It was a slow beginning, but
there was more to come.
By then I had just bought a 1957
Giulietta Sprint. The car was in a terrible condition, but
that's the fun part of Alfas, restoring and meeting new
Alfaholics. Talking in the garage and arguing of the best
solution for various mechanical problems. The Giulietta had
the fuel pump on the left side of the engine. This scared me,
'cause if the hose broke, the fuel would be spread just over
the hot exhaust. That would be a true burnout.
However, I had no problems there, but
rumors said that "in Italy there's one Giulietta burning
a day". My only concern was that if it happened to me, I
would end up in the newspaper unable to read it if I was all
This is a photo of my Giulietta. The
overhauling has just started and she's being stripped but I
just simply couldn't let her just stand there. I just had to
drive. The red license plate indicates that I didn't pay tax
for her. I used the red plate since the car was not registered
at that time.
The Giulietta had enormous drum
brakes, extensively finned. They were very good and I had no
problems. In those days there were not so many cars on the
roads in Scandinavia and very few Alfas. It's amazing how the
design of the old Giulietta still looks modern and up to date.
My model had the small "lobster-hooks" in the front
and not the somewhat bigger chrome bumpers that were
introduced in 1960.
I was working at that time in the
summer for an Italian Agency "Viaggi Condor" and
since one of the bosses had a brother who was an Alfa-dealer,
we drove Giulias. When I returned back to Scandinavia that
fall I didn't talk so much about Giulias. I realized that most
people here knew very little about Alfas. Volvo had introduced
the Amazon with twin carbs and SAAB was champion in the
Rallies in Europe.
FIAT was dominating the market to some
extents with the124 and 125 cars. The photo shows my blue
Giulia Super in Italy the summer 1966. Good performance, fun
to drive but not a Spider.
The next summer when I returned to
Italy, I drove a FIAT 124 Spider, that car too had a twin-cam
engine, five-speed gearbox and disc brakes. Quite good. It was
so fun in Italy! However, my "Patrone" Stefano
Pattaconi had a kid brother Sandro who owned a brand new
That sure was something. I got up early in the mornings just
to look at it and drive it when the sun was rising over the
Adriatic sea. His Duetto had a record player installed. It was
very primitive and I only had three records at that time in
Italy. Neil Sedaka's Oh Carol, Rita Pavone's Cuore and Jerry
I bored my dates (in the mornings)
driving that Duetto playing the same records over and over
again. I did enjoy myself, believe me! Back in Sweden I had a
1750 GTV and the Giulietta Sprint. But I was constantly
thinking about the Duetto. They were utterly rare in
Scandinavia, in fact I had never seen one at that time in the