Hi. I'm back !
After 8 years of driving German, i have returned to Alfa ownership !
I drove an black H reg 33 16v for around 5 years and loved it ( H132 XYP - is it on the road anymore ?? It had teledials from another Alfa i think, not the standard 33 speedlines. I will stick a pic in my gallery). The reason i got rid in the end was that the offset driving position used to make my knees sore ! Of course, being an Alfa it cost me money too. When i bought it i insisted that the timing belts were changed. The garage did do this, but they didnt change the plastic tension wheels, which proceeded to disintegrate one dark night between Edinburgh and Newcastle.
The best thing about the 33 was that all my mates wanted / drove Pug 205 19 GTIs. Not one the follow the crowd, i did some research and found that the 33 was rare and just as quick. Plus, the boxer engine sounded friggin amazing! Wiped the smile off a good few 1.9 gti faces with that car.
I also used to post in an Alfa forum back way then too - however i cant remember its name now. It was a garish red background with black text i think. Very basic.
Anyway, i eventually partexed the 33 for a mint VW Corrado VR6 with 43k on the clock. I love that sports coupe shape see ! The VR6 is a fantastic car and i have done around 60k miles over the last 7 years. Mostly on the twisties ( A68, A697, borders, highlands etc ) but it really is a fast, forgiving and rare beast. Its now sitting at 105k and its time to sell. Its still reliable and hasnt lost any of its appeal, but it was time for a change.
To what though? I have struggled with what to change to for several years now, but never seemed to come up with a definitive answer. The new car had to tick several boxes:
fab sounding engine,
4 door ( gf had just bought an MX5 and 2 two seaters is not an option ),
I couldnt find anything that ticked all of them, so i stuck with the VR6 for another few years. But there was something that had been in the back of my mind for ages....
Oneday on the Corrado Forum
, one of the regulars ( 'double-6' - he is now on here too ) posted a thread about his having just bought an Alfa 156 GTA, and it was getting photographed for a forthcoming buyers guide in EVO Magazine. He posted a few teaser shots of it on the forum and i started to research the GTAs. I had always though the 147 GTA was the bizznis, but seeing his 156 in Evo mag a few months later ( on a beach in Portugal actually !) i changed my mind.
So i started looking. Over the next 6 months i watched and waited. It seems that the only 156s for sale were in the south. Being in Edinburgh this was a bit of a problem. I did take to trip to Manchester to test drive a blue one, but it was immediately obvious it was a dog. It was worth the trip to get a good look around one and get to drive it though.
Anyway, eventually i saw one for sale in Aberdeen. Amazingly it had all the things i wanted, and a good price tag. I jumped on a train to see it. It was fab. ( It was for sale on here too - by AberdeenGTA ). Within 2 weeks i was on the train again going to collect it.
I took the long way home - through Glenshee - and had a very pleasant time too !!
So, thats my story. I now have a 156 GTA, with Autodelta airbox and Ragazzon exhaust, black leather, 350mm brakes with 17" teledials, and only 25k on the clock. Me happy.
I have a raft of nooby questions building up but shall post them elsewhere.