Why I drive Alfa Romeo
You want to know why I drive Alfa Romeo for about 33 years now?...Well here it goes.
I have always been (and still are) a great admirer of Colin Chapman. Yet I also had something with Italian cars. Hence my first car, still at school, was a Fiat 500 (the absolutely brilliant original, not the huge one of today!). In my first job, with a little bit more money to spend I had a second hand Autobianchi A112 E. This was succeeded by a new A112 Abarth (as appropriate, red with the mat black bonnet). Then I got a job at a large international company and had to drive quite a lot of kilometers. So the next Abarth I equipped with LPG. The tank completely filled the boot. One day two French colleagues were over for a meeting. As usual the meeting ran a bit late, so they had to rush to get to the airport. One French on the passenger seat, the other folded up in the back next to two huge suitcases as the boot was full (for one night stay, French bring luggage as if they emigrate). Flat out from Rotterdam to Schiphol Airport (no speed limit yet back then).All the way I saw two pairs of French eyes anxiously staring at the speedometer, where the needle was tipping 180 km/h (which was really fast for such a tiny car those days). When I dropped them off (well in time to catch their flight), I thought: maybe I should consider something a bit bigger.
As said, great admirer of A.C.B.C., but the Lotus Esprit, I was totally in love with was way outside my financial league. Fortunately Giorgetto Giugiaro also penciled the AlfaSud Sprint…at least as beautiful! So the black Abarth had to make way for a white Sprint 1500, followed by a red Sprint Veloce and a black Sprint QV. Because of the distances I drove, I developed a bit of a back problem. A tailor made (Scheel) seat did not fit (with me in it…) in a Sprint. In a (again red) Alfa 33 it did, so that it became. A anthracite Alfa 33 QV succeeded this one. Because the 145/146 were not yet available when I had to trade in the QV, the next Alfa became a dark blue 155 TS. When I saw the first photo of the Alfa 156, I immediately ordered a 1.9 JTD, which I got delivered after 51 (!!) weeks. In this period, the lease company tortured me with several Opel Vectras, VW Boras and Renault Scenics. My next job (within the company) was one without a lease car, so I bought a 147 2.0 Selespeed. It is much criticized, but I had a huge amount of fun with it. Next job…lease car again: 156 SW 1.9 JTDm, great car! (beautiful Giugiaro looks!). Alfa Romeo number ten I drive now, is probably the greatest fun pack I had. A Rosso Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1750 TBi QV SAVALI, with around 260 bhp.
Fortunately I must be in Germany quite frequently for work. The Giulietta is a real rarity there and drivers with their “überwagen” with stars, four rings or propellers on the nose are totally stunned when they cannot keep up with that strange red thing.