Well, in a few days it will be the 3rd anniversary of when I first bought the 156 and I thought I would do a write up of its life and what it has been treated to both good and bad.
3 years ago to the day (more or less) I went on the internet with the hope of changing my Avensis (boring but reliable as hell) as it was on 250k and we wanted to do our first trip to the mainland. Missus said theres no way without AC which the Avensis didnt have - if it had I'd never have bought the Alfa so I thank the missus for that
Anyway, I found this lovely Blu Vela 156 JTD up in Co. Down for a nice £1,900, 100k on the clock, unmarked Momo leather, elec everything and the all important AC.
Went up to see it the next day and drove it, was unimpressed with it at first as the MAF was gone (didnt know at the time) and the gear linkages were not good. Something grabbed my attention though and I said I'd let the dealer know. After driving back down to Waterford I convinced myself and her that it was to be our next car. Arranged a meeting with the dealer and a few days later I traded in the Avensis plus some cash and was on my way home with a lovely Alfa.
Next day I brought it to Alfa who diagnosed the MAF, unplugged it and ordered a new one. Well my God she could fly!!!
Summer came and we brought her on our first European road trip. Ferry to Cherbourg and then onwards to Paris, then to Nimes and into Geneva and then eventually onto Rome. She did not miss a beat and only the AC stopped working
got it fixed in Rome and then onto our next segment. Rome to Trieste, then to Rijeka (Croatia) and down to Split - again not a thing wrong. Next day the missus' parents flew in and we continued the trip together into Montenegro and finally to Tirana. Then we drive all the way up to Warsaw and up to Tallinn in Estonia then back down to Poland across Germany and back to Ireland.
I was in love.
The Autumn saw a bad turn for the old girl where she hasnt been right since. On a trip back to the mainland she cracked her sump on a bad road and knackered the engine in minutes.
I had to leave her there which gutted me, came back a few months later with the money for a new engine (summer of 2010) bought the engine and then got a mechanic to pop it in.
Everything went back to normal with my feelings for her when a week later I was told the car was ready, I could have cried when I heard it purr into life
After that she was driven to Italy where this happened:
Absolutely gutted as the driver basically ****ed off
Since this time i've had nearly everything replaced in the car and if it was any other car I wouldnt have bothered but I love her so much. She has saved me from death with her quick steering, she never stops putting a smile on my face whenever I drive or look at her, I had many friends in it where we always had laughs and trips and its where I decided that I wanted to marry my girlfriend so thats why this car has a lot of sentimental value for me and I dont dare dream of giving her up. So thats my experience with my Bella and I look forward to the next 3 years and I would also like to take this time to thank this site and all of the members that have helped me over the past 3 years, I know I've probably been a pain posting nothing but problems but for me this car is worth any hassle for me as it has become more than a car its part of the family. Thank you guys for your help with everything, I wish I could meet you all (now thats an idea, a European meet???!!!!) and share in what is our definitive passion and something we all share in common
Sorry if the post is long and more or less boring but these are my feelings about both the car and the forum