Reader Submissions: Alfa Romeo Duettos Strengthen Relationships

Alfa Romeo Duettos Strengthen Relationships

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
June 26, 2014
27 comments

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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Rod McNae
Rod McNae

Beautiful car but I agree with some of the other comments regarding the wheels. They are too modern and tend to overpower the beautiful design. I also have a 67′ Duetto. I put replica GTA wheels on mine which look quite nice, are period correct and I believe complimentary to the design.

Paco HC
Paco HC

Grear write up! I myself would change the wheels for something like the Alfa 164 QV’s (named Speedline I guess). More modern, wider and bigger, but not [i]that[/i] modern. What is amazing is how contemporary the design looks. Duettos are truly timeless works of art.

Nikola
Nikola

These wheels are actually Zender Milanos if I’m not mistaken… I also find them better for the spider… You’d need to change the hubs though cause of the different lug pattern 4×108 for the spider and 5×98 for the 164… I think my next car might be a 164… (I love the Spider but good ones are out of reach for me)

Paco HC
Paco HC

Thanks for the name, I couldn’t remember their name but where some kind of an Alfa’s trademark after they were the ones of the Zagato SZ.

Tuval
Tuval

Great story. Fantastic car. Makes me want to hop in my alfa and go for a ride. Michael, you are so lucky :).

Dennis Cavallino
Dennis Cavallino

Ballotage was watching football? I like the photography and this story, but wheels like these shouldn’t be on a tasteful site like Petrolicious. Please change ‘m for more in-period ones. Enjoy the car though!

Don Iafrate
Don Iafrate

Fantastic story, beautiful car.
I’ve often considered changing out my original campagnolo wheels on my alfa or even better having them finished in black. I must however think of my family as I know the Alfisti may have me arrested in the middle of the night.
Love the car- every piece is part of your story.

Karol Rosochowicz
Karol Rosochowicz

Great story and a gorgeous car. I might be in minority here but I actually like the wheels, they give the Duetto a bit of a modern classic look. It reminds me sort of the BMW Z8 with it modern hommage to the classic look of the 507. Im all for keeping clasic Alfas classic but this one lloks the business. Great job!

Sam Klootwyk
Sam Klootwyk

Stories like this are an inspiration to me. I read articles from Petrolicious every day, and I often think that I am one of precious few “young guys” who still love old, carbureted, low horsepower, classic cars. I am always on the lookout for my passion car, but I know she’s out there, somewhere. So glad to see that there are other 20-somethings like me out there. Cheers!

Christopher Wilmot
Christopher Wilmot

Bought not built. The wheels really pull away from the classic styling.

Nonetheless, a good story and a beautiful car.

Martin McAllen
Martin McAllen

A really great article and excellent photography. Again I’d change the wheels, Michael try looking at this web site;

http://www.alfaholics.com

They have the best Alfa parts on the net and some great ideas for your car, look at the custom spiders they’ve built for some of their customers.

Robert Calinescu
Robert Calinescu

Great car and a great story. Getting this kind of car as your first one is a really big deal, glad your dad teached you proper petrolhead taste in cars. I have a Spider myself but its the latest model, but always look at the models and get sentimental. Im still young and probably get arround to buy a classic of myself, has to be a alfaromeo of course.

Peter Sente
Peter Sente

I am entering my third summer now with my own little Alfa, and I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Morena. Although mine isn’t classic (2000 GTV), it has had some problems – caused by one previous owner and one reckless driver who crashed into it. But dealing with them indeed only makes the bond grow stronger. I know its strengths, its quirks, and that corner of the front bumper where one tiny little screw is missing. Truly passion. PS: I’m not a fan of the big wheels, but still they don’t look wrong either. In fact they look better on… Read more »

Wille R.

That story made my day. Thanks for sharing.

Coedially Wille R.
Duettoregister.com

Dan Huber
Dan Huber

Great Car, Great story

Overwheeled? – just remember the quote in the story…”I drove with the top down, my sunglasses on and a smile on my face from ear to ear. That smile never went away”.

The bunch of old farts who think it is overwheeled arent driving it and smiling…

Paul Bilek
Paul Bilek

Great story! Thank you for sharing it.

Emanuel Costa
Emanuel Costa

I would also change the wheels right away… the rest is simply gorgeous. Then send us some pictures to admire the Duetto in ‘her’ full potential!

Bruce
Bruce

Great car, great story, had a few on the street, raced a few on the track… yours looks great. Only suggestion… it’s ‘overwheeled’

phyzul
phyzul

Nice story, Michael. You should have joined the Alfa drive this weekend led by Alex Csank. He heads up the Alfa chapter in Montreal (and nationally, I think). Alex piloted the Alfa group from Montreal while the Toronto group was led by George Beston. We met up in Kingston for the regional meet. A great way to network with other Alfisti and to enjoy your “baby”.

I know most commenters here have already said it, but take a look at some classic wheels or replicas for really making your car look spectacular.

Cheers!

Paul
Paul

Somewhat a nice car, but seriously let down by the wheels fitted. The wheels are so wrong that this car simply shouldn’t be here; there are far better Duettos attached to equally compelling stories.

aleksei
aleksei

Great car, great story. Not sure about the wheels though, stock would definitely add something special to the look.

Antony Ingram
Antony Ingram

Beautiful. Not a fan of the modern wheels at all, but it’s your car so your rules! Great story too, definitely seems to be a keeper.

Chris Robins

never sell it michael, even if you think you need to, you don’t!!! my dad bought a spider veloce in ‘1973, i learnt how to drive in it. i still have her…..now my son is learning how to drive in it….none better!!!!

JB21
JB21

You lucky bastard!:)
A great story, thanks for sharing. I feel the same way about old Alfas, especially the Duetto, I said it many many times, the Alfa Romeo Spider is the most romantic car ever made.
I miss mine so much.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

A very nice car indeed not a big fan of the rims tho but to each his own I guess. I really did enjoy your story it was very heartfelt and warming. I really hope you cherish the car but more importantly cherish them memories.

Sando
Sando

Great story! The car as well.
Are those disks stock? Looking too big to me.

Johnny B
Johnny B

Such a nice story … and car 🙂
Great pictures too!