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Status: why always off the road when the sun shines?
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: No man's land on the Welsh/Shrophire/Cheshire borders
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back for good?

Hi All,

Newbie to the website but long term Alfa owner returning to the fold. Started way back in the ‘80s with a 1.8 Giulietta in dark brown/cream velour (hey, it was the 80s!). At the time was keen on rallying Lancias so reading around Italian cars got to love the look of the 60-70 Alfas.

Giulietta was a bit of a lemon, head gasket needed replacing within a couple of months, totally lost brakes (girl friend on first date not impressed). Finally found sills were stuffed with newspaper and filler. But loved it, forgave the gasket and brakes, replaced and repaired but bodywork was a step too far. But got me hooked.

Few years off Alfas pretending to be sensible and tried a couple of VW Siroccos’ just not the same. Returned to Alfa with a Alfetta GTV6, black with cream/tan/orange velour. Gear box was not great as previous owner had had a disagreement with his wife who had decided to go from third to reverse to get her own back. Had box rebuilt and absolutely loved driving and owning. Never missed a beat, just so reliable, great. OK it needed a bit of welding now and again in the usual places. Even made the commitment long term and got myself a scrape car for spares. As you do. Unfortunately not meant to be. I know it was black and low but it was not ‘stealth enabled’ but it did seem to be invisible. First time not a near miss was in slow traffic had a Fiesta pull out into me. Needed new front wing, headlight, front cross member; repaired all of these got the car back on the road. Only lasted for one month when car was written off again, not a happy chappie, insurance company wouldn’t let me buy back, so lost my GTV6. Only slight compensation was that in the time when I was repairing GTV6 the first picked up a cream 5-door 1.5 Sud. Kept this a few years until family started to grow and acquired two dogs, all a bit of a squeeze in the Sud so disappeared for a Citroen CX. Let the AO membership lapse as well, no Alfa.

Next was a 33 Sportwagon, first red Alfa. Picked up from local car auction for next to nothing. Great for a few years then started to blow head gaskets on a too regular a basis. Again had to go as ended up too much needed doing for daily drive and again needed larger estate, dogs refused to jump up into the boot and 2-child seats made life too difficult.

Then started the Alfa deprivation. 4-5 years without. Couple of Fiats, both great cars Tipo 1.4 and a Tempra 2.0 estate. Changed job about 6-years ago and needed a diesel to do the 2-hour trip either way, back to the fold a 156 2.4JTD Lusso. Got it with 45k on the clock, full service history etc. in the 80k I drove it was again reliable, had a few teething problems (turbo replacement, aux belt failure, and repeated CV boot splitting) but loved the torque from the diesel and the feel of being back in an Alfa.

Then (according to my wife) I started my mid-life crises. Decided I wanted to try a convertible. But decided it needed to be a 4-seater. So no Alfa (maybe more like a brief loss of taste?) and went for a Saab 9-3 2.0t. Good car but not for me, also had the ability to find every nail, tack, screw or other sharp object for miles around and throw itself upon it ending up in a slow puncture.

Wanted to get back to Alfa. So looked for something cheap until I could spend some time getting the right one. Came across and brought a 1998 145 Cloverleaf, 12-months MOT 75k on the clock, supposedly full service history and 1-previous owner. Pretty clean straight car, floor has been patched and welds show if you poke around underneath. Have had belts/tensioners done, new exhaust, changed oil and filters and runs like a dream. Pretty lucky really brought it blind, something I always swear is completely stupid. Then (within 2-months) repeated my stupidity and bid (yes fleaBay) for a 2002 GTV with rebuilt engine (Autolusso), went along the lines of “ if it goes for that price I can’t let her stay without a bid”. Was really wanting V6 but with 70 miles plus a day commute decided twinspark was the option, without my own refinery. Have now taken GTV off the road to rebuild rear suspension and get ready for MOT in March. So using and enjoying Cloverleaf again until GTV well and running then the Cloverleaf will have to go, unfortunately, can’t run the two of them and need to get the belts done on the GTV.

Joined Alfaowner as I kept finding myself on the site after websearches for techie stuff. Great mine of information, loads of expertise. Still wonder how anyone managed before the web. Good to be onboard. Hopefully find my way around soon, so much to dig into.

Oh, other interests, yes I do have some!
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Hello and welcome to AO......
Nice intro.......
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Hello and welcome to AO.
Great Alfa history with lots of experiences and characterful cars.
Good luck with the 145 and with the GTV.
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