Black Bart's Emporium, Inc.

Black Bart's Emporium, Inc. was founded circa 1979 for the purpose of supplying obsolete parts for older Alfa Romeos. We soon added accessories and models to the product line. In the late eighties we had some specialized rubber parts reproduced. We bought a nearly bankrupt Beck/Arnley import parts store in 1984, now known as 'Bart's Import Parts & Service. We started with two employees and have grown to eight employees, including four technicians with over a hundred years of combined experience repairing foreign cars. Of course, one of the cars we specialize in is Alfa Romeo.

But the reason for this web site began in 1981, when Jane and I visited an automotive trade show in Chicago. Being interested in things Italian, we cruised the Italian vendors aisle where we spotted an Italian gentleman and his wife marketing key fobs and decorative metal plaques. Key fobs would be a nice addition to our line, so we stopped to look. What really got our attention was in the back of the booth on a narrow table. There was a jumbled pile of grill badges, scripts and coachbuilder emblems; and on the top of the pile was a large 'Touring' badge identical to the one on the back of my recently purchased 1954 1900CSS Touring coupe. That began a nearly twenty-year relationship with our Italian vendor.

We learned that the company was founded in 1934 by his father for the express purpose of producing badges and emblems for the Italian automotive industry. Their contributions have been so significant that they have their own space at the Turin Automotive Museum. All of the badges and emblems are produced using the original dies for the stampings, and then hand filled and finished. Because of the handwork nature of the cloisonné process you may not find a perfect badge; nearly perfect, but not perfect. What flaws there are, are so minute that you would have to get closer to the badge than the owner of the car would like.

We can also order (in quantity) badges that are no longer in production, but the die is on file. For instance, they made the original 'Arnolt' badges and we had a batch made up for a collector with several Arnolt Bristol's. The company also produces custom key fobs and decorative plaques, to your specifications. If you have an interest in this area, please inquire.

As we prepare to enter the twenty-first century, we need to preserve what is grand from our past. Our goal is to serve you in the best manner possible. If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve our service or our web site, please feel free to contact us.