I'm relatively new to the Alfa clan, but not to the Fiat group.
As a small boy, my father dragged me and my brother around muddy fields for 24 hours at a time to watch rally cars breathe fire, defy gravity, crackle and pop and generally ruin our automotive innocence from the comfort of a wet, cold bank...
On top of that it were mad times in rally land and I got to witness the rise and demise of group B rallying.
Initially the Porsches grabbed most attention as a well known name, but then this obscure Italian marque nestled into my consciousness and got really comfy there really fast.
Sadly the fulvia was before my time, but owww baby, Lancia Stratos, 037, Delta integrale. I think I'm lucky my dad didn't sell me at some point to get an integrale instead, but personally I think the 037's impressed me most tbh, possibly because I never even saw the street car, which enhanced it's aura...
Later my dad managed to buy new Lancia's without resorting to selling his offspring and got a few Dedra's (which I learned to drive in), a Lancia Kappa (I absolutely adored that one), a couple of Lybras and I loved all of them. I remember sitting in my friend's father's Audi 80 when my dad just bought his first Dedra and I really didn't get how anybody would choose the 80 over the Dedra.
So that feeling prepared us well for the introduction of Alfa Romeo in the family.
By then the Fiat group neglected Lancia too much and my dad ran out of reasonable options to stay with the marque so deflected and got a 159, a bit later his wife got a 147.
After my dad got the Kappa, I got to my own car ownership stage and needed immediately a reliable cheap car I could put huge mileage on (I did +100,000 km during the first 2.5 years, so I dieseled from the get go), so I bought a nearly new mk1 Fiat Punto td. Fabulous first car, never missed a beat and was cheap to buy and cheaper to run, sold it to a neighbour and they enjoyed it for many more years. Had nothing apart from power steering, so not a lot to go wrong.
Then I got into company car territory and had a Citroen Xsara for a little while (which I quite liked) and an electrically problematic VW Golf for over 2 years.
Next I found myself in the UK and needed to source a car quickly and my later-to-be wife pointed me at a beautiful pug 306 Meridian HDI, and that car I really enjoyed too and bought it low-mileage and put huge mileage on it.
Then we moved to Spain and there was little point in taking a high mileage pug with the steering wheel on the wrong side along, so we sold it and went car shopping and decided to look at 147s too.
Once we test drove one I knew we wouldn't get another car, my wife loved it, so we got one and never looked back, to the contrary.
After my great experience with the 306 I bought an old 206 as a second car and let the Mrs have the 147, but that pug was a complete lemon and we cut our losses after it blew a 2nd engine. We decided to spend a bit more and buy the Mrs a lovely 147 ti to hopefully enjoy for a long time and I got our first 147 handed down to me. I think I got the best upgrade out of that deal!
The main trouble with the Mrs loving Alfas too is that she really needs to go to acting school to help me negotiate a discount on the sticker price. It's always so obvious she wants us to buy the car that I never get to play the card "I want to buy it, but the mrs won't let me spend quite that much and to her any car will do as long as the colour isn't hideous"
Maybe I'll need to borrow a friend's car on our next car shopping so I can go "She likes it, but I'm not spending that kind of money on a rustbucket that'll spend more time in the workshop than on the road" ;-)
Of my own car history the Alfas make me feel best when driving them, but I enjoyed all car owning experiences I've had so far, even the crappy 206 bundle of misery. That one needed so much mending I had to get the spanners out myself and start doing repairs and maintenance where I could, in the end it was just too far gone but I enjoyed a few little victories along the way. 206s are simply put together so it's pretty good car to start mucking about with and learn a few things.
Now I'm quite happy working on the 147's and tackling things I wouldn't have before. Spanner time spent does create a bond with the car that cash left at the workshop just doesn't and I prefer cursing caused by grazed knuckles over the pain of wallet hurt.
I'm really happy with Alfa but still smarting over Lancia tbh. The last Lancia Thesis might tempt me if I could get my hands on one at the right price, it's very pretty in a quirky way. Recent models are turning my stomach, a Lancia badge on something you'd only recognise as a Chrysler is painful to watch...
Last edited by imski; 21-07-14 at 13:57.