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THIS TITLE—SAP @ Y MBCU CAST 35—is so wonderfully evocative of traditional time-speed-distance rallying that I’ve recycled it from an old Tech Tidbits piece. The extended version resides at www.roadandtrack.com/column/sap-y-mbcu-cast-35.
Here, I celebrate the particular car involved in this madness, a beautiful dove-gray 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider kindly lent (twice, in fact) by friend and vintage racer Mark Carpenter. I was reminded of all this in reading that a similar car, a red 1961 model, sold at the Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach auction this past August for $41,800.
Actually, from the photo and description, I’d guess that Mark’s Giulietta might be in even nicer condition.
Mark’s is a sweetheart of a car—and amazingly modern in feel for one built more than half a century ago. The Giulietta Spider’s Pininfarina styling is well nigh timeless. The car’s features include double overhead camshafts, twin Weber carburetors, a non-fiddly convertible top, even roll-up windows!
Its rack-and-pinion steering, independent front suspension and a well-controlled live rear axle make the Giulietta a very pleasant, predictable handler. Like other Alfas, it motors con brio with nary a vice.
I borrowed Mark’s Giulietta twice to take part in the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally, centered in Portland, Oregon.
This annual 3-day event, typically in early August, is organized by the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon. To learn more, check out www.nwclassicrally.org.
What makes the NWC so much fun—and so “Classic”—is its being a traditional rally. No maps are provided; rather, there are precisely worded point-by-point instructions that can be devilish indeed. For instance, there’s a difference in rallying between “Turn at …” and “Turn onto ….”
I enjoyed Mark’s Alfa in the 1997 NWC with wife Dottie as navigator.
In 2003, my oldest and best friend Duane Polo handled the route instructions and timing calculations. And, I can add with complete candor, Dottie is still my wife and Duane is still my oldest and best friend.
These facts speak well for the Alfa, for the NWC organizers and for Mark’s continued friendship.
And, in case you’re wondering, the instruction “SAP @ Y MBCU CAST 35,” taken directly from the NWC routebook, translates into “Straight as possible at the Y. May be considered unnecessary. Change average speed to 35 mph.”
Of course; easy peasy. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2012