Power Trip

For this fashion historian, a boxy four-seater is the ultimate accessory.


Photo by Jonathan Kozowyk. Hair and Makeup by Michelle McGrath/Team.

One blazing-hot summer day about a decade ago, Lauren Whitley, the MFA’s textile and fashion-arts curator, borrowed her father’s 1971 Alfa Romeo to drive from Boston to Maine. It got so hot in the car—which lacked air-conditioning—that once Whitley reached the coast, she pulled over and jumped into the ocean, fully clothed. A similar exuberance inspired her newest exhibition, “Hippie Chic.” Opening July 16, the show will celebrate the fashion of the late ’60s and early ’70s. “It was like playing dress-up,” Whitley says of the period. “How wonderful and wild you could be, whether in your Edwardian granny dress or your fringe jacket.” Someday Whitley hopes to take another carefree jaunt in her own Alfa—though this time, she says she’ll check the weather first.

1971 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750, $29,995, Alpha Cars & Ural of New England, 978-263-9000, alphacars.com.

  • Matt Karolian

    Calling BS on this story. There is no way a 71 Alfa made it from Boston to Maine in a single drive.

    • CL Miller

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. We’ve owned a ’71 Alfa GTV for 40 years (single owner) and for a long time it was my husband’s only car. He’s driven it all over the US, including a “single drive” from LA to N. Idaho, with no problems. So, I’m calling your comment complete BS.