Rappallo - Interviewed
Alfa Owner member review:
Forum name: Rapallo
Real name: Rapallo of course!
Occupation: Car Dealer & Marketing Consultant
Lives: in Lancashire
What cars do you drive and why?
I drive all sorts of cars due to the nature of my work but I do have a rather eclectic fleet of oddballs!
Firstly my main car is a 166 3.0 Super Lusso. I travel to Italy frequently and just find it a superb long distance car with lots of space, loads of power and distinctive looks, it’s a thirsty beast though!
I also have a 164 3.0 Auto which I bought for £50, I tend to use it for long journeys in the UK when I know I’ll be leaving it somewhere dodgy, Liverpool for example. I still think the 164 is one of the most reliable cars Alfa have ever built.
My fun car is a Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo, yes I’d rather have a GTV 3.0 but even I can’t find one for £6000! It’s very fast, good fun but not very confidence inspiring, must admit I think I’m going to replace it with another GTV V6 Turbo – my next girlfriend will have to put up with LHD
I have a Punto 60S for errands and local use, I’ll probably keep this car for ever.
In Italy at my Uncles vineyard I have a 90 2.5 Gold Cloverleaf and a 6 2.5 sat in a barn. As you can tell I love big saloons, the rarer and stranger the better!
What started your passion for Alfa Romeo?
My first glimpse of the outside world was from my carry-cot on the back seat of my old man’s GT Junior a week after I was born. I suppose I’ve inherited my love of Alfas from my family. My father is an Italophile Englishman who has worked extensively in Italy and my mother is Italian, coming from a family of car lovers. The first Alfa experience I can actually remember is of my father test driving an ivory Giulietta in the late 70s, he didn’t buy it because the rear transmission tunnel prevented me from standing up in the back between the front seats, he bought a Lancia Beta saloon instead which turned out to be a great car. My first car on passing my test was an Alfasud Green Cloverleaf, finally I knew what driving an Alfa was all about. My passion is frequently under trial but I don’t think the light will ever go out.
What do you like most about Alfas?
It’s probably the brand more than the cars to me as you’ve probably deduced. I love the ‘Italian-ness’, the engine sound, the fact they are all designed with the quick driver in mind. I like the fuss free interiors and the way they come across that they have been designed by human beings with a passion for driving on traffic free, twisty, Italian roads. In Alfas less popular UK days I loved the fact I was driving a rare, quirky car, these days that feeling has diminished some what.
What do you like least about Alfas?
I know this sounds selfish and is counter productive to my job but I don’t like the way that they seem to have toned down the quirkiness in recent years. Their appeal has widened too far in that people are buying Alfas for different reasons now, you know longer feel like you belong to an exclusive club any more, although this website has enlightened me that real Alfa people still exist in the UK.
My main gripe has to be the UK dealer network and the incompetence of Alfa GB. Improvements seem to be on the way but until there is a huge clear out of staff at Slough I’m afraid the woes will continue. You could man it with people off this site and do a better job.
What Alfas have you owned?
This is going to be a long list, I’ll do it in car order;
Giulia Super 1.6
Giulia Sprint GT 1.6
Spider 2000 Veloce
Alfasud 1.5Ti Green Cloverleaf
Alfasud 1.5 SC
Alfasud Sprint 1.5 Green Cloverleaf
Alfetta GTV 2.0
Alfetta GTV6 2.5
33 1.5 Ti
33 1.7 Cloverleaf
75 1.8 Turbo
75 2.0 TS x 3
75 3.0 V6
75 3.0 V6 Green Cloverleaf
90 2.0 Motronic
90 2.5 Gold Cloverleaf
145 2.0 Cloverleaf
164 2.0 V6 Turbo
164 3.0 Lusso
164 3.0 24V Super
164 3.0 Auto
GTV 2.0 V6 Turbo
166 3.0 Super x 3
Some of these cars I only owned for a few months and some I owned while living in Italy. My attitude in life is that I wish to own as many different types of cars as possible. I don’t get emotionally attached to any car.
Which was your favourite and why?
It’s impossible to answer with just one car. My favourites are the Giulia Super, Spider 2000 Veloce, GTV6 2.5, 164 V6 Turbo, GTV V6 Turbo and my current 166.
I suppose the 164 V6 Turbo gives me the fondest memories of the best time of my life, living in Italy: Italian roads, Italian girls and 260 bhp through the front wheels!!
How did you get into the car business?
I have a degree in Italian and Marketing, graduated in 1995 and I then I lived in Italy for 18 months doing fun jobs such as teaching English to 18 year old girls, working in a bar, delivering cars, messing with boats oh and getting an Italian marketing qualification. Back to reality, returned to England at the end of 1996, sold Alfas for 6 months at a dealer in southern England, got bored of working with ******s and so got into the Ad Agency world which even more full of ******s! After 3 years of pressure but very good money I packed in and became a car dealer, working for myself and enjoying every minute.
What would be your dream cars?
The obvious Ferrari’s, Lambos, Pagani etc but at the more affordable end I would love an SZ! I also have a hankering for an 80s Maserati Quattroporte!
What was your first car?
Alfasud Ti Green Cloverleaf
What is the worst car you’ve ever owned?
Alfa 33 1.7 Green Cloverleaf – it was just a bad example, big ends went 2 days after I bought it from some ******* in the RAC who’d filled the sump with the thickest oil ever!
What would be your ideal drive in an Alfa, (destination, passenger, driving music, etc)?
I love the autostrada from Milano to Genova. This sounds odd but I love driving on my own and would certainly prefer to listen to the engine than a CD on this road!
What interests do you have outside of Alfas? (eg TV`s, fascist dictators, Aussies, etc………….)
I follow football, I try to watch Sampdoria several times a year. I like to read about Italian culture and history, yes Il Duce is one of my favourite subjects. Also a bit of a wine enthusiast.
What do you like most about Alfaowner forum? Any favourite threads, posts you wish to share?
It’s good to hear from like minded Alfa enthusiasts who aren’t bearded old fogies! I love the banter, yes I like being devil’s advocate from time to time, but mostly I say what I feel.
Who on the forum would you most like to meet and why?
I’d like to keep it virtual thanks!
Three Alfatastic words to finish:
Do it Now!