Back with old friend Alfa
I was a car nut from the age of about 7 and I have a 1966 Observers Book of Automobiles that I pored over as a child. As an eleven year old I was mesmerised by the pictures of the Alfa 2600 Sprint and the Giulia 1600 Sprint GT and knew that one day I had to own one of those beautiful cars. One sunny day when I was 15, while sitting on seat by the side of the Chelsea Kings Road a boat tailed Spider, roof down, pulled away from some lights flat out, fishtailing and tyre smoking up the road. At that moment I vowed to my self I would have an Alfa by the time I was 25 .
By the late `70’s I had fulfilled that vow and owned a Bertone 2000 GTV. I still think the
6o’s Bertone Giulia Coupe is one of the prettiest cars every made. (I kept a cutting of the Exchange & Mart advert when I sold it because of their wonderful typo calling it a Bert One!). I have owned and driven many cars since that one but I will always remember the incredible feel of the steering, uncorrupted by power assistance. I also remember the gear change as being the slickest and smoothest I have ever used (when the oil had warmed up and the synchro actually worked) with its direct input into the ‘box not hampered by a remote linkage. The reg number was a memorable MG 6345 so I would love to hear from anyone who might have come across it in the past.
A few years ago I visited the Haynes Motor Museum with my family where my wife fell in love with a red Alfa Spider. I promised myself that day that I would one day buy her an Alfa. This year her ancient Mazda finally terminally failed its MOT so I decided to secretly buy her an Alfa. Her car has to a practical hack because we have a three children including a toddler, so I bought her a 147 1.9 JTD Multijet. I will never forget the look on her face when she got home from work to find she was now the proud owner of a red Alfa Romeo! I bought the car knowing it had a few faults that needed to be sorted out but it was basically sound and I’d got it for good price so I didn’t mind doing some work on it. Straight away Alfaowner.com helped me sort the problems. The forum helped me find Alfaman in Rayners Lane, west London who supplied me with a part and useful advice to fix a broken wiper linkage. AlfaLusso in Bournemouth replaced the plastic top hat bushes in the gear linkage removing the “stirring cold porridge” feel of the gear change and transforming it into probably the nicest front wheel driver gear change I have ever used. (not in the same league as that 2000 GTV though!) I love the combination of pulling power (225 lbs-ft of torque!) and economy (45mpg average, 60+ on a run!) and I make any excuse to steal the car away from my wife for a drive whenever I can.
It is so good to be back in the Alfa world!