Alfa Romeo Duettos Strengthen Relationships
Owner: Michael Morena
Year, Make, and Model: 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto 1600
Location: Montreal, Canada
Photographer: Anthony Minicozzi
My name is Michael Morena and I’ve just turned twenty years old. I am student studying finance in the university and during the summer I drive a 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto 1600. My car was bought by my father in 2005, down in Florida.
Before I was born, he considered a 1994 series 4 spider, but at the last minute decided not to buy it because he wanted something a bit different, more classic. He then went on to look at a 1959 Giulietta Veloce. After years of searching without success due to the car’s rarity, Bob Cozza of Bobcor Alfa suggested a 1967 Duetto. It was painted Avorio with a vinyl roof. My father liked the car, and was especially happy with the fact that it was a 1600 with Dellorto Carburettors, and had all the pieces in the right place. It has the rear lollipop reflectors, the back up light, the central 1967 ash tray, and the single mirror on the driver side fender where it was originally put and was never switched to the door.
Having waited long enough, he bought it. I was eleven years old and so excited!. I was always a car lover and couldn’t wait to receive the car, so much so that I sent Bob an email thanking him a few days before we even received it! I rode along side my dad for about three years in that car. And over that period, the car had its share of problems: the fuel line disconnected, a door flew off the hinges and hit the fender. It brought me and my dad closer, and the car grew a personality. As much as I liked this car when we first bought it, over time, I completely fell in love with her.
It became my baby. Soon enough it was time for a full engine rebuild though. We sent the Duetto to our mechanic, Angelo. For two years he kept the car in his shop. And every Friday nights was a social event, old and young alike would come to the garage, admire the car, talk about their day, and then talk about the car. The old men loved it and remembered it from their youth, the young guys loved its rarity. It was part of my life and I loved it and the memories that came with it. I remember sitting in it while Angelo tuned the carburettors, and I’d dream of getting my license and driving it. The sound of the 1600 engine would resonate in my head and I would leave the garage at three in the morning, a dreamer.
At seventeen, I got my license. The day I got my license, my dad brought me into our garage, and stood next to the Alfa. He handed me the keys and said “Michael, it’s yours now.” My heart almost exploded.
I can never remember being that excited my whole life. It became one of the greatest moments. He bought the car for me without telling me, and waited for me to get my license just so that one day he could give me the Alfa. The joy on my face when he handed over the keys was all the satisfaction he wanted. I just wanted to drive.
I got in the car and took off. That weekend, I drove. I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. The weather was gorgeous for April. I drove with the top down, my sunglasses on and a smile on my face from ear to ear. That smile never went away. This is my fourth summer with the car. And it is still my prized possession. I love my car, or as I call it: my baby. I have now acquired an Abarth 500 for every day and drive my mom’s Fiat 500 Lounge as well. But my blood and passion is pure Alfa Romeo. Every time I see one I get excited. It brings me into another world. I drive it on country roads, late at night or sometimes during the day. I love seeing the joy it brings to other people. How when it is parked, it becomes the center of attention.
I love driving my girlfriend around in it and seeing her reaction to the car, the people looking, as well as the breeze and smell. The Alfa brings me closer to understanding why I love cars so much. It has character and a soul. It is a reflection of my personality in a car. Added to this are the memories I shared with all the people I care about in it. The greatest being with my dad. Those are memories that I will live with forever. Life will go on and many things will come and go. But my Alfa will forever be with me, in my garage and in my heart. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my car, but most importantly my passion.
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