Owner's Club News
Check out the Alfa Owner October issue with a jam packed full series of articles about the Cortile Della Corsa 2019 AROC Convention hosted by our Three Rivers Alfisti Club.
Reporting is by Dave Hammond and Bob Abhalter. In some cases, I've linked back to the convention pages so you can see all of the schedule details in case you don't recall when reading the articles.
Pittsburgh native Tony Sikorski sculptures will be featured at the the 2019 Alfa Romeo Owner's Club Convention to be held at the Doubletree Hilton in Cranberry Twp, PA. Tony is working on some special pieces just for the Cortile della Corsa event. He will have his art work on display in the art room at the Convention and also at the Cortile Italian Car Show tent at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
Tony Sikorski, after winning a scholarship at the Ivy Art Institute of Graphic Design in Pittsburgh, began his advertising career in 1963. In 1976, he started his own business and has since created graphic designs and illustrations for numerous well-known companies throughout the United States. In addition to his accomplishments in graphic arts, Tony has had a love affair with the automobile for as long as he can remember.
The 1930's, Formula 1, and old racing cars have found a special place his heart. Using corrugated cardboard as a medium, he began creating one of a kind sculptures in 1995 and has recently been using wood as a medium. Tony's award-winning corrugated classics have been displayed at numerous invitational motor sports art exhibitions.
Along with that, his ability to capture power, speed, and motion of the automobile has resulted in sculptural commissions in both corporate and private sectors, and his work has also earned feature presentations in Car Collector, Robb Report, Mobilia. Automobile Magazine, AutoWeek, and Classic and Sportscar Magazine.
Notably, Classic and Sportscar magazine esteems Tony Sikorski as one of the top 20 motoring artists of the past 20 years. The list of Tony's awards in automobile design grew considerably in the previous decade. In 1995 and again in 2002), he placed first at the Midwest Concours d' Elegance in Cincinnati Ohio.
The Gilmore Classic Car Museum's Concours in Gilmore, Michigan, honored him with the Award of Excellence for three consecutive years (1996- 998), Sikorski won the coveted John Burgess Award: Best Show at the Daimler Chrysler Meadow Brook Historic Races.
Remembering the achievements of the 90's and moving into further creative endeavors in this new millennium, Tony continues to enjoy notoriety in automobile design. In May of 2000, he was invited to the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance Invitational Artist Exhibition in Rochester, Michigan.
Honors came again in 2001 as Tony received the Struthers MacMinn Award: Best Show at Meadow Brook. In 2002, he won the Stanley Wanlass "Spirit of the Automobilist" Award at Meadow Brook. Continuing in that true "spirit of the automobilist" and still enjoying a love affair with the automobile, Tony is currently working on new and creative projects.
Other Stories about Tony
Tony Sikorski’s Latest Sculptures Explore The Stunning Shapes Of Automobiles For 2016 Pebble Beach Concours
August 9, 2016 Automotive Fine Arts Society,
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Aug. 08, 2016 – Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS) member Tony Sikorski will test conventions of automotive art with his sculptures at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Pebble Beach, California. A master of crafting automobiles in a never-before-seen way, Sikorski is known for simplifying the shape of the automobile into pure design elements and then adding unique twists. <READ MORE>
By Enrique Zuniga
Even as a convention advisor it is not often that one has an opportunity to visit the venues of an upcoming convention, so when I received an invite to attend an evening convention planning meeting late last fall, I did not hesitate… and the visit quickly became an overnight stay at the convention hotel with a preview of what was in the works for our annual AROC gathering.
I fired up the Spider engine at 5am on the day of the meeting, setting off for the six-hour drive from northern NJ to Pittsburgh via the route with the most curves – the one that cuts through the mountains, of course… It’s always a joy to hear the engine purr turn into a roar as the nimble bella macchina cuts through the curves and cold morning air as the sun keeps rising.
Despite the forecasted possible rain that materialized into a full snow for forty-five minutes, I made it on time to the first venue: DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh Cranberry hotel.
Upon exiting the Spider I met my host: convention organizer and Pittsburgh chapter secretary, and 2019 Convention Chairman, Bernie Martin. I had spoken with Bernie many times over the phone and via video conference, but this was the first time we got to shake hands. As we stepped into the hotel lobby, I was taken in by the spacious feel and natural bright light afforded by the modern, totally open, layout.
The lobby, lounge, dining room and bar are completely unobstructed from any view point and the elevator’s glass wall allows for panoramic observation while riding up five stories. As we toured the hotel’s meeting rooms and business facilities, I took note of the gym, as well as an indoor pool and another pool outdoors. My room was impeccable, and my overnight stay would turn out to be most pleasant.
When we exited the hotel, Bernie pointed out that we were only 20 minutes from the second venue on our list: Pittsburgh International Race Complex. This re-modeled site offers perhaps the most comfortable setting we’ve ever had for our traditional Track Day.
In addition to the expected driver and meeting room facilities we will have access to the air-conditioned VIP area which is often used to host large dinners and gatherings. I can see many of us enjoying a drink in total comfort while watching the competition taking place on the track below.
We will be running on a 1.6 mile course with 13 turns and exiting changes in elevation. As the track manager drove us around the course a few times, with the fun meter revving high, we commented on the opportunity for every AROC convention attendee to drive this course through what I am calling an Enhanced Parade Laps Experience.
Our traditional Autocross will also take place at the track premises. With the largest
paved area for an autocross that I have ever seen at a convention, this is a course
designer’s dream. Seasoned competitors and their cars will have ample staging room.
Furthermore, we will have a low-key staging area for a Novice Only group. As a full
motor sports facility, this complex also has a Go-Kart course. Karting has become very
popular because it is a blast and the course will be open during our Track Day.
The third venue stop was Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. From the onset, an evening at Jergel’s has been an enthusiastic component of the vision for this convention. Upon reading the website description however, “Jergel's Rhythm Grille" offers a unique live music experience in the Pittsburgh area with a 600-person capacity, full restaurant menu, cigar bar and patio!”.
My vision was that of crowded bar, with loud music that made it impossible to communicate without screaming and appealing only to a very young age group.
Well, I could not have been more wrong. First, the setting is impressive and enormous. The pictures on the web do not do it justice. In the main floor, off to the side, there is a very cool looking and inviting oval bar with comfortable seating for at least 100 people. Yes, I counted!
The well-thought out bar area is not just generously spacious all around, but it does not collide in the least with the stage and main viewing area in front of the stage. In addition to the first floor, there is the even better second floor, which is the one negotiated for our convention. It is accessible via stairs or elevator, as the Jergel’s manager giving us the walk through pointed out.
Our convention will have full and exclusive access to the second floor, which has capacity for 250 people. The second floor has a square opening that overlooks the first floor, including the stage. The opening is built with a ledge for drinks and food and furnished with 60 plus chairs, each of which provide a front row seat to the stage below.
This floor also has an inviting bar, off to the side, with comfortable seating for 45 people. Furthermore, almost an entire wall of the second floor is lined with large booths and there are plenty of tables arranged throughout. I can honestly say that my vision of a crowded room was replaced with the reality of an easy-to-walk-around-and-mingle adult setting. Two-hundred and fifty of us will fit nicely and none of us will have to fight for a chair.
At this point it was clear that Jergel’s has a great setting, good food, drinks and reasonable prices, but I still had to ask about having to scream over music in order to communicate?
As it turns out, Bernie was already several steps ahead of me. The evening reserved for the convention features the music of accomplished musicians "Three Car Garage" who have already been selected and confirmed specifically by our chapter hosts. We will be on the second floor enjoying a lovely evening, and others not associated to our convention may also enjoy our evening, but from the first floor only.
Last, the main parking lot in front of the entrance has been reserved for Alfa Romeo cars only.
The last venue we visited was the Pittsburgh Golf Club, founded in 1896. The convention will hold a Friday dinner at the Club as well as Car Show and Concours weekend. As expected, the grounds are beautiful, the place is immaculate, and classy with a sophisticated vintage feel. Our Alfas will feel very much at home in such elegant premises.
After a very full day, Bernie and I returned to the convention hotel for a full planning meeting. I got to meet some great AROC members. The majority were from the Pittsburgh chapter, of course, but there were other volunteers from neighboring chapters as well. A lot was discussed, but it is very important to note that while our convention is taking place, the city of Pittsburgh will be hosting the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, a major charity event which includes two weekends of historic races.
Our host AROC chapter, Three Rivers Alfisti, has been proudly participating heavily in the PVGP event for many years. While our convention is a distinct event, with activities open to AROC members only, the Car Show and Concours weekend will take place within the PVGP setting, which also includes spectating the historic races that take place on that weekend.
Furthermore, Alfa Romeo has been named as one of two featured marques of this year’s PVGP, and therefore AROC convention attendees may register for overlapping activities. All PVGP historic Alfa Romeo racers, AROC members or not, will be staying at the convention hotel.
The following morning, I got into the Spider for the drive back to northern NJ. This time however, hoping to avoid another unpredicted snow storm, I opted for the reliable, albeit boring, interstate highways. The interstates have these wonderful easy-to-read and up-to-the-minute informative electronic boards. As I drove these kept displaying a warning for “POSSIBLE EXTREME WHITE-OUT CONDITIONS”… Thankfully those conditions never materialized, and I was able to think about my Pittsburgh visit and enjoy the notion that we are going to have a great convention!
Kelly Telfer has been been selected at the featured artist to create the Cortile della Corsa poster for the 2019 Alfa Romeo Owner's Club Convention and the Spotlight Car for the 2019 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
, aKelly designed and printed their race team shirts and soon, everybody else wanted him to design their shirts! He started a T-shirt company, O.Tee Shirts, when he was 20 years old- based on his original art and new-found race contacts.
It turned into one of the largest T-shirt companies specializing in motorsports in the country. Over the next couple of decades, Kelly created art and apparel for many top racers, tracks, and manufacturers; including Mears, Andretti, Petty, Earnhardt, Senna, Mansell, the Daytona 500, Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey Historics, Long Beach Grand Prix, Indy 500, Monaco F1, as well as Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, NASCAR, Indy Car and F1.
Be sure and check out Kelly's website, Kelly Telfer's Fine Art, and learn about his Ambush Art. We should be making an announcement regarding the poster art sometime in February or March.
In January Bernard martin presented a proposal to the Alfa Romeo Owners Club Board of Directors that the Three Rivers Alfisti chapter of AROC would host the 2019 AROC Convention at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix's Cortile Italian Car Show where the TRA was founded in July 2017.
Our Club presented some rather unique ideas for the convention:
The Board voted unanimously to hold the convention in Pittsburgh. Our next step is to start to revise the initial planning in more detail. The complete presentation is below and can also be found on our YouTube Channel.
Editor's Note: This iS breaking news TODAY! You should also know that we've just recently submitted a proposal to host the Alfa Romeo Owner's Club Convention in 2019 at the Cortile Italian Car Show during the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. We proposed it be called the Cortile della Corsa: The Courtyard of Racing and to feature the racing history of Alfa Romeo! We think it's going to be a terrific time to sample much to the incredible history of Alfa Romeo Racing!!
The prestigious Italian brand owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team for participation in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season.
The single-seaters will sport the distinctive colors and logo of Alfa Romeo, the team's Title Sponsor, and will be equipped with 2018 Ferrari power units.
The scope of the agreement includes strategic, commercial and technological cooperation in all applicable areas of development, including access to engineering know-how and the expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff. This partnership will provide additional opportunities for the two organizations in both Formula 1 and the automotive sector in general.
The official name will be Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, said: "This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years. A storied marque that has helped make the history of this sport, Alfa Romeo will join other major automakers that participate in Formula 1. The brand itself will also benefit from the sharing of technology and strategic know-how with a partner of the Sauber F1 Team's undisputed experience.
The Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly-launched models, Giulia and Stelvio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 Team. At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history."
Pascal Picci, Chairman of Sauber Holding AG, commented: "We are very pleased to welcome Alfa Romeo to the Sauber F1 Team. Alfa Romeo has a long history of success in Grand Prix racing, and we are very proud that this internationally renowned company has chosen to work with us for its return to the pinnacle of motorsport. Working closely with a car manufacturer is a great opportunity for the Sauber Group to further develop its technology and engineering projects. We are confident that together we can bring the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team great success, and look forward to a long and successful partnership."
The return of Alfa Romeo, one of the major protagonists in Formula 1 history, is expected to contribute significantly to the appeal and future development of the sport. Alfa Romeo brings with it technological know-how and a large and passionate fan base, while participation in the championship also offers benefits for the brand in areas such as technology transfer and road safety.
Alfa Romeo is known around the world for its racing heritage and technological excellence. The undisputed champion of the pre-war Grand Prix (in 1925, the GP Tipo 2 dominated the first World Championship), Alfa Romeo participated in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1988, both as a constructor and engine supplier. Immediately upon its debut, Alfa Romeo won the first two drivers' world championships, in 1950 and 1951, with drivers Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. From 1961 to 1979, Alfa Romeo participated as engine supplier to several F1 teams.
Following its return as a constructor in 1979, Alfa Romeo achieved its best result in 1983, taking sixth place in the constructors' championship. More than 30 years after withdrawing as a competitor from Formula 1 (1985), the brand is returning with the clear intention to make its mark.
About Alfa Romeo and FCA
Alfa Romeo is a historic brand of FCA Group. Since its founding in Milan, Italy, in 1910, Alfa Romeo has designed and crafted some of the most stylish and exclusive cars in automotive history. That tradition lives on today as Alfa Romeo continues to take a unique and innovative approach to designing automobiles. In every Alfa Romeo, technology and passion converge to produce a true work of art. Fully reviving Alfa Romeo's spirit and maximizing its global appeal has been one of FCA's priorities. Following a clear and well-defined strategy,
FCA designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles and related parts and services, components and production systems worldwide through 162 manufacturing facilities, 87 R&D centers, and dealers and distributors in more than 150 countries. In addition to Alfa Romeo, its stable of brands include Abarth, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, Maserati and Mopar, the parts and service brand.
The Group's businesses also include Comau (production systems), Magneti Marelli (components) and Teksid (iron and castings). FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA"
About Sauber Motorsport
In 1970 Peter Sauber founded his company and designed his first racing car in the cellar of his parents' house. The race team grew steadily and enjoyed its first major international successes in the late 1980s. As the Mercedes works team, Sauber celebrated a one-two victory in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1989 and back-to-back Drivers' and Manufacturers' titles in the World Sports Car Championship in 1989 and 1990. In 1993 Sauber entered Formula One.
Among the team's F1 highlights have been a fourth-place finish in the Constructors' World Championship in 2001 as an independent team and - in partnership with BMW - a one-two finish in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix on the way to third place in the constructors' standings that year. In 2010 Sauber became an independent outfit once again. 2012 was a very good year of the Sauber F1 Team, headlined by four podium finishes, 126 World Championship points and sixth place in the constructors' standings.
The 11th October 2012 marked a milestone in the history of the team - the day when Sauber stepped down as Team Principal and passed on the baton to Monisha Kaltenborn. Between 1993 and the end of 2016 the team contested 424 grand prix in Formula One. In 2017 the Sauber F1 Team celebrates another milestone: it is the 25th Formula One season in the teams' history. The fourth oldest Formula 1 team starts together with its new owner, Longbow Finance S. A., into a new era. In 2017, Frédéric Vasseur was named as the new Managing Director and CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG, and Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team.
Sauber has its headquarters in Hinwil, in the Swiss canton of Zurich. The team's state of the art factory houses manufacturing facilities and offices spanning an area of 15,600 square meters and boasts one of the most advanced wind tunnels in F1.
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.”
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!
Here you will find the details about upcoming and past events as well as member profiles.