Just east of Portland, above the Columbia River, lies Corbett, Oregon, a swath of utterly tranquil American landscape. There, the Historic Columbia River Highway permits glimpses of the river valley, where conifers and diffuse light from low clouds conspire in a vivid scene with the rock cliffs and the water below. Stray from the RV-friendly scenic highway, and your gaze shifts from the horizon to the pitch-black switchbacks lined with red pine needles. The road surfaces are too unforgiving to enjoy a stiffly sprung sports car, and with the light bicycle traffic, the ragged edge of tire adhesion is off limits. Enter the Italian sports sedan.
A month of standing sentinel over “Alfa Romeo Milano Verde” on a Craigslist, a year with a rewards credit card, and a two hour garage blaze culminated in an impromptu flight to Oregon to retrieve my latest object of obsession. The mere sound of the approaching Busso V6 as the seller pulled up to pick my girlfriend and me up from our AirBnB in Portland affirmed my decision to buy; the seller’s small-talk, abridged life story affirmed my latest life decisions. Oregon is one of very few places where you might meet a man who decided to append his automotive engineering degree with grad studies in environmental science because he didn’t respect what engineering represented in the 70s – one of the few places where you might meet a man who quit his job 4 years out of school because he “needed a vacation”. Instant affirmation.