No more guiletta...
Founder of AO
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: United Kingdom
Alfa Owner member review
Forum name: Selespeed
Real name: Hans Rietveld
Occupation: Marketing consultant (specialised in mortgages, life insurance etc)
Lives: Veenendaal, The Netherlands
Marital status: Married
What cars do you drive and why? My car is a 147 Selespeed. When I was looking for a car I was doubting between the 147 and the 156. The equipment level was at the time much better on the 147 which made me go for that model. The Selespeed feature was a must have and still is. This car always makes me smile when I take her for a spin.
What started your passion for Alfa Romeo? I always liked Italian design and as a young boy I admired Ferrari and Lamborghini. One of my brothers infected me before I was 10 years old with the virus about cars. He had always the nicest peaces of machinery and one of his cars is now a Ferrari 365 GTB/4. Since I have my drivers license I wanted to have an Alfa Romeo. But every time I wanted to order one it didn´t succeed, due to the very bad offers the dealerships always gave me for my old car. When I switched to a different employer last year, I finally got a company car. My boss is a car fanatic as well, which helps a lot when you want to pick a car. And since I had no car to sell (my car went to my wife and I sold her car to one of my brothers) I could finally have my Alfa Romeo.
How common are Alfas in the Netherlands? Is there a large interest in Alfas there? You can see a lot of Alfas in The Netherlands but luckily it’s not too common. I certainly don’t want everyone to drive an Alfa, because I want to have a special car. People over here still think Alfa Romeo is not capable of making reliable cars which prevents them of ordering one. IMHO Alfa should put more effort to make their cars better, but on the other hand you’re not purchasing an Alfa for their reliability, but for their looks, heritage and drivability.
Tell us about your website: What can I tell about my website? When I ordered my Alfa I was searching for good sites about the 147. I couldn’t find a lot of sites (only two in The Netherlands), which was a trigger for me to make my own. At first I made a site where I didn’t pay much attention about the design and I focused on the content. The content is about lots of pictures and not too much text, because reading on a website is not really nice to do. A couple of months ago I got some spare time to redesign the complete site. Nowadays my site is the communication centre for the 147 meetings I organize.
Tell us about the recent 147 meeting you organised: The meeting of last month was not the first 147 meeting. The first meeting took place in June 2002 and everybody who joined that meeting wanted to have more meetings. In the beginning of July I found out that the exhibit Auto Moto Italia would take place on October 27, which would be a nice starting point for the second meeting. First I contacted the organisation of the exhibit if it was possible to have our own parking area and they were willing to help me. After that I contacted Novitec (hint from Johnny_147) if the would present their famous yellow 147 to us. Novitec couldn’t help us, because in October they were preparing their 147’s for the Motorshow in Essen. In October I even tried to get the 147 GTA for a official Dutch presentation during the meeting, but Alfa Romeo Netherlands didn’t want to cooperate. To organize a meeting it takes a lot of your spare time to make everything work, but the sight of all those Bella’s together and the compliments you get makes it all worth wile. Especially the trip takes a lot of time. I have driven the trip 5 times, the first two times to decide which way to drive and you have to think about a lot of things, for instance. If you leave the exhibit you’ve to face a couple of traffic lights which means that the group will fall apart. To regroup I let the trip go over the highway for about 13 miles which made it possible to have all the 147’s together when we started the journey over the dyke along the river “Lek”. The third time I drove the trip was to write down the route descriptions, the fourth time was to check the descriptions and the fifth time was the day before the meeting took place to make sure the road was still open. Unluckily one the day itself one road was blocked by a fallen tree due to the heaviest storm in the last 12 years we hade to cope that day which made it necessary to make a little detour because I forgot to bring a chain saw with me. We can call this a “selespeed – error” ;o)
After the meeting it took me more than a day to edit the pictures taken during the meeting, to delete all the license plate numbers and resize the pics.
What do you like most about Alfas? I like the design the most
What do you like least about Alfas? Alfa should takes more effort in reliability and check the cars on irregularities before they deliver them (I had a lot of problems with mine but they are all fixed by my dealership)
What would be your dream cars?. If I had a free choice, I would have the next two Alfa’s on my driveway / in my garage: 147 GTA and a Spider. The spider should be the latest version of the old model.
What would be your ideal drive in an Alfa, (destination, passenger, driving music, etc)?
I haven’t made up my mind about the exact location, but it will certainly be in the Italy on a very twisty road. The trip will have to be in a 147 GTA and I want no passenger or music. A passenger only slows me down (extra weight and probably telling me to slow down) and there is no better music then the sound the GTA produces (this is probably why the Bose Sound System is not standard on a 147 GTA)
What interests do you have outside of Alfas? Ferrari, Formula One, Programming (applications for websites), Mortgages, My wife and My 9 months old daughter. BTW This is in random order
Not really. I know this sounds not too good but I have reached nearly everything in my career what I want with a very good salary. My profession is not dull at any moment due to the changes in the government regulations. I’m just a totally happy dude.
I have some ambitions with cars though: I like to have at least 75 Alfa’s 147 at the next meeting from at least 6 countries and make it the best 147 event ever and I want the spider I mentioned before in my garage.
What do you like most about Alfaowner forum?
The AO forum is the best there is. One of the main reasons is the ability to talk to Alfisti all over the world.