Some of you may be aware that I bought my Alfa 166 for a planned Euro trip this summer. Well we are now home and I am pleased to announce that the big car performed the task faultlessly.
When we left the UK we headed for Holland where we spent a few days with some good friends. We then headed south stopping off at Heidelberg and then Munich before reaching Austria and our base for a week. The car was used quite a bit through the week visiting Salzburg and even taking a trip through the Grossglockner Pass and sitting atop the Edelweiss – Spitze (2,571m). At the end of the week we headed for Italy and first stop Milan. A visit to the Ferrari shop was in order and the wife made the best of the shopping in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Next stop was Turin to meet our reservation at the Hotel within the famous Lingotto building. We gained access to the roof area and walked the whole track. The view of the Alps from the roof is something I think I will remember forever. One thing that did disappoint in Turin was that the new Motor Village, located at the Fiat mirafiori factory site, was closed for the Holidays. The Turin Motor Museum was also closed for refurbishment so I consoled myself by buying some goodies (including a cool Fiat 500 mouse) from a store located in the Lingotto shopping complex.
The first impression of Italy is that it is a bit of a dump. You see dirty falling down buildings and it would be easy to pass judgment based on those initial sights. But then you come into contact with the food, the atmosphere and the people. All these things make the place so special.
We had planned to drive further south and take in Monaco and then the Milau Bridge but had worked out that this route would have added a further 400 miles to our journey. Thankfully common sense prevailed and we decided instead to drive through the St Bernard pass and into Switzerland. The wife had always wanted to see the Freddie Mercury tribute so Lake Genève and Monteux was our next stopping point. We then made our way into France and onto the French Auto routes destination Calais.
All told we covered 2690 Miles at an average of 45.5 Mph and 24.9 Mpg.
With regard the roads.
The German Autobahns were a bit of a joke. Progress through Germany was SLOW. This was mainly due to numerous road works and sheer weight of traffic. It was like being on the M25 the whole way through the country. It wouldn’t be so bad if all the road works were for the inclusion of a third lane, but they aren’t.
The Italian auto strada’s near Milan and Turin were also undergoing Major road improvement. They too were busy but progress was much swifter due to them already having three lanes.
The best roads award however has to go to France. Yes they mostly only had two lanes but they were empty. I reset my ICS trip on entering the French Auto route and completed almost 400 miles at an average speed of 80mph. Most of the cars on the French roads were Brits, and Germans who were probably avoiding the Autobahns
So now the trip is over........ Do I keep the 166 or sell it
I have to say I have fallen for the big beast and it has been a fantastic partner on our trip. It is a good looking car that gained quite a few admiring glances. I had decided quite early on that I wanted the Auto box for cruising and boy was that the right decision. I have enjoyed efortless cruising throughout the whole trip, especially in those traffic jams and city centres. Those superb seats a great sound system and super Aircon that has kept us chilled on those 30+ scorchers that we encountered.
Oh dear I can see me keeping this bugger for a while