Ride of the Week is Malibu’s John Sibert and his 1988 ALFA SPIDER

Meet John Sibert and his Alfa Spyder. Chances are you’ve seen him before – many times before. That’s because John sits on our City Council, and has been mayor of our cool town twice. 

But, did you know that this distinguishing looking car dude is just that? A major car dude? Well, I’m Fireball and since cars are my thing, let’s get into Mr. Sibert’s world.

Full Name? “John Sibert will do,” he wrote me. “You don’t need the middle name and ‘III.’” That just made me laugh, because when I drove up to meet Sibert and see his cool ride, I asked for his full name and he laid it out. 

Meeting up with John was a hoot because he really loves his car, a 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce. Now, you’d expect former mayors like John to be tooling around in executive-type vehicles, but not this guy. You’d expect him to be humorless and serious all the way, right? Oh no, not professor John Sibert. We spoke for half an hour, and talked about amazing cars and his equally amazing background.

A retired university chemistry professor and administrator at Yale, Caltech and the CSU system, John also started and ran the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation and was manager of the Arco Corporate Research Laboratory. 

He also works on stealthy stuff with JPL but if I told you what it was, I’d have to send flogging agents to your house. 

“My daughter once asked if I had decided what I wanted to be when I grew up,” John said.  

The answer was “not yet,” but he still serves on a couple of boards of directors and consults for NASA. Yeah, he’s one of those smart dudes who everyone wants a piece of. Including me – only regarding cool cars, though.

 So, his Alfa is a Bosh Fuel-Injected 2.0 L DOC 4 cylinder. All original and no mods. Bummer, ‘cause I could see droppin’ a Hellcat in that lil’ puppy and heading to the track. Maybe not, but John bought this car in 1998 from the first owner. 

“It’s red,” he said. “A two-seater, a convertible and it’s a Pininfarina design.” 

I’d say that’s a triple threat, but he mentioned four things. Only a chemistry professor could do that.

 But the best part of the car for Mr. Sibert?  

“The sheer joy of driving it along the coast and on winding roads with the top down.” 

Yeah, that’s the life here in the Bu. We’d do that even if it was raining.

John uses it for regular transportation when the weather is amenable to driving with the top down. 

“My best story was taking my niece – who writes a Car Column for Rolling Stone Mexico – for a spin along Mulholland with the Beach Boys loud on the stereo,” he said.

From our short time talking about cars, one thing was clear: John loves Malibu in a way that only a longtime local could. Thoughts of beauty, sound, wind, sun, friends and family were clear cues to living the dream. I, for one, am on the Sibert Train. 

Not much beats cruising the canyons of Malibu in a classic red Italian convertible sports car. Nothing, except taking me with you next time, JS. 

Watch me visit John on my show on Youtube. See the car up close and hear some extra cool stories.

If you want to be featured as my next Ride of the Week, shoot me an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com

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