I get the idea that foreign or classic car owners on the coasts often have “a guy” to help them out of trouble when things start to fall apart. For instance, my dad, when he was piecing together his 1973 3.0 CS, had most of the work done at shops within a 15 mile radius of our house in York, PA. To have the carbs tuned, he sent the car down the road to the shop with plenty of Alfas out front. For upholstery, he commissioned a shop downtown with a slew of Grand Wagoneers in the lot, and, at one point etched into my memory, a Watusi bull in various stages of meat grinding inside the shop. To get the brakes ready for inspection, he dropped the car off behind a trailer park, close to the river. He kept the car in shape without ever leaving York County.
Living in Columbus, IN, undertaking an Alfa V6 rebuild posed some geographical challenges. The only European shop in the county was the local Import Auto shop, where I buy all of my VW and BMW parts. So, for ignition and fuel system components, I had the convenience of stopping by after work to pick up parts. I asked around for recommendations on local machine shops, and drove south to Jackson County, where I found a shop for head work, and a shop to take care of the bottom end.