Archive for category Club News

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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Welcome New Member Rob Marrow

I retired two years ago from a career in Information Technology, the last few years running IT systems for large hospital groups.  

A lifelong owner of sports cars, including many Alfas and Lancias, it all started when my Dad bought a Bugeye Sprite when I was about three.  My first car, at 16, was a 1965 Triumph Spitfire. I have fond memories of growing up checking out car books from the library all the time and attending dirt track races and SCCA races, as a friend of my Dad’s raced a 260Z.  I even got to work the flag corners and hang out in the pits.  

My first Alfa was a green 1973 Spider I bought when I was in my 20s.  I’ve owned 11 Alfas and eight Lancias over the years as well as that first Triumph.  I think I’ve owned about 30 – 35 cars overall.

My wife and I moved to Signal Mountain, TN five and a half years ago, and I realized a childhood dream of living on some acreage in an area where neighbors wouldn’t mind me having a bunch of project cars.  My retirement plan was to pursue my passion for cars and shortly before I retired, I started a buying spree, grabbing up “deal of the century” sports cars that seemed to appear daily on eBay, Craigslist, Bring-a-Trailer or some other online market.  

Before I knew it, I had accumulated 16 cars in varying states of “project.” About half of them run, but all need some sort of work, either mechanical or cosmetic.  My wife, Colby says I need a 12-step program for car addiction, but nonetheless has been incredibly supportive of me.  I think it’s because I’m free labor for her house flipping business, which is her retirement hobby.  

I’m now at a point where I’m working on either completing cars and selling them or selling some of them as is, hopefully running, projects so I can cull the herd down to just a couple of project cars at a time plus a rotating small collection of four or so cars for driving, rallies and car shows.  I think my initial collection will include at least two Alfas, a Lancia and a Porsche.  The current list includes four Alfas (Spider, GTV, GTV6 and 164LS), two Sunbeams, five Lancias, two Porsches and two classic Volvos.  I’m hoping to take some of the money from selling off some cars to build a car barn where I can store the collection and work on the projects.  My daily driver and tow vehicle is a 2004 F250 Turbodiesel.  I’m hoping to make the GTV6 my somewhat daily driver once I get it finished.

Anyone interested in visiting, hanging out and checking out the cars feel free to contact me.   rob_marrow@yahoo.com, 859-433-0631.

 

 

 

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Addition to March 25 Meeting

Gentle reminder to let Larry Benson know if you will be able to attend the March 25 Meeting at Noon ET at 5565 Jackson Ferry Rd, Greenback, TN 37742.  You may call Larry at 865 856-2791 or email him at:  greenback.37742@gmail.com to let him know what accompaniment you are bringing to augment his famous spaghetti dinner.

Larry has planned a two-hour drive for you after the meeting.

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Tom Kominos

This is my “new” 1993 Alfa Spider.  All original with one repaint.  I want to thank Bob Simonds for his help locating this car.

I had been looking for a British sports car for some time when I happened to notice some Alfas for sale in my Hemmings magazine.  I was quite familiar with the British sports cars.  I did a complete ground-up restoration of a Triumph TR3 in the past, as well as doing a current restoration of a TR3.  I knew nothing about Alfas so I called Bob to learn about them.  Needless to say, I was impressed by the amount of standard equipment available and the reasonable price.  Bob sold me on Alfas and I was fortunate to find such a nice car.  I live in McMinnville with my lovely wife, Annette and our cute dog “Duffy”.

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