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Sophia's History

The History of Sophia

(Written By Tancredi D'Amore)

1957 Sophia is Born
Chassis number 03083 is born in the Alfa Romeo factory in Milan Italy. as a Giulietta Spider. The vehicle was immediately exported to the United States where the owner enjoyed several years of normal street use.
1976 Bob Fields Buys Sophia
Bob Fields buys Sophia from North California Racer Sedley Conklin with the intention of preparing her for racing. At the time Fields worked as a team engineer and crew chief of Rubber Chicken Racing. The brain child of Hillary Luginbuhl. 
1976 Sophia's First Race
Sophia's first documented Race was in September 1976 at Laguna Seca with Race Number 39. At that time the livery was black, white and gold (CHP Colors).
1979 Phil Mason buys Sophia
Enter Phil Mason who buys the racecar on March 3rd, 1979. Under his ownership the Alfa’s power grew to 135 bhp. The livery was red with race number 28. After two seasons in which the car was raced by his business partner Jan Fox, Phil took over the racing program and raced the car until 1986. Race number changed to 58. With Phil at the wheel the Alfa became the car to beat winning 16 races, two SCCA Regional Championships, two SCCA Divisional Championships, one Pacific Road Racing Championship and two trips to National Run-offs at Road Atlanta, (seventh and third position)giving Phil podium finishes against the country’s best production car/driver combinations. They completed every single race.
1985 Al Leake Buys Sophia
At the end of the 1985 season, because of a child on the way, Phil gave up racing and sold the car to a well-known West Coast Alfa Romeo racer Al Leake. In continuing a traditionof naming his race cars Al baptized 03083 Sophia, a name she still wears to this day. The red livery was maintained. Race number was 96. For the next 14 years Al and Sophia became a legend on the West Coast; they went on to win six West Coast Championships and 15 SCCA Division and Regional Championships.Racing a total of 76 SCCA races in FP and GP Production classes and breaking 6 track records. Al was twice awarded the SCCA Driver of the year in Sophia.
2000 Sophia Enters the Vintage Scene
In 2000 at the venerable age of 43 and after 24 years of racing it was time to retire Sophia from “modern” racing. Al decided to bring her back to her original 1957 configuration with Mille Miglia Monoposto trim. She was returned to the all steel flareless fenders. This time a black livery was chosen to honor Al’s first Alfa Giulietta race car. The race number was now 69. In vintage trim and with their rather small 1300 cc engine Al and Sophia were well known for placing ahead of cars with 3 times the displacement. To celebrate Sophia’s 50th birthday in 1997 Al entered an SCCA race and even though he was competing against all the modern cars he still won his GP class - a testament to the exceptional driver/car combination.
2008 Al Leake Passes Sophia Sold to Rich Johnson
The Al Leake estate then sold Sophia to driver Rich Johnson who drove Sophia for a short time.
2012 Sophia Sold to Tancredi D'Amore
In 2012 Sophia was sold to Tancredi D'Amore who proudly raced the car for 10 years. During his time owning Sophia, Tancredi meticulously collected and organized the documented the history of Sophia.
2021 Sophia Sold to Ed Boyajian
When Ed Boyajian discovered the west coast racing scene, he immediately knew he wanted to race too. While out on a trip to the west coast Ed met with Tancredi to discuss the possibility of purchasing Sophia. As soon as Ed saw Sophia he knew, that she was the car for him.
2023 Sophia Makes East Coast Debut
After a legendary 50 plus year run on the west coast, Sophia made he debut on the east coast racing scene with driver Ed Boyajian. Sophia's East Coast debut was on June 22-24 at VRG/VSCCA Vintage Motorsports Festival, Thompson Speedway, Thompson, CT.