The season I learned to put God before cars

When I was around 12 years old I remember sitting in one of my parents Alfa Romeo’s and praying “Lord, please don’t let me die until I can drive!” When I was 18 I bought my dad’s 1975 Alfa Romeo Alfetta (I don’t have any video but the one I posted below sounds the same and looks very similar).

1975 Alfa Romeo Alfetta

While it might not look that impressive to you these days it was quite desirable back in the 80’s. I loved the leather interior, dual weber racing carbs, smooth 5 speed manual transmission and excellent handling. That car was fun to drive – the engine in the front and transmission in the rear. I really liked that car and thought it had so much potential. When I was in high school my friends would comment on it and I was delighted to be able to make it my own. I ended up spending most of my money on parts and almost all my time trying to fix it up.

Somehow it got a hold of my heart and got in my way of my relationship with God – it had become an idol in my life. I had been spending time growing in my faith and serving God but soon I swapped reading my Bible with looking through parts catalogs and any service manuals I could find. eventually I ended up working three jobs to help pay for my rent, food and car parts. When I wasn’t driving it I was thinking about it and how I was going to make it go faster and look cooler. I’m not sure if God had anything to do with it or if it was just because it was a temperamental Italian car that I was driving hard but it kept needing repairs and in the end I ended up selling it to some guy for parts for his racing car. It was a fun car and I would love to have another like it, but this time I would make sure that it doesn’t become a time and money robbing idol. At least I was young and it was a good season for me to learn to be careful not to get distracted by cars and possessions.

So much potential – so fun to drive

Chris Teien with Alfa Romeo in 1987

Here’s a pic of me during that time frame standing next to an Alfa Spider