George Pezold

I have owned and driven many Alfas since my first one in 1964, a 1600 Giulia Sprint, but my all-time favorite is the beautiful 1600 Giulia TZ. I was touring Europe in the fall of 1963 with a family friend, Owen Murphy, and we found ourselves in Milano. It was October, and everyone was talking about the auto races in Monza. We decided to drive up and see for ourselves, which itself was a competitive event since every Fiat owner considers himself a racecar driver. Monza was an experience - entire families were there with their picnic tables, chairs and ladders with seats on top for the kids. The smell of charcoal grilled sausages and onions blended with Castrol and gasoline fumes. At the start of one of the races (the FISA Cup), a crew peeled the covers off three sleek little Kamm-tailed racers. I recall noticing how they cornered with their tails up in the air. The TZ's won the race that day. I didn't see a TZ again for a few years. One passed me on Jericho Turnpike, but even though I made a U-turn and tried to follow it, it disappeared in traffic. Then there was another one on a mountain road in northern Italy. Again, I gave chase but my rented Opel was no match for it as it sped up through the hairpin turns.It was 1971, and I came across an ad in Newsday that mentioned a "GTZ" for sale. I promptly picked up the phone and spoke to the owner, John Steubenrauch, who explained that he had justreturned from a stint with the military in Germany and had picked up a Swiss rally car, as well as some others and had to sell them because he was buying a house. With checkbook in hand, I drove over to West Hills, and within the hour had bought the car. It was a beauty, red with a white nose, chassis No. 750014. Unfortunately, I only enjoyed No. 014 for a year or so, when it was involved in an accident and the entire front end was very badly damaged. I brought it home to my garage and initially thought it was unrepairable. Two uncanny strokes of luck encouraged me to attempt rebuilding the car: in Texas I found the forward tube steel chassis and front suspension parts from No. 007, the Sanesi car that had burned at Sebring; then I discovered a complete aluminum nose skin in a dark back corner of the Alfa Romeo warehouse in Englewood Cliffs. Work pro-gressed slowly, but after many months I had successfully attached the donor chassis section and assemble the front suspension, steering, etc. Still ahead was the design and building of a sub-frame for the sheet metal nose. Then one day, my friend Sam Smith called and said he had recently bought a TZ that had been imported from Sicily, and was considering selling it. The car was said to have been a private entry car in the Targa Florio (Nino Todaro), and had been raced extensively. After some negotiations, and a swap for a 250 Ferrari Spider, I became the proud owner of No. 058, which I have now owned for some 30 years.