South Shore Tour


By Dave Pratt
Good photos by Joe Fenstermaker and others by Dave

Yes, make it four for four!  Despite April’s reputation for its showers, all four editions of the annual AONE South Shore Beach & Waterfront tour have been run in picture-perfect weather, and this year’s was no exception. We did give it an asterisk, though, because we had to move the date ahead to Saturday in order to avoid a cooler, cloudy, and possibly rainy Sunday. Actually, Saturday was the original day that event organizer (and AONE President) Tom Lesko had planned for the tour; however, he was supposed to have been out of town that day but that trip never happened, so we should give the asterisk an asterisk.

Tom was there to greet us at our usual starting spot, a pleasant park alongside Hingham Harbor, with coffee, muffins, bagels, and donuts. The Alfas came rolling in in one by one and lined up in a row. There was quite an assortment of models (see the complete list at the bottom) — old and newer Spiders, a pair of GTVs, a Giulia Super, and topped off by Roger Cassin’s terrific 1954 1900 CSS Coupe. He and his car are freshly back from running the Copperstate 1000 out in Arizona, where they had to drive part of the route through a sandstorm! The front of Roger’s 1900 is now a muted version of its former sheen, but he fared much better than many of the competitors, especially given that he was running without air cleaners!

Before shoving off and after our usual round of tire-kicking, we held a brief drivers meeting and Tom gave us a map of the route he had planned. We were then under way, with Tom and his Giulia Spider "Grumpy" in the lead. Grumpy nearly lost his name, since Tom just finished rebuilding his carbs and he now starts and runs quite well, but by the end of the day his clutch was starting to slip.

 All of the tops that were capable of being dropped were dropped, of course. We headed out on the scenic itinerary that was essentially the same as that of previous years. Unfortunately, about 20 minutes into the drive, an incident occurred. We were going around a rotary, sticking to the outside, when a large pickup truck on the inside tried to exit to the right, crossing into Doug Sondak’s lane and smashing into his lovely ’69 roundtail Spider.  The truck driver was either driving too aggressively, didn't see Doug’s Spider, or both.  This halted the tour, of course, and we spent some time making sure that Doug was okay and seeing if there was anything else that could be done. There wasn’t, and Doug sent us back out motoring. His car had been hit along the length of the driver’s side, but it ran fine and tracked straight on his trip home. There was some poetic justice — Doug drove home but the pickup had to be towed away! Apparently, the truck’s bumper was bent into the tire and they couldn't straighten it out! Needless to say, we and Alfisti everywhere all share Doug’s sorrow.

While we were parked near the rotary, a gent in a late-model BMW pulled in, said that he owned an ’89 Spider, and was surprised to discover that there was a New England Alfa Romeo club. (Can you imagine that?) He asked what our itinerary was and immediately went home to fetch his Spider. Sure enough, we spotted him along the way, waved him into the caravan, and he joined us for much of the rest of the tour. We’re looking forward to having you among our ranks, Michael!

Our route took us past Nantasket and Hull beaches, Cohasset’s gold coast, Cohasset and Back Harbors, Minot Beach, the Minot lighthouse, Scituate Harbor, the Scituate lighthouse, and Peggoty Beach, with a special excursion down a lane with a unique Alfa roundabout [a wrong turn down an ordinary cul-de-sac —Ed.]. We then looped back around to Scituate Harbor, which was our destination for lunch, namely the Mill Wharf Restaurant. This is the same spot we’ve dined on each of the prior South Shore tours, on the water overlooking the harbor, with fishing boats, lobster traps, buoys, piers, and seagulls to provide the ambiance. Our gang occupied two large tables and we had ourselves a leisurely and enjoyable lunch, primarily seafood-based, of course. Other than the unfortunate Doug Sondak, Tom Letourneau was the only one who didn't make it. We figured that he'd decided to abandon the caravan and turn off the route somewhere.  Which caused the wags sitting around the table to bequeath him with a new name: Tom Leturnoff.

After lunch, Tom Lesko offered to lead everyone back to where we started, so we fired up our Alfas and hit the road. Some of us partook while others headed off in alternative directions. Thanks, Tom, for getting our AONE driving season off to such a great start! Dare we think about 5 for 5?Tiny Quadrifoglio

Participants

Tom Lesko & Joe Fenstermaker – Gray 1965 Spider Veloce
Rick & Linda Lesniewicz – White 1972 Giulia Super
Garry Prime – White 1957 Giulietta Spider
Doug Sondak – Dark Blue 1969 Spider*
Frank & Karen Anigbo – Ochre 1969 GTV 1750
Roger Cassin & Paul Wilson – Black 1954 1900 CSS Coupe
Dan & Deb Donovan – Bronze 1988 Spider
Rod Burdick – Red 1965 Sprint Speciale
Tom Letourneau – Red 1986 Spider*
Phil & Jean Ann Bostwick – Dark Blue 1972 GTV
Dan Nicholes – Red 1967 Duetto
Dave & Vi Pratt – Yellow 1974 Spider
Michael Walker – Red 1989 Spider**

*DNF
**Our newest member

 

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South Shore Tour