Re: Alfa Specialist
I got a mailshot in Feb this year from some guys at a place called MGC Cars claiming to be Alfa specialists and offering half main dealer labour rates. Didn't need a service at the time, so never looked into it. However, the 36K service on my 147 was up recently and as I was near the end of the 3 year warranty decided to check them out (Sunwin's menu price of £400 seemed scary).
Anyway, had my service done with them yesterday and I have to say I was really impressed. Its run by a couple of ex-Sunwin (ex-Coop Motor Group) guys -- maybe that's not a recommendation, but the main man was extremely helpful and seemed to know his stuff. It's all a very 'underneath the arches' sort of place, but they have invested in the Alfa diag equipment and even looked into becoming a Alfa service agent. But apparently Alfa is looking for a new dealer in Nottm since Sunwin moved sales to Derby, so it didn't happen.
As I only had a service, I can't vouch for their ability to tackle more obscure problems, but they certainly knew the ins and out's of phase variators when I asked a few questions.
Also they bent over backwards to be helpful -- got a lift into town and the offer of being picked up when it was ready. I'll certainly be giving them another go when something needs fixing.
Oh, and the labour rate is £40/hour, so the 36K service cost was just over £200.