When I was 17 I saw my Dad's head turn so fast to his right I thought he might have broken his neck. As he turned the car around on the road from Norwich I first saw the glossy black wedge of purest, hideous evil crouched on the forecourt that had piqued his interest. When the salesman squeezed inside the car he was so tall he had to open the roof. Dad let me sit in the front. The start of the engine was noise enough, but the howl of the 75 V6 Veloce as it tore at the forecourt, footpath and then at the very fabric of the A140 signalled that one of the meanest, blackest horses of the apocalypse had to come and live at our house.
That car had a lasting effect on me. I once dreamt that I stole the car and smashed it to pieces. Upon waking I girded myself to confess, but as I started out to find Dad and the terrible, deserved punishment awaiting me, there she was, on the drive, unmolested, but somehow knowing she had infiltrated my dreams
The painful birth of an Alfisti was underway.
When the terrifying creature eventually decided to embark upon pastures new, we missed her terribly. Nothing would ever completely fill the crazily angled vacuum that was left in front of our house, and the hold she had over all of us remained tangible for years to come.