John DeGeorge

My beautiful GTV-6 Balocco love at first and second sight It was 1981, I was an upward mobile junior executive, I had a ‘72 Fiat Spider for weekends and was shopping for a 3 Series BMW. But then one day I wondered into Grand Prix Motors in Stony Brook, Long Island and it was love at first sight! A 1981 red GTV-6 seduced me right there in the showroom. I had to have a test drive and the minute I turned the key and that spectacular hemi head Alfa V6 rumbled to life I was hooked. It had everything the BMW was lacking, power, beauty, power, Italian styling, power and an unsurpassed racing heritage. I bought it immediately and was set for a lifetime of automotive bliss. As is the case with most marriages that are only based on lust, the relationship with my new Alfa soon became a less than pleasant experience. Needless to say, 1981 was not the high water mark year for Alfa reliability. I had a beautiful young wife at home raising my two wonderful children. Suffice to say, on more occasions then I care to remember she had to pack the kids into her Pontiac sedan to retrieve me from my non-operative GTV-6 or drive me to the dealer where the Alfa had been towed. While it was ecstasy when running properly, more often than not it was pure agony. It was this initial experience with Alfa Romeo and my wonderful Italian wife that caused me to coin the statement, “Italian sport cars are like Italian women, very beautiful and extremely exciting, but a pain in the ass to live with.” Maddy decided that she wasn’t happy living with the GTV-6 in our family and I couldn’t make a valid argument to the contrary so we reluctantly sold the Alfa and soon forgot about it. Well, so I thought. Fast forward to 1998, I’m enjoying a happy marriage and a successful career, my children are all grown up, educated and out of the nest. Suddenly, I have a major relapse of the dreaded NEAD, never ending Alfa Addiction and I become obsessed with finding another Alfa, more specifically a GTV-6. “Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.” After a year and a half of research, meeting Alfisti like Joey LoRe and searching I found my Balocco with only 26K original miles near Harrisburg, PA. During that time I went to see many GTV-6’s described by their owners as in good condition with only the usual surface rust. Did you know that you can see through the fenders of cars with the surface rust. However, the minute I saw my Balocco, it was again, love at first sight, or in my case it was actually love at second sight. Joey and I went to Harrisburg to retrieve my new mistress and the rest is history. This GTV-6 was meticulously maintained and it had all of the upgrades of the vastly improved í86 model year. In the four years I’ve owned it, it thrills me every time I drive it and has never let me down. While it took almost twenty years to buy my second Alfa, it only took one more year to buy my third Alfa, a pristine 164S. This story has an even better conclusion, I continue to enjoy my GTV-6, but it’s the friendships that I’ve developed with my fellow NYAROC Alfisti and sharing the numerous Alfa events we have every year that makes my Alfa experience a thing of beauty and never ending enjoyment Yes, Alfa’s are an addiction, but its lots of fun and feels so good!