Owner's Club News
By Enrique Zuniga for Alfa Owner magazine
edits and additional details by Bernard Martin
Here's where you will find a list of the DRIVING events that will be going on at the 2019 Alfa Romeo Owners Club Convention. With a theme entitled "Cortile della Corsa", the "Courtyard of Racing" promises to deliver some unique and memorable driving experiences.
Pittsburgh Parade, Car Show and Tune-Up at Heinz Field
Alfa Romeo is the SPOTLIGHT marque of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP) and Wednesday is the day in which the city of Pittsburgh stops to celebrate this magnificent annual tradition.
The map here depcits the parade route into the city.
Downtown Pittsburgh, only 20 miles from the convention hotel, is the place to be on Wednesday! The day begins with a morning Downtown Parade with Alfa Romeos leading the multi-marque event. No where else in the country has there been an Alfa Romeo parade of cars into a major city with a police escort! This is a very unique opportunity for only 40 Alfa Romeo's! For those entering their Alfa, the cost is only $10 per car.
Downtown Car Show
Celebrations continue with the Downtown Car Show, which will have 40 Alfas on display at Point State Park. Point State Park is where the Headwaters of the Ohio River start with the convergence of the Allegheny River from the north and the Monongahela River from the south: It's the "Three Rivers" for which Pittsburgh is famous!
While there, note that this is a great opportunity for a quick visit to Fort Pitt Museum. Your entry payment for the Downtown Car Show display includes entry into the Fort Pitt Museum.
There are three other mixed marque downtown car shows that the PVGP is holding with celebrations at PPG Plaza, Market Square and US Steel Plaza.
Tune Up at Heinz Field
The day culminates with the evening PVGP Tune-Up Party at Heinz Field. Registration for this event has not yet opened so be sure to the check back on the PVGP Website or updates.
All vehicles that are parking in the Car Showcase must be preregistered and can begin to park at 5:00 pm. Enter from General Robinson Street – there are no other entrances. The bars will not open until 5:30 pm and the food will not be served until 6:15 pm but you are welcome to move in starting at 5:00 pm – please do not show up early, the street will not be closed and we are not permitted to block the street until 5:00 pm.
Thursday, July 18
Track Day Time Trials, Autocross, Karting and Parade Lap
The Pittsburgh International Race Complex is the same track that the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Historic Races is held the weekend before our convention starts. All of todays afternoon events are going to be held at the track.
Track Day is always a special for all club members and this year it will take place at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PittRace), a 20-minute drive from the convention hotel. The track opens at 7 am and closes at 8 pm, but since it is in an urban area where noise restrictions apply, competitive driving hours are from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm. (Please note that convention plans to have all track activities concluded before 5 pm.) Spectators should note that there is a very comfortable second floor air-conditioned VIP room that overlooks the track below.
Time Trials are open to all cars (race cars, street cars, Alfas and other marques). There will be timed practice sessions in the morning, with the final Time Trial laps taking place in the afternoon. This is a fabulous opportunity to place your car on a fun, 13-turn, 1.6-mile road course, with elevation changes. Drivers arrive early in the morning to set-up their cars and attend the mandatory driver’s meeting. Cars and drivers are classified ahead of the event and placed into groups according to horse power as well as driver experience, but these groups may be adjusted after the first practice laps. Driving a car on a track is just great fun. Drivers may share a car
The Autocross is also taking place at the track. It is open to all cars. Taking part in both the TT and the Autocross will not be an issue, even for those sharing a car. This is a traditional autocross, with AROC car classifications. Autocross laps around the cone-marked course take about 60 seconds, mostly in second gear, but are a blast to experience.
For those who have never driven a course or simply wish to learn the basics in a calm, non-intimidating setting we have created a Novice Only Group. Novices’ times will not be announced and will only be recorded if the driver wishes so. Experienced drivers will not be allowed in this group. The Novice Group setting has proven very rewarding for those always wondering about autocross, but unsure about trying it out.
Important: All drivers who sign-up for Time Trials and/or Autocross will be contacted to go over all details regarding AROC car classifications and safety guidelines. Please note that due to the preparation that organizers must complete, drivers must be registered for these events by the first week of June.
Go-karts may be rented in 10-minute sessions to drive the track’s 0.82-mile circuit. There is a
As is our tradition, the track will open around noon for all to drive a few laps around the course, but this year we are offering an “Enhanced Experience”.
All drivers and assengers will gather to hear an explanation about the track and how racers typically drive on it. Attendees will understand what the red and white markings around the curves are for, what is an apex, what is the line, and what is meant when someone says, “you must slow down to go faster”.
Cars will drive the track in pre-arranged groups according to vehicle powerplant and driver experience. Cars will take their laps following in single file behind a pace car driven by an experienced driver, familiar with the concepts presented.
Friday, July 19
Gimmick Rally and Welcome Dinner Reception
The traditional Gimmick Rally will leave from the convention hotel. There will be a mandatory driver’s meeting in the morning and cars will leave at 60 second intervals starting at 10 am. (There is a limit of 90 cars.) The actual driving time is between 90 and 120 minutes, depending on how the driver and navigator handle the questions.
A Picnic Lunch at Moraine State Park, with a Jeep display is included with the Rally. (Butler County is the birthplace of the Jeep!) Please note that those not partaking in the Rally may register and drive directly to the state park for the Picnic Lunch and Jeep display.
Welcome Reception & Strolling Dinner
Those displaying a car during the Car Show weekend will to drive to the Pittsburgh Golf Club on Friday evening, and have the car pre-staged. The car show will be held on the Golf Course grounds. Organizers will show you exactly where your car will be displayed and deliver all the items you need for the Car Show weekend, including dash cards, lanyards badges and Cortile Car Show goody bags.
Remember that you dash card and badges are VERY IMPORTANT! You will need them to gain admission to events all weekend so don't lose them
At the same time, not just AROC members displaying a car but all AROC members are encouraged to attend the AROC Welcome Reception and Strolling Dinner (6 to 9 pm), which will take place at the Pittsburgh Golf Club. Prizes for those who took part in the Track Day competitions will be announced and presented at the Welcome Reception and Strolling Dinner.
TRA Members where able to experience luxury while helping parents and families in need this past holiday season.
The folks from Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo invited TRA members to Sienna on the Square on December 14 from 12:00-2:00pm to enjoy Italian cuisine, live music by Christina Chirumbolo, and test drive one the new Alfa Romeo Giulia's or Stelvio's.
For every test drive, Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo donated $20 to Christopher’s Kitchen.
Three Rivers Alfisti club members have been graciously extended an invitation to participate in an Alfa Romeo Holiday Luncheon on December 14, 2017 at Sienna on the Square in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh.
There is only room for 50 people so you MUST RSVP at the link below to attend.
Space is LIMITED. You MUST RSVP to attend. No Walk-ins are going to be permitted. Please use the button button to make your reservation.
If you would like to make a donation to Christopher's Kitchen you can do it at the event or you can click the link above to make a direct donation via their website.
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!
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.
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.