; 113 HP and a top speed of 191 km/h.

The 1600 Spider Duetto features an unconventional design with a low nose and tapered ‘cuttlefish bone’ tail. Boasting 109 HP and a maximum speed of 182 km/h, the Duetto became iconic thanks to its appearance in the film ‘The Graduate’, driven by Dustin Hoffman.

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New York Auto Show

 

Alfa Romeo will present the 2018 Stelvio lineup at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

The all-new SUV will be available in three trim levels: Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio Quadrifoglio. All three models have a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, class-leading power and performance, as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission with available steering-column-mounted aluminum paddle shifters that knock off gear shifts in less than 100 milliseconds.

The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models feature the Q4 all-wheel-drive system, standard leather seats, bi-xenon headlights and are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. Both those models accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in approximately 5.4 seconds and have a top speed of 144 mph (232 km/h).

The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti will also be available with a Sport Package that adds larger wheels (19 inch for Stelvio, 20 inch for Stelvio Ti), 12-way power high-performance leather seats including four-way lumbar and power bolster (Ti Sport exclusive), steering-column-mounted paddle shifters, sport steering wheel, gloss-black window trim surround, black roof rails, aluminum sport pedals and footrest, colored brake calipers (red, yellow or gloss black) and more.

2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

There’s also the Stelvio Ti with Lusso Package that adds Luxury Pieno Fiore Italian leather seats with Cannelloni inserts, 12-way power front seats including four-way lumbar, leather-wrapped dash and upper door trim with accent stitching, genuine wood trim in dark gray oak or Lusso-exclusive light walnut, luxury leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum pedals and footrest and more.

At the top of the range is the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, sporting a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with best-in-class 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. It also comes standard with Q4 all-wheel drive and has unique styling compared to the other Stelvio models. Standard are 20-inch wheels with high-performance Brembo brakes, Alfa DNA Pro with Race Mode and adjustable performance suspension, torque-vectoring differential, high-performance leather and Alcantara seats, Formula One-inspired steering wheel with red push-button start and steering-column-mounted aluminum paddle shifters. Options for the Quadrifoglio model include ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber-shell Sparco racing seats and an ultra-high-performance Brembo carbon-ceramic material brake system.

Pricing for the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio models has not been announced.

“The 2018 Stelvio lineup marks Alfa Romeo’s venture into the second fastest-growing premium segment and an important next chapter of the brand’s rich 105-year heritage as we continue to grow in North America,” said Reid Bigland, head of Alfa Romeo. “From the new Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models, to the ultra-high-performance Quadrifoglio model, each of our Alfa Romeo SUVs delivers class-leading power and driving dynamics, standard all-wheel drive, next-level technologies and race-inspired performance, plus gorgeous design and breathtaking style that could only be from an SUV born in Italy.”

 

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Mark your Calendar for December

Please mark your calendars for December 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. (CT).  Our Quarterly/Holiday Meeting will be held at the home of John and Laura Greason at 8771 Chimney Rock Blvd, Cordova, TN 38016.  Email for John and Laura is:  jpgreason@comcast.net

Laura tells me the main dish is Memphis BBQ.  You may let her know what you would like to add to compliment this fare.

It would be nice if Laura knew before or by December 1st if you will attend and what you are bringing.

Hope to see you there!

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Welcome to New Member Brian Brown

I came to know Alfa Romeo through my dear departed friend and boss at Plants Alive, Jerry Quinlisk.  I know many of you knew and loved him as well.  He always had three or four Alfas in his stable.  On the job, when there was good weather and a light workload,  he’d often say, “Well, let’s go cruise those Alfas.”  As you all know, it was thrilling!  I’d never driven anything like them.

About four years ago Jerry said he wanted to give me his ’79 Spider. I couldn’t believe it.  That’s the kind of guy Jerry was.  Of course I said yes!  Driving the car that night with my lovely wife is when I came to LOVE Alfas.  Since then, that car has become a passion of mine.  Driving her is such a joy.  But I’m also passionate about keeping her mechanically sound.  If anybody had told me four years ago that I’d be an Alfa Romeo mechanic, I’d have said they were crazy.  But out of necessity and passion, I’ve become good at it.  I’ve pulled an engine, replaced bad SPICA pumps with good ones, replaced timing gears, cams, motor mounts, drive shafts, radiators, wheel bearings, etc.  It scratches an itch that I never knew I had. 

I also play guitar and write songs.  I’m in a hard rock and blues cover band called Phoenix Rising based in Nashville.  I continue to love working at Plants Alive with Nancy Quinlisk at the helm.

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