Alpio Barbara: Cars and Coffee at Alpio’s at Troon – and Classic Cars in His GreatGarage
Alpio Barbara hosts Cars and Coffee every month at work –– and enjoys his prized cars every day at home, with or without a cup of joe.
Cars and Coffee happens the second Saturday of each month, 7–10 a.m., at his Alpios at Troon –– “Let’s Go Back in Time” –– in the Villages of Pinnacle Peak, 10452 East Jomax Road, at Alma School Road in north Scottsdale. The native Californian opened the event center in April 2016, and Valley car- and cycle-lovers have been revved since.
With an events-friendly double mezzanine level, Alpios Place also hosts birthday celebrations, baby showers, weddings, Halloween, Christmas and bachelorette parties and business team-builders and conferences.
“I was approached by people from clubs and organizations who heard about the place and wanted to rent it for themed events,” he says. “We did a Halloween Party for the Ferrari Club of Arizona and also a live screening of the US Formula 1 Race,” he adds, noting he’ll cater or you can arrange that.
Barbara’s center is furnished as a ’50s-style diner, with alternating classic cars and motorcycles, and includes arcade games, pinball, pool table, internet hookups as well as a 80-inch TV screen for presentations, vintage gas pumps and life-size mannequins of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and motorcycle officers. Swooping from the ceiling are large-scale models of military aircraft acquired from private collections and period neon signs on the walls.
At home, he has a collection that’s worth some neon, too. “What makes my collection special is that I have different cars from muscle to the sports cars; it’s very eclectic,” Barbara says.
Among his 18 cars, he has four Corvettes, a ’54, ’61, ’66 and a 2014, a 1966 Mustang convertible and a fastback from that vintage, too. Also: a 1970 Dodge Challenger 426 Hemi (clone); 1969 Chevy El Camino and 1970 Chevelle; 1966 Plymouth Barracuda; 1965 Factory 5 Shelby; 1996 Dodge Viper; 1933 Ford Roadster Street Rod; 2007 F430 Ferrari; and, the latest acquisition, a Ferrari 458.
“Auto passion has been in my blood since I was a teenager,” says Barbara, the owner/operator of Redwood General Tire in Redwood City, south of San Francisco. In 2016, he was named Modern Tire Dealer of the Year by Modern Tire Dealer Magazine, the premier industry publication.
“When I was 19, I installed wheels and tires on Steve McQueen’s Mustang for the movie “Bullitt,” he recalls. “I did not know it was for McQueen until four months later when the owner of the high-performance shop that did the dyno on the motor told us. They just found the original in a scrap yard in Mexico.”
He began his collection years ago and kept his cars when he moved to north Scottsdale and opened Alpios at Troon. “Before in California, I could not afford or want to buy a building to house my cars, as the real estate was too expensive,” he explains.
Here are some of Barbara’s cherished cars:
•1933 Ford Roadster – The car was built by Roy Brizio in San Francisco in 1995 with a Corvette drive train and painted by Art Himsel in Concord, California. The body is fiberglass, with a Wescot body.
Barbara purchased the car from the late Bob Walker. “I mentioned to Andy, Roy’s father, that I was looking to get back into hot rodding since I had sold my 1932 sedan and roadster, and he mentioned that a guy in Scottsdale was looking to sell a 1933 roadster,” he recalls.
“Well, anyone who knows Andy knows that 1932 is the only year for him, and when I called Bob and asked if I can see it, he lived around the corner from me in Scottsdale. How weird is that?”
•1954 Chevy Corvette – Completely restored in California, “It is as close to perfect as I can get it,” he says. He bought this, the second year for America’s sports car, from a gentleman in Danville, California, who restored the car to near perfection. “It is the grandma of all my cars,” he says. “The original Blue Flame six-cylinder is like Driving Miss Daisy.”
•1961 Chevy Corvette – This and the following two cars, the 1966 Mustang convertible and the ’66 fastback, were bought from a family in Southern California. “A Chevelle specialist in Phoenix, Bill Olson, who does all my work, completed all of them,” he says.
A fuel-injection car, the frame- off restoration has a four-speed transmission and a 50/50 paint scheme. “It was about 80-percent complete when I bought it,” he says.
•1966 Ford Mustang – This is a convertible with the 289 cid and a white pony interior, automatic and front disc brakes. “It was complete when I purchased it and needed just a few minor changes,” he says.
•1966 Ford Mustang – A fastback, it has four-wheel disc brakes with a high-performance 289 and an after-market five-speed Tremac transmission. The rear end is from a Lincoln Versace. “It was brought home on a flatbed and needed to be completed from front to back,” he says.
•1967 Barracuda – “I purchased the ’Cuda from a gentleman in Scottsdale who wanted to sell it so he could build a horse arena. He went from a fish to a horse!”
•1966 Chevy Corvette – This 15-year old frame-off restoration was done in California and has a 327-cid 350-horse powerplant with a four-speed transmission.
•1969 Chevy El Camino – Recently completed, it carries a 396-cid with an automatic bench seat.
“The El Camino was bought from a dear friend of mine, and the car belonged to his late brother,” Barbara says. “When I saw the car I said ‘I want it.’ It was the year I graduated and the exact high school colors. I had to have it.
“It went over to Bill Olson, who did his magic and tried to make it as original as you can. It even has a small built-in tach in the center which I have never seen before: very rare I was told.”
•1970 Chevy Chevelle – This also has a 396 cid with an automatic transmission and is in the popular blue-on-black color combo. “I bought it in Oregon with a show-stopper paint job. The engine and interior needed some work but was not a lost cause. Very healthy and all matching numbers.”
•1970 Dodge Challenger – “A perfect clone, a 426 Hemi convertible with not a single detail left unturned,” Barbara says. “It even has an 8-track, and unless you are 50 or older, you don’t know what that is.”
•1959 Chevy El Camino – “It’s under construction and will be ready in a year of so.”
“Folks ask me, ‘Which is my favorite car?’ he says. “‘I respond by saying, ‘They are like children. They are all my favorites.’”
For more information, see alpiosattroon.com, call Alpio at 650.995.4653 or e-mail him, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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