Re: Why do we drive Alfas?
Well for me, it's largely because they're CHEAP! When I bought my first 164, I was looking for a Jag but couldn't find anything that even had an MOT for less than 4 figures! I then came across a 164 12 valve V6 going for much less than I wanted to spend and thought "Well, I'll probably regret this but I'm told that at least the engines sound nice"!
That was the best part of 10 years ago now! I'm on my third 164 now and love it dearly! It is distinctive, very good looking, acceptably quick, MUCH more economical than any Jag and (to be honest) every bit as reliable as any BMW of a similar age (18 years), mileage (240k), and service history(none!)! Unlike a Beamer, it actually feels like it has some torque and I can drive all day and not see another one. The engine noise didn't disappoint and I LOVE an engine that pulls all the way to the redline. It feels like a thoroughbred horse that you know would kill itself trying if you asked it to. At the same time, after a long day when I'm feeling lazy, I can drive it almost like an automatic because it has such a lovely flat torque curve. It really is a cracking engine!
I've pasted the living daylights out of it and always find it a rewarding experience and yet the other weekend I did over 400 miles in it with a half ton trailer on the back and a load of furniture that I needed to move. I really don't think I could get a better compromise between fun and practicallity.
I'd be lying if I also said that driving something with a 100 year pedigree didn't make me feel that bit "special" too!
(Oh, and I like having loads of gauges, impossible-to-identify-quickly buttons and warning lights - makes me feel like James bond)!
Sadly, I'm running out of 164s and I feel I might have to look at a 166 when this one finally goes to "Alfa Valhalla". I don't like the look of the 166 quite so much and I prefer the 12 valve engine but at least the earlier ones are now getting pretty cheap. One thing's certain though, it will have a LOT to live up to!