I recently got asked by a very good car nut friend of mine if i would help him look for a good Alfa GT. Now my pal Neil is a bloody good track driver. Infact he has his race licence. He has been following my journey of modification with my beloved GT. And although i love my car, i know the patience and commitment it takes to make a GT super strong reliable, solid and capable. I also know Neil, unlike myself does not like to mess around with cars. He just wants to get in and drive them hard and fill up with fuel.
So i put him off. I knew it would be a bad idea if he got a GT cloverleaf. Honestly i am the one of the GT's biggests fans. But i know what it takes to get it properly sorted.
Now not everyone is like me. They will drive their car to the shops etc, or go for long drives. I do that too. But i like to drive my cars respectfully fast, when the moment and conditions allow and with mechanical sympathy. I am ocd after all. I didn't spend all i have on my chassis to negotiate tesco car park. I love how my car performs out there on the best of our british roads.
But i have come to the conclusion this car is and has to be a passion. It has so many idiosyncrasies. Plus without being rude the base product is pretty average. Even in clover 170 form. The oem suspension sucks, the wishbones last 20k if your lucky, swirl flaps can fly off and cause carnage. Door handles come off in your hand. The chassis rusts to hell if you don't protect it. Working on the car is comical, ie to change a lightbulb you need miniature hands, and to change the airfilter it's from the bottom of the engine.
That said. It has huge potential. I knew this i am on my second. They have the 156 chassis and lovely communicative steering. And when you spend money, the engine can be made into a bloody torque monster. I never bought the car thinking i would leave it standard. There are far better machines out there out of the box.
I actually wish they made the GT in kit car form. You buy the bits you want, and leave the crap off the car. My friends who mostly drive german performance machinery, call Alfa the "automotive equivalent of the wonderbra"..I also appreciate there are owners out there who have had their cars from new, who don't drive them especially hard, who have had no problems.
I am attempting to build a GT which deserves to carry the cloverleaf badge. For what i have spent i could have bought a nice second hand porsche 911. But now it's largely done, i have an awesome solid fast coupe that handles like a dream, that does 48mpg when pushing on hard. I have spent hours under my car in the engine bay rust proofing etc. Would i do it all again "hell no". Am i utterly over the moon with what i have, certainly a resounding yes.
I don't think that helped but i feel better for getting that out..lol..