- California Central Coast chapter helps grant an Alfa enthusiast her last wish.

Alfa Wishes Do Come True

Dream Makers SLO and the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Central California grant Peta Rimington's wish

“You can tell the personality of a car, and the person who drives it, just by the sound.” Peta Rimington’s love affair with cars began as a small child in England at the start of World War II. The machines of war, with their engines and noise that both fascinated and terrified, profoundly changed the lives of everyone who heard.

circa 1957, Gibraltar, Jaguar XK 120

circa 1957, Gibraltar, Jaguar XK 120

It was the sharp resonant bark of a mid-fifties Alfa Romeo Giulietta, echoing at 4am through a deserted post-war Marble Arches neighborhood in London that introduced Peta to the magic of the Alfa brand. Racing through the pre-dawn streets in a Lotus, Aston Martin or Jaguar, “I kept hearing something, another car, approaching from behind – the noise was marvelous, but my first introduction to the Alfa was the sound…bloody marvelous.” She continued, “It just broke my heart, that little car.”

circa 1959, England at the crickett matches

circa 1959, England at the crickett matches

“I’ve always been able to get a ride in a car if I really wanted one, but for some reason it just never happened with the Alfa Romeo. On the rare occasions when I heard one I would swivel round and say, ‘Where is it, where is it?’ but I never was able to talk to the guy driving it.”

Circa 1965, Los Angeles, Ford Mustang

Circa 1965, Los Angeles, Ford Mustang

“I went to rallyes and frequently to the track at Brands Hatch, and I met a lot of people. I never lacked for an interesting car to drive.” Many of Peta’s stories recount a who’s-who of great 50’s and 60’s European sports cars: Jaguar XK120, Mercedes 190SL, Mercedes 300SL, Porsche 356, Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk 1, Morgan 3-wheeler, Morris Minor, Lotus Mark 7 and the occasional American car. She readily admits that through the years she chose more than one boyfriend based in part on the car he drove, and always on the quality of the driving.

circa 1957, Morocco, Jaguar XK 120

circa 1957, Morocco, Jaguar XK 120

“I like them low, fast and flash,” she says. “I like a maneuverable car; one that makes you feel part of it. But none of those cars broke my heart quite like that little Alfa Romeo did.”

Peta meets the Alfa Romeo Giulia

Peta meets the Alfa Romeo Giulia

Peta’s dream ride in an Alfa Romeo came true in San Luis Obispo, California when a local non-profit, Dream Makers of SLO granted her wish. Dr. Ronda Beaman, Founder and Executive Director, and volunteer Kannyn January reached out to the Central Coast chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club to find a member willing to make Peta's wish come true. Chapter club President, Chris Armstrong contacted a club member, the proud owner of an Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti who was willing to help.

Dream Maker SLO volunteer Heather Hutchinson and Peta

Dream Maker SLO volunteer Heather Hutchinson and Peta

What does she think of the Giulia? “It looks, smells, sounds and handles like an Alfa Romeo,” she said. “I immediately feel part of the car, just sitting in it.” The impression of the Giulia is indelible, “This car was built by people who were paying attention, it’s built around the people inside. It gives something to you, it welcomes you into the car instead of asking something from you.”

Peta gets ready for her drive in a 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Peta gets ready for her drive in a 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

In a ‘spirited drive’ from San Luis Obispo to the coast along Hwy 1, through Cayucos and north on Hwy 46 toward Paso Robles, Peta urges the Giulia on. The nervous driver senses disappointment whenever an apex has been missed. The road climbs quickly away from the dense cool air of the coast, across a coastal plain, through a riparian forest at the ridgeline and up and over the coastal range.

It was an honor for the author to drive Peta from San Luis Obispo to the coast highway and over the coastal range to her home in Paso Robles, California. It's a tremendous drive with increadible views and curve after glorious curve.

It was an honor for the author to drive Peta from San Luis Obispo to the coast highway and over the coastal range to her home in Paso Robles, California. It's a tremendous drive with increadible views and curve after glorious curve.

Dream Makers SLO is part of “AmazonSmile” - 0.5% of purchases made at smile.amazon.com will benefit the Dream Makers of San Luis Obispo charity. Every item available for purchase on www.amazon.com is also available on AmazonSmile at the same price. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.

To donate directly please visit: https://www.dreammakersslo.com/donate/

Photos: Peta Rimington, Owen Main

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Comments (35)

  • Sadly, Peta passed away not long after our drive together. She was a true petrol head and we celebrate her memory!

      30 days ago
    • What a great read. Thanks for putting this up.

        29 days ago
    • Thanks, David. Listening to Peta describe how she 'listens' to cars was a rare treat! I was a very nervous driver that day! I actually vividly recall missing a shift not long after we started out. I was late pulling the paddle from second to...

      Read more
        28 days ago
  • by the way amazing story. we need more untold stories like this. bring it on.

      29 days ago
  • This must be one of the most sensible stories of petrolheads and what are we on about. And no better car actor that Alfa itself. Makes me wanna buy one again.

      29 days ago
    • "Car People" really are a great group of folks. I think for most of us there is still 'adventure' in driving, especially driving some of the cars we drive, LOL! One must have a sense of adventure, for example, driving almost any classic car!...

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        29 days ago
    • Exactly. I'm no mechanic, though, pretty lazy myself...but after some 17 years of driving (legally :)) I still find every single drive to be an occasion of some sort... And I find any car to be fun, it's matter of finding a joy in any banger you...

      Read more
        29 days ago
  • this silver r34 Nissan gt-t, it has some bits of gtr r34 like front & back bumper& adjustable wing. this is only one nissan r34gt-t in India. 4years ago I found the car online. Few days ago, I saw the same silver R34 GTR sitting inside in a industrial company in the sun. the car has no registration plates and has some legal issues. the M.D. of the company never drove the car anymore. I wish one day will come where i can hear this car i.e RB26engine. there are so many stories about this r34gt-t in india. i wish it comes true.

      29 days ago
  • Where do I begin - I guess in 1975 - my first trip to the US, when I decided to go and see Peta's mother. If I recall correctly, Peta was living close to San Francisco, because only her mother accompanied me on the flight from LA. Not having seen Peta since very young, I had little idea about her. We met and went to Chinatown, and she had the idea to show me SFO at night by car. I wasn't quite OK with this as there was a suggestion of going to Oakland. I said no, I have a fear of bridges but, stuff happens, she took a wrong turn and we went over the Bay Bridge. Gott sei Dank it was nighttime, and I didn't freak out ....

      26 days ago
    • Great story - I knew it would have a car in it! Do you remember what Peta was driving that night?

        26 days ago
    • It was a car - it had wheels, and we were going over the Bay Bridge! some 45 years ago. In 1976, I think she had moved to Ojai, California (or it may have been Thousand Oaks, I cannot remember). We met at her home along with a lot of other young...

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        21 days ago

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