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.
Since then, it has really grown. I have a massive stock, have gone through roughly 7 websites and I am making somewhat of a living. I love what I do and with the pace that this business is changing, it keeps me on my toes. I have lots of hands on experience with all Alfa's. My wife Valerie has taken on the finances of the business/office and a bit more. She really has added more to the business and is a great asset. We wear many hats here at Alfissimo.
A little of my background:
I was born in San Diego but grew up mostly in Torrance CA spending my weekends in San Diego. I spent my last university years after traveling 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, 280 zx 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. He was a genius with the best sense of humor around. The apple does not fall far from the tree. (James L. Minos 1925-2017) Although this may seem more about my dad, he was my teacher, mentor and number one fan. I also speak fluent sarcasm. Hint, don't take me too serious, maybe...
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. If you go to far with it, it can ruin it. Add useless or subpar parts, you waste money and time. It's a sweet balance but a calculated one. I am very simplistic, practical and original in my approach to cars and that goes along with performance/racing parts. My father taught me a lot about materials, being a rocket it scientist it was crucial. I bring that to our products and approach.
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