Keith’s Blog: 6,000 Miles in Six Alfas

Covering 1,000 miles in a 50-year-old car can be a daunting challenge.

For SCM30, coming up in early July, SCM will have all six of its Alfas entered. In all, they will be covering 6,000 miles. What could possibly go wrong?

SCM30 (our 30th anniversary tour) is in part a fundraiser for the Portland Art Museum. To that end, we made four of our Alfas available to those coming from out of state. For a $5,000 donation made to the Museum, they can drive one of the cars.

This is a win-win. So far we have raised $20,000 for the Portland Art Museum.  Eight gearheads coming from as far away as New Jersey won’t have to trailer their cars to Oregon. The SCM fleet gets exercised.

I will begin in our 1965 Spider Veloce, a car I’ve owned twice over a 30-year period. Ken Gross is joining us, and he’ll start out in our Giulia Super, along with Brian Ferriso, Director of the Portland Art Museum.

I plan to rotate drivers between all six Alfas, so they will get a chance to try out each one. Think of it this an automotive vertical flight — from a single vineyard but bottled over a 30-year span.

The SCM Alfas are a 1958 Sprint Veloce Confortevole, a 1961 Sprint Speciale, a 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce, and our 1967 trifecta, a Duetto, a GTV and the Super.

The Alfas represent the entire gamut of drivetrains, from a 750-series 1300 engine and tunnel-case gearbox in the 1958 Sprint Veloce, to a 105-series 2-liter engine with 5-speed in the Super.

Good friend and rally master Neil D’Autremont will help me get the cars prepped. When I do my final tire-pressure check, I’ll have 24 tires to inspect.

I drive my cars a fair amount, so I have confidence in them. It is only through continual use that an old car becomes reliable. As I have said before, you have to drive them, make a list of malfunctions, take them to the shop, drive them again, make another list (hopefully shorter this time), drive them and repeat until your list disappears.

The 1961 Sprint Speciale is the only car that hasn’t had any real miles since it was brought back from 30-years of storage in a museum. Nasko right now is working on the list I gave him after the first 250 miles.

We ordered 155×15 tires from Pirelli — courtesy of Coker — and they should be installed next week.

On the one hand, it will be great to see the SCM Alfas joining the 20 other Alfas (and the 356s, 2002 tiis and other cars on the tour). On the other hand, I’m sure to be a nervous mother hen, watching my six chicks head out Highway 26 towards Timberline Lodge and out on their 1,000-mile runs.

 

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

Posted in Blogs, Keith Martin

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  1. Good luck on the trip with the six (6) Alfas. Hope you don’t have any trouble(?) with them. Alfas are built to run if they are set up right! Keep us informed about the Alfas during the trip.