Why History?

One of the items that I ask every submission I receive or car that I find, I am always asking for the “history” of the cars past. Why do I ask?
Every car has a history from the first day it rolls off the assembly line. It starts with a Bertone or Pininfarina stamping on the body. This is where the car begins its life. Then it gets the Alfa Romeo chassis number and the car is created on the assembly line. You can ask Marco Fazio at the Alfa Archives ( marco.fazio@alfaromeo.com ) when your car was produced and some detailed information. When Cav. Sr. Luigi Fusi was in charge of the museum you used to be able to find out the original owner, but not so any more.

Some cars come with custom features or paint schemes. Take for instance 1600 Veloce 390094. It was bought by Pininfarina and given the Pininfarina blue color.

This car was ordered by Pininfarina in Pininfarina blue from Alfa Romeo

The other unusual thing that you can find is a Sprint Speciale 00533 that was ordered with “vent” windows when all other cars came with a 1 piece window glass. Some cars came with an unusual color like “straw/ivory” which is one of the lesser colors you will find on a spider.

This car was custom ordered from the factory with “opening” vent window glass.

Some cars went right from the dealer show room to the race track and created their own history this way. Take for instance the “G” model spiders (a future discussion) that were factory built race cars with aluminum and lightened components. There are only about 3 of these cars known to the register to exist, as there maybe more hidden in someones garage. The last one was discovered on a trailer for sale on the street in Florida.

History…how many owners has the car been through to get to where it is today? I ran in to a spider Veloce in Italy that has documented 35 owners! Now try to keep all of that straight. The car is “ASI” confirmed. (another forthcoming article).

What is sad is that owners of the car for sale do not divulge the past history of the car, the car is sold to the new owner and all of that history in most cases is lost forever. I am fortunate in that my ’71 GTV is a one owner car bought off the show room floor. My 65Veloce is documented all the way back through the 5 previous owners because I was able to follow the paper trail back in the 1970’s when records were accessible through the DMV’s of several states and working both directions from the USA/Italy. My 1994 164Q is a 2 owner car and the 67 Super I can document back 1 owner and knew of the one before that, but don’t have a name, but I can describe in detail the conversation I had in 1976 with him. My wife’s spider comes with a folder of past history.

Ok, now you say…you made your point but where are you going? Basically if you can document the history of a car you raise its intrinsic value because it makes it a “known” car. Some would call it “provenance”. Look at the Antique Roadshow on PBS. What do they like about the items on display? They want “provenance” to prove it is the real deal. We are blessed in that no one wants to recreate our cars “yet” like they do with SZ/TZ knockoffs that are pretty good looking replica’s that fetch high dollars. So our cars are known, but to what extent and that comes down to the history of the car from the owners themselves.

So help out the future owners of the cars we own today by providing history of what has been done to the car, and who owned the car in the past. I can keep the history hidden just by saying you do not want it known, but stored in a backed up file on my computer

The Veloce Register was created to not only find how many are surviving and in what condition as well as last known owners, it was to help guide the market in a sense of just how many there are out of the few thousand that were made.

So who is going to step up and up date or provide me with a new car to add to the registers? (65 veloce at g mail dot com)


About alfadoc

I have been involved in Alfa Romeo cars since 1970 when I bought my 1600 Veloce spider. It was in 1972 that I started the Veloce Register for 1600 cars. It was in 1998 that I added the Sprint Veloce, 750 Spider Veloce and Sprint Speciale registers. Currently I own 2 Alfas: a 1994 164 Quadrifoglio.and a 1991 Spider "Automatic"
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