24 November 2008

Frugal Italian Style

What I would give to be a retired college professor. Kinda like an architect--you know ---a very cool job. This afternoon I was invited for a ride with my ex-college art professor. He had to go the court house. Something about a form he needed in order to get a speeding fine reduced from $250 to $80. I never did understand...But I do understand his car.

This is a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giula Sprint GT in text book BRG with a saddle tan interior complete with Italian tags. It is a thing of beauty just sitting but who wants to sit? Just before getting to the court house, my professor takes a detour into a housing development. I'm wondering what in the hell he's doing as we roar past the empty security gate and in front of us is a complete development sans houses but with lots of turns, corners and straight aways. What a vision of beauty. I still have an ear to ear grin that will not go away.

The 1600 cc engine has amazing torque and pulls from a dead stop like a hornet. A smell I haven't experienced in 20 years fills the car and combines with a slight whiff of gas. A unique Italian smell which is very different from an English sports car. I can't put my finger on it but I like to think it smells like Sophia Loren's armpits--unshaven of course. Earthy but very alluring. I had a friend who was Italian and in the middle of conversation he would take of his watch with a leather band and smell his wrist. The car might smell something like that but my watchband is stainless steel so I couldn't tell you.

Here again, we're talking tons of affordable style just waiting for you. Sure, it's an Alfa but it beats a Fiat. My professor tells me it breaks down as follows:
$2,000 for a 1966 Alfa Romeo Giula Sprint 2+2 (14 years ago)

$1,400 for a engine rebuild (14 years ago)

$1,600 for a paint job (12 years ago)

$1,000 for headliner, carpet and upholstery (10 years ago)

$6,000 Total

$6,000 for more erudite style than you'll ever get with anything banged out today. The bad news is these things are going up in price but they're still a relative bargain. As the masses ditch their Escalades and Suburbans only to go back into debt buying a piece of plastic resembling an egg--you can have real style with this. In the words of my childhood hero, Alexander Mundy, " Buena Fortuna, baby."


Anonymous said...

Go Bob, go! ME

Nick Rossi said...

Excellent post. The armpits comment is still cracking me up. What a nice, stylish ride.

Toad said...

I've had several of these over the years, and there are two items I think you missed.

One is the stepped up bonnet. Looks like nothing else. Second is the sound. So incredibly sweet.

Thanks for reviving old memories.

initials CG said...

Probably the best description of the smell of the inside of a car I've ever read!
and so true...it's a great car.
My friend who is a Professor of Neurology spent 10 years and a fortune fixing one up with all sorts of Alfa extras(1960's parts of course) for racing What a blast. A short while later it was stolen. The bastards probably shipped it off to Germany where the market for these cars is soaring. What a shame. My friend still weeps.

Anonymous said...

I really like the '74 GTV. Beautiful cars!

Ben said...

Love the Alfa Sprint GT, and the shot of the map pocket badge. I've been in some great classic cars, but not this one. Someday, perhaps. Great post!

Ben said...

Oh, and I wish I could hang out with some of my old college profs.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE it, baby! I drove one of those once from a heist at a villa outside Portofino. Hugged the turns like Sofia in a sheath dress. Baubles in the trunk, a raven haired, sloe-eyed beauty in the front. It was like...whew! Had to return the loot though, the following month, when I got word they belonged to my great aunt! My pro dad was not amused...
- Al M.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Ponti requests you be informed that, although "ladies" of your acquaintance may be pitted, she has "underarms". Teddy Leopold

tintin said...

ME- He goes to the bathroom a lot but that's a whole nutha story.

Nick- You're not in agreement about underarms?

Toad- You're right about both so I added a photo of the bonnet. People hear this car before they see it. A beautiful low and deep moan that moves into a whine, kind of how I imagine Sohia Loren would sound like when she...you know...

Initials CG-I hope il professor reads this and heeds warning.

Brett-The '74 does have that beautiful bonnet as well. Amazing to watch the prices on these in just the past three to four years.

Ben- With il professor and his wife's permission, I may have some more on this very beautiful couple and their beautiful home. A Trad Home & Gardens.

Al M.- Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Baby, you don't know what it's like down here.

Anon 15:22- I agree with you but armpits seems smellier than underarms. You know?

Toad said...

Thanks for the photo update