Owner's Club News
On the morning of November 11, the Three Rivers Alfisti visited Fowler Auto Street & Street who hosted a Meguiar's Detailing session from 9am until Noon. At least that is what was scheduled. The event actually finished up around 1:30 in the afternoon! Dan Yaworski from Meguiar's was kind enough to answer many many questions that the group had regarding paint finishing.
About Dan Fowler & F.A.S.T. Company
Fowler Automotive Street & Track provides auto service for sports & luxury cars as well as transport & trackside support for vintage race cars and teams. Dan Fowler started F.A.S.T Company in 2011 with the encouragement and support of the many race teams who have depended upon his expertise as a mechanic for over 50 years.
As a teenager, Dan restored the '67 Alfa 1600 and proceeded to promptly trade it in on a 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto in 1969. Dan raced a 1966 Alfa Romeo Guilia Veloce 1600 in the early 1970's.
In 1973 Dan attended the University of Pittsburgh and began work on his mechanical engineering degree but very quickly started working with the Pitt Race Team. It was called the "The Pitt Crew," with Bob Fryer driving a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, and became the best known non-factory car in the Trans-Am series during that period.
In 1975 Dan became the first employee of the Auto Palace. The iconic Pittsburgh landmark for exotic and racing cars from 1975 until 1984.
The Auto Palace was owned by Elvidio and Mario Grande and was originally called the Auto House (currently the Party House) until it moved to Baum Boulevard to become the iconic Auto Palace. The building now hosts the "Scaife Auto Palace".
By 1980 Dan was the highest trained Alfa Romeo technician in North America.
In 1981, Dan purchased the first Alfa Romeo GTV in black. He sold it to none other than Mario Andretti and bought then bought the second black Alfa Romeo GTV ever produced.
Coffee, Donuts & the Race Car Museum Tour
Before we kicked off the Detailing session we where treated to some morning snacks and got to walk around the shop. F.A.S.T Company not only provides support to many race teams but also serves as storage for the active vintage race cars. TRA Members got the opportunity to walk around and learn about some really interesting race cars during our visit as well as some unique street cars.
Digging into the Detailing with Dan Yaworski from Meguiar's
The Folks at Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo put together a very nice little video compilation of some of their and our events since July 2017. It includes the Giulia art car, the Cortile and the Polo Match. Pretty amazing drone footage! Check it out!
Alfa Owner: The Dawn of a New Chapter
Below is the Cover story in the November Issue of "Alfa Owner" it's the monthly magazine published by the Alfa Romeo Owner's Club. The article was written by Enrique Zuniga announcing the formation of our chapter, The Three River's Alfisti!!
Located in the western foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, at the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio Rriver, lies a city well known for its steel history, bridges and sports – and often ranked as one of the best places to live in the world! It’s Pittsburgh, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s largest western city, with a population of over more than 3,000 three hundred thousand and almost two and half2.5 million within the greater metro area. For automobile enthusiasts, it is also a city with a well-established tradition for car events, such as the annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and International Car Show that has been going on for 35 years.
Unsurprisingly, this area is also home to a good number of Aalfisti, who for several decades had hoped to establish a formal Alfa Romeo owners group. While the desire had not materialized, it was not for lack of interest. Locals will relate some of the attempts made over the years, such as the Allegheny Alfisti of the late 1970’s. This was the effort by Howard West, Don Wannagat, Kevin Benzenhoefer and others, to form an Alfa Romeo Owners Club chapter in the Pittsburgh area. Despite holding meetings for several years, a chapter was not formed.
Then, in 2010, invigorated by the 100-year celebration of the Alfa Romeo marque during the Vintage Grand Prix event, local organizers and Alfa enthusiasts, Jim Shaw and Marianne Fenoglietto once again considered the creation of formal Alfa owners group. It would be an AROC chapter in Western Pennsylvania. As Spider owners, they organized driving events,
which brought other enthusiastic Alfa owners together. The idea enjoyed great support, but while the interest never waned and the formation of a chapter was a topic of discussion for several years, formal steps to organize the group were not taken.
In 2016 however, with the establishment of the Ron Lewis Automotive Group as an Alfa Romeo dealer in the Pittsburgh area, the elusive goal was to find a path towards reality. While returning from corporate Alfa Romeo training, during an extended flight delay, the Ron Lewis Sales team found themselves on the airport tarmac with Jim Neville, the Alfa Romeo chairperson for the Pittsburgh Grand Prix Italian “Cortile” Car Show. A few months later, in April, the dealership hosted the area’s 2017 launch event of the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Enveloped by the energy at the event, Jim Neville was joined by Bernard Martin (Cortile event Managing Director), and together they approached the dealership about joining their endeavor of establishing an AROC chapter.
Their proposal was enthusiastically embraced by Gwen Lewis and Jobie Glessner. The newly formed partnership quickly took concrete steps, with Gwen hosting local Aalfisti meetings at the dealership and contacting AROC National on behalf of the Pittsburgh group. Conversations, meetings and a bit of work took place from April through June, as Jim, Bernard and Gwen took the lead to establish a formal Alfa Owners group in the Pittsburgh area.
Three Rivers Alfisti, a.k.a. Three Rivers AROC, is our newest chapter. It was officially launched during the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix week, at the Cortile Italian Car Show, on Saturday, July 15, 2017.
Three Rivers Alfisti Founding Officers
Jim is a long-time Alfa enthusiast and owner of an award- winning 1967 Duetto Spider. He is Vice President of Oil and Gas at Equipment & Controls, Inc. in Pittsburgh PA. “It’s perfect timing for the Three Rivers Alfisti to officially kick off at the Cortile Italian Car Show Saturday July 15, 2017,” said Jim Neville, first President of Three Rivers Alfisti, said. “Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S., and the launch of our new Chapter, present a great opportunity for owners to share their love for these automobiles.”
Gwen is also Vice President of Marketing/Online Operations at the Ron Lewis Automotive Group. Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo is the newest franchise addition to the family-run dealership group. “To celebrate the launch of our Chapter, Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo will subsidize a 1-year Standard membership of any new Alfa Romeo customer betweens July 15, 2017 and -December 31, 2017,” said Gwen Lewis said. “We’re excited to welcome our customers to the joys of Alfa Romeo ownership and to introduce them to a local group who share the same affinity.”
Bernie is the Founder and President of Rapid Production Marketing in Pittsburgh. In 2009, Bernie created the Italian Cortile in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Owner of a 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider, Bernie completed a 2,890- mile round trip journey to the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in March 2017 in his Alfa. “We’re already receiving positive feedback about forming the Three Rivers Alfisti,” said Bernie Martin said. “All the pieces are in place to make this Owner’s Club a success after many years of trying.”
Congratulations to Gwen Lewis, our Vice President for being profiled in Pittsburgh Magazine! Check out the article below!
Gwen Lewis is Co-President of the Ron Lewis Automotive Group.
PRESENTED BY S&T BANK
September 28, 2017
Gwen Lewis joined the family business in 2000 and has had a profound impact. She founded the online operations for the Ron Lewis Automotive Group, which has grown to comprise the majority of the family-owned and operated car dealership group’s business.
As co-president, Lewis works with the executive management team and also runs marketing and group branding. In 2013, she launched the Souped Up Jeep and Souped Up Truck customization services and opened the Souped Up Garage online where customers can conceptualize their own designs.
Towards the end of that same year, the dealership group re-branded all of the stores under the “Ron Lewis” name, and Lewis coined and trademarked their well-known tagline “We Have Your KeysSM”.
“As a communications strategist by trade, I loved the challenge and I’m pleased that we are now positioned to compete as the large dealership group that we are,” Lewis says.
Lewis describes herself as creative, intense, dedicated, honest and as a “Mama Bear” to her three children. “Ok, I’m slightly competitive, too,” she says with a laugh.
“At the end of the day, I want to provide a good role model for my three children. I want them to be proud of their Mom and the work we do in our family business.”
Outside of the office, Lewis was a Gold and Bronze Medalist at the Masters Nationals Rowing Championships in 2016 and 2017, the Events and Learning Chair on the Entrepreneurs Organization Pittsburgh Board of Directors in 2013 and 2014 and is Vice President and Founding Officer of Three Rivers Alfisti, Alfa Romeo Owners Club.
She encourages other women in business to create opportunities for themselves, surround themselves with good people, stand up for what they believe in and lead by example.
“I am happy to provide connections, career insights, and support for young women who are trying to get from A to B,” she says. “I truly enjoy helping to open any doors I can.”
Jim, Gwen & Bernie met for an Executive Board review meeting this morning.
Below are the detailed notes on the discussion.
We're looking for comments,suggestions & ideas from you! Don't be afraid to comment at the bottom of this page. If you don't see a comments section, just click not the title and THIS page will re-load.
Event Calendar 2017-2018
Treasurer & Organization Set up
Gwen reports that the TRA account has been set up. We are still looking for a treasurer. We have a few more steps to complete to get the official recognition from the State including posting an announcement in local papers. After that, it should be some pretty straight forward book keeping for our events. Volunteers? Stepnose on up!
Cortile Della Corsa
Bernie and Jim have been working on a a proposal to host the 2019 Alfa Romeo convention here in Pittsburgh. The Cortile Della Corsa is the initial name for the convention. It translates to "Courtyard of Racing". Below is an initial draft version of the proposal plans. If anyone has any insights, opinions or ideas please pass them along to us in the comments!
On September 9, 2017 The Three Rivers Alfisiti met at Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo for breakfast and then began a spirited driving tour through the backroads of Western Pennsylvania to the Family House Polo Match. There we were featured on the Polo Field for the Vintage Italian Car Display.
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix's Cortile Italian Car Show participants, in conjunction with the Three Rivers Alfa Romeo Club and the Ferrari Club of Western Pennsylvania, were featured at this year's 34th annual event!
Three Rivers Alfisti members were treated a wonderful evening on September 7, 2017 when Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo hosted "An Evening of Driving & Painting" at their car dealership.
The Stelvio Specs
The Stelvio weighs 3,660 lbs with with a full tank of gas, which is less than it's model competitors the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes GLK and the Jaguar F-Pace. The Stelvio uses the same Giorgio platform used in the Giulia and also shares the same engines and many of the mechanicals. It tracks bigger than the Giulia with a wider stance in the front by 2.1 inches and rear by 1.1 inches.
There's something to be said about the almost lost art of modeling car designs in clay and the Stelvio, like the Giuia, hearkens back that era. You want to caress the lines.
The "Sport" package, features paddle shifters, 19" wheels and aluminum interior accents, but it seemed to be the seating that attracted the more driving performance oriented members in the crowd.
The Quadrifoglio, which was is not yet available is powered by a 505-hp 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 thatshares a lineage with the V8s currently used by Ferrari in the 488 and California T . The Quad is spec'd to have a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds with Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes to slow you down from the 177mph top speed.
The weight distribution is 50/50 between the two axleS. The aerodynamic coefficient is 0.30.
The AlfaLink suspension is a double wishbone front, multi-link rear aluminium suspension. Springs are longer than the Giulia, but stiffer to counteract the extra height. Driver sit about 7.5 inches higher from the road than in Giulia.
Alfisti Evening Experience
Originally scheduled to be staged outside, Gwen Lewis arranged for there to be ideal SUV test drive conditions. The rain poured down and members got the chance to experience the capabilities of the Stelvio in full wet conditions.
How The Stelvio Got It's Name
The car takes it's name from The Stelvio Pass in Northern Italy. It's a majestic and daunting driving experience, with a mountainous terrain and hairpin curves that challenge even the bravest of drivers. The Stelvio Pass mountain is at an elevation of 9,045 ft above sea level. It's the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps. At the crest you encounter the “Peak of the Three Languages” – where the borders of Switzerland, Austria and Italy once met.
It was originally carved out through an impassable section of terrain 10 months of the yea to increase trade between Switzerland and Venice. The construction of the road was completed in 1825. It has changed little since then. It's 75 kilometers long and that coincides with the number of turns you would encounter. It remains too brutal for most modern commercial vehicles.
Inspired by this great driving road, Alfa Romeo engineers and artisans set out to imagine, design and craft a truly Italian SUV.
We are extremely pleased to update you on the progress being made by the Three Rivers Alfisti!
Since our launch in July at the Italian Cortile:
We are hosting our first official Chapter Event on Saturday 9/9/17 at the Family House Polo Match!
All rostered TRA/AROC members by 9/9/17 will be invited to attend the festivities without charge/tickets.
Non-Members will be assessed a $20 Temporary Membership Event Participation Fee.
Please see the attached invitation for details and RSVP by 9/1/17 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you and your Alfa Romeo soon!
Jim Neville, President
Gwen Lewis, Vice President
Bernard Martin, Secretary
Three Rivers Alfisti
Gather your family and friends for a day of fun on the Polo field September 9, 2017!
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix's Cortile Italian Car Show participants, in conjunction with the Three Rivers Alfa Romeo Club and the Ferrari Club of Western Pennsylvania, are featured at this year's 34th annual event!
It's an Italian Car show during the Polo match this year!
Keep in mind that Show cars are not charged the $50 admission and will be staged in a private spectator viewing area adjoing the show field. Donations to Family House are encouraged.
Gates open to the public at 10AM and activities begin at 11AM. Opening ceremonies are at 1PM with polo matches starting after that and completing around 4pm. If you would like to join us please RSVP by clicking "Going" from the link below
For those wishing to attend, but NOT show thier Italian car, tickets to the event can be purchased HERE
About Family House Polo Match
For more than three decades, the Family House Polo Match has been a beloved Pittsburgh tradition that raises funds for Family House's mission to provide temporary, affordable housing for families who travel to Pittsburgh for medical care.
This fun-filled day at Hartwood Acres features a professional polo match, vintage cars, children's activities, a silent auction, shopping, wine and beer tasting, and more.
There are many ways to join us on September 9th. Gather your friends and purchase a ticket package for a fun party, or smaller groups may prefer the general admission option. For those purchasing any of the ribbon packages, you may choose to rent a tent*, have food catered or simply tailgate at your vehicle. Fancy or simple, the Family House Polo Match has something for everyone!
Hartwood Acres 4000 Middle Rd, Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101
In the late 1970's Howard West, Don Wannagat, Kevin Benzenhoefer and several others initiated the development of an Alfa Romeo Owners Club chapter in the Pittsburgh area called "Allegheny Alfisti". Several meetings where held over about 3 year period but the club just wasn't able to get up and running.
In 2010, during the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix's Cortile Italian Car Show that was celebrating the "Alfa Century", and featured a 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 owners by Mark Gessler.
This is a 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 with reconstructed aerodynamic berlinetta Touring coachwork. It is the only correct example in existence. The underlying Tipo 256 chassis and drive train were rediscovered in 1993 with postwar cabriolet coachwork of unknown origin. The reconstuction of this highly complex superleggera (super-light) aluminum body was realized through a collaboration between the former head of Carrozzeria Touring, Carlo Felice Bianci Anderloni; master coachbuilder Dino Cognaloto; and rare archive documents provided by Alfa Romeo. The coachwork was completed in Italy in 2003 just prior to Anderloni’s death. It was the famed designer’s final project.
Marianne Fenoglietto and Jim Shaw started discussing the idea of creating an AROC chapter in Western Pennsylvania. Marianne's family had donated a wonderful Alfa Romeo cake to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Alfa Romeo, the "Alfa Century", and Jim Shaw was the Chef for the Cortile. Both owned Spiders and suggested doing some driving events to gage some interest.
The idea was discussed for quite a number of years but no one could really take the mantle of leadership to get a club launched. There where quite a few potential members, who where more than willing to help out, but the idea needed someone to really drive home the entire launch effort.
In 2016, Ron Lewis Automotive Group became the only local Alfa Romeo dealer in the Western Pennsylvania area. Jim Neville, who was the Alfa Romeo chairperson for the Cortile just happened to be stuck on the tarmac with the sales team from Ron Lewis as they where returning from Alfa Romeo corporate training.
It was at that event that the Alfa Romeo Owners Club chapter idea again sprung up. Bernard Martin and Jim Neville proposed to Gwen Lewis and Jobie Glessner from the dealership that they might want to be a part of starting an Alfa Romeo Owner's Club chapter to bring together the Alfsiti in the Three Rivers area. Gwen fully embraced the idea!. Bernie was the Managing Director of the Cortile and also an Alfa Romeo owner. It was decided that night to start the process of finally forming an AROC chapter.
In celebration of Alfa Romeo's return to Pittsburgh, Gwen Lewis commissioned an Art Car during the PVGP's midweek celebration, that highlighted local artist Dave O'Brien's Live Painting with Giulia at Market Square and featured Andy Warhol on the hood.
The Three Rivers Alfisti officially launched at the Cortile Italian Car Show Saturday July 15, 2017.
Howard West's Sprint Speciale was on display at the 2017 show, and Don Wannagat's' Alfa was on the track both weekends bringing AROC history in along the Three Rivers full circle.
Here you will find the details about upcoming and past events as well as member profiles.