Spiders, aerobics, tandem and
What a great time we had. Stina and
me, Wille R from Sweden talked the whole way driving back home
through Holland and Germany about the weekend in Limburg. It
all started in April when I was chatting on the Internet with
Hans de Kok from the www.alfaspider.com about a meeting for
Roundtail Spiders. Limburg was his choice and now I know why.
We'll be back next year, that's for sure.
With new engine oil and the -67
Roundtail spider well tuned, we started through Denmark and
passed on the brand new Belt-bridge, one of the biggest in
Europe. What a view, we could almost see Amsterdam. Since the
traffic in the Hamburg area is known to be hard, we decided to
spend the night in Elmshorn. After the usual procedure with
"Schnitzel Ziugeuner art" and some beer, the next
morning we took the ferry from Gluckstadt over the Elbe, just
ten minutes, and we were finally in Holland.
The welcome was terrible, heavy rain
and thunder near Groeningen made us stop under some trees.
Well, you could have a worse time than sitting in the spider
with your 'spouse, listening to good music by Duane Eddy and
Jerry Lee Lewis from the tape recorder.
As always, things got better and we
had a nice drive on the small roads and passed Leuwarden,
Afsluitsdijk and stayed in Medemblick for the night. I had
then noticed that the gas tank had a minor leak. The problem
was, that I was not able to find any liquid gasket sealant to
stop the leak. The smell was terrible and everybody just
stopped and started asking questions whenever the bonnet was
open or even worse, I was under the spider. The people however
were very polite and friendly, but the leak continued.
Friday morning we took the road to Lelystad and passed
Harderwijk and continued on the small and winding roads
through Putten, Ede, Nijmegen and had a good time. Stina and I
realised that we would never make Limburg on time so we
decided to take the motor-way instead. Suddenly two spiders
What a relief, Cobi and Jan with
Dagmar and Ingmar took us on the fast lane to Valkenburg. It
was very fun to drive in a convoy at a good speed. BTW, since
Stina has her opinion about speed, I had swapped the Jaeger
speedometer for another one which only shows a maximum speed
of 120 kph, no matter what the rev. counter will say. 4.800
rpm still is a nice 120 kph and so is 3.400 rpm. I'll never
trade that speedometer.
What a show to see all the spiders and
to meet everybody. There were spiders everywhere and people
from various countries like Holland, Switzerland, France,
Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, UK, Germany and Italy of course.
Nice to get a badge with you name on. Then we didn't have to
say "that tall guy" or "the green spiderman",
instead we all knew who we were by name.
Very fortunate, most of the fellas
handed over the accommodation or other details to the females
and then we opened our bonnets and started to tell lies about
our Alfa Romeo spiders. Many interesting thoughts and ideas
were penetrated and examined in the parking lot. Time just
flew away for Andreas Rottman, Jacqout Christopbre and Klaus
Mohr. There were also some nice IV-series spiders, I noticed a
black one owned by Christian Spaan, young Alfista. His father
Jan had a Kamm-tailed spider. Lots of Alfas in that family
My tank was still leaking and
everybody was most interested. Nice welcome dinner and after
some refill from the hotel bar, we all had a good night sleep
on Friday evening.
Saturday morning the rally started. Roni "Spiderman"
handed out the maps, very impressive in full color print and
easy to read. The Rallybook contained some questions and
assignments and a start list with every spider according to
the start number with full names and license plate numbers.
We were supposed to drive and make
some assignments which turned out to be very instructive. Like
everyone else, I followed the leader, i.e. the car in front of
you. In my case it was a black Giulia Spider with a very nice
Dutch couple. After a while I followed the leader and ended in
the parking lot. We had to pay to get out from there and in
the meantime we saw the other spiders passing one by one.
The rally was real fun even with a
leaking tank and Jan Groen's spider looks so nice in the rear
mirror, especially when overtaken! Everywhere we looked, there
were Spiders all around. Fabulous! I had my mind set on the
tasks and had prepared myself real good. I know how to tell
the difference between the sound from a 1300 Jr engine with
NKG sparking plugs and a worn clutch release bearing with
Pirelli tyres from a 1750 engine with spin on filter and ATE
valves. I had even rechecked the movies "Police academy
no 14" and "Rocky VII". That's what we do way
up north. But I found it hard to find the border pole but
As I run the Alfa Romeo Roundtail
Spider register on the web, I was very happy to see so many
Duettos and Veloces in such good shape. I knew some of them
from the Internet already but had never seen the owners.
Suddenly "Cobi.Groen@WXS.nl" and "firstname.lastname@example.org"
got a face and were something else than just a VIN or a chassi
no. I took lots of photos and I was so happy.
There were two absolutely immaculate Swiss white Duettos. They
looked even better than brand new and in fact, they were.
Andreas Rottman and Hans-Peter Krebs had done a marvellous job
restoring them. I decided to park my roundtail far away from
them to avoid any comparison. Some of us talked about pouring
used engine oil over the white cars to make ours look better,
but we never did. They Swiss were very nice people and of
course Kodak must have made a fortune since everybody was
Andrea from Italy had a red Giulia GT
with some engine noise. Jan Groen took command and was very
happy to have something to lay his hands on, since Cobi was
organising the event together with Jaques and Roni. Nice work
Jan, to get the Giulia quiet again and I know that Andrea
Piecarini will not have to do anything about that engine for a
The organisation had arranged another
assignment too. Roni "Spiderman" asked some question
about what Italy was famous for. I was the only one who
shouted "amore" but that was wrong. It was tandem
bicycles instead. We all had to ride on the bike some 5
kilometres, that's what it felt like. Stina and I had an
interesting style on the bike, a mix of Michael Williams in
Sacramento, Eddie Merckx, King-Kong after the shower and
Quasiomodo break-dancing but managed. Afterwards we found out
that we had taken the long run, the rest of the gang only did
Prices and food, glorious
In the evening we had an absolute marvellous four-course
dinner and wine. Stina and I had made friends with Klaus and
Hildegard from Cologne and the evening went very fast, too
fast. The Swiss Duettos got awards too. First price was a lot
of engine oil. Their Spider did not consume any oil, as far as
I could see. Perhaps the blue-oil flame Spider that drove in
front of me for a while would have better use of the oil. Now
I know that he who says "there is no smoke without
fire" has never been driving behind an Alfa with worn
I got a nice price too, a very big
bottle of the Dutch Genever. That was a good compensation for
my leaking gas tank. The price was however not for the
cleanest Spider, but for the 1.500 km we had to go to get to
Valkenburg. Thanx a bunch.
That evening it started to rain, but what the heck. Can you
have a better time than together with other Alfisti, good
eating, lots of drinks and nice girls and Spiders. That was a
time to remember.
Another excellent breakfast and we were all ready to go.
During Saturday and Sunday there were some more Spiders
arriving to take part in the event. There was a Belgian 1750
Veloce -68 with French license plates that had been in a
museum in France for almost 25 years. Still original painting,
never re-sprayed and with the engine never opened.
Congratulations to Luc Colemont, proud owner of this beauty.
Luc runs the Alfa Romeo Miniatura
Finally, off we went in a long convoy,
Cobi was leading and Roni was taking care of the end. What a
glorious sight to be in the middle with Alfas as far as you
could see, both ahead and in the rear mirror.
The clouds were looking as way back in Scandinavia, i.e. rain
ahead, but nobody seemed to mind. That's when the aerobic
exercises started. The sky started to weep and almost
everybody turned 45 degrees backwards, grabbed the hood and
pulled it up.
Some Alfisti used umbrellas instead, I
had never thought of that. After a few minutes, the reverse
operation, top down. Moving again, shifting gears, revving and
then again. Turn your body back, grab the hood and lift. Away
we went and then again, top down. This operation went on for
some time, but after a while almost everybody had enough and
the tops stayed down. That was the Jane Fonda aerobic exercise
Alfa Spider style. Some of us are not used to twist our bodies
that much and we still can feel it after a week. Luc Colemont
is here assisted by a Dutch Duetto owner with experience.
In the meantime, Mieke and some other
nice ladies jumped out from the woods with a nice lunch bag
and made my day. It sure tasted fine. I think the local
inhabitants were impressed by us. I remember when they let us
all pass. They had obviously no idea that we were that many.
The line of cars waiting was growing all the time, but the
didn't seem to mind. There can never be too many Alfas, can
Finally, we got the Texas-style
restaurant Arizona. The organisation had a nice meal ready for
us, spare-ribs. I liked that and even got an extra plate.
Stina got a nice glass and Brunette and I got Alfa beer with a
special designed glass. Roni and Jacques sure knew how to get
a party going. Very impressive.
Time to say goodbye and everybody was
saying "see you next year". I personally was getting
kinda sentimental. We had such a great time together and we
will be back again. Thanx a bunch.
Little Dagmar had an overhaul on a Spider and got new dipers.
I liked that, well done Cobi. What will become of little
Dagmar, she's already used to the Spider, just wait 'til she
gets her driving license. It is really good to see the Groen
family driving in two spiders with the kids belted in the
seats and the top down. A real Alfa family.
Roni was very good when he escorted us
to the hotel and we all had a jolly good time that evening
together with the Alfisti from Luxembourg. It is always fun to
tell lies about our spiders and rims and how fast we go. Time
went too fast as always when you're in a good company. We all
slept like logs that night.
Thanx a bunch to Hans, Roni, Jaques
and Cobi and their families and all the rest who made this
such a memorable visit. See you all next year.