At first glance, Chris Gonyea’s ’71 Alfa GTV may leave something to be desired, depending on your tastes. It’s not quite the sight for sore eyes one might expect when introduced to an Italian classic, but Chris is well aware of that. In place of shiny paint, you’ll find patchy primer and epoxy. The only shine the car offers is from the metallic Dynamat that lines its interior, mostly concealed by interior-delete panels and cracking old leather bits.
On the far side of LA, Santo’s Italian Car Service sits just south of the Granada Hills in Northridge, California. Opened in 1981 by Santo Rimicci, the shop has catered to, as one might guess, Italian purebreds, for more than thirty years. Alfa Romeos, Fiats, Ferraris, and Lancias all take up shop space, waiting for their turn at the hands of one of California’s best classic Italian service and race shops.
The Alfa Romeo 105, host of the GT, GTA, and GTV, is soon to find itself beside the likes of the 911: a layman’s car that is definitive of an era in sports coupes. Its lines are quintessentially Italian, its history is rich, and its soul captivates enthusiasts around the world. Alfa Romeo aficionados are of a certain breed, and it’s easy to see why each of them is enamored with the classic coupe. However, that doesn’t mean the Alfa 105’s tenor isn’t open to interpretation.
Since 1911, just one year after the company’s birth, Alfa Romeo has been sprinting past the checkered flag ahead of the competition: 102 years of automotive racing experience has been collected, refined, and formed into a brand that has become synonymous with performance and engineering. The italian marque has celebrated victories in seemingly every category of motorsport, ranging from the world’s first Grand Prix Championship in 1925, to the depths of mud in rally racing.