Thanks for all of the encouragement chaps. The car appears to be well looked after, FSH and a whole stack of bills. I spent yesterday giving it a thorough clean inside and out, it now looks like a 2 year old.
I have bought this so that I can keep my '90 saab 900 t16 convertible for high days and holidays. The Alfa isn't as quick as the Saab (I've tweeked it quite a lot) but seems to be a pretty swift machine and comfortable to boot. I've always loved the look of the 156 and remember drooling over them in showrooms when they first came out. I have waited 'till now to buy one because I'm too much of a miser to buy anything new.
This seems like a really good and friendly forum so I'm looking forward to many wasted hours browsing here!