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(Post Link) post #1 of 25 Old 30-12-04 Thread Starter
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Hi there!

My name is Charlie,

I live in Tokyo, Japan. Have just ordered a 147 GTA Selespeed in Red with Tan Leather. This is our second Alfa, my wife used to own a Red 156 Sportswagon (V6, Q System) until she got pregnant with our third child, which forced a trade in for a 7 seater Toyota Wish. Until 2 years ago I had always driven high powered 6 speed manuals (1997 BMW M3, 1997 Impreza Sti type R, 2000 Impreza Sti), but a move to downtown Tokyo where I now face long commutes in bumper to bumper traffic forced the purchase of my first automatic (a 1996 BMW 328 M-Sport). Though a great car, I truly missed the power and the ability to downshift. Went to the Alfa dealer to inquire about the 147 GTA Selespeed (which only made it to Japan a few months ago), and the dealer, who must have known what an easy mark I'd be once I knew how good the GTA was, gave me a demo car for 24 hours. I haven't had such an ear to ear grin on my face since I drove my first Sti. What an amazing engine sound, what an amazing transmission! My wife's reaction was the same, and she said she'd let me get it only if I promised to leave the car home once a week for her to drive! Returned the GTA a day later and signed on the dotted line an hour later. Unfortunately the color combo I wanted was sold out, so I am now waiting for the car to arrive on the next ferry (January 13th). Can't wait! Looking forward to hearing your Alfa stories.

Last edited by GTACharlie; 31-12-04 at 10:25.
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Re: Hi there!

Welcome,

the GTA is very much like that, you drive it you want it - you buy it.....

Was going to trade in my old 156 (1.8 veloce modded by autodelta) for a JTD and
the dealer offered me and the wife a test drive in an ex demo GTA - primarily as
the JTD wasn't ready for us. I loved it and so did she - infact I was ordered to buy
it, getting in the JTD afterwards just wasn't the same....

I've done 25,000 miles in 15 months and I love every one of them....

Simon.

Alfa V6 - the ultimate aural pleasure
Simes - the Alfaowner formerly known as Alfa156man
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(Post Link) post #3 of 25 Old 31-12-04 Thread Starter
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Re: Hi there!

Simon,

When you say "ordered", do you mean by your wife? Isn't being a car lover so much easier and more fun when it is a passion shared by your significant other? Did you get the sedan or the sportswagen? Any significant modifications? Though I spent a lot of money tuning the M3 , the 328 and the Imprezzas, I really feel like the GTA is going to offer a helluva lot of pleasure just as it is. It will be the first time I won't go out right off the bat and get a sports muffler (the sound of the GTA is just sheer delight!).

Charlie
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Re: Hi there!

*bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

That's the Alfa bug
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Re: Hi there!

oh... almost forgot... Welcome to AO Charlie
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Re: Hi there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTACharlie
... Isn't being a car lover so much easier and more fun when it is a passion shared by your significant other? .....
I wish..... my other half likes the car, but she doesn't share the passion

Still, at least she humours me


Welcome to AO, Charlie.

Please post some pics of the car when you get it
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Re: Hi there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Cloverleaf
Please post some pics of the car when you get it
Hugo is late again
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(Post Link) post #8 of 25 Old 31-12-04 Thread Starter
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Re: Hi there!

Just an aside, but here in Japan, when compared to the BMW 120i, the Audi A3 3.2, and last year's VW Golf R32, the 147 GTA was an outstanding bargain, priced between 500,000 yen and 1,000,000 yen cheaper than the competition ($5,000-$10,000 USD). I especially found the BMWs unbelievably overpriced.

Long live Alfa!

Charlie in Tokyo

Last edited by GTACharlie; 31-12-04 at 12:19.
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Re: Hi there!

BMW's are over priced all over the world
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Re: Hi there!

...and overrated....imho of course

Welcome to Alfaowner Charlie, hope you stick around

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Re: Hi there!

Hi Charlie, welcome to Alfaowner!!! The bug is in you... Alfa, Alfa, Alfa! Congrats on your new baby!!! A 147 GTA!!! Just my dream car...

In case no one asked, please post some photos asap.

@Green and Pasi: I was sleeping. Can't a guy... the King, have some rest?
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(Post Link) post #12 of 25 Old 31-12-04 Thread Starter
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Re: Hi there!

[QUOTE=wrinx]...and overrated....imho of course

I love Alfas tremendously and the GTAs in particular, but would disagree that BMWs are overrated. I've owned 5 over the years and they all provided excellent driving dynamics - steering and brake feel, amazingly planted suspensions, and in the case of my 97 M3, unlimited power and torque in every gear, (and like the GTA V6, an intoxicating engine note). I have had 4 great cars in my life, a 1973 Datsun 240 Z, my 97 and 2000 Impreza Stis and my 97 M3. Each was amazing in its own way, each lacked something that the others had. This is exactly the category I would put my new GTA - an AMAZING car in countless ways, but there are certain things that Imprezas and M3s simply do better. That said, I will admit I am not a fan of the Chris Bangle school of design - the new 1,5,7 series and X3 are pretty hard on the eyes (I do like the Z4 though).
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Re: Hi there!

Datsun 240 Z
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Re: Hi there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by THROTTLEMAN
@Green and Pasi: I was sleeping. Can't a guy... the King, have some rest?
King my 455

I'm the king... my LeGo army is on it's way to your house.... be prepared
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Re: Hi there!

Nice, my godson will enjoy to play with the little soldiers. He likes to smash little toys.
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(Post Link) post #16 of 25 Old 31-12-04 Thread Starter
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Re: Hi there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by THROTTLEMAN
Datsun 240 Z
Yeah, it was my first car, bought for $2000 when I was in college in 1980. Great power, sound and looks - far more than a poor college student deserves!

Charlie in Tokyo
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Re: Hi there!

That Datsun was very, very rare here in Portugal but, it was very !
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Re: Hi there!

Charlie,

Welcome to Alfa Owner!!!

what a way to get into (or back to) Alfas a GTA!!!

I drove a 156 GTA in 2003 on a track... life hasn't been the same

all the best

Sérgio
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Re: Hi there!

Welcome Charlie, hope you enjoy your Alfa Ownership!
Great way to start with a gta, lucky man!
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Re: Hi there!

Hi Charlie,

Good choice of car and forum!

I had a datsun 260Z once and nerly bought a 240Z before getting my first Alfa. I`m glad I bought the Alfa though as the Datsun brakes were a little poor

One way to get more popular on the forum is to post some pictures - so let's see some as soon as you can!
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(Post Link) post #21 of 25 Old 03-01-05 Thread Starter
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Re: Hi there!

I had a datsun 260Z once and nerly bought a 240Z before getting my first Alfa. I`m glad I bought the Alfa though as the Datsun brakes were a little poor


Yeah, the 240 had tons of problems (including rust right through the floor!). But it was cool, cheap, and had an huge, nearly indestrucible engine in a tiny lightweight body. Hooked me on sportscars for life! That said, I simply can't wait till my GTA arrives.

I don't know if I can do a good job of putting into words how I feel about Alfas, but unlike any other car I've owned, they seem to really get under my skin - I mean having an Alfa is more like an emotion. Alfas are passionate, they're sexy, and they beg to be treated and thought of as much than just a car. It's been nearly a year and a half since we sold the 156 Sportswagen, and I have a feeling that as Boggie once said "This (GTA) is the beginning of a beautiful relationship"...

Charlie in Tokyo
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Re: Hi there!

That's certainly the Alfa feeling Good luck with your purchase - a GTA

... oh don't forget to post some piccies when you get your Alfa

Hey Chris - have you seen my bella piccies - does that make me more popular in your book

Last edited by kurzon; 04-01-05 at 00:58. Reason: Just noticed Chris post
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Re: Hi there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTACharlie
Simon,

When you say "ordered", do you mean by your wife? Isn't being a car lover so much easier and more fun when it is a passion shared by your significant other? Did you get the sedan or the sportswagen? Any significant modifications? Though I spent a lot of money tuning the M3 , the 328 and the Imprezzas, I really feel like the GTA is going to offer a helluva lot of pleasure just as it is. It will be the first time I won't go out right off the bat and get a sports muffler (the sound of the GTA is just sheer delight!).

Charlie
Charlie,

Sorry for the delay in the reply...

As a rule she doesn't care about cars as long as they are comfortable, reliable and get us (wife child and myself) from a to b in one peice. However as I am a total nut she has developed a passing interest. however apart from a ferrari 575 or an Aston Martin the 156GTA is one of the few cars she has expressed a positive opinion on (oh and anything thats a ragtop).

She wasn't that comfortabel about driving it, but the nice thing about the GTA is when she keeps it under 3500RPM, it's a total pussycat but keeps up with "normal" traffic. she has no urge to explore the higher rev range....

It's a shame really but at least there's never a fight for the keys...

I know what you mean about the GTA engine note, I just love dropping her a cog now and again to really let her vocalise.

No real significant Mods to date to the sedan, replaced the air filter with a sport filter - left the pipework he same though. The paper filter is the same part as feeds the 1.6 and I had the sport filter left over from my 1.8. I may look into a remap - primarily to tweak the torque curve lower into the rev range, we'll see.

I've just had the uprated brakes fitted by alfa to fix my early GTA's disk warping issue. I've the 17" teledials a more "alfa" fit than the alternates.

Simon.
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Re: Hi there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfa156man
She wasn't that comfortabel about driving it, but the nice thing about the GTA is when she keeps it under 3500RPM, it's a total pussycat but keeps up with "normal" traffic. she has no urge to explore the higher rev range....

I was under the impression that there was no power in the V6 under 4000rpm

Certainly I wouldn't consider any serious overtaking manoeuvres in my 2.0TS at anything below 3000rpm.

Just out of curiosity, how driveable is the GTA in real-world situations (town driving, traffic, pottering about)? Does the car object to the stop-start driving? How comfortable is it on the UK's cr@p road surfaces? How big does your mortgage have to be to pay for the petrol?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfa156man
I may look into a remap - primarily to tweak the torque curve lower into the rev range
Would that affect the top-end torque?


Quote:
Originally Posted by alfa156man
I've the 17" teledials a more "alfa" fit than the alternates.
I agree - I love the teledial wheels

One of these days, if I am a good boy and save my pennies, I WILL have a 156GTA......
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(Post Link) post #25 of 25 Old 04-01-05 Thread Starter
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Re: Hi there!

However apart from a ferrari 575 or an Aston Martin the 156GTA is one of the few cars she has expressed a positive opinion on (oh and anything thats a ragtop).


Sounds like a woman of excellent taste!


She wasn't that comfortabel about driving it, but the nice thing about the GTA is when she keeps it under 3500RPM, it's a total pussycat but keeps up with "normal" traffic. she has no urge to explore the higher rev range....


9 times out of 10 that's true of my wife too, but she totally flipped at the GTA's engine note and ease of use of the Selespeed (she always used to complain about my manuals, but loves engine braking which neither of our present cars could do).


I know what you mean about the GTA engine note, I just love dropping her a cog now and again to really let her vocalise.


In the words of Austin Powers "ooh baby!". I don't know how I am going to be able to last that first 1500km without revving the GTA's beautiful engine!

Will post pictures when my new fling arrives in shortly over 2 weeks.

Charlie in Tokyo
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