Thanks Spiderman, I haven't read that test in ages and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially so as I spent yesterday taking the Sud for a good squirt and then driving back to back with a friend's 33 1.7ie (same motor as in my sud)
Although I rated my old 33 1.7ie as the most practical and enjoyable everyday Alfas I have owned, the Sud just has that little extra finesse that sets it apart.
Even though there are always things to improve on my Sud, it takes at least a long time to wipe the smile off my face after a good drive in the Sud.
As for the contention that the Sud caused Alfa to lose its independence....please! I can hardly believe that statement could come from any Alfisti that has previously owned a Sprint! let alone any 156 or 147 owner (built with pride in Pomigliano)!
History strongly suggests that Alfa wouldn't have survived independently without amalgamation or Italian government intervention- even without the Alfasud. If so, how does that explain the similar fate of Lancia, Autobianchi, Innocenti, Ferrari, Lamborghini and even Fiat itself?
It is a simple business fact that without economies of scale, mainstream cars cannot be produced profitably. From a legislative and technological perspective this task is now near impossible without enormous financial resources.
I for one would never have purchased an Alfa Romeo had the Alfasud not been produced. After a succession of Fiats, my first Alfa was a Sprint, followed by a succession of 33's, Suds came along much later.
When I was considering my first Alfa I never really liked the styling or driving experience of any 'nord' Alfas enough to buy one. I believe that Sud was a positive influence in the introduction of the marque to a far wider audience.
I for one am grateful for that, and the consequent loss of independence (or should that be increase in support?)was inevitable in the long run anyway. If nothing else, the Sud should be remembered for giving Alfa Romeo sufficient sales volume to prevent it fading into oblivion. wink