green 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider with top down in front of orange archway of HOA pool

1991 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Welcome to the page of my former Foglio Green Italian steed dubbed “Elaina.” She was my daily driver from 2003-2009 until I sold her half a year after purchasing an Audi TT Roadster Quattro.

Her body was styled by Pininfarina, the same Italian design studio that penned many Ferraris.

Her cockpit sports other charms shared by those vehicles donning the famed prancing horse: the straight-arm, bent-knee Italian driving position; sumptuous, tanned Italian leather; and circular, rotatable vents, the type that Italians prize.

Her powertrain layout is classic, with a racy overhead-cam engine in front powering a well-controlled live-axle setup in the rear, matched by disc brakes all around.

And yet, her soul is uniquely Alfa: a descendent of a race-bred pedigree imbued with tradition, elegance, and passion; the type that gets one’s pulse beating just a little bit quicker and the mind conjuring up the possibilities…

“Because beauty is not enough” is her automaker’s motto. This is, after all, a romance… A romance named Alfa Romeo.

green 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider with top down in front of orange archway of HOA pool
My Alfa in front of the Liberty Commons pool in Fremont, California.

About her name

I named her Elaina after Katherine Ross’ character and Benjamin Braddock’s love interest in The Graduate, the movie that instilled Alfa Romeo into Americans’ consciousness.

Who could ever forget Dustin Hoffman tapping on the glass walls of the church while passionately screaming, “Elaine… Elaine… Elaine!”

Elaina’s Custom Plates (2006-2009, in Colorado)

These plates mean a few things:

  • “Rock and Sol” (with Sol = Sun in Spanish), appropriate due to my new location near the Rocky Mountains that features 300 days of sunshine each year. Or, an allusion to my fondness for rock climbing and sunny weather.
  • “Rock and Soul,” two genres of music I enjoy. Also: because Elaina has been as tough as a rock and has a lot of soul.
  • “Rock and SOL,” as in “stuck in a hard place and sh*t-out-of-luck,” something owners of vintage British and Italian car owners find themselves. (SOL, or the Scions of Lucas who were British car owners, was also the first e-mail list I ever subscribed to back in 1994.)

Elaina’s Custom Plates (2003-2005, in California)

California license plates that say 2C STARS
Meaning of these plates is "To see stars."

The plates mean, “To see stars” (an allusion to warm summer nights, for wonderful top-down motoring under a clear, sparkling sky… or to see movie stars.) Or, when she is carrying Canny, perhaps the plates could mean “double century stars”? Well, one can pretend!

Gas Mileage

Elaina has an EPA rating of 30 mpg on the highway. She has gotten a consistent 35 mpg on longer trips.

Epic Road Trip!

I drove the Alfa about 10,000 miles through 20 states and provinces in a journey dubbed the Great American Road Trip. The purpose of that trip was to explore nearly three dozen different cities I was considering moving to. Ultimately, she brought me to my current home of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Amazingly, Elaina did not suffer a single breakdown during that nearly three-month adventure!

In Yellowstone during the the Great American Western Road Trip.
In Yellowstone during the the Great American Western Road Trip.