Sunday, January 10, 2021

Alfa Romeo GTA - The Future and the Past

 This post is centered around a great video I discovered today that shows the engineering behind the new Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and GTAm .  It's a facinating look at this new supercar; a 4 door Supercar! You can own one if you are one of the lucky 500 customers, but there's a catch.  You can't buy one in the US, only in Europe as best I can tell.  And the price?   If $155,000. is in your budget, you will be good.

The car started as an Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio and was redesigned for maximum weight reduction and aerodynamic efficiency. Looking at the GTA, it looks a lot like a regular 'Quad', but after seeing the video you will see why it costs about $70,000. more!   If you are into cars, this one says Collectible all over it.

Why?  There's only 500 total production and that is split between the more sedate GTA with a real back seat and the ultra track car, the GTAm with no back seat. No back seat? Well they throw in a roll bar, a helmet and a racing suit to make up for it.

What is so special?   You have to go back to 1965 to appreciate this car's roots. It all started with the 'little' Giulia Coupe known as the Giulia Sprint GTA and they only made 500 of them to qualify it for racing. The 'A' stands for Alleggerita, or 'lightened' in Italian.  Back then this little gem was winning a lot on the race tracks around Europe.  The advertising slogan " A win every day, with an everyday car."

So now is a good time if you have about 20 minutes on a cold winter day to pour a cup of hot tea, chocolate or coffee and take a look at the story of the 'new' GTA from Alfa.  Click on the link below and enjoy.

Click Here For The GTA Story

(Credit to Motor 1 YouTube Channel)

But before you go, as the title to this post says 'Past'.  Here's some pictures of my link to the GTA story. My very own  1972 Alfa GTV which is a close cousin to the GTA of the day. Here you see her in the paint booth at Realistic Auto Restorations in St. Petersburg, FL.  She's sporting a new Bianco Spino ( Hawthorn White) paint job, done this week after 200 hours of prep work.  As soon as I get her all back together and detailed, I'll bring you an update complete with a video of the finished product. 

And to give you an idea of what she sounds like here is a video of my generation of GTV/ GTA sounded like. In some ways this is as good, or even better sounding than the new one! Click below to listen:

Sweet Sound Of A GTV

(Credit The Image Engine YouTube Channel)

If you had time to see the video, you will see why I feel so lucky to own a piece of the Alfa Romeo story and get to drive one!  Now if I only had $155,000. and could buy a new one in Europe.....

Here is my 1972 GTV:

              Check back soon for the finished car- should be ready by Valentine's Day.💓💓

                         Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher and 
                    author of "Echoes From The Glen".  Follow on Instagram @wownowpics

Friday, December 11, 2020

Old Car Restoration - Then and Now

      My 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 At Realistic Auto Restorations in St. Petersburg, FL

 This post is a little off the beaten path for this site.  Most of my posts talk about the latest race, a road test report or some car show pics.  This time I have a fantastic video to share that I saw yesterday that will bring tears to your eyes if you are a true auto enthusiast.  If you are young or old it won't matter; if you have automobiles in your heart you will relate to the video 'Hirohata Merc Custom Legend'.

This video says more about the meaning of automobiles in our culture than I could ever convey through multiple posts about the subject. At 33 minutes it is worth your time to watch. Great viewing on a cold evening as it will warm your heart.

It is also a good time to put this out as I happen to be in the process of a restoration of my own.  Above is a picture of my 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV as it looked this week.  (More pictures below)  My little gem has been in the process of getting a complete refresh since September.  You can see several pictures of it in posts earlier this year.  When it is done, it will be stunning.

But back to the video-  this is a testament to American ingenuity, creativity and passion all rolled nto one. When you see the car, the Hirohata Merc, you can't help but be moved by its beauty.  It is the Mona Lisa of car creations!

So here you go- feast your eyes on it!

The Hirohata Merc

And after seeing the video, here's more pictures of my 'Mona Lisa'.

And here's a video of what it will be when finished- although the color will be 'Biancospino' as opposed to Alfa's Rosso or red.  A bit more subdued but just as fast!

Click on the link below to:

Let Her Fly

Watch for the finshed car coming soon.   Brought to you by Paul Ziegler,

Publisher of and author of "Echoes From The Glen", Reflections of Race Fans After Forty Years.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Newgarden Wins But Scott Dixon Crowned Champion in St Pete


Scott Dixon,  2020 Champion   Placed 3rd in the race.

It was an action packed race with lots of drama. In fact Josef Newgarden won the race but Dixon finished third, so Newgarden's heroic effort was not enough to overcome his points deficit. It was close; he finished just 16 points behind Dixon. 

With the temperature near 90 and track temps near 125 degrees, the capacity crowd of 20,000 did get a show if not a hot mess at times.  Will Power was out in the early going and several favorites had their problems. But relative newcomer Pato O'Ward finished a strong second and St. Petersburg resident and favorite, Sebastien Bourdais finished fourth.

It won't be long for the Indycars to return as they are scheduled to run the first race of 2021 on March 7th.  

This post will be a short one as I am headed to New York tomorrow and will add more photos when I return, including shots from the Porsche GT3 Cup and the Indy Pro 2000 and USF 2000 series.  But first here's some highlight shots:

                                                    Race Winner, Josef Newgarden

                                       Sebastien Bourdais- St. Petersburg resident came 4th

                                                    A rising star- Pato O'Ward came 2nd.

Hope you enjoyed the pics and look for more in the future.   Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Indycar Championship To Be Decided In St. Petersburg


The excitement is building here in St. Petersburg, FL on a sunny Saturday morning as we wait for qualifying this afternoon.  In this most unusual year where everything has been turned upside down due to the Corona Virus, there is an advantage to the fans coming to the St. Pete Grand Prix in October instead of March. They will witness the crowning of a champion for the season.   Who will it be?

Normally the first race of the season that is overflowing with excitement following a long winter where fans can't wait to hear the roar of engines in many months, this 2020 version of the the St. Pete Grand Prix overflows with excitement because we will know if the champion will be Scott Dixon or Josef Newgarden.

I will have an updated post following tomorrow's race but here's a detailed article you will enjoy, followed by some photos from other racing activity from the Mazda MX-5 series and the Porsche GT3 Cup.  Buckle up and let's see what happens!

Championship Determined in St. Petersburg

Action from the Mazda MX-5 Series and the Porsche GT3 Cup:

    And while you are in town, check out Ft. DeSoto Park, minutes from downtown.  Here's my car         with the Sunshine Skyway bridge in the background.   A great place for a vacation!

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher of and author of the book "Echoes From The Glen", Reflections of Race Fans After Forty Years.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Giulia GTV Compared To The Giulia Quadrifoglio- Who Wins? Must See Video

This is a long overdue review of two of Alfa Romeo's favorite cars.  It is likely to be a hotly debated subject as there are hundreds of fans for each and it is a difficult choice.

Who would you chose? The classic white beauty or the macho grey beast?

                                                                   PRESENT AND PAST

                 NEW LOOK - 2019 NRING

                                                                                                                                                                  OLD LOOK  -  1972 Giulia GTV

Now that you have had a look at the two contenders,  I have an excellent video for you that goes into
detail about each.  Watch the video and then decide- which would you chose?

I am extremely lucky to have one of each and I honestly can't pick a favorite.  It would like picking your favorite child if you had two kids.  There's things I like about each that the other can't do, or match.  Is it classic charm and ambiance you want?  Is it sheer brute force and speed?  Is it uniqueness and artistic beauty.  Is it the sound and aural sensation the car gives you? 

I say it is a little bit of all of that and that is why is is impossible to pick a winner.  So my advice is get one of each and you will always be satisfied, no matter which one you are driving.

Here's the video I promised-  20 minutes of pure joy.  I know you will like it!

Giulia GTV VS Giulia Quadrifoglio

Send me a comment on your favorite.

Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Author  "Echoes From The Glen"

Publisher     Follow on Instagram @wownowpics

Monday, May 25, 2020

Alfa GTV In The Park on Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day and as I sit here at my desk, I am reflecting on the good fortune we have to be blessed with dedicated men and women today and in the past that served their country to allow us to be free. Despite the Corona Virus, we are still a nation of free citizens that can overcome any challenge including this virus.  I remember my first boss in banking, a former Marine that would say " The difficult we will do right away,  the impossible will take us a little longer."

That can-do spirit is alive and well here and I hope it is with you. We never give up.   It's the same in racing and with car projects. It takes a lot of effort but in the end it is worth it.

I thought of doing something today with my GTV that is my current project car.  The weather was a little overcast, which for a photographer is a good thing.  Perfect conditions for a photo shoot!  With rain in the forecast, I thought I'd better get on it so at 10 AM I fired up the GTV (Started on the first crank) and headed to the park near home.  It's a spot I'm familiar with to get some nice backgrounds and away I went.

The pictures will speak for themselves- but the other part of the story needs telling.  In the 20 minutes or so for this photo shoot, I ended up taking an hour.  Everyone, I mean every person or couple that walked or biked by stopped and asked about the car.  They loved seeing it and I enjoyed talking with other human beings.  It was great.  I even had a guy stop that was a former GTV-6 Alfa owner, which is as rare as hens teeth.  He and I chatted a bit and he even took my business card to be able to visit this site to see my work. 

So I hope you have a good Memorial Day as we honor our Veterans.

So Long for now,   I hope to be back taking pictures of a race very soon.   ( Go back into older posts to see some of my racing photos.)

Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher and on Instagram @wownowpics.

Author of "Echoes From The Glen"

Monday, April 20, 2020

Back In Business With A GTV

Looking Back in Time To 1972

Alfa Romeo means many things to many people, but here's a new twist.  If it wasn't for a 1972 GTV I recently acquired, I think I would be going crazy with this 'Safer At Home" order issued to combat the spread of the Corona Virus.

Like the last car over the bridge before it closed, my GTV made it to Florida from Upstate New York on March 25th on an enclosed transporter..  Since that day I've been working on her hour upon hour.  Everything from buffing and waxing to degreasing the engine compartment to buffing screws and fasteners.

As every day passes I find more to do with her. Getting deeper and deeper into the restoration/ refurbishing aspect of the car. And that's only the beginning.  As soon as things get opened up again, I will have her in the shop to replace most of the suspension components and the body shop to get her rocker panels replaced.  Overall though she's a pretty sight as is.  Best of all she runs really well. I think better than my 1989 Spider.

For a 48 year old car with only 62,000 miles, I have a real gem here.  I will put up a few pictures to document her progress, including new wheels and Michelin tires all kept to stock specs.

Sit in the drivers seat, touch the wood steering wheel, look at the analog gages and toggle switches and turn on the radio with 8 Track tape player and all your worries evaporate. You are transformed back to 1972, the Beatles and Rolling Stones, or maybe the Who or Cream.  Whatever you dream, you are THERE.  This Alfa takes you away on a Magic Carpet Ride!    Corona Virus?  What's THAT?

Enjoy the pics:

                                                    The New Girl Arrives

Safer At Home

Good Care, Good Food , Good Looks
The Work Begins

New Tires And
Fresh Paint For The Wheels


Check Back For More Progress

Brought to you by Paul P. Ziegler, Publisher and Author
"Echoes From The Glen"
Follow on Instagram @wownowpics
Seminole, Florida