Sport / Competition
That's me, racing an Autodelta Corsa 1600 GTA "works" car (Autodelta S.p.A. photo)
racing a "works" 1600 Autodelta Alfa Romeo GTA "preparato"
in the mid sixties
(by the looks of the numbers and track, this was a FIA Group 2 G.P. event in Europe.
This racer is using C.E. wheels and a Wink mirror because I had a contract with both)
Of all the cars I have competed in, the Alfa 1.6 liter GTAs were the ones I enjoyed racing the most.
Fast and agile, there wasn't any racing scenario the car couldn't handle. Pretty forgiving to a point, the GTA allowed you to "drive" yourself out of really hairy racing situations, which to a driver is what racing is all about.
It's too bad that it was very competitively disadvantaged under the new U2.5L class TransAm racing rules that went into effect in the early 1970's.
While in Europe filming several movies, I was able to compete in both Group 2 (sedan) and Formula 3 (open wheel) cars (under pseudonyms, because of the restrictions set forth in my contract with the production companies I was shooting for) with some degree of success, and offered a factory sponsored privateer bump to a F2 car for the following season but turned it down.
I just didn't want to devote 100% of my time and energies to full time F2 racing, which is the degree of commitment it takes to become successful at that level of competition. Winning in F2 cars was the gateway to a F1 ride.
returning to the U.S., I had my Autodelta
GTA racer re-tuned by John Shankle for street and ProAm high
trials/slaloms, but eventually gravitated to
GP MotoX competitions on a Husqvarna 250cc Grand Prix racer.
My involvement with Alfa Romeo was not only competition related, I was also the president (and board member) of both the So Cal (AROSC) and National (AROC) Alfa Romeo Owner's Clubs, helping guide both organizations through some of their most member successful and largest club activity years.
Sports Car Graphic's legendary Publisher TC Brown used his very popular "INSIGHT" column to write about his guest appearance at an AROSC monthly meeting in the May, 1971 issue of the magazine (while I was AROSC Prez).
He was expecting to be greeted by about two dozen or so hard core Alfisti, but instead was greeted by over 350 very genial AROSC members and guests ("the Golden Horde").
TC gave a very impassioned talk about the evolution of the sports car in the U.S. and how sports car racing was now driving the consumer market ("Win on Sunday, sell on Monday").
He was also very complimentary to me personally, and to the AROSC board and members, saying that in all of his many guest appearances at such gatherings, he had never seen anywhere near the attendance this AROSC meeting had, nor had he ever attended any such event that was as entertaining, interesting, and varied. His love of Alfa's was also very evident.
ARI West's ever so charming P. R. Executive, Luciano Morra (who looked like an Italian movie star, with a voice to match), also said a few kind words to the AROSC members that night, thanking them (and me) for the continuing support of the marque, and what a huge asset the AROSC was to Alfa Romeo.
This truly was the golden age of Alfa ownership and cars in the U.S., and probably never to be achieved again, in either numbers, loyalty, or panache.
Pietro Stoccoro, a real gentleman and true Alfisti, was the major driving force behind Alfa Romeo's "Golden Age" in the U.S., doing more as head of Alfa Romeo Inc. West (ARIW) for the marque than any before, or after him.
(Autodelta / U.S. National Alfa Romeo Owners Club photo)
back of the Autodelta factory being fitted to a "works" FIA Gp. 2 GTA racer
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