Joost Gompels got involved with the Alfa Romeo 1900 make in the mid seventies after acquiring a couple of 2000 roadster “hulks” in a misunderstanding of a transaction he viewed as acquiring a prewar 6C1750! While restoring the 2000 (in those days “restoring” meant getting the engine running and having four wheels that enabled the car to move) he visited a fellow 2000 owner who had a partly-dismantled and shabby-looking 1900 coupe in his garage which he was ignoring because it was not a convertible. Joost noted the aluminum body and was astute enough to offer to buy the car if it was ever for sale. That happened about six months later in 1972. After about another two years he began his 17-year restoration project by buying a can of WD40. As Peter Marshall was a 1900 owner in the UK with a flair for writing (that begat his Bollettino) he was contacted by regular mail (note that neither email nor word processors were known). He was of boundless help and they became pen pals. In that time frame Keith Martin also started his Alfa Romeo Market Newsletter and we know how that has turned out!
Fast forward to July 1992 and St Louis MO, where Carter Hendricks organized the first-ever 1900 meet under the auspices of the AROC annual convention where Craig Morningstar had organized the appearance of the Disco Volante. Peter Marshall flew in from the UK to attend and judge the six or so 1900 entries while 27 “owners” were listed as attended the meeting. Later Joost began thinking about repeating that event and sent a letter in December 1992 to all those on Carter’s invitation list with the thought that a “vehicle” was needed for 1900 owners to be in touch with each other and offered to start a “quasi newsletter” to engender “mutual support” and …“at the least facilitating the continual upgrading of restoration efforts … (not to mention reduction in the painful probably expensive forays into the unknown)!” The first prospectus was mailed in July 1993 and morphed into The Mostly1900 Irregular Newsletter which lasted about 10 years ending with issue #26 in December 2005 following the great gathering of Alfa 1900’s as a class at the Amelia Island March 2005 Concours d’Elegance where Alfa Romeo was the featured marque. By that time, the North American Alfa Romeo 1900 Register had come into being with over 100 owners listed. The NAR1900 Website was born around 2006 to replace the newsletter. Close liaison with Peter Marshall was maintained through these years and has continued to this day. Gary Johnson constructed the website and has been instrumental again in getting a 21st century replacement launched this 2016. In 2007 Peter facilitated Joost and Bob meeting at Meadow Brook with a view to collaborating on the NA Register and that morphed into Bob’s development of the Alfa 1900 Companion and his heroic accomplishment of capturing pictures of every known Alfa 1900 survivor.
Gary Johnson is an Internet systems developer and specializes in developing systems for organizations that are membership based. He first became involved with the Alfa 1900 group when Joost asked him about a website for the AR900 Register in 2004. That resulted in the present website which has been up for 12 years now. Since then so many improvements in technology have taken place that we can now do things that were not possible in 2004.The new site has features that link a worldwide membership together making communication and collaboration possible and facilitating relationships for groups sharing a common interest such as the Alfa Romeo 1900 series.
Bob has been an Alfa enthusiast ever since one day noticing a slate gray with red interior Giulietta Spider parked alongside the road on his way home from elementary school. Bob's enthusiasm for 1900s began in the mid-1970s when he went hunting for the the B.A.T. show cars and became one of the few people at that time to know the whereabouts of and personally inspect all three B.A.T.s. Along the way he crossed paths with a variety of other classic Alfas such as a 1900 Pinin Farina coupe (*01617*), Claretta Petacci's 6C2500 berlinetta (915.033), a Boano-bodied 1900 coupe at a Cincinnati auction (*01839*) and a 6C2500 Pinin Farina cabriolet (915.744), among several other unrecorded Alfa classics, and struck up a correspondence with Peter Marshall (even before Joost did!). Bob's first Alfa was a lipstick-on-a-pig 2600 Spider, and the less said abouy that car the better. That was followed by a series of unremarkable contemporay Alfas including a Sprint GT and Alfetta GT. Alas, no classics, no 1900s. Bob's interest in 1900s and Alfas in general waned until the early 2000s, when he learned that all three B.A.T.s would be reunited at the Meadow Brook Concours in 2007. This--and his impending retirement-- spurred a renewed interest in 1900s and, by the end of 2007, Bob had created a new website for 1900 lovers called (thanks to Joost) the "Alfa Romeo 1900 Companion". Also at Meadow Brook 2007 Bob met Joost and Peter in person for the very first time.