Monthly Archives: August 2018

Some Cars Call to You

The first car that I ever drove was a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT.  I learned to drive a stick, and really how to drive in general, in that car. And what a fun car that was to drive.

A bringatralier.com ad for such a car popped up in my iPhone news feed this morning as a sat on the porcelain throne.  It was a virtual mirror of the car my family owned.  I had to read about it. While updated with shocks, brakes, etc., it is still a nicely rehabilitated (comparatively faithful) car.  Oh, how I wanted to join the bidding on that car.  You have no idea. At this moment, 6 or so days from ending the bidding, it sits at about $20,000.  There are (so) many better cars that you could get for that kind of money — and I’m sure that it will in fact fetch more as the deadline nears.  I am very happy with the hatchbacks in my garage, but that little car has a special place in my heart. As an Alfa loyalist once suggested in the paddock at Pacific Raceways, yes, my newer car (then a supercharged 2004 SVT Focus) was a better car (nearly 40 years of engineering advancement after all), but it just did not have the “cachet” of the little GTV we were ogling.  No it did not. I remember sitting in traffic along the Lawrence Expressway on the way home from my summer job, happily listening to the little AM radio, just loving being in the car.  When the Warriors swept the Bullets in 1975 for their first NBA Championship, I was driving that car to a family dinner in Berkeley.  My parents, sister Sandy, and her husband Harvey were in my dad’s Chrysler Newport just ahead on the Nimitz freeway in Oakland.  I honked and waved, figuring they were listening to the game as well.  They had no idea what was going on — and were frankly a bit distressed.  Hah. So many little memories bubble back thinking about that little red car.

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT

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Recommended: Hooked on Driving

Hooked on Driving has been around the Pacific Northwest for a number of years.  I never was able to connect with them back when I had my old SVT Focus, but finally got a chance to attend an event at The Ridge last weekend. What a great group.  The day was very well run with the right balance of structure and driver freedom. After a few events where I was starting to lose my sense of why I was attending track days, this day really helped me remember why I liked these days.  There was enough open track to really practice adjustments to certain areas of the track.  There were knowledgeable instructors who were able to provide insights without needing to control every moment of the experience. Just the right balance for me.  The run groups were relatively small, so unlike, say, Audi events, there was room to breath on the track.  I’d rate them right up at the top of the organizers for my purposes.  YMMV, but for my $300, they’re a good investment.  Kudos to Paul, Lane, and team.