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PTRL HD and I are planning a drive from West WI to Wausau, WI area to visit Alfa Heaven (aka Motorama Museum) in Aniwa, WI on Saturday July 13 or August 3. Others from MN or west WI can meet us in Eau Claire and north/south/east WI people can meet us there or in Wausau. We are planning to invite a few other area Alfa Romeo owners along and possibly a few from twin cities area, but throwing this out to all as FYI to see if thre is larger interest.

The plan would be during the week of our target date we would check the weather and then lock in with a call to the owner to confirm and arrange a proper private tour. They are not open Sundays, but is open through October so if both our dates don't work out we will reserve other dates in Sept/Oct.

Alfa Heaven (http://www.alfaheaven.com/) isn't like an official museum and we have not been there, but it looks neat enough and worth a drive. The owner has a ton of Alfas, other interesting cars/motorcycles and a military collection. Over 400 cars or something like that. The website is from 1998, but here's a local news paper photo gallery/story: https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/picture-gallery/news/2017/08/03/photo-gallery-alfa-heaven-motorama-auto-museum/104265370/
 

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I was curious about the owner so here's a few more links. Kind of interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSZ_Stradale

https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/2017/08/04/five-reasons-why-you-need-go-motorama-car-lovers-paradise-northwoods/388887001/

https://bangshift.com/bangshiftapex/motorama-museums-boneyard-in-wisconsin/

https://www.ultimatecarpage.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1009364&postcount=11 (also copied below)

Tom Zat, the Carroll Shelby of Alfa Romeo.
By Paul Underwood

Tom Zat (Zatloukal) was born into a car family. His father operated various new car franchises including Alfa in the Chicagoland area. Tom began racing in the late 1960s, switching from British cars to Alfas in 1972 because he appreciated their advanced technology. He campaigned a 101 1600 Spider Veloce, in E Production, for several years with moderate success. Throughout the 1970s, Tom operated several businesses focused on the repairs and sales of Alfas in the St Louis area. In 1980, Tom and his wife Dale moved their operation to Wisconsin, built a new facility and opened Alfa Heaven. The racing effort was expanded as a development platform for the "Racing Technologies" and "Glastek" brands of performance components. This led to a business relationship with A.R.I., the U.S. importer for ALFA. Under that agreement, Zat's company obtained all the vintage and obsolete parts and in return, Alfa Heaven would assist dealers with old car needs and emergency spares for current models. A.R.I. supplied Alfa Heaven with vehicles for racing and display purposes. Alfa Heaven provided A.R.I. with a vintage 101 Spider that was awarded at an owners club convention. This unofficial relationship proved beneficial to both companies. It grew to include Fiat Research and Development and eventually, ARDONA (Alfa Romeo Dealers of North America). Meanwhile, Alfa Heaven's race team was doing quite well in SCCA, consistently winning events, setting track records and winning championships with Alfa V6 powered cars. Alfa Heaven sponsored cars competed in SCCA road races, rally races and autocross events plus FIA GT, IMSA, Sports Car, World Challenge, International Ice Racing, USRRC and many special events.

At the same time, Tom was creating one-off concept cars, some based on Alfas. He calls himself a re-engineer and enjoys making something new, and often better, from existing automobiles. The results have been nothing short of amazing. 'The Tube', 'Corvilac', 'Moonbuggy', '165', 'Milano DTM' and 'LaBamba' were all designed to be one of a kind autos for personal entertainment. The SSZ (Sprint Speciale Zatloukala) was originally conceived as a heavily modified 101 SS, race oriented but still street-able. Upon completion, Tom and Dale took the SSZ to shows and track events across the U.S.A. The car was a hit. After considerable arm twisting, Tom agreed to build a second SSZ for a friend. The styling was enhanced by a wider stance and tilt front, solving many design limitation issues and creating a graceful flowing shape. But before the car was completed, Tom had already begun designing the next version, incorporating a tilt rear clip for better access. Work was halted on prototype 3 in favor of a wider, longer and lower car that finalized the shape and was used as the body pattern for the Mark I SSZ Stradale. Although the prototypes were based on Alfa Sprint Speciales, the Stradale was a completely new car having its own body and chassis design including all mechanicals except the 3.0 V6 Alfa Romeo engine. Even a custom bellhousing was created to adapt the Alfa 105 gearbox to the engine.

SSZ Motorcars, Limited, was formed to manufacture the Stradale. When Alfa Romeo ceased its North American operations, SSZ switched to Nissan 3.0 V6 turbo engine and gearbox for the Mk II Stradale. The body was slightly restyled to increase downforce and accommodate wider tires. While MkI and MkII Stradales were intended for street and track, the Mk 3 was designed for competition purposes only, racing in FIA GT and USRRC. The new independent rear suspension (IRS), front and rear wings, flat bottom and 1000 HP V6 turbo charged engine vaulted the Stradale to true supercar status. The Mk 3.1 retained the body and IRS from the Mk 3 and was fitted with a Corvette LS engine capable of both road and race applications. The Mk 4 was the final version of the SSZ Stradale, being very similar to the 3.1 except having a longer wheelbase for enhanced high speed stability.

In total, 28 SSZ Stradales were produced including the 4 prototypes built on Alfa Sprint Speciale chassis. SSZ Motorcars also manufactured The Shark, an open roadster resembling the Scarab on a Corvette chassis. Four of these cars were produced.

Creating an automobile manufacturing company, surviving three decades of racing, building dozens of custom cars, engineering two high performance product lines, founding a non-profit auto museum and authoring car legislation (which is when I got to know Tom), is an impressive list of accomplishments. It's also made him somewhat of a legend in various automotive circles, much like the aforementioned Mr. Shelby.

Today, the enigmatic Tom and his lovely wife Dale still reside in Wisconsin on Stradale Lane. They recently opened the Motorama Auto Museum there, featuring the Alfa Heaven collection of over fifty vintage Alfa Romeos, several SSZ Stradales, rare Prototypes and unique cars from around the world. Most days, they'll guide your tour personally.

It's a rare opportunity to explore history with the guy who made it, and as Tom himself once observed to me, "There aren't that many of us left anymore."
 

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I grew up visiting Tom at Alfa Heaven. It was, and I'm sure still is, an amazing place. At the time, the scrapyard had 200+ cars and the SZ builds were in full swing. Lots of excitement.

Tom has thousands of stories, he really did see it all and do it all regarding Alfas! I would just shut up and listen.
 

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For those interested @ecNate and I plan to meet at Cars and Coffee in Eau Claire Saturday morning and leave for Alfa Haven around 9 a.m., stopping for lunch on the way. We should get there around noon.

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We made the trip Saturday, worth the trip. Made a boy's day who followed us a few blocks to restaurant for lunch and let him get pictures in both cars. At the museum the owner gave us a tour of race car room with stories of them and a few other cars when we ran into him later. It's crazy how many old Alfas and other cars they can cram into the buildings on the compound. The military vehicles were pretty neat too, but the boneyard was super fun too. More photos to share later.






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