Although I have been on the forum for some time and have read a lot of the content with interest I thought it was time to get stuck in and so I'm introducing myself.
My name is Mark Guerin and am a lifelong Alfista. I got hooked when in 1975 my father bought our first 'sud and flung us around the lanes of Ireland where we lived. This was a 1.2 saloon and second hand. It was very secondhand when it was traded in for a brand new 1.3 Super in 1979. This car then was in our possession right through the time I learned to drive and some time beyond. This was when I got it really bad thanks to a copy of Alfissimo.
My first car was also a 1.2 saloon I purchased in 1985, a 5M I think but I upgraded that immediately with the carb off a 1.2 ti and set of to university with my worldly goods in it. It lasted 'til the next MOT and went to the scrap yard in the sky. The first but by no means the last.
I was desperate, even then, for a 105 series GTV (still am really) and got as far as test driving one but that is another story. I answered a local ad for a GTV and was at first dismayed when an Alfetta GTV 2000 was pushed from the garage, however as the sun caught the paintwork and I got in for the first miles my smile returned. That smile has rarely left me since despite all the fun of running the car on a grant. It later had a twin spark transplant circa 1991 (first in the country?) and soldiered on on the great roads of West Yorkshire. It died a lingering death in a mates garage while I decided what to do with it and I went scampering off in my new toy a 3.0L 75. With 125000 on the clock it was reasonable cheap and I racked up 50K miles in a year of trouble free and very exilerating motoring. Sold it for a reasonable price with 175000 on the clock and carless went to music college (perpetual student you all cry).
No car for 6 months was very hard and one fateful day "Loot" presented me with the chance to buy a very cheap but extremely good GTV 2.0L (alfetta). It was as though this car had been made of different Steel or dry stored its entire life. It was a great car for me and I sold it to someone who had it fully fettled so that it was as near as perfect as one could imagine. I moved on to the first of my dream alfetta chassis cars; My first GTV6. A real old nail, it served me very well once I got the transmission problems sorted, this had had lots of bodges and it took a while to sort. Lots of time on the driveway with me lying underneath until she was sowing machine smooth. Then I really let rip and enjoyed a couple of great years.
When I decided to restore it I rode round in my mother's old 33 1.5 which she had replaced the 'sud with and was now moving on. It served me very nicely and I gave it to a friend's cousin who was a latent Alfista but was eternally strapped for cash. I was happy to pass on the bug (he is now on his 4th or 5th - good man). I abandoned the rebuild of mine when the car restorer let me down and the owner of the garage called time on my stalled project. I took everything of worth off that car and scrapped it (tut tut). The car that replaced it and the 33 was a beautifully maintained GTV6.
All gleaming and solid underneath etc. It dropped a valve at 30 mph on a run up to pressure wash it. Shows the evils of car washing. I had to replace the engine so of course put in a 3.0L. This, on the standard transmission, was a rocket ship and with some secondhand SZ cams ran for 7 great years until the mileage, standing in all weathers and time took their toll. It went this past feb. and I stripped it for the good bits again. It took me around on many Opera tours and in it I courted and married my wife. It was the honeymoon car and she did most of the driving when I stubbed my toe. She famously said, when we returned from the honeymoon and she drove her Polo again, that that was not really driving by comparison with the GTV. Good girl - the poison was spreading. He he
Currently I have a fabulously restored and thankfully dry stored early GTV6 with little to do except fettle and get perfect. Probably my last fun car for a while as I never need a car for work now and the family is increasing to 3 this Dec. (Thankfully the GTV6 has three rear belts - sorry Love). The family car is probably the best Alfa I have ever owned, a 156 2.4 JTD, and luckily my wife tends to agree. Pity its not RWD but it is supremely reliable (actually coming to think of it they all were except for that dropped valve), economical and fast if it needs to be. But comfortable and engaging enough to keep me smiling. Oh and I never get sciatic pain when drive it.
Phew that's about it. There were many more on the way but they were usually rolling parts bins. Thanks for enduring to the end.
Must thank all those who took my money with out a complaint over the years, Rob Murray, Wyn Lear, Jamie Porter et al. And thanks to long suffering girlfriends and wife for putting up with all this Alfaing - long may it continue. Apologise for those I infected on the way; one commented that he would have spent less if I had started him on a drugs habit. Roll on the next RWD Alfa so I can get a proper fix. And can we please have our V6 back again...!