Friday, September 28, 2018

I Love New York - As In Watkins Glen International

I'm finally back in Florida at my desk after being in New York for the US Vintage Grand Prix. I've got some great news and photos to share.  I also want to give readers an update on my forthcoming book 'Echoes From The Glen'.

The book is coming along nicely with my text nearly done. While in New York I met with a contributor to the book, Jeff Washburn who has provided me tales from attending races at WGI since the mid '70's, including posing for a time as 'The Bud Man" during sports car and  NASCAR races. That material will be included with my recollections of  40+ years ago what it was like to experience race weekends in Watkins Glen, the birthplace of modern day sports car racing in the US after World War II.

 Dinner with Jeff in my former hometown of Newark, NY lasted a couple of hours as he filled me in with other fascinating stories of his experiences with another racing genre - super stock and modified racing on dirt and paved oval tracks where he worked for a while as a crew chief to a racing team. Legendary 'bull ring ovals' like Oswego Super Speedway and the dirt track at Weedsport, NY to name just two. Interestingly, Jeff and I lived for 15 years only a few miles apart, attended many of the same races, but we never met until a few years ago. The story of our chance meeting is covered in the book illustrating how car racing in general can bring people together like a brotherhood.

 In another development, I recently contacted Patrick McCabe, of Upstate NY who is the 'spokesperson' for the Pabst Blue Ribbon Gang.  Patrick is collecting interesting stories from members of the gang that are now scattered across the country, but who gather together to attend races at the Glen each season as they have for 40 years; a ritual likely unmatched by a group of devoted race fans. I am anxiously waiting to see what stories he will produce for the book!

Lastly, another chance meeting occurred from the racing brotherhood. I met Jim Alfieri from Honeoye Falls, NY  after seeing a 1973 Ford Capri parked in a garage at a garage sale with a bumper sticker touting 'The Last Open Road', a popular book in racing circles by BS Levy. I have Levy's book as well and upon talking with Jim's wife I learned they both attended races regularly at The Glen for many years along with Jim's brother, Dave. Jim once worked for the Watkins Glen Corporation collecting money from fans bringing camp trailers into the events. Back in the day he described seeing rows of camper trailers for as far as the eye could see and seeing some very interesting characters accompanying these trailers.  We will leave it at that until you read the book. Jim said he will contact his his brother Dave, who has a fantastic memory for details, to follow up with me.  I expect that will produce some interesting stories for the book. I'm anxiously waiting to talk with him.

All of the above promise to add color and flavor to the coffee table photo book that will be available soon highlighting wonderful pictures of F1 racing from the 1976 US Grand Prix in particular along with many other photos in general.

Back to the present, or seemingly back to the present. Below I have pictures of vintage race cars from times gone by, only they are still racing with SVRA.  I love the SVRA motto ' Some people collect art, We race it'.

   As a side note, being an Alfa Romeo guy who drives a 2017 Giulia Ti Sport, I stopped by the paddock area to take pictures of a 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV owned by Steve Rauh. I had a nice chat and he invited me to sit and have lunch with him as well.   That's what I like about this race- it reminds me of the old days when you could get up close and talk with drivers and crew. So you will see some pictures of Steve's GTV here, of course.

One last thing - To all SVRA car owners.  I'll send you an 8X10 of your car at the Glen (I photographed 80 % of them) at NO CHARGE..    I'm trying to promote my upcoming book and get my name out there, so please take advantage of the offer if you read this blog, and if you are an SVRA member reading this, please pass it along to other members.   Contact me at with your mailing information and consider it done!  Steve- Your Photo will be in the mail this weekend.

So now to the pictures:   US Vintage Grand Prix by SVRA  September 7-9, 2018


 I'll end with a tribute to Alfa Romeo with Steve Rauh's 1972 GTV.  I'm looking forward to SVRA at Watkins Glen next year.  Hope you have enjoyed these pictures and remind SVRA member's to email me at for their free 8X10 photo of their car.

Brought to you by  Paul Ziegler, Publisher

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Alfa Romeo's 'Ferrari' Like SUV

If Ferrari built an SUV, this could be it.  Really!  The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is as close to a Ferrari as it gets.  The same can be said if Ferrari ever built a four door sedan, the Giulia Quadrifoglio could be it! Here's why.

Ferrari engineers helped design the chassis, including handling dynamics as deduced from Ferrari's handling simulator, and the engine is a V6 version of their Califorinia T V8 engine.  It is twin turbocharged with over 500 horsepower and sounds like no other V6 you've ever heard .  And there are more visible Ferrari inputs like the red Start/ Stop button on the steering wheel as well as a few 'invisible' bits we will not know about . But most important is the Italian design and style that comes from being part of a bloodline that started with Alfa Romeo over 100 years ago.

To demonstrate this family relationship one only needs to see this picture of  Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen riding in vintage Alfa Romeo race cars prior to the start of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza today.

 On this beautiful day in Florida I stopped by the St. Petersburg Maserati/ Alfa Romeo store to get a glimpse of a gorgeous Stelvio 'Quad' in Rosso Competizione.  (Competition Red for non Italians) Take a look at this beauty.

I also got the latest edition of Motor Trend magazine yesterday that ranked the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quad as the best driver's SUV when compared to the Porsche Macan Turbo, Mercedes AMG GLC 63, Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.    Go get a copy and read the results as they support my claim that the Stelvio Quad is like what Ferrari would build if they built an SUV.  Here's what the cover of the mag looks like:

Considering all the above, Ferrari influence goes into a world class SUV and a fantastic four door sport sedan- only they are Alfa Romeos!  

If you are ever near St. Petersburg, FL check out the Maserati/ Alfa dealership.  They have a great selection of cars and SUV's for you.

Brought to you by
Paul Ziegler, Publisher