After seeing the Alfa during that initial visit to Pete’s home in 2005, we stayed in touch. Emails were exchanged, and we always made a point to get together at Hershey in October, an annual pilgrimage for both of us. Every time I (gently) asked about purchasing the Alfa, Pete would (gently) tell me that he was back to enjoying the car and it was not for sale.
My job had been keeping me quite busy, and a few years went by without a trip to visit him. In 2009, Pete asked me if I was available to do some work on one of his cars for him. I was only too happy to lend him a hand, and made plans to head out there (by myself this time) in September. Pete and his wife graciously offered to put me up in a spare bedroom.
Pete needed the heater control valve replaced on one of his older cars, a job I had done many times before, but had not done in years! He had the correct parts, and we got it done. While I glanced admiringly at the Alfa, I did not drive it this time.
A few months later, in March 2010, Pete again invited me out, this time to work on the Alfa. Newly retired from Volvo corporate life, I had a bit more free time. Frankly, I also saw an opportunity to engage Pete in a more candid conversation about a sale. Like the previous job, it was the Alfa’s heating system which needed attention. Pete had plans to remove the heater core and replace some hoses. We did just that, and I got to drive it again. Doing that only reinforced how badly I wanted to own this very special vehicle.
We did talk about a sale, and it was on this trip that Pete first used words like “perhaps” and “some day” and “when I sell”. My understanding from that conversation was that he was not ready to let go of it just yet, but when he was ready, I could have first shot at it. Elation!
In October of that year, Pete drove the car to the AACA Hershey meet and entered it in the HPOF (Historical Preservation of Original Features) class, where it had earlier won an award. It was great to see the Alfa. It would be a long and eventful two and a half years before I would get to see it again.
All photographs copyright © 2015 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.