News

RIP Al Cosentino

Discussion in 'Other Italian' started by Duane_Estill, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. Duane_Estill

    Duane_Estill F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2007
    2,611
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Duane K Estill
    #1 Duane_Estill, Mar 30, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    This is late, and I just found out recently, but "King Al" deserves mention because of his incredible racing record and almost single-handedly bring Abarth Tuning for Fiats to the US. He had a racing shop in Daytona Beach, Florida, and his FAZA catalog was as thick as a phonebook. At one time FAZA was the largest aftermarket parts and performance reseller in the US. He loaded racing cars direct from the Fiat factory and carried them to his shop, without engines because he built his own racing engines using Abarth parts at his shop, he had more Abarth parts than the factory until Fiat bought Abarth out.

    He was also known for his 'eceentric' personality and his endless conspiracy rants later in life, but at one time he was synonymous with FAZA, which was his company, Abarth, Fiat, particularly the X1/9 and racing success. He authoes several books about Abarth performance tuning, and the Fiat X1/9. He was so successful in SCCA racing, Trans Am series racing Lancias and Fiats, that he was actually banned, he won at least one SCCA championship. His X1/9's were whipping everybody.

    He also had access, directly from the Fiat factory, the X1/9 Abarth Prototipo and was closely involved in the development in what was to be the X1/9 Abarth Stradale, which never made it but was an incredible looking car. He was also reputed to have been trained by Carlo Abarth himself in Italy on performance tuning of small motors.

    He passed on Friday, November 2nd, 2012.

    There are vast amounts of information about FAZA, Al was truly all things Fiat and Abarth and will be missed. Here are a few picture. One of them showing him with his incredible Lancia 037, which was one of the last Italian cars he owned, and owned it at the time of his death. All of his Italian car posessions where purchased at auction and are now in Australia, the 037 included.

    RIP Al Cosentino
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    NürScud and NEP like this.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,461
    Left Coast
    In the dictionary under Rant it should say see Al Cosentino. A interesting person to say the least.
     
  4. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    every call i would make to al looking for parts, he would always end the call asking if i wanted to buy his business :)

    and btw, even though he would sometimes claim not to have the parts...i knew he really ALWAYS had them. it was just determined if he had or did not have parts based on the day he was having :)

    a colorful man!!

    pcb
     
  5. Duane_Estill

    Duane_Estill F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2007
    2,611
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Duane K Estill
    Exactly...my Italian car mechanic in Memphis went back into those days and did alot of business with FAZA, especially for X's and Spiders, but even then he was very hard to deal with and would go on endless rants on the phone. FAZA just went down the drain, which was really a shame because Abarth is literally the grandfather of all modern 'tuning' places such as what we find on Jap cars today. Abarth did all that even in the 40's and 50's with performance exhausts.

    He got his hands on some truly incredible cars too. That red stradale is one of 3 in existence as far as I know. It's referred to as the FAZA Stradale and is apparently in Italy somewhere.

    When Fiat pulled the plug on the X1/9 rally program they destroyed all the Abarth prototipos, but Al didn't destroy his, that's why two of his are still among those that exist, and one of the mystery one's even has the FAZA emblem on it. A long, complex, and multi-faceted history is the Abarth X1/9.

    My goal is to do a K20 transplant in an X and then put on an Abarth Prototipo kit, that, in my eyes, would be the ultmate X1/9.
     
  6. damian in nj

    damian in nj Formula Junior

    Aug 24, 2009
    710
    RIP, I bought a set of Daytona 5 stars from him for my Alfetta GT years ago.
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. bitzman

    bitzman F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2008
    2,597
    My deceased friend Pola , who owned Ansa exhaust told me he was giving a speech in Italy one time and kept being interrupted by a guy in the crowd who turned out to be Al, who would say something like "that's bulls___". So after the speech he goes over to meet Al who says he wants to be an Ansa distributor. Naturally my ffriend was taken aback, as he was more genteel in his business dealings.

    I also talked to his patient wife, who I think was Japanese, and asked her if she knew what a firebrand she was married to, and she said when she met him over in Japan she had no idea. You can put that down to having a good translator!

    Anyway he was a character
     
  9. Pantdino

    Pantdino Formula 3

    Jan 13, 2004
    2,069
    Full Name:
    Jim
    I used to pour over those FAZA catalogues in the late 1960's wishing I could afford a Berlina Corsa.

    What happened to all the parts he had?
     
  10. hyenahf

    hyenahf F1 Rookie

    May 25, 2004
    2,526
    RIP ... colorful is an understatement!

    I used to get slew of parts from him way back when he was in florida before sherman oaks....after going off on a tangent for 20mins we forgot what we what we were talking about!

    there aren’t many around like him anymore, he will sorely miss him.
     
  11. To remove this ad click here.

  12. Ed Niles

    Ed Niles Formula 3
    Honorary

    Sep 7, 2004
    2,480
    West Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    Edwin K. Niles
    Yes, a real character in a world of characters! At one point he put together a book about Ferraris, and asked me to come over and identify them properly, which I did. Then he went ahead with his own ID's, all wrong, which I could have shrugged off except he put in print for all to see, "Identifications by Ed Niles". What are ya gonna do?
     
  13. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2008
    7,935
    Cardiff, UK
    Full Name:
    Steven Robertson
    This is very funny!!!
     
  14. JCR

    JCR F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 14, 2005
    7,267
    H-Town, Tejas
    +1

    Hey, Ed? Did you keep a copy?
     
  15. trashidelek!

    trashidelek! Formula Junior

    Nov 18, 2004
    656
    I believe Ed is referring to Cosentino's book California Ferraris. I once spoke to Al trying to locate a car part. He got off on a tangent about the ancient Etruscans, if I remember correctly. I ended up getting a bunch of free material in the mail from Al about that. I had to buy the car part from someone else. Needless to day, he operated under a somewhat unique business model...
     
  16. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2008
    7,935
    Cardiff, UK
    Full Name:
    Steven Robertson
    I wonder if anyone here has this book who can scan and post the page? :)
     
  17. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,461
    Left Coast
    If I recall a lot of pictures were taken near the Lake at Laguna Seca.
     
  18. David Z.

    David Z. Rookie

    May 29, 2011
    40
    Hi Guys,

    A few corrections to Duanes earlier post on Alfreds collection, Faza USA was sold well before Alfreds death, all his Road & Racing Cars, spare parts etc passed to a new buyer around 2007 - 2008, the Abarth Lancia 037 has been with a new owner in Sydney Australia for many years, none of the stock was auctioned, the very last racing car that Carlo Abarth was personally involved with is also in Australia, it is an Abarth SE 027 built to contest the European Hillclimb Championship, it is - Chassis #3 - only 3 cars were built by the Abarth factory, this car was purchased by Ferrari of San Francisco from the Abarth factory on 6/7/1977 on behalf of Gene Hackman / Clint Eastwood / Paul Newmans Celebrity Racing Team, it later passed to Alfred Costentino, who in turn sold it in 2008, it is now in Melbourne Australia, I hope this helps with the history of Alfred Costentinos FAZA USA.

    Regards

    David Z.
     
  19. ot2000

    ot2000 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2013
    1
    Sydney,Australia
    Full Name:
    Ric
    Hi Jim, you need a less outstanding handle I have remembered it from 6 pack being another sad/tragic tr owner also, however I'm trying to contact you about some fiat photos you may still have I have another "little" project on the go 850 coupe based. sorry to do this so publicly however I can't seem to get a pm to work.
    If you read this would you mind emailing me a contact at

    rcr at bigpond dot net dot au

    thanks
    Ric
     
  20. myronx19

    myronx19 Formula Junior

    May 27, 2012
    630
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Full Name:
    Myron Samila
    I've had a chance to speak with him once - and yes, interesting guy ;).. RIP Al..


    I have a Faza catalog - a collage of this and that, with tons of stickers covering people's faces and other info - hmmm...


    My engine breathes with a Faza cam - and it's got a nice sound.


    FORZA FAZA!
     
  21. lineaTesoro

    lineaTesoro Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed BANNED

    Dec 10, 2012
    331
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Full Name:
    Omar Fernandez
    #19 lineaTesoro, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Interesting guy indeed. I had helped Al in the late 70's, when I was about 16 yrs. old, in his IMSA , Mazda RX-3 , and RX-7 team, racing in Sebring and Daytona 24hr races. I had a Fiat 124 sport coupe, and would trade for Abarth parts for my car. After a couple years I lost touch with him, and about 10 years ago while on a trip to LA, I looked him up and called him, funny thing...I said, hello this is.., before I could say another word, he chimed in and said hey Omar how are you? what are you doing? it had been over 25 yrs since speaking last time, and he picked up like we had spoken last week! We met, he picked me up in his Lancia 037 , some Pic's attached, and went over to Exhaust Warehouse-Museum...LOL, every square inch of that warehouse was used up!
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    NEP likes this.
  22. hyenahf

    hyenahf F1 Rookie

    May 25, 2004
    2,526
    funny when i was working in italy. i would visit all the torino tuner shops & venders for vintage parts, what really suprised me was they would pull out Al's faza bible as reference!
     
  23. jnelson1078

    jnelson1078 Rookie

    Oct 26, 2014
    1
    I remember Al's Lancia, he gave me a ride in it, it was FAST, not the most comfortable ride, but it was built for speed. We were friends in the early 2000's. I worked at Staples a few miles from his house, he always came into the store and asked "do you know what the greatest car ever made was?" Then he said Abarth! After seeing his cars at his house, I agreed with him, especially after the ride in the Lancia and the engine was not big, I think it was only four cylinders (been too long to remember exactly). You guys mention he was a character, that is putting it lightly, the stories he had were amazing and the things he had around the house were great. He will be sorely missed for sure, wish I had not lost contact with him, he was a great person.
     
  24. lineaTesoro

    lineaTesoro Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed BANNED

    Dec 10, 2012
    331
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Full Name:
    Omar Fernandez
    NEP, malex and Rory J like this.
  25. 308Pedro

    308Pedro Rookie

    Jul 23, 2015
    30
    Hi guys. I read on Revs Institute social media that they were processing Al Cosentino collection” . Anyone knows more info on this ?
    It seems some parts are included. Do you know what will they do with them?
    Cheers


    Enviado do meu iPhone usando o Tapatalk
     
  26. lineaTesoro

    lineaTesoro Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed BANNED

    Dec 10, 2012
    331
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Full Name:
    Omar Fernandez
    velocetwo and NEP like this.
  27. NEP

    NEP F1 Rookie

    Jul 19, 2010
    3,827
    On Earth
    Full Name:
    Nigel

Share This Page