A while ago I called Frans de Groot. Intimates within it Alfa Romeo world know him like the back of their hand, because Frans has been involved with it for a lifetime Alfa Romeo. He cherishes a deep love for the brand, and he is still very busy Alfato make special creations, without detracting too much from the original character of the Italians. I totally get it, but recently I lost track. Because Frans proudly said that he mounted two Colombo and Barani camshafts in one of his Tipo 105 Giulias. “With the company name engraved in it, so beautiful.” My despair lasted very briefly.
The assembly of lovingly produced parts. Or parts of stature. It is one thing that I also like to use in my own age fleet. Take that darn Toyota Starlet, which I regularly update you on. It now has 247500 kilometers on the clock and it drives as smoothly as anything. There is much that does not need to be replaced on the car, but what is subject to wear and tear goes out. There comes good stuff instead. Often original (sometimes second-hand), or with the brand name of a parts manufacturer of stature. Just as my own maintenance discipline leaves no room for things like skip it once. That's why the technique feels like that damned good Toyota still so fresh, it is a joy to drive it.
With my Toyota from 1995, the question sometimes arises whether the parts supply offers immediate relief for a maintenance issue. Some things are not readily available. The luck in an accident is that the stuff is still available, but sometimes you have to search. It is well worth the wait. Rather original than imitation. Huib de Graaf- who glorified in the Triumph TR report this month- it also said: rather original than newly manufactured. "It fits just a little bit better, and under the skin you get the feeling that the car is just right." I understood that stanza completely. If I get into a car with cheap imitation parts, I miss something in advance. And I ride with less pleasure. And driving is something I love to do. Then everything has to be right. I think you will recognize that as a real enthusiast.
Very simple. The idea that you use top material makes every ride more beautiful, And you are also more conscious about your car. At least it works that way for me. Stuff of name and fame. Renowned. I firmly believe that they make a car better. Especially when the original parts are no longer available. It has to be right and right. Not only a stroke of the pen makes a car enthusiast work, the love you put into maintenance also embraces that title.
With my latest acquisition, I will preventively replace a number of things under the hood. With a quality components. Not necessary yet, but I want that. For my own feeling. And because then I know for sure that everything is okay. The correct oil, preferably prescribed by the manufacturer, or labeled with a logo of a reputable brand. The right fluids, the best spark plugs, the best ignition coil bridge. name it. All things that give the feeling and the certainty that the car will reward you for the investment and the love you give it. And they make you just that little bit better behind the wheel. In addition: cheap is expensive. Didn't see me.
Back to Frans' camshaft history and one of his classic Giulias. When you look sober at such a reflection you think: “Nice, but those camshafts are not visible, they rest under a nice Alfa Nord valve cover. So an inscription with the company name is not much use. And if you drive, certainly not at all.” That is from A to B rhetoric that can never be correct for a perfectionist. Because the opposite is true. Non-functional but wonderful details of a part increase the joy of celebration. Because you know that you yourself give the Nordmotor extra pep by installing such a handmade camshaft set.
When Frans experiences that extra power personally, he knows what causes it, among other things. And then that inscription of the name Colombo & Bariani gets under his skin. Simply, because Frans knows that extra care and attention has been paid to the parts that make driving just that little bit better. And that gives you that dash of extra tingling. That is exactly why I recently understood Frans very well. It is not only the brand logo, image and design that determine what an enthusiast car is. It is also the invisibility of top technical maintenance. Or the use of top technical applications. Such as state of the art and handcrafted camshafts. Neatly mounted under a beautiful valve cover. Symbol for a subcutaneous enthusiast phenomenon. Not visible. Noticeable Correct. That is the Colombo & Bariani feeling.