Over the years, I’ve found that the size of my collection is directly related to the number of slots I have in my garage.
At one time, I had a 30’ x 40’ pole building in Northeast Portland that came along with a rental house I purchased. Not only did I immediately fill it with cars, it had a space behind it for another six cars under an open-faced shed. I quickly went out and bought six Alfa parts cars — $250 Alfettas and $500 1971-74 Alfa spiders — and filled it up.
Four years later, I converted the warehouse into a print shop where we produced the Alfa Romeo Market Letter. The cars, I realized, each represented a project that I was never going to start, let alone finish. It was better for the cars to just go away, so I sold each of them for just about what I paid for them.
However, with any collection, once you get past parking and storage, each car comes with its own logistical and financial obligations. With my seven Alfas, each one needs to be driven long enough each month to get the fluids warm and to keep water from absorbing into the brake fluid.
The fuses (often ceramic) need to be spun in their holders to keep corrosion from building up. Tire pressures need to be looked at. And then there is licensing and insurance.
Further, you can only drive one car at a time.
The exception to that rule? Six of my Alfas went on last summer’s SCM 1000 30th anniversary tour. With the exception of the headliner in the SS that would collapse above 70 mph, all the cars performed flawlessly. It was great to see them all on the road at the same time.
However, that was a one-time experience.
And as I look at my cars, I wonder if I should consider paring down the fleet. I need a convertible — Duetto or 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce? I require something with four seats as a family Alfa. Giulia Super or GTV? Having a two-seat GT car would seem to be a requirement — Junior Zagato, 1958 Giulietta Sprint Veloce Confortevole or 1961 Giulietta Sprint Speciale?
If I had just three Alfas, would the cars be happier because each would be driven more often? Would I be more content with only three sets of mechanical and financial issues to worry about rather than seven?
What advice would you offer me? And which cars would make up your trio?