I'm James - thought it was about time i said 'hi'. I've been reading the forums for a while now, it's a great source of info, cheers!
I've owned my 2001 156 1.6 since September 2005, when it had 36k on the clock. I was after a car to commute 20k miles per year in. I knew the Alfa wasn’t the most obvious nor economical choice, but I wanted one regardless! So I settled for the poverty-spec 1.6 engine. Fortunately it’s has SP2 so it’s pretty good-looking! Plus, I’m 22 so insurers want to rip me off. And petrol costs! It's done 64K miles now.
There’s a 147 2.0 in the family too, with a variator that’s just starting to wear, lol. Alfa’s - you’ve gotta love their quirky design ‘features’.
I’ve done a few things to the 156…
K&N replacement filter
Custom cat-back exhaust (sounds tasteful, lol)
Front upper strut brace (this has made a HUGE difference at roundabouts)
It's good for 135mph (216kph), as confirmed by a satnav device.
There’s a Pipercross Viper on order, which should arrive tomorrow…
And the front brakes need replacing – check out www.3gbrakes.co.uk. These guys sell Brembo ‘blanks’ – direct replacement brake discs for your car for approx £120 (you’ll need to email them for a quote).