It Takes a Village—1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce
Bonnie Menapace (nee Hemsley – yes, she’s my daughter) got her first Alfa for her 16th birthday. It was a used, yellow 1979 Alfa Spider Veloce, which she still has. Andy Menapace got to share that Alfa Spider when he married Bonnie, and he got to learn how to change a head gasket at that same time, not to mention how to get it running properly. Over the years, they accumulated a couple other Alfas, including a 1975 Spider Veloce that Andy won at the Alfa Romeo Owners Club convention in Seattle in 2005. Eventually, they decided that they wanted a rarer Alfa and were looking for a Junior Z when an opportunity suddenly appeared. A friend decided to reduce the number of projects he had, and offered this disassembled Giulietta to them for a reasonable price. This is the story of their ten-year restoration adventure and the rare, numbers-matching Spider Veloce they now have. But first a little history.
Many books have been written about the history of Alfa Romeo during its 112-year existence. One of those books, “The Alfa Romeo Tradition” by noted automotive historian Griffith Borgeson, was organized in chapters focused on important people in the manufacturer’s history. That approach makes sense, since each of those individuals contributed to, or caused, the changes in the company’s approach to automobile production and racing. That approach, according to the “Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile,” “…made Alfa Romeo one of the greatest names in the history of motoring and motorsport.”
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