Re: A word of warning about buying an alfa
OK it does seem there are some dogs of alfas out there, but I would bet they have been neglected. They may not be a ferrari or lambo but in the same way, you can't expect to just put fuel in and drive it, they need to be well maintained. A few years back I looked at a 146ti, it was the first and last time I will look at a car in a car supermarket. It looked good and drove well, but the dash had been pulled apart and the factory stereo removed and worse there was no service history at all, so I walked away and the salesman got miffed... well tough. Doesn't matter if it is main dealer, independent specialist or a good everyday garage but an alfa needs to be properly maintained.
As for the germans, well a mate who has company cars had an audi that had repeated coil pack failures, and later a BMW 318 that at a few months old the dashboard looked like a christmas tree. It was a total lemon, and not well put together.
My list so far...
1987 33ti, bought at 12 years old and run like a dream, no problems whatsoever. I still have it tucked away in a garage and last year it started after 6 years of no use.
1991 75 TS, bought at 10 years old and again ran like a dream, utterly reliable.
2003 156 GTA, bought at 18 months old. Only problems were the air bag light and trip computer, done under warranty. Now at the age where suspension bushes have been replaced/due for replacement. Again touch wood, so far this has been a great car and I have no intention of selling.
All my cars have been serviced to schedule or earlier, either by independant alfa specialists or main dealers in the case of the GTA when it was under warranty.