"That’s the beauty of the automotive hobby. People do different things with their cars but the one thing that brings us all together is that four wheels excite us, regardless of whether or not those four wheels are dusty or freshly polished."
Owning a car is very similar to a tree with a hundred branches; there are just as many things you can do with or to a car depending on your tastes. Cars can be driven, restored, modified, or destroyed if you’ve got the revenue and YouTube views to back it up. Here at LBI Limited, we’ve recently gotten the opportunity to work with two cars that are at both sides of the condition spectrum: a driver-quality 1967 Alfa Romeo Spider “Duetto” and one that has been meticulously restored to showroom condition. While these cars are both the same car model-wise, their condition means that their use cases are polar opposites and their accessibility to prospective buyers is vastly different. To understand the thought processes behind these cars’ status, we went straight to the source, otherwise known as the cars’ current owners.
In the “driver-quality” corner, we have Adam West, one of our very own specialists and the one who spent most of his childhood around this Duetto. His father added the Duetto to his collection of Alfas when Adam was 2 and despite their growing collectibility, each car had its fair share of road use. Seeing his dad taking the cars out and enjoying them the way they were meant to has stuck with Adam since.
“I’m a big believer in ‘get out and drive’”, Adam said. “Driving a car is part of taking care of it. As long as you don’t abuse it, there’s a reward to driving old cars and experiencing what cars were like back then.”
Part of the automotive hobby comes from other people’s enjoyment of our cars as well.
“Other people seeing and admiring my car is a reward in and of itself. I get most of my enjoyment from street parking my car and watching old ladies stop and talk about how they used to see them when they were young,” Adam said.
In the “showroom-quality” corner, we have Barry, the artisan who took a once-ignored Alfa and seemingly turned back the hands of time. Barry has owned this car since the 1980s and over the years restored every single detail of it until it was almost unrecognizable from a brand new Duetto.
“At that point though, I couldn’t bring myself to drive it,” Barry said. “I wanted to keep the Duetto but it got to the point where I was obsessive with the details and I would hate if it got as much as a scratch on it.”
Even so, it wasn’t the idea of driving the car that made his heart skip a beat.
“I get satisfaction from working on cars. My passion lies in the restoration,” Barry said. “It’s a labor of love for me, it’s a hobby. I work at my own pace and I’m my own boss.”
Being your own boss comes with its own price though and restorations are not an accessible hobby for everyone, especially if that person doesn’t have a mechanical background.
“At the end of the day though, people do what makes them happy. I’m not gonna judge someone for driving their cars,” Barry said.
And Adam agrees.
That’s the beauty of the automotive hobby. People do different things with their cars but the one thing that brings us all together is that four wheels excite us, regardless of whether or not those four wheels are dusty or freshly polished. These two Duettos will each go to their different owners and live different lives but they will bring their respective owners the same amount of enjoyment for years to come.
We’d like to thank Adam and Barry for their time and for allowing us the privilege of finding new homes for their astonishing Duettos. It has been an absolute pleasure and we can’t wait to work together in the future!
Written By: Gabriel Ionica | Instagram: @gabopengo
Photos By: James Graves | Instagram: @jamesgravey
Additional Commentary By: Adam West | Instagram: @m635dude