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!
David passed away November 14th 2016 at the age of 82
I first became aware of Alfa's while competing against them in SCCA races during the 60's and early 70's. There was something about those cars, they were so much more refined than the Austin-Healey and the MGB I drove. So it was in the late 70's I found myself working for Alfa Romeo Inc., longing for the days of racing. By this time I had become an SCCA race official, but I missed the rush of competition. It was then that I decided to begin my search for that "special" car that would return me to my racing roots. What could be more special than an Alfa. So I hit the books, well one book, the Fusi book. "Alfa Romeo, Tutti Le Vetture Dal 1910", the Alfisti bible. Over and over I found myself marking the pages concerning the Giulia Sprint series, more specifically the Giulia Sprint GTA. The story of the GTA is well known among Alfa fans. First introduced in 1965 at the Amsterdam and Geneva car shows it dominated the European Touring Car Championships throughout the early 70's. My search was long, days turned to weeks, weeks to months, finally one day someone told me about a man who might be interested in selling a GTA. It turned out that he had both the Alfa and a Ferrari Dino. His plans were to restore one and sell the other, I was hoping he would sell the Alfa. And so it came to be over a month later the decision to sell the Alfa was made. Behind the Belmont Race Track, tucked in a garage, under some old quilts sat my Alfa Giulia Sprint GTA. The long search was over. The car only ran on two cylinders, needless to say a complete restoration was necessary. Searching for parts became almost as hard as finding the car. I wanted the car to look exactly as it did in 1966, and any old parts just wouldn't do. It was during this time of extensive research that I coined the phrase "archeological engineering". Today if you look under the hood you will see an original GTA radiator, oil cooler, air box, oil recuperator tank, and if conditions allow, you'll see the Sebring side outlet exhaust. In addition to all that it has an 8-plug cylinder head and tubular exhaust headers. For the real enthusiasts, like me, you can get down and look up under the rear end and see the "Sliding Block" rear axle locating system, devised by Ingegnere Carlo Chiti of Autodelta. Remarkably, the odometer reads only 37,272 kms (23,109 miles) after 38 years.
Stuart Light passed away August 18th 2018
1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider - 1986 Alfa Romeo GTVG
My love for Italian automobiles goes back to my years as an undergraduate college student. One of my professors was a team manager of the Ferrari North American Race Team (NART), allowing me a unique opportunity to spend time in the pit area at various races including the Daytona 24 Hour and Sebring 12 Hour races. From that time on I was hooked on the speed and handling of Italian sports cars. A few years later I was working as a Production Intern at Car & Driver Magazine, where I spent many lunch hours talking to legendary writers such as Brock Yates, Don Sherman and Jim Williams. When Car & Driver publisher Marty Toohey found out that I was $aving to buy a sports car he convinced me to buy an Alfa Romeo.
Marty picked up the phone and called the President of Alfa Romeo USA, Aldo Bozzi and ordered a red 1750 Spider for me. Three months later the shipment arrived with NO red Alfas. Rather than wait another six months, I chose one in a light “Fly Yellow” instead.
I was so excited when I got the call that my Alfa Spider was to be picked up. I checked the Spider out from top to bottom. Then came the hard part learning to drive a manual transmission. It only took about 20 minutes in a local parking lot until I got the hang of it, then I drove my new Alfa home without incident.
Three years later at the same dealership, I traded in the Spider for a LeMans Blue 2000 GTV, which I owned for 5years. After a 7 year hiatus from Alfas, I purchased a new GTV-6 in December of 1986 (color:AR369 Bleu Posilippo). I am proud to say that I still own it today. In 1998 after a long search I purchased a 1963 Giulia Spider(color AR514 Firenza Red).
Now I am the proud owner of two Alfas, and I couldn’t be happier. Each time the engine starts on one of my Alfas I feel the ghosts of Nuvolari, Campari, and Ascari come alive. The emotions I feel every time I drive an Alfa are ones not just based upon speed and handling, but also the romance between an Alfisti and an automobile