2013- Nice, France- Iron Man Triathlon
How it began:
I started Alfissimo International out of a love for cars, a need for a job and a refusal to pay inflated prices on parts from the dealers or parts suppliers in the US. I also wanted to bring something more to the marque, something unique. I started the business in a rented garage after graduating college in 1996 with very little money; a free website and a willingness to make this happen. I worked on “nearly” zero stock and just ordered parts when my customers needed them and got my hands greasy keeping customers cars on the road. I have hands on experience with nearly all Alfa's. Alfissimo officially come to being in late 1998.
Since this time, it has grown leaps and bounds. I have a massive stock, have gone through roughly 7 websites (#8 coming) and I am making somewhat of a living. I love what I do and with the pace that this business is growoing/changing, it keeps me on my toes.
Due to this growth, my wife Valerie has taken on the finances of the business/office/creative and a bit more. She really has added more to the business and is a great asset. She is also our in-house model/Alfissimo girl, she previously did ad and commercial work so why not? We wear many hats here at Alfissimo.
A little background:
I was born in San Diego but growing up mostly in Torrance CA. Spent many of my weekends in San Diego. I spent my last college years after traveling through Mexico/Central America in Flagstaff AZ and ended up staying for 28 years before moving back to CA in 2019.
My passion for cars came from someone close, yes I caught the car bug from my father. You could always catch him and I in the garage working on his 1955 Austin Healey 100m BRG, 280zx or any one of my cars. In-fact, tinkering with anything mechanical, discussing car design, architecture to rockets is something we did. It was endless. The Austin-Healey was the car that got me hooked sitting in the middle between both front seats as my dad flew threw the 4 gears bringing the large piston 4 cyl to the rev-line was intoxicating. Amazing time. Then the GTV6 was introduced and we drooled over it. My dad put a deposit on one but never bought it, he ended up going for a 280zx, his dream of a jag was not in the cards due to reliability issues. I ended up the Alfa guy. All this said, I am a car guy but I am not interested in every car out there, this is why I gravitate to anything Alfa and focus on them.
My father, a pioneer in the aerospace industry (General Dynamics/Convair 55'-97'), (systems manager and materials expert) designing and building rockets from the, first satellite program to the Atlas Rocket to the Space shuttle, instilled in me an engineering mind and vehicle knowledge/sense (and loads of other random knowledge). He was constantly educating me. The guy was a genius was a hilarious sense of humor. The apple does not fall far from the tree. (RIP: James L. Minos 1925-2017) Although this may seem more about my dad, he was my teacher, mentor and number one fan. So he's apart of all this as much as I am.
I have become a bit of a perfectionist from it, maybe even a nerd about it and a bit of an organized engineer from it. Jokes aside. I go with function over aesthetics most of the time but it's really hard as I have that artistic design side of the brain working. Adding useless or subpar parts, you waste money and time. It's a sweet balance but a calculated one. I learned long ago that those subpar/for looks parts may make you money but they don't make customers happy in the long run. I am very simplistic, practical and original in my approach to cars aesthetically and that changes slightly when it comes to suspension tuning, ECU tuning and so on. My father taught me a lot about materials, being a rocket it scientist it was crucial. I bring that to our products and approach. When we outsource we look for the best at what they do so the end product is the superior. Although I started my studies with engineering my artistic brain took over and I moved to designing instead, that engineering mind is still here working overtime.
My goal is to make the Alfa driving experience more enjoyable and more refined, so you can enjoy driving out to a nice restaurant to a day at the track.
PARTS! Of Course!
Parts are what drive me to work every day. There is something exhilarating about supplying parts that I have found in the crevices of the earth or supplying parts that refine your Alfa. Supplying Alfa parts is a challenge and it's what gets me up in the mornings, very early! If I can't find it then I am not doing my job.
I strive to provide only 100% Original Parts at all times or the highest quality after-market, Reproduction parts and accessories available. I do not supply parts that are known to be inferior, even if it’s the only product available. I don’t mess around with cheap parts or useless “upgrades”. Waste of time and money. These parts do not benefit anyone involved –You can visit other vendors for those parts but you won't find them here!
When it comes to performance, I will only offer the very best and only functional upgrades. From Squadra Tuning to GMS performance parts to KW, Intrax, Alfissimo brand and more for New and Old cars.
What do you get when you shop with Alfissimo? I'd say a lot.
Excellent customer service and excellent pricing (if it's not please tell me and I will do my best to meet or beat). What you also get in the client services area is a personalized and thoughtful approach focusing on your needs/wants/desires. If you don’t really need it or it's a worthless upgrade. I will let you know!
The future for myself and Alfissimo is to stay small and specialized as I believe growing too big, offering everything for every car is not going to sustain a quality of service/selection that I want. It's a never ending learning and changing process. I am never perfectly set in the way things are around here.
I am here to help you with your Alfa needs. My goal is to keep your Alfa Romeo on the road and looking great for many years to come! This means I I go far and beyond to try to carry every part possible, rare, new or used for any Alfa Romeo.
If I do not have it, I will work hard to provide it to my clients!
Even if it takes a little time, I enjoy the challenge.
Thanks for visiting,
& Valerie Minos