Archive for category Club News

Welcome Tony Meader

Hi to all. My name is Tony Meader and my wife. Rose and I and our 100% yellow Lab live in Palmyra, Tennessee, just southwest of Clarksville. We moved here 21 years ago from Chesapeake, Virginia, my last duty station while serving in the U. S. Coast Guard. We have 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. I retired from the Coast Guard in 1990 after 25 years as an officer and pilot, having flown helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, and being stationed in many desirable duty stations such as Corpus Christi, TX, Port Angeles, WA. Miami, FL (twice), Mobile, AL, Barbers Point, HI (somebody had to do it), Washington, D.C., and Elizabeth City, N.C. In 1976, I even flew helicopters off the Coast Guard’s newest ice breaker on its maiden voyage to Alaska and the Bering Sea. We traversed the Bering Strait, visited Nome and points north, including crossing the arctic circle, visited several Eskimo-inhabited islands, and moored overnight to several ice shelves where we were often visited by polar bears who were curious about the large, red-hulled ship in their midst.

On returning to the mainland, after my 3-year tour in Hawaii, I bought my first horse since high school. I then began breeding, buying, selling, training and riding beautiful Appaloosas.  I have two today. Horses have been my primary recreational activity for the past 33 years.

On the Tuesday before Christmas last year, I was surfing the net, looking at “used Alfas for sale” when I saw several photos of a beautiful 1989 Spider Veloce with only 64,000 miles. As I looked closer, I saw that it had Tennessee plates. I showed the photos to my wife Rose and all she said was, “Can we get it?” The next day we went southwest of Savannah, TN, test drove the car, negotiated price, and drove the car home. After changing all fluids and tires, we now drive it regularly, and mostly with the top down and booted.

Our Spider Veloce is my third Alfa. After being transferred to Corpus Christi in 1965, I bought a 1963 Giulietta Spider off a used car lot for $1,200!! This was my daily driver for several years, through an engine rebuild and a wreck, until I traded it as my first child proved a 2-seater was impractical for a growing family. In about 1979, I bought a new Sprint Veloce from the dealer in Miami. We took that lovely and fun car to Hawaii where it was going to be my daily driver. Because of where we lived, it was more practical for Rose to drive the Alfa to her job in downtown Honolulu, and I rode a moped to my duty station at Barbers Point. Only recently did Rose confess that she loved driving the Alfa because most of the MEN on the Interstate wanted to race that WOMAN in the bright red sports car. With an evil grin she adds, “And I beat them all!!!”Since my first 2 Alfas were daily drivers, I never considered “saving” them or even considered there being an “owner’s club.” In the 60’s and 70’s, parts were readily available and trained mechanics were “just around the corner.” A few weeks after buying my latest Spider, I met another Alfa owner (she drives a red 1990 Spider), and she told me about AROC USA. As I joined that club, I discovered A.L.F.A Inc, and, as they say, the rest is history. Our President, Bo Richardson, sent me a welcome email and in that suggested I think about leading some of our members through NW Tennessee and the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) area of southern Kentucky. Rose and I mapped a route that I think will highlight the diversity and beauty of the area and I hope you will join us on Saturday August 19. We will meet at my house, 1874 Palmyra Rd, Palmyra, TN, at 10:00 a.m. and drive about 4 hours, stopping at several interesting sites. Be sure to bring a sack lunch as we will be stopping at a picnic area in LBL. Rain date is August 26, as I hope for no rain so all the spiders can be top-down.

I look forward to meeting as many of the club members as possible.

 

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Spring Fling in St. Louis, MO

 Bo’s take on the Spring Fling

The St Louis Club’s “Spring Fling” was lots of fun.   Great folks and loyal Alfisti participated in this annual event.  The Tennessee Club was represented by Spring Fling regulars Bruce and Phyllis Tilden and John and Laura Greason.  Penny and I joined for our first “Fling” and were glad we did.

The collection of Alfas was impressive and included a late 50’s model Giulietta Berlina, Spiders, GTVs,  with a new Giulia and a 4C. 

The location was in Washington MO  50+ miles west of St. Louis in a more rolling hill area of MO where I had never been.  There had been some serious flooding just prior to the event and a bridge over the MO river on the north side of Washington was closed.  The weather cleared the morning the event started and the club was elated with the nice weather and the weekend that ensued.  We arrived on Friday night to a reception where everyone got reacquainted.   Saturday brought a beautiful day to drive those rolling hills I mentioned and it was lovely.  Penny and I had driven two cars in order to seriously participate.  So for the Saturday rally John and Laura Greason took the wheel  of the GTV and Penny drove me in the white Spider.  About halfway into the rally drive, something happened to a Spider and we all stopped to see what was going on.   This coupled with some communication that the road where we were headed was closed due to the recent flooding, made for a 25+ minute stop to talk about it.   After the group started driving again, Penny and I had to prove to ourselves that the road was truly closed.  While others went in various directions, we finally found the closed road and had to drive 10 miles back to where we were.   Determined to complete as much of the route as we could, we traveled around the closed road and found the beginning of Leg 2 and kept going.  All this put us an hour late for the meeting at a local winery.  Everyone else had eaten a sandwich and had some wine by the time we got there.   The group had planned an art show competition like done at the National Conventions.   We missed that too, but saw pictures of some special entries.

Back to the hotel to freshen up for an evening banquet.  The banquet was well managed with good food at a local restaurant.  The evening included lots of door prizes for attendees.   I cherish my Alfa tire valve stem caps I was given by random draw.  Great time and comradery at this event

Sunday morning included an autocross and concourso at a friend of the club’s business parking lot.  I have never participated in an autocross.  This time I did get t run in the passenger seat of a 4C.  It was quite the experience.   Otherwise, Penny and I just showed our cars and looked at everyone else’s.

Not over yet, the Spring Fling held a nice awards luncheon and gave awards for the rally, autocross and the concourso.   Our own John and Laura Greason were recognized for their success in the rally.  This was a great way to meet one last time and say goodbye to everyone and new friends for us.

Laura and John Greason have always promoted this event and I now agree that we should all attend it in the future.   Laura says “the best people are Alfa people” and it was certainly true of this group.   I hope you all have a chance to participate in Spring Fling sometime.  

 

 

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Welcome New Member Mark Kriebel

There really is a place called Nameless,Tennessee nestled in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains 75 miles east of Nashville. I started a fireworks display company here over 25 years ago.

However, my history as an automotive mechanic and diagnostician is much longer. I started building and repairing engines and getting cars ready for the drag strip on Little Torch and Big Pine Keys, in the south Florida Keys, where I grew up, over 40 years ago.

I met Marvin Smith several years ago through my fireworks display business. You might not know this, but Marvin is a pyrotechnician too. In the course of our doing business, he came to my shop out here in the woods. When he saw my automotive skills, he brought me his favorite Alfa to check out. We rebuilt his engine got everything back up to snuff for him and I fell in love with Alfas. They’re a joy to work on with their simplicity (pre-computer everything) and small size. Through Marvin I’ve also had the opportunity to meet Bo Richardson and get his precious Alfa running the way it should. I guess I’m a bona fide Alfa Romeo mechanic these days.

My wife, Sheila, and I have had some fun times cruising with Marvin and Peggy in one of Marvin’s Alfas, ‘Little Al’ ,that Marvin has graciously left here for me to drive when I can.

Fireworks take up a lot of my time from spring through fall. But I have to admit I am also the “go to guy” my mechanic friends in the Upper Cumberland (Cookeville) area call when they have an auto that’s stumped them. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t get a consultation call. My motto has always been, “I can fix anything from a broken heart to the crack of dawn,” just ask me how.  And now Alfa Romeos are the latest entry on my resume.

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Welcome to New Member Shelby Smith

Greetings, with the purchase of a 1993 Alfa Spider Veloce, I am finally back as an Alfa (part) owner.  I was fortunate to grow up around Alfas during the 1960s.  My father, Madison Smith was a dealer from 1961(?) until 1977.  During that time, I was in and out of Alfas regularly.  I remember flying up to Baltimore with Bill Andree to pick up one of the first two Alfettas we received in the fall of 1974(?).  It was a new generation for Alfa and a fun ride home.  I later went to the west coast to pick up two Alfettas that had suffered smoke damage.  On the boat ride over a car broke loose and caught on fire.  It was just smoke damage, but Alfa only sold them for off road (racing) use.  So, off and on I would and did have access to almost all of the cars sold during this period.  Madison sold the Alfa dealership to his employees, Andrew Ewing, Bill Andree and Wayne Barnett in 1978.

After a few transitions, the dealership became available in the late 1980s and I applied for it.  I think it was about 1988-89.  At this time, I was operating a single point Peugeot store and my father was retired.  I felt Alfa would be a great compliment to Peugeot’s offerings.  Unfortunately, when I got to Lyndhurst, the dealer “parts package” was changed, besides not having the money, I felt like there just weren’t enough cars in the market to justify almost doubling the inventory in order to take it on.  We parted on amicable terms, and looking back, with Peugeot pulling out of the market and ultimately Alfa, it was probably, while difficult at the time, a lucky decision.  Following this, I did buy and sell a few Alfas and one of the last I bought was for my wife, Sonya.  We didn’t have children and it seemed a good option.  As luck would have it, and maybe the Alfa had something to do with it, we got pregnant.  Lots of challenges business wise during this period so for a variety of reasons we couldn’t keep the spider.

Over the years, I’ve tried to keep up with what was going on with Alfa around the world and was hopeful they would re-enter the U.S. market.  But, like a lot of the things we experience in our younger years, I always hoped for another lap around the Alfa track.  I have not been happy with a VW Beetle Sonya has been driving for the last couple of years and when I would complain about it she would say, “this is my favorite car next to the Alfa Spider.”  So, a few weeks ago I met with an auction company and lo and behold, they were selling an Alfa Spider. 

Bo Richardson went out and looked at it with me and I did a little research on what folks were asking and decided to give it a go.  Thanks to a friend I didn’t know was bidding against me, I paid too much.  But, if you are going to pay too much, it should be for a nice one.  I believe it to be a one owner, 32,600 miles, was purchased at Paul Spruell in Atlanta.  Interestingly, I bought an almost identical car to this for a friend in 1994-95 from Paul’s son, Todd.  It is not perfect, but it is a solid car.  Most important, Sonya and I both love it.  Anyone want a VW Beetle?  There was an ulterior motive you know.

One last bit of info on me and the dealership.  I still operate Madison Smith, primarily as a broker and to maintain zoning on our property downtown.  Things are changing though and I’m in the process of liquidating all or almost all my accumulated junk and equipment.  Our dealership website, which is www.neatcars.com may morph into something else but for now you may find some interesting Alfa pictures.  Some of you may remember Andrew Ewing, an almost lifelong friend of my father who is pictured in some of the photos.  They rallied, raced and worked together for roughly 20 years and remained friends long after that.  I talked to Andrew almost weekly after my father died and until he passed away as well.  Sonya and I are looking forward to attending Alfa get-togethers in the near future—exciting times!

 

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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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