Re: Life with a 156
I too think the 156 is the most beautiful four door car ever made, but it is NOT the best car around, much as I love mine.
Sorry, but there are no real Alfa's any more. They are all Fiats underneath and it shows.
The 156 for example is NOT a driver's car by any stretch. It can be made to be so, but the standard suspension is way too soggy. But FAR FAR worse than any of that is the fact that the 156 is FWD.
If only they did a 156 RWD.
FWIW, the best driver's car I've ever had was an FD3 Mazda RX-7; by some considerable way. And in case you think I have no real benchmarks to make that decision, here is a list of some of the cars I've owned (to say nothing of those I have driven) in no particular order. All were acquired between 1 and three years old, well looked after and in fine fettle.
Datsun 240Z, Lotus Elise, Lotus Excel (my second favourite drivers car and despite what people say mine was fantastically reliable), Alfa 105 series 2000GTV (equal second with the Lotus Excel), Alfa Alfetta 2000 GTV, Alfa Alfetta GTV6, Alfa 155 V6, Porsche 968 CS (hated it - felt really agricultural - but really effective), Maxda RX-7, Holden Torana SLR 5000, Ferrari 308 GTS - that was a mistake, numb bum in 20 miles and scuttle shake like you wouldn't believe. Honda S2000 - scuttle shake? What scuttle shake?. TVR S3 (you think Alfas are unreliable?)
I think those are the main sports type vehicles I've owned.
Despite everything, the 156 is still a great car to own, but until Alfa do a RWD car again (that we can afford and is properly sorted) I don't think Alfa will ever be what they were or could be. They look better than anything still, but the purity of that 105 series 2000GTV handling was just so ... I still smile thinking about it. The RX-7 was the same but with real grunt to go with it and so pips the Alfa and the Excel in my view.