Per Sempre Alfa is the offical magazine of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia (Queensland Division). This is an on-line version of an article originally printed in the magazine and is subject to the Australian Copyright Act. Other than for the purposes of and subject to the conditions prescribed under the Copyright Act, no part of this work may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission.
Michael Lew, Alfetta and Spider owner, feared by foes and fences alike, provides an alphabetical rundown on all things Alfisti.
So you've just joined the Club but worried you may not know enough about Alfa Romeo's, the Club or it's members? Need to know more? Want to speak the lingo? Who's who? Well, here's my A to Z Guide to being an Alfisti.
Alfisti - Alfa Romeo enthusiast, that's you. Rhymes with 'Evictee', that's you again if you over Alfisticise yourself beyond household chores.
Alfesta - Annual national gathering of Alfisti's in a different state of Australia every Easter. Goes for four days. Fun except for those infernal ball games. You'll see what I mean.
Avanti - Restaurant, Chemical Merchants, Concrete suppliers or leading Alfa Romeo spare parts dealer in Queensland based in Northgate. See R for Richard Anderson.
Alfetta - 116 series Alfa. Not the best Alfa for short point n' squirt circuit work but great for tarmac rallies due to fantastic grip generated by rear-positioned transaxle. 50/50 weight distribution. Good for taking out fences too.
Alfasud - Compact Alfa coupe. Sorry if you own one. Spares are getting harder to get as everyone just throws them out!
Alfamotive - Alfa repair and service business owned by Norm Golding. Drop in for a chat.
Birds - Something the Vaughans used to have lots of until they started collecting Alfa's instead. See V for Vaughans.
Brownie points - Points-based rewards scheme used to measure an Alfisti's ability to go out and play. Difficult to earn but when earned, can be blown away in a second.
Campbell, Bernie - Club vice-president. Tall guy with spectacles, beard and a neat watch always. Clocks are his life besides Alfa's.
Classified Ads - For any classified ads in our club magazine, contact Bob Whitehouse. Nice guy with fast Alfa Sud Sprint.
Close-ratio gearbox - Dear friend of competitive Alfisti's. See S for stealth.
Competition - Our club offers a choice of 'passive' or 'active' competition. The former suits families and people who enjoy a good drive e.g: observation and night runs. The latter suits Weekend Warriors who want to flog each other at local racetracks such as Morgan Park in Warwick and Queensland Raceway at Ipswich.
Driving etiquette - Paramount in our club. Whilst the club makes provision for most sorts of driving i.e.: social or competitive however appropriate driving etiquette is required at all times. Yobs will not be tolerated. If caught, you will sleep with the fishes.
Drinking - Highly enjoyable club activity after a hard day's racing. Often takes place at the Horse & Jockey Inn at Warwick amongst bovine manure trading. New Club members always have the next club shout.
Day Run - Another highly enjoyable club activity for the family. Carried out during weekends, trips can take you from Montville to Toowoomba to Stanthorpe. For northerly destinations, meet at Caltex Carseldine, southerly destinations, at Garden City Shopping Centre Car park and westerly destinations, at Caltex Goodna servo.
Devil Worship - Method of prayer and religious practice employed by some club members to make their Alfa's unbelievably quick beyond mechanical explanation. See S for Stonehouse.
Euro Connection - Alfa Romeo spare parts and service business also at Northgate. In addition to Alfa's, they also do BMW, FIAT and Lancia spares too. At one time, proud owner of 90% of Queensland's fleet of Alfa 33's. Sponsor of our Bocce Nights. WE MUST WIN OUR TROPHY BACK! Call Michael for assistance.
Enough - A unit of measurement employed by some club members to measure the amount of fuel left in their cars especially when the fuel gauge shows 'E'. Or a typical answer to an insensitively asked question such as,' What sort of horsepower does your engine produce?'
French, John - Alfa God. Racer of great renown in the earlier years. Ex-dealer in South Brisbane. Supporter of the club, John is a wealth of knowledge of our marque.
Friends - Typical human relationship established between Alfisti's. Normally confined to social situations only however there are some out there who will harness this resource to remove mastic (sound deadener) from the body shells of their rally cars.
Fireant - Unwanted American migrant to Australia now being pursued relentlessly (one by one) by our very own Mrs Fireant, Kim Percival.
GTA - A model of the 105 series Alfa every hot-blooded club member dreams about. Very rare.
GTV - A model of the 105 series Alfa every hot-blooded club member has to settle with, next to a GTA.
Garage - Place where automobiles are kept at home. Sometimes also a place for sleeping when stealth fails. See S for Stealth
Garage Widow - Situation where a wife loses her club husband to an Alfa.
Hotline - (07) 3278 2608. Not breakdown hotline, adult hotline (better not be or you will get a shock!) or hotline to dob in tax cheats and drug dealers. Club Hotline is our 24hr service, which provides details of club events and important announcements.
Herrmann, Andrew - Our magazine editor. World traveller and computer genius, sole author of the name 'Soug' Stonehouse, a name now tragically stuck for life to club member Doug Stonehouse. See S for Stonehouse.
Hemorrhage - Serious medical condition often experienced by Alfisti's when faced with repair bills which make the Gold Coast City Council's Rates bills look like a Tonka Toy. Thankfully this condition is limited to those who abuse or neglect their Alfa's severely. See also Z for zeros.
Homeless - Undesirable situation faced by Alfistis who leave their Alfa receipts lying around to be picked up by their wives. Mostly not a permanent situation but takes time to heal. See G for Garage.
Hyland, Ian - Our club's new president (ex- competition secretary). Struggling timber merchant and receiver of free give-away racing Honda's.
Italo-Australia Club - Italian based club located in Newmarket where our club holds monthly club meetings. $2 raffle ticket fee requested as a contribution towards use of the premises. We meet downstairs in the bistro for dinner at around seven before our meeting at eight. Best way to meet the members. Join us.
Joy Ride - Method of transportation which could have been employed by car thieves in Caloundra recently when an unlocked Giulia Super rally car was left parked and unattended, fuelled-up ready to go. Fresh tyres too.
Kiss-my-arse-good-bye - Situation I would experience if the Giulia Super was in fact joy ridden the day before being driven by a rally legend in a televised national rally.
Loud - Certain members of the club.
Lew, Michael - Loud. (See? I have a sense of humour)
Magazine - Our club publishes a monthly magazine called 'Per Sempre Alfa' i.e. everything Alfa. Articles are sought for publication, so are advertisements and great photos. Contact Editor Andrew Hermann if you can help out.
MacLean's Bridge Car Display - Mother's Day event always attended by the Club. Nice day out. Bring picnic rug and mom plus plenty of car polish and plonk (if mom can drive home).
November 19th - 23rd, 2003 - Dates for Classic Adelaide, a FIA calendar tarmac rally held in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Scene of fierce competition by some club members and shameless TV appearances by others, all for the sake of the Club.
Oshit - Phrase muttered just before going through someone's fence in Adelaide.
Oops - Phrase muttered just after going through someone's fence in Adelaide.
Ocrap - What you get after you go through someone's fence in Adelaide.
Personalised Plates - For a fee, you can have club-personalised plates for your car. Contact Denis Sando, club secretary. See S for Sando.
Percival, Ken - Looking like a hawg-bike owner with beard and ponytail, Ken is our club's Competition Secretary (ex- president). Part owner of a successful automatic gearbox repair business (Acacia Automatics), Ken is also one of the most enthusiastic Alfisti ever. His eagerness in club activities if harvested, can power a small continent. Friendly and cheerful everywhere but fierce and feisty on the track.
Percival, Kim - Kim is Ken's beautiful wife and social secretary of our club. Also known as,'Mrs Fireant' (go ahead, ask her. Tell her I sent you). Loves horses so long as they do not grow beyond waist-high. See her for all club social activity needs.
Q-car - Car that goes faster than it looks. See A for Alfetta (private joke here).
Richard Anderson - Club member who builds rally cars for a living. Sole proprietor of Avanti Spares, a business that keeps most of our beloved cars on the road. Wrecker of dead Alfa's for spares, Richard is occasionally known to drive cars upside down. See also W for whining and F for Friends. Known to traffic sleeping black snakes in Alfa's. Never proven though.
RACQ - Club friend. Don't leave home without it.
Restaurant nights - Regular club social activity. Great fun.
Stealth - Code of conduct practiced by competitive members. Practiced when amassing exotic go-faster bits without alerting each other of their newly acquired hidden advantage. Also, conduct applied by some members to hide unannounced purchases from their partners in order to retain their place in the marital bed at nights otherwise see G for Garage.
Swap-A-Drive - Club event held annually at Mt Coot-tha where one alfisti may drive another's Alfa.
Speeding Ticket - Something you get when rushing home from say, an event at Warwick. See 'S' for Stonehouse.
Sando, Denis - Club secretary. Resident Santa, Dennis is our efficient club secretary and certainly not someone to complain to about the quality of club BBQ's. Call Dennis if you need either something official from our club or a 1000 tonne mining excavation bucket.
Split second - Gulf of time between some member's cars at track days.
Stonehouse, Doug - Ever smiling club member who smokes those Oh-So-Slim cigars. Drives a fantastic looking 105 series GTV. Must worship the Devil as nothing else can explain how he goes like hell on race tracks. Also known as Soug. See H for Hermann.
Treasurer - Our club treasurer is Gary Spowart. Just joined the competition crowd in sprints. Do not call him 'Bernie'.
Training - Driver Training is carried out by the Club whenever possible and if insurance is available. The Club has number of in-house driver trainers and we use venues such as the Queensland Transport Driver Training Facility at Mt Cotton. Highly recommended for younger members especially new drivers. Note. Driver Training is not a credible excuse to give to the Police when pulled over for either speeding or drink driving.
Television - Some of our club members occasionally get a spot on national TV. Often for wrong reasons like driving through neighbourhood fences in front of TV crews.
Underpowered - Reserved for MG owners. A word with no meaning in our club. Rarely admitted. Bad word. Bad, bad word.
Vaughan, Tony - Tony is a highly knowledgeable Alfisti and a technical marvel. Looks like Ned Kelly. Drives a red Magna wagon or a splendid Berlina. Believed to own one, he is rarely seen in a Montreal. Like the Loch Ness Monster, it is rumoured to exist only. Loves birds.
Vaughan, Jude - Jude is Tony's wife. Always smiling and cheerful. One of the friendliest people in the club you will meet. Together, they function as our club's membership secretary. If you have any questions relating to membership issues, magazine copies, spare socks or simply needing a sharp needle to lance a blood clot, just call her. Bird lover.
Wickham, Jan - Club Shop Manager. If you fancy some club merchandise, just call Jan. Sometimes you may not need to call her at all as she has probably seen you first. She will chase you down in your Alfa and refuse to let you go until you can either verify your club membership or take one out on the spot. Jan is also our ex-president and her enthusiasm towards the Club and Alfa Romeo's generally is legendary. Known to have pursued unknown Alfa's across borders. Drives a lovely navy blue 2.0 square-tail Spider packed with club shop merchandise. Don't run; she used to drive rally cars. Resistance is futile.
Wisharts - The Magnificent Racing Wisharts. Club family where speed is life. Son, Jason is arguably one of the quickest driver in the club and when someone comes close to beating his times, he goes and buys a Sports 1300 to up the stakes. Not your average bean counter.
Whining - Type of consistent and irritating high-pitched sound created say, when your Alfa's differential or gearbox is worn. Often a sound related to pain & suffering. Heard often from certain members of the Club when they cannot beat another's time around a race track or when things don't go well in an international rally event.
Wombat - Furry Australian marsupial. Loves to dig like a certain club member whenever upside down. Certain species known to trade in spare parts at Northgate. See R.
X-treme - Level of modifications to make an Alfa handle better such as 5.5 degrees of negative camber. Also weight saving methods that make Alfa's go faster such as a low-carbohydrate diet to reduce the weight of the driver's seat. Or spending an entire weekend removing just six kilograms of mastic.
Yob - Hooligan. Unwanted club member. See D for Driving Etiquette. Road kill.
Zeros - Circular numerical units often found at the bottom of the last page of your bill if you want to go racing. Can make the difference between scoring Brownie points (see B) or Garage (see G for Garage). Also, an indicator of sympathy one can expect to get from home after taking down someone's fence whilst competing in a nationally televised event.
Zabaglione - Italian sweet. I ran out of ideas.
So there you go. This article is written in jest. It is not intended to portray those named in a bad way but conversely, they are portrayed in a complimentary manner highlighting their well known and well liked personal traits and roles within the club and club community. If any offence results in the publication of this article, my apologies are hereby offered unconditionally although I know you love me and forgive me as a result. If not, meet me at the bar at our next club meeting and we will settle this liquidly.