At first glance, Chris Gonyea’s ’71 Alfa GTV may leave something to be desired, depending on your tastes. It’s not quite the sight for sore eyes one might expect when introduced to an Italian classic, but Chris is well aware of that. In place of shiny paint, you’ll find patchy primer and epoxy. The only shine the car offers is from the metallic Dynamat that lines its interior, mostly concealed by interior-delete panels and cracking old leather bits.
Ever since moving to California, Josh Dahlstrom has been jonesing for an E34. He’s had a few in the past, and following a 2 year bout with a C5 Vette, he’s been ready to return to his roots. He recently lucked out, finding a well-maintained 535i 5-speed in need of a new home. With Island Green Metallic paint, a manual transmission, and an enormous binder of ownership records, it ticked a lot of boxes.
John Benton has obviously been cut from a different cloth. In a community where many of the older shop owners hold on tight to the trade secrets they’ve learned over the years, John is an open book. Rather than hole up in a garage, jaded by decades in the automotive world, John is the first to share what he’s learned and openly reach out when he needs help.
I started planning this trip a long time ago, in my free time. When it was finally time to leave, I left Santa Barbara around 9am on Saturday to start the long trek towards the St. George area to meet up with Chandler and Chris at the trail head of a spot I like.
When it comes to cool cars, there are a million-and-one ways to build them. That’s probably pretty obvious. However, there are also a handful of surefire tried-and-true ways to build a show stopper. From its gloss black paint and its polished BBS RS wheels, to the fact that it’s a classic BMW laid flat on the ground, Oliver Grimme’s ’73 2002 Tii fits into the latter.