Hello from New Zealand's third island

Started by alfa1750spider, February 02, 2023, 03:09:20 PM

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Always sad when someone joins a forum to exit it, but unlike others who buy an Alfa to revisit their youth, I never sold the car of my (relative) youth, but after decades of ownership, it's time to pass her on. To post a for sale notice on this site, I had to join, and it would not be good manners not to introduce myself.

I enjoyed great driving in the 69 1750 Spider in Rhode Island and Connecticut in the USA, and in 1997, brought her with me to New Zealand. But (as Kiwis will appreciate) I never began the gauntlet of VIN - the initial $500 inspection designed to enrich consulting engineers and drain classic car owners' wallets. I did the VIN for a 79 Alfa and 66 Bristol brought at the same time, but the 69 was the gem, so I decided to do it right before getting it on the road. Big job was installing Alan Bowden floor panels that match the original Alfa pressings. Unfortunately, time slipped away and after the hard work, I never got around to the details, and 23 years later realise I have too many cars and no place to drive the Spider if I were to get her on the road.

The mirror tells me my youth is over, and as I have 5 registered cars (Jag X350, Mercedes SLK R172, G Wagon, Nissan Leaf and Honda CR-V), with only two of us left at home, my wife says it's time to sell the Spider. See https://duetto.pics for details.

About me:

My first Alfa was for one summer was a 64' Giulia literally held together with baling wire. My biggest regret was not buying a Siata 208S for $300 in 1968 from my neighbour who raced it. Look up the current value, it will make you weep. I've owned a 66 Alfa Spider, 69 Berlina, 79 Spider Veloce 2000 as well as five Bristols, various BMW 2002's, and still have my 1982 Mercedes G-Wagon (280GE) that has turned the odometer over 4 times (405,000 miles) and refuses to die.

Out of curiosity last night I made a list of every car I have owned, beginning with a 1956 Chrysler with a front end crash for $25 when I was 12. I was able to remember 72 cars and probably forget a few.

  • Most fun in a moving car was the 69 Alfa I am now selling at Lime Rock Racetrack in CT USA. On the curves, the Ferraris could not keep up. On the straight I breathed their blue exhaust

  • The most memorable motor tour was buying a 69 Bristol 410 (LHD - only 3 made) sight unseen on the other side of the country, spending a mad week restoring it (including new paint) so I could collect my wife and daughter at the airport - having not told them I had bought it... where the highlight was driving above the timber line in the Olympic National Park amid a herd of elk.

  • My longest motor tour was 10,000 miles coast-to-coast, north to south (and north again) in one month taken just before the US instituted a 55 mph national speed limit. Some of the western states had no speed limit and many of the curves (mostly on secondary 2-lane roads) were taken sideways in 4-wheel drifts. My new Michelin radial tyres (40,000 mile guarantee) were bald when I hit San Francisco. They were replaced without question under warranty.

In other non-petrol-head parts of my life, I built what is reported to be the largest earth brick compound in New Zealand. I designed and supervised the project that took three years. It now has aged to where it looks like it was built by some Templars in the 13th century who took a wrong turn returning from the Crusades and ended up downunder.

I'm involved in the national life of the country, mostly with a focus on affordable housing and using design to engender quality of life.

I got into ebikes in 2011 and helped bring about the ebike revolution in NZ.

I used to fly private planes, but having lost 7 friends to flying (including the guy who offered me the Siata), when our daughter was born, my wife said I could be a pilot or a daddy, but not both.

I now live on an island with one main 12 km road, speed limits of 30-50 km/h, but keep the Jag in town for grand motor tours when island fever strikes.

That's me