I was tired of dealing with sub-zero temperatures in State College. My roommates and I worried that we’d forgotten what heat felt like after three straight months of biking to work in the snow. The 16V 190E was parked indefinitely and it was too cold to do anything besides parse through Fortran in a warm office. Graham saw the opportunity and took advantage of my frostbitten brain—he sent me a link to a red Alfa 164Q with the subject ‘buy this car’.
Up until that day I’d been entertained by Graham’s stories about Alfa failures of every degree. He insisted they’re still ‘great cars’ but they just need a little more care, attention, and money than most others. I knew he had anywhere from one to four of these Alfas under his control and had already done some major engine rebuilding. This somehow didn’t deter me in my search for a new unique vehicle. He also lauded their finer points, of course. I’d gotten tired of him talking about the ‘peanut butter leather’ interior of his 164 and how much fun it was to drive. I decided to give the Alfa some consideration because I figured I probably needed a third car if I was going to make it through grad school. Graham had even let me wear his Alfa hat a couple of times, and I felt I needed to truly earn a hat of my own.