Look and this incredibly pretty Lancia Aurelia B24S convertible. Worth? About 400.000 EUR. This is a 1959 Aurelia B24S convertible of which only 521 examples are made. This example is in a fully restored condition and has driven only 29 miles after the restoration. The car is very professionally restored with a lot of attention to details and originality. The sheet metal, the panel fittings and paintwork from the body are sublime, and the undercarriage is also as new! The complete engine has been overhauled also. The famous 2.5 V6 engine is equipped with two Weber 40DCL5 carburetors and a special inlet manifold from Nardi & C. That was a very rare and at the time expensive upgrade to make the car a lot faster. The car is equipped with her original so ‘Matching Numbers’ engine and can be equipped with a rare hard-top. Enjoy!
Martin Buckley takes us for a wound-up ride in his zesty NSU Ro 80.
As an obsessive gearhead with some engineering background to boot, it seemed Martin Buckley was a young man destined to spin wrenches for a living—but he had different plans. “I went down that road a little bit, but being a mechanic didn’t seem to have anything to do with liking cars. It was almost about hating them,” Martin reflects. “There was nothing glamorous about it at all. I wanted the sexy part of it.”
So, Martin took an unusual but highly rewarding route in turning cars into another career: writing about them. Jokingly referring to his self-proclaimed “Motoring Connoisseur” title, Martin wrote his first piece for Classic and Sports Car magazine at age 16. The topic? The then new and now iconic BMW E9 coupe, which Martin admits was the car he was “completely obsessed with at the time.” Understandable.
Ever since then, Martin has been wholeheartedly committed to motoring magazines and professional automotive journalism, ranging from Classic and Sports Car to EVO, Autocar to Top Gear. His dedication to the car crazy wordsmith craft has paid off, too. With an assorted collection stabled in his automobilia-plastered garage, Martin has, as one might guess, a widespread appreciation for all types of automobiles.
His passion for petrol is vast, but he does have a soft spot for the quirky but clever, funky but charming, NSU Ro 80. “I do remember seeing them on the road as a kid,” Martin remarks on the Wankel-whirling Ro 80, “Even in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it still looked futuristic, and it somehow still looks futuristic now.”
Martin first purchased this NSU a decade ago. It was a decent original driver with sunbaked paint and a neglected powertrain. Within an hour of having it home, Martin and a friend were able to get the rotary revolving again after just minimal maintenance. After going through the rest of the drivetrain, Martin secured an MOT and sold the car to a friend… who eventually sold it back to Martin.
As a second-time owner, Martin felt inclined to do the slick sedan justice by treating it to a fresh coat of paint. Now shining brightly and mechanically sound as well, Martin is free to enjoy what he loves most about these cars: driving them.
It’d be easy to make excuses to only occasionally use such a rare machine, considering all the nonexistent replacement parts not so readily available, but this auto journo doesn’t care. “I think people get worried about things they don't need to get worried about. It's bollocks,” Martin laughs, “As long as that thing has petrol and oil in it, it'll go.
The Fourth of July may not be celebrated outside of the US, but an appreciation of American muscle knows no bounds; join us this week as we take a rumbly ride in Mathieu Houtreille’s crisp Ermine White 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray through the back roads surrounding Luxembourg, Belgium.
Like many of us, Mathieu grew up under a gearhead’s roof. His father, Jean-Luc Houtreille, ensured he raised his son properly. “Ever since I learned to walk, my dad took me to all the car affairs,” Mathieu tells, “I would see the mechanics work under warm hoods, and the smell that emerged would captivate me.” A natural-born car-obsessed boy, where his father leaned towards the Italian marques, Mathieu differed, oddly falling for old American steel and iron.
Mat says, “For me, the monsters that gave me goose bumps were the ones with massive V8s and a thunderous sound coming out of their tailpipes. That's what I loved.” Forever longing for Detroit muscle, a trip with his wife stateside sealed his fate with Corvettes. Referring to this excursion, Mat clarifies, “It is a country with a lot of wide-open spaces. It is magical, and you can't understand unless you've been there, and taken those roads, because you can't describe it [otherwise].”
Learning of the ‘50s and ‘60s American car culture’s love of machine as well as its street racing scene, Mat realized this era was a special time that no longer exists, admitting that oftentimes, “If you tell people you hand-wash your car and you love your car, they will think you're dumb.” The sad truth is, most people view that mentality as outdated, but not Mathieu of course.
Call it born in the wrong country in the wrong generation if you want, but we prefer to regard Mathieu’s passion a dying romance we’re happy to see still has a heart with a strong pulse. After wheeling a C3 for a while, his appreciation for the earlier C2 Stingray turned into an obsession. “I had to acquire one of those sacred monsters,” Mathieu says, determined, “my love for the C2 grew. With its perfect aesthetics, it is the epitome of the mid-‘60s.”
After seeing a flawlessly restored C2 in the flesh at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas, Mat’s desire for his own Stingray only continued moving from want to need, and he was lucky enough to find an ad a few months later for an Ermine White 1965 model—his preferred color. With a friend accompanying him to see the car, they arrived to the seller’s town. “It smelled of dreams,” Mat says smiling, “It smelled so good.” The seller turned out to be an avid car collector with a multi-story garage full of classic goodies. “The door opened, and I saw cars everywhere.”
Suppressing his excitement as to not get his hopes up too high for the Corvette in question, Mat smirks, “It was time for a test drive.” Too intimidated to drive the car initially, Mat turned down the seller’s offer and insisted on riding shotgun. A drive post-rainfall through forested roads at 110 miles per hour was all the conviction Mathieu really needed, but the step-off of the accelerator which summoned vicious backdraft pops and bangs was the final verdict: this was going to be the one.
One of Italy’s most celebrated and pedigreed entries in the book of automotive history: the Alfa Romeo GTA. While many get worked into a frenzy over the lightweight Bertone coupe’s rich racing history, that’s not what sparks this Alfista’s passion for the aluminum Alfa.
Instead, owner Filippo Montini tells us that “The passion I have for this car is not due to its value or because it is rare, nor for its heritage. It’s just that when I get in it, and I close the door, I am in my own special world. I tune everything out. I leave for a timeless dimension; it is where I go to blow off steam.” In case you’re unfamiliar, the GTA is widely considered one of Alfa Romeo’s motorsport masterpieces, securing the Division 2 European Touring Car Championship in 1966, 1967, and 1969. Although it is based on the road-going Tipo 105 Giulia Sprint GT, the GTA is an Autodelta-built special built from the ground up for ultimate overall performance.
The GT Alleggerita, meaning “lightweight,” features an abundance of plastics and an all-aluminum body skin to bring the pounds way down. Various magnesium components—including the featherweight 14-inch wheels, valve cover, timing cover, and bell housing—further eliminated unnecessary weight. Under the letterbox hood is a 1600cc twin-cam inline-four fitted with an upgraded distributor, larger 45mm carburetors, and most significantly, a trick twin-spark aluminum head that in Stradale trim made approximately 115 horsepower—Montini’s GTA, now in full Corsa spec, makes a screaming 160 from the little mill.
Peering over the crisp Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned lines of this pristine GTA, you wouldn’t guess it was once a dismantled disaster of parts when Montini acquired it a decade ago. “We bought the GTA sight unseen because it was disassembled, without thinking what the build would entail,” (Montini cannot say this without a smile on his face), “without assessing the risks that we could run into with a car of this type.” After looking over the parts spread throughout a friend’s garage, they discovered the car was “all there” as promised: some assembly required.
Montini recounts, “We took all the crates home, and little by little—like a puzzle—we were able to rebuild the whole car.” And although it took Montini and his father three years of persistence to complete the project, now with a Certificate of Authenticity from Alfa Romeo, their efforts were well worth the work. With only 500 1600cc-spec GTAs produced for homologation, Montini’s is just one of 49 made in right-hand drive configuration, making it all the more rare.
But as mentioned, these bonuses are almost meaningless to this Alfaholic. For Montini, it’s about what the twin-spark powered drive delivers rather than whatever bragging rights it brings to the table: “This car gives me emotions that cannot be put into words. It is such an intimate experience, that I jealously cherish it.” We would too Mr. Montini.
This very special Maserati Spider only three examples were ever built. These three early-production 3500 GTs, chassis 101.010, 101.124, and 101.126, were all built in 1958 as prototypes for a limited run of production Spiders. The styling of the cars foreshadowed Aston Martin's DB4 Drophead Coupe. The 3500 GT Spiders were built using Carrozzeria Touring's patented superleggera method. Nevertheless, Maserati ultimately decided in favor of Carrozzeria Vignale's proposal and, beginning in 1960, 243 production Spiders were built on the shortened 3500 GT chassis.
This is the last car of the three Touring bodied 3500s: 101.126. Up until recently this car was never seen in public since the 1990s. Few is known about this car, except that it appeared in full glory, and painted red, in the 1963 movie 'Love is a ball' starring Glenn Ford and Hope Lange. Enjoy this very special ride.
It was the first time I got to drive a 355 F1 Spider and it made sweet memories. What a truly complete car for its age and so much fun to drive.
The Ferrari F355 (Type F129) is a sports car built by Ferrari from May 1994 to 1999. It is an evolution of the Ferrari 348 and was replaced by the Ferrari 360. It is a mid-engined, rear wheel drive, V8-powered two-seat coupe, targa, or convertible. Design emphasis for the F355 was placed on significantly improved performance, as well as drivability across a wider range of speeds and in different environments (such as low-speed city traffic.)
Apart from the displacement increase from 3.4 to 3.5 L, the major difference between the V8 engine in the 348 and F355 is the introduction of a 5-valve cylinder head. This new head design allowed for better intake permeability and resulted in an engine that was considerably more powerful, producing 380 PS (279 kW; 375 hp). The longitudinal 90° V8 engine was bored 2mm over the 348's engine (85 mm rather than 83 mm), resulting in the small increase in displacement. Engine internals are produced using lightweight materials; the connecting rods are forged in Ti6-Al-4V titanium alloy. The engine's compression ratio is 11:1 and employs the Bosch Motronic M2.7 engine control unit in the 1995 model year, later changed to the M5.2 in 1996 through end of production. The Motronic system controls the electronic fuel injection and ignition systems, with a single spark plug per cylinder. Engine lubrication is via a dry-sump oiling system.
The frame is a steel monocoque with tubular steel rear sub-frame with front and rear suspensions using independent, unequal-length wishbones, coil springs over gas-filled telescopic shock absorbers with electronic control servos and anti-roll bars. The car allows selection between two damper settings, "Comfort" and "Sport". Ferrari fitted all road-going F355 models with Pirelli tires, size 225/40ZR 18 in front and 265/40 ZR 18 in the rear. Although the F355 was equipped with power-assisted steering (intended to improve low-speed drivability relative to the outgoing 348), this could optionally be replaced with a manual steering rack setup by special order.
Aerodynamic designs for the car included over 1,300 hours of wind tunnel analysis. The car incorporates a Nolder profile on the upper portion of the tail, and a fairing on the underbody that generates downforce when the car is at speed.
The car's standard seats are upholstered with hides from Connolly Leather, and are fitted asymmetrically in the car; this results in the driver being slightly closer to the car's center line than the passenger.
At launch, two models were available: the coupe Berlinetta priced at $130,000 (£78,000), and the targa topped GTS. The Spider (convertible) version, priced at $137,000 (£82,500), was introduced in 1995. In 1997 the Formula One style paddle gear shift electrohydraulic manual transmission was introduced with the Ferrari 355 F1 (note the dropping of the F before the 355) adding £6,000 to the dealer asking price. The F355 was the last in the series of mid-engined Ferraris with the Flying Buttress rear window, a lineage going back to the 1965 Dino 206 GT, unveiled at the Paris Auto Show.
The nomenclature does not follow the formula from the previous decades, i.e., engine capacity (in liters) followed by number of cylinders (e.g. 246 = 2.4 liters, 6 cylinders, 308 = 3.0 liters, 8 cylinders, etc.). For the F355, Ferrari used engine capacity followed by the number of valves per cylinder (355 = 3.5 litres engine capacity and 5 valves per cylinder) to bring the performance advances introduced by a 5 valve per cylinder configuration into the forefront.
Total production of 11,273 units made the F355 the most-produced Ferrari at the time. This sales record would be surpassed by the next generation 360 and later, the F430.
The Mercedes-Benz W111 (produced 1959–1971) helped Daimler develop greater sales and achieve economy of scale production. Whereas in the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz was producing hand-assembled 300s and 300SLs along with conveyor assembled Pontons (190, 190SL and 220) etc., the fintail (German: Heckflosse) family united the entire Mercedes-Benz range of vehicles onto one automobile platform, reducing production time and costs. However, the design fashion of the early 1960s changed. For example, the tail fins, originally intended to improve aerodynamic stability, died out within a few years as a fashion accessory. By the time the 2-door coupe and cabriolet W111s were launched, the fins lost their chrome trim and sharp appearance, the arrival of the W113 Pagoda in 1963 saw them further buried into the trunk's contour, and finally disappeared on the W100 600 in 1964.
The upgrade of the W111 began under the leadership of designer Paul Bracq in 1961 and ended in 1963. Although the fins' departure was the most visible change, the W108 compared to the W111 had a lower body waist line that increased the window area, (the windscreen was 17 percent larger than W111). The cars had a lower ride (a decrease by 60 mm) and wider doors (+15 mm). The result was a visibly new car with a more sleek appearance and an open and spacious interior.
The suspension system featured a reinforced rear axle with hydro-pneumatic compensating spring. The car sat on larger wheels (14”) and had disc brakes on front and rear. The W109 was identical to the W108, but featured an extended wheelbase of 115 mm (4.5 in) and self-levelling air suspension. This was seen as a successor to the W112 300SEL that was originally intended as an interim car between the 300 Adenauer(W189) and the 600 (W100) limousines. However, its success as "premium flagship" convinced Daimler to add a LWB car to the model range. From that moment on, all future S-Class models would feature a LWB line.
Although the W108 succeeded the W111 as a premium range full-size car, it did not replace it. Production of the W111 continued, however the 230S was now downgraded to the mid-range series, the Mercedes-Benz W110, and marketed as a flagship of that family until their production ceased in 1968. The W108 is popular with collectors and the most desirable models to collect are the early floor shift models with the classic round gear knob and the 300 SEL's.
BMW’s 8-Series. In order to pay proper tribute to the veritable king of rapid luxury, we’ve tracked down Taylor Patterson’s pristine example of the line-topping, limited-production 850CSi.
While BMW was revealed to have been making a bonafide go at an M8 variant of the big grand touring coupe back in the early ‘90s—and in fact the company’s sole box-flared beast of a prototype still exists, complete with carbon-fiber wheel covers—that car never made it to the masses, or at least to that portion with the taste and means to acquire such a car that would have likely carried an MSRP somewhere in the Ferrari territory it was aimed at.
Luckily for those people though (and for the second and third and fourth owners), M still left some incriminating fingerprints on the 8-Series, and as with most stews stirred by its hand, the result was an unmatched vessel of prowess that they simply called the 850CSi.
At the time of its reveal in 1992, the peer group for this car was almost nonexistent, and on a more abstract scale, there have been very few in its wake to attempt a similar blend of substance and poise. It never claimed to be a sporty coupe, yet it could outperform many of them. The car’s true domain however was a lengthy trip with the room to show off how comfortable 100+MPH can be; this was the kind of car whose essence was understated, yet its presence never went unnoticed.
Though any form of the E31 chassis was and is a genuine rarity, the CSi stood even further apart. At the time, this was the end-all, be-all, the award-winning stew of a high-tech ecosystem paired to a taut motor that could push the impressive package well past the imposed safety speed threshold of 155 MPH. Further boosting the desirability of the CSi model was the inclusion of special staggered forged M-System wheels with the distinctive “throwing star” bladed covers, a more robust and direct suspension, extra interior options, and a host of upgrades to the exterior paneling, as is the fashion for cars with the M treatment.
It was a truly special car, and its production run reflected that. Exorbitantly expensive, and unable to continue production in line with updated emissions standards, only 1,510 units of the model were produced the world over. And to add enthusiast clout to such rarity, each of these cars came fitted with a six-speed transmission bolted to the back of a 5.6-liter V12 stamped with the fastest letter in the alphabet.
The 380-horsepower heart that resides under the hood of Patterson’s—and every—CSi has an interesting family history, and can claim to this day its title as the rarest production engine in a BMW road car. In a reversal of the typical German logic, BMW’s M-tuned and -built motors will often trade their “M” designation for that of an “S.” Such is the case with the S70B56 found in the CSi. Variations of this motor—which was essentially a pair of straight-sixes fused together—would go on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright, in both the McLaren F1 GTR, and in BMW’s own V12 LMR.
[17:10] Too often the 8-Series is categorized in that group consisting of once-expensive luxury cars that are now prohibitively costly to maintain, and so are left to wallow, undriven. Sure, it checks a lot of those boxes (the V12 E31s have an ECU per half-dozen pistons, which is just a piece of the massive amount of interconnected systems in this car that required the creation of a bespoke network to operate), but somehow it just doesn’t belong in the dealer lots full of S-Classes with all their trick bits already broken. Perhaps the 840Ci automatic that’s been given a hard life is beyond the rational point of saving, but cars like Taylor’s immaculately displayed CSi prove that the time when these cars become “dated” is still a long ways off yet.
It’s understandable that one can look at something like the 850CSi and mistakenly view it as a compromise between two worlds, as an object somewhere on the muddled boundary between the disciplines of Motorsport and luxuriant indulgence. Of course it lives at such a meeting point, but the very fact that it does bring together these disparate worlds into a coherent package is the evidence that the last thing at play in a car like this is compromise.
Revisiting what made the first E31 a high watermark for the burgeoning world of luxury GTs in the 1990s makes us supremely excited for the modern interpretation of the flagship Ultimate Driving Machine, but no matter what comes next, the 850CSi will always be significant for what it stands for, and how good it looks doing so.
This desirable Series I Maserati Sebring was built in 1963 and delivered new to Bologna, Italy.
235 bhp, DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with indirect fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, anti-roll bar, and four-wheel disc brakes. All that was state of the art in 1963.
After its original delivery in Italy, this Maserati was purchased by Joe Turley, then Chief Engineer of Buick, who owned it for over twenty years until his death.
Bit and pieces of things were changed over the years but a few years ago, Skip McCabe of McCabe Automotive Restoration of Mundelein, Illinois, fully restore the Maserati to its original configuration.
It was refinished in its original color combination of Amaranto with a new interior featuring black Connolly leather and Wilton wool carpets.
The car was purchased by its current owner two years ago, and it has remained in his collection in the Northeast ever since. In his custody, the restoration has been well preserved, and the car has been maintained as necessary.
I've been in and out of this car and it looks fabulous, drives wonderfully, and is a great alternative to a Ferrari 250 series car, like a PF coupe.
The car comes with an extensive history file that includes documents from Joe Turlay’s ownership, the Bill of Sale from Sasamotors IN ITALY, shipping invoice from Italy to the US, and numerous restoration receipts, and has been fully Maserati Classiched.
We take a ride from the bustling city streets of Bangkok to the winding rural roads just outside the capital in Chayanin Debhakam’s Ferrari 308 GTB.
In Thailand, just catching a glimpse of a Prancing Horse out of the stable is a rare occasion, but Chayanin’s choice to daily drive his Ferrari is what elevates his enthusiasm for the marque. Before you can see one in the wild though, the car needs to be brought in first, and sourcing a Ferrari in the BKK is an entirely different challenge for these buyers.
“The 308 GTB is the Ferrari that I grew up with and it was the first Ferrari I ever saw,” says Chayanin. When it came time to find a Ferrari of his own, he reached out to the president of the Ferrari Owners Club of Thailand, who was able to find the car that Chayanin now drives so often. “He finally found one and it was exactly what I was searching for.”
Once he had the Rosso-Corsa-on-crème GTB parked in his garage, Chayanin did some research and discovered the car was originally Fly Yellow over black leather—another victim to “resale red.” This is when his quest for perfection began, “I wanted to restore the car back to the original factory standard.”
Using some extra workspace at his office, Chayanin (with repair manual in hand) got to work. Singlehandedly tackling this project would have been tremendous, but Chayanin fortunately has a group of enthusiast friends who brought their individual talents to the table. Chayanin humbly admits, “Some of them have different skills than me. I don't know everything [and] cannot do everything myself, so having extra help and knowledge is great.”
In recent years, tracking down correct 308 parts has become quite the task, but Chayanin was unwavering in achieving his vision, stating that his ultimate goal was to have it drive and feel as it did when it left the factory. His obsession to return the car back to factory spec went as far as buying a new old stock (NOS) exhaust system to ensure the Italian eight-cylinder audio system was accurate. Finally refinished in flashy Fly Yellow with beautifully stitched black hide inside, Chayanin’s 308 GTB is back to the way Maranello intended it to be.
For many, pouring so much time and money into such a serious project would make driving the car an overly cautious event only to be indulged on occasion and only under ideal circumstances. But, as you can see in the film, Chayanin has no problem revving-out his favorite Ferrari, getting tail happy in the empty forest-lined roads—after all, it is his everyday 308.
Superamerica comes from a Ferrari tradition in naming one-off or limited production cars with special names, in this case, taken from the famous 12 cylinder Superamerica cars built between 1956 and 1961. What makes the Ferrari 575 Superamerica special is an electronically controlled Revochromico rotating hardtop that with a flip of a switch, rotates the roof to over and onto the trunk, to a lie flat position, leaving the owner with the ability to enjoy their car no matter the weather.
Pull down the locking handle, pull the little toggle switch on the center console, and voila, the roof rotates back and snugly flat into place in just 10 seconds.
As well, that rotating roof holds another trick; the transparency of the glass can be controlled by varying the amount of electric current running through it. From fully opaque to nearly clear in a matter of minutes is all controlled by a button. The already monster 5.7 L 12 cylinder 575 motor was bumped up from 508 HP to 533 HP by reducing the back pressure to the exhaust system, and now that famous 12 cylinder note is so much more enjoyable with the top down. Ferrari build sheets state the 575 Superamerica weight at 200 lbs. more than the coupe due to structural strengthening, but the added horse power makes up for the increased weight and the Ferrari 575 Superamerica accelerates from zero to 60 MPH in a scant 4.2 seconds with the F-1 transmission.
Billed as the fastest convertible in the world, at 199 MPH, it certainly lived up to the title.
Only 559 Superamericas were built, and their low production numbers and unique design make them very sought after by sports car enthusiasts.
Blending the romance of a convertible with the practicality of a coupe, the Superamerica is a truly rare collectible.
This week we take a turbocharged, all-wheel drive ride in Volker Gehrt’s 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 replica through the rural roads just outside the central German state of Thuringia.
Years ago while attending an auto show with his wife, Volker found an Audi Sport Quattro rally car scale model for sale at a vendor’s booth. Always a proponent of Audi’s iconic gravel and tarmac racer, Volker purchased the die-cast and made the little Group B toy a tasteful desk ornament. Over the course of countless days spent working in his office with the model nearby, Volker found himself infatuated with the idea of building a full-sized tribute.
“With time I thought that there must be a way to build the car. I had to find a way to do it,” says Volker. Coincidentally and initially unbeknownst to him, Volker happened to cross paths with Roland Gumpert—the leading engineer behind Audi’s famous AWD drivetrain. After becoming acquainted with the Grandfather of Quattro, one day the two enthusiast friends started chatting about cars, reminiscing on the Golden Era of Rallying.
That’s when Volker proposed building an accurate tribute to the most extreme version of the various Group B Quattros. Gumpert ecstatically agreed to assist, using his motorsports connections to source parts and manuals needed to properly recreate the racing identity of the homologation hero. It was decided that the build would pay homage to the E2 iteration that Walter Röhrl drove to victory in the 1985 Sanremo Rally—Audi’s first and only ‘85 WRC season win.
To make the recreation all the more special, Gumpert made a surprise arrangement to have Walter Röhrl meet with Volker during the build. “I’ll never forget when he arrived,” reflects Volker. “He stood in front of the car and said, ‘Mr. Gehrt, I feel like I am having déjà vu. I am taken back to Audi Sport looking at my winning car.’” Humbled, Volker smittenly states, “That is one of those stories I’ll never forget.”
Proudly wearing Röhrl’s Sharpie’d inscription across the roof, Volker’s dream Quattro recreation has been finished to resemble Röhrl’s original racer down to the finest details. From every sponsor vinyl, light, toggle switch, and bolt, everything has been carefully selected and painstakingly assembled to appropriately revive and reverberate the original legend.
Once dreamy-eyed over rolling his model Audi Quattro across his office desk, Volker now gets to live his flame-spitting, gravel-slinging, Group B fantasy behind the wheel of his very own life-size car. “The feeling I get when I put on a racing suit, a helmet, and then just start the engine, it always gives me goosebumps.”
The full spread includes an iconic Autodelta-prepared GTA racer, the Barchetta-style Giulietta Competizione Spider Sebring, the luxurious grand touring Montreal, and their modern brethren, the carbon tub chassis constructed 4C and the German-performance-sedan-crushing Giulia.
We sat down with Alfa Romeo USA Brand Ambassador and all-around genuine Alfisti, Brandon Adrian, to uncover what it is about the century-old sports car staple that’s so special. Is it the sheer beauty evoked in so many of the marque’s designs? Or is it the way they deliver the drive and make their devout wheelman feel?
Brandon proclaims it’s both. “An Alfisti is someone that has dreams of Alfa Romeo, pretty much constantly, and those dreams become a reality when you actually get in those cars and drive them.” Many would argue that the deep feelings stirred from driving an Alfa is a hyperbolic cliché, but that’s simply not the case for those bewitched by the Italian roundel.
Like many Alfaholics, Brandon’s lifelong love affair with the manufacturer stemmed from its romantic racing history. “It all goes back to the racing heritage. I actually much prefer to be at the racetrack than a concours. If there's an opportunity between the two, I'll always pick the racetrack because that's where my passion and the fun lies. But these cars can do both,” declares Brandon.
Alfa Romeo’s mix of divine driving dynamics and stunning design aesthetics has always secured the endearment of enthusiasts. Whether it’s a vintage racer or a modern performance sedan, “Any Alfisti would rather be driving an Alfa Romeo than looking at an Alfa Romeo, even though looking at it is just as beautiful.”
We take a ride in Peter Lentz’s Porsche 964 through Iceland’s most scenic mountainous switchback b-roads.
A commercial pilot for Icelandair by trade, Peter came across this jet black Carrera 4 and had to have it. “You know, because we don't have so many cars in Iceland for sale, I just grabbed the opportunity and bought the one that was on sale.” Not that you’ll hear Peter complain about the air-cooled beauty he had to ‘settle for.’
“I'm not especially keen on driving fast anymore. I used to when I was younger, but not anymore. I like flying fast, especially if you level off on top of the clouds. When you cruise along at 860, or 880, almost 900 kilometers an hour, you have an immense sense of acceleration and speed. So, I get my kicks for speed up there because on the roads it's not so sensible."
Living along the northern 64th parallel, it’s amusing if not a tad coincidental that he pilots a 964 when not charting commercial flight paths. Sheer ground speed isn’t what Peter is all about, but neither is his modern classic Carrera. “It's not about driving fast. You know, if you can drive a car that lies well on the road, feels good, sounds great, it's a good thing.”
With worn leather driving gloves fixed to the four-spoke yaw-controlling helm, right hand dancing with cogs through a well-used shifter stalk, Peter seamlessly stitches his driving passion with the age-old “pilots drive Porsches” adage.
“Of course, I didn't know that during my career I would get a job in Iceland. As it is for now, I've been with Icelandair for 18 years and, yeah, I always look forward to going to the job. The perfect end of the day is to go for a drive… in a Porsche.”