- Written by webmin
Longtime readers who receive the next issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotics (Feb 2011, on sale shortly!) may get a sense of de ja vu when viewing the next cover: the lovely Alfa and BMW pictured there have, indeed, been featured previously.
Lest anyone think we’re slacking off and can’t find different cars to feature, here’s the real story …
Four years ago, I conceived of a comparison showcasing these two machines. Alfetta vs 2002 didn’t seem an obvious pairing at first, but a pair of sporting two-liter rear-drivers that were on sale around the same time seemed a more natural comparison the more I thought of it. I found willing owners (both of them original owners, for whatever reason), we met in the middle, and I got to shooting and driving. (I must confess: My action shots stunk; it got too dark too quickly and nothing in motion was salvageable.) Otherwise it was a good day; I was so inspired by the pair that I wrote the story almost immediately, then the story sat in a filing cabinet unused for years. Why? Possibly for the lack of decent action shots, but these things occasionally happen in the busy world of magazine publishing.
Years pass. The editor had a Buyers Guide-shaped hole to fill, and he decided that a BMW 2002 would be the right size to fill it. Rather than shooting another car somewhere, he took the one I shot for the comparison. It ran in the November ’06 issue, written by editorial king and 2002 owner/nut Richard Lentinello. Two years later, not really knowing what to do with the brown Alfa pictures he found in the filing cabinet, the editor assigned me a Buyers Guide on the Type 116 Alfetta. It ran in late 2008.
Fast forward another two years. An administration change as Hemmings Sports & Exotics’ original editor, Dave LaChance, becomes its newest editor. He inherits a filing cabinet full of pics and stories, new and used, and sends out a general call to the staff, along the lines of, what have you shot and written that hasn’t yet seen the light of day? I mention this comparison.
And so, a judgment call: The photos had already run, but the story was a valid one – and was evergreen, to boot. Everyone in house decided it was OK to run the comparo as long as we explained why we were using the same cars again. And now the pair appears on the cover. So, if you recognize these cars as having run before, that’s fine – and you’re right. Just know that this comparison story (the one running in the February 2011 issue) came first.