Past Tours & Galleries

T7 (Tour 7) started out in Como, a beautiful city located on the shores of Lake Como. I had arrived there a few days early and had a chance to get to familiarize myself with the neighborhood. I had booked us all into the four star Hotel Barchetta which is owned by the Villa di Este group. The Barchetta is a high rise Hotel centrally located on piazza Cavor right across the street from the lake with beautiful views of the lake and surrounding hills. I really fell in love with Como, it is very easy to know and get your arms around if you know what I mean. The center is, as are most historical cities, closed to autos, and therefore very well suited for strolling and frequenting the wonderful shops, bars, and Ristorantes. The weather was quite nice especially coming from Seattle known for its rain and overcast. Temperatures were in the high 60's low 70's. One sunny day I took the slow boat for a one hour sight seeing ride up the lake, stopping at several little villages. The next day I caught the fast boat (hydrofoil) and journeyed all the way up to Bellaggio, a place I fell in love with. I remember the lovely Ristorante, sitting at a lake side table enjoying a leisurely lunch of Pasta Bolognese, sipping some red wine and saying to myself, "it doesn't get any better than this."

The group started to arrive on Sat the 19th. I hung out in the piazza with Ted Mozino and Ken Philips, later that night we had dinner together. Flying Tigers By Sunday afternoon the 20th almost everyone had arrived and it was time to meet in the bar area for our first official get together. The briefing lasted about an hour and a half. Everyone introduced themselves and told about what cars they were into what they did, where they were from etc etc. Little did they know that in the next few days they would live a lifetime and have bonds created that will go on to last many years. Some, if not all of us, have become very good friends, sharing for that brief moment a very special experience that we all came through together.

Monday morning the 21st at 8:57 we cued up in the piazza and departed for the Autostrada and onto the Alfa Museum. Sounds easy right? Wrong! The Car Guy Tour is a learning experience. This time I learned getting to the Autostrada from the Hotel in a convoy (with out maps) on the first day, even with radios, is at best hopeless. I had given out some hand drawn very rudimentary maps to Alfa. Those people actually made it there way before us. The rest of us went on to the first Auto grill after the toll booth where we waited for those who were lost to show up. While waiting we heard someone yelling at us from across the Autostrada. Low and behold it was Al and Katherine Zemke (Bend Oregon) our trusty Tail Gunner. He had gone onto the Alfa Exit and decided to turn back. With our radios we agreed he would return to the Como toll booth and turn around and catch up with us at the Auto Grill. After Al and Katherine caught up with us, we departed for Alfa with Al bringing up the rear and all ducks in a row. Hey its working!!

The Alfa Museum had put a Tipo 33 racing car outside just for our group and started it up. Wow what a sweet noise! A superb guided tour of the Museum by Antonio Magro was followed by the most incredible visit to the Alfa Centro Stile. Design director Mr. Wolfgang Eggar. We were shown places I had never been before, including a machine/sheet metal shop where small trim parts such as grills, badges, and bumpers were being hand made. A prototype production room where guys were working on wood bucks and one to one models. Renderings were on the wall showing various cars of the future including a stunning Spyder. In another room there was a 1:1 scale epowood cross over vehicle emerging like Michelangelo's unfinished slaves from under the whirling bit of a giant milling machine. Last it was into the presentation room for a sneak peak at the all new Alfa 159 and the new Brera Coupe. Also on display was the 8C Competizione which was a very big hit with the group of which many had the chance to sit in it. All to soon it was time to depart where upon we lined up for what would often be repeated the "Showtime presentation" where we present a gift to our host and induct him into our group as an official member of the Car Guy Tour.

From there we made our way in convoy to Zagato for a visit to our first Restoration shop and the famous Zagato styling center.

To be continued in installments.



Frank and Janet Mandarano
Ted Mozino
Ken Phillips
Al & Katherine Zemke
Jim & Kathy Norling
Jim Veres
Doug Daniels
Joe & Mary Dunlap
Robert Williams
Hadrian & Candace Katz
James & Karen Long
Helen Gill
Clyde & Joan Rutherford
John Jacob
Ed Mitchell
Eddy Yates (4th attendance)
Bill McIlwain