AROC Convention


By John DeWaele
Photos mainly by
John, augmented by Steve Thomas

On Thursday morning, my wife Lauren and I met up with Gene and Judy Durso and Dan and Deb Donovan at the service stop on the Mass Pike. Andy Kress was also scheduled to take off with us, but he was running a bit late (I’ll let him tell you that story!).

We met up with Mark Ziburis on Route I-84 and proceeded to rendezvous with six more Alfas from the NY chapter and Phillip Duffy, an AONE member from Montreal. After a great lunch at Pete’s Restaurant in Morristown, NJ, the Alfa caravan proceeded south.

After an hour or so, about six more Alfas sped past us (we were maintaining speed due to a temperature issue on one of our group’s cars), even a GTA —what a glorious site!

After an extremely hot ride (ever watch a F1 race when the cars are on rain tires? As the surface dries out, the drivers swerve all over the track looking for water to save the rapidly deteriorating rain tires), that was us seeking shade — man, was it hot!

We pulled into the convention parking lot and drove into a sea of Alfas — very impressive! The first familiar face belonged to Brian Shorey, on an Alfa Romeo racing bike, no less.

Thursday was track day, with numerous awesome Alfas at speed, including Andy’s Berlina. With Andy, Brian and Kevin at the wheel all day, this Alfa got no rest! The variety of Alfas on the track was impressive — even a T33 factory racer and a TZ1!

We all signed up for parade laps and were instructed to meet at 11:00 for a drivers meeting. Expecting to get two or three laps at a moderate speed, we were thrilled to find out that we had 30 minutes of track time, and a top speed of 95 mph! And two passing zones! Needless to say, we had a great time out there!

Friday started out with a rallye, and then tech sessions in the afternoon, winding up with a cookout and a “tire kicking swap meet” (did I say it was hot?). Not only were there Alfas everywhere (including the Bonneville Salt Flats racer), they all looked fantastic!

Saturday was Concours Day at the Stone Manor Estate, a perfect setting for the event. Although there was a wide variety of cars (including the beautiful and extremely rare Scuderia Lemoni Milano), the lawn became known as “Spider City”. The convention committee was astounded with the turnout (620 registered guests). Saturday wrapped up with a great banquet complete with numerous door prizes, generously donated by all the sponsors.

Sunday started off with an optional early-bird tour to the capitol (6:30 AM) and a convention wrap-up awards brunch. Due to the extreme heat, we decided to head out at 7AM to get some cooler drive time.

All in all, the Capitol Chapter folks were very gracious hosts and worked extremely hard to pull off a great convention. As a side bar, what a beautiful part of the country! Gorgeous countryside, warm and friendly people, and roads that beg for an Alfa Romeo!Tiny Quadrifoglio

 

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AROC Convention