I've been lurking around on here of a ail now, so I suppose it's time I properly introduce myself, and my short car history.
As soon as I got my drivers license on my 18th birthday (minimal age here in Belgium) I bought my first car, it had to be reliable, cheap, relatively safe, and no be all tougher boring.
I chose a 2004 Fiesta
. Not the greatest car of them all, but all in all a great first car, that despite the lack of power provided good handling and some fun.
However, a couple of years later I had the brilliant idea to buy a Rotax Max kart, so a tow bar had to be installed. I did the trip to the kart track two times, but quickly concluded that the 80hp petrol engine wasn't going to cut it for this type of thing, so that was the end of the Fiesta.
So this time the budget was a bit bigger, I was in doubt between buying a relatively new boring diesel station wagon, or buying something a bit less expensive, but older that had more options. I had always found the 156 SW the prettiest wagon ever made (In high volume production) and was surprised how cheap a relatively new one could be had, so I ended up with a 2004 1.9JTD 16V back Ti SW that had all these great options (The leather electric Recaro's, the bose sound system,…) and was quite quick after a Squadra remap:
Fast forward 2 years, and the same scenario repeats itself, I'm passing time on the net, and find out a good 159 SW in Ti trim isn't so expensive compared to the costs I'll face keeping the 156 in pristine condition (The horror stories about rust under the protective coating for the face lifted versions really start worrying me) and I end up with a 2008 159 SW Ti 1.9JTDm.
Best car I've owned, much better build quality then the 156, but sadly, even after a remap, it lacks the power to give me the same sensations as the 156 did. However, it is great as a commuter car, and on the long winter trips to Andorra (I'm a ski instructor during Belgian school holidays) given the economy of the diesel.
So, my solution? Buy a "summer car":
Bought a bone stock 2002 mx5 1.8 VVT and added coilovers, a roll-bar, stainless steel exhaust and alloys. I had been playing around with the idea to install a turbo or compressor, but in the end decided it was fun enough to drive already, the MX5 doesn't need to be able to do a great 0_60 to be fun on a nice day.
And so we arrive at the present. I've moved closer to work, decided to sell the kart and trailer and the ski trips are done by bus, so I start thinking if it's worth to keep up the maintenance on a diesel that clearly doesn't like the short trips all that much, and is on the wrong side of 100.000 miles, or should buy something new? So on the first day of the Brussels car show (Hey, I'm there for work anyways.) I check out all those cars I like when they drive by. The Mercedes C, The Mazda 6, the 3-series,… even the Giulietta, and end up deceived. I don't like any of them more than the 159.
So that evening I start checking the classifieds again, and I'll think you'll know the story by now… today, I bought this one from Alfaowner member jack_maccain
(Hope he doesn't mind that I use his imgtures, because by the time I was done washing, waxing and installing my GPS-headunit it was already dark.):
More imgs here: http://sdrv.ms/1eib9Q3
It's the 159 I've always wanted:
- 2009 1750Tbi
- Alfa Rosso
- Ti trim
- Light interior
So it's not much younger compared to my black Ti, but it only has 37500 miles, so it should be a lot "fresher".
- Squadra Remap (Appointment made for next friday
- CSC or bespoke Stainless steel exhaust
- Install my Kenwood 7" nag-headunit
- Install parking sensors in the rear bumper (Have a camera setup now, but it isn't as practical as you would think)
- Sound upgrade, I've always missed the Bose from the 156 because it sounded relatively good, but looked stock. I want to achieve the same in this 159 using aftermarket components.