|"Every time I see an Alfa Romeo pass by , I lift my hat."
Many people say that this phrase is a legend or a lie that becomes the truth when you
continue to repeat it.
Griffith Borgeson, famous and competent historian of the motor-car, in his book
" The Alfa Romeo tradition", in the chapter regarding Mr.Ugo Gobbato, Alfa Romeo's
president from 1933 to 1945, writes as follows:
"Every time I see and Alfa Romeo pass by , I lift my hat". It has been repeated countless times in Alfa company literature and perhaps as often in independent writings. I have asked company people for the source of this rather unlikely legend , but none of them has been able to reply with more than a shrug of the shoulders, A letter addressed to the Ford Archives in the united states brought this answer : "This has come up before , and we 've never been able to verify it. It is implausible and apocryphal".
Imagine my surprise, then , when , in the middle of a long interview session with Dr. Ing.Pierugo Gobbato in 1988 he let drop this morsel: << I remember that my father visited Henry Ford in Dearborn in 1939. That was when Mr Ford said to him: " When I see an Alfa Romeo , I lift my hat">>
"So that is the origin of that story", I said, "How did Mr Ford happen to say it?"
<< Well, he asked my father, "How many cars do you make per day? >> "My father exaggerating a bit on the high side, said, "oh about six". And Mr Ford laughed and said , "I make six in a minute".
"Aside from that , do you know how Mr Ford came by any opinion at all about Alfa cars?" I asked "very few ever came to the states in those days".
"I seem to remember that in 1938. Mr Ford had examined an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 roadster that had been bought by a member of the Rockefeller Family. In any case , I know that I respected their design and workmanship".
"But -Tutte le volte-, as one usually sees in print , makes it sound as thought he saw Alfas fairly frequently".
Mr Ford has been misquoted . He didn't say "Every time I see one", he said "When I see one". My father recounted that episode to me, and the exact words are still clear in my mind.