My Boring Interview
Your Forum name Drivers71
Real name Richard
Occupation IS Strategy and DMS Manager for a large Utility provider in the Midlands (Data Management System)
Marital Status Happily married for 33 years. One son, 23
Which cars do you drive and why? Brera and 156 JTDMs; GTV6; Golf 1.4
Don’t feel I need to justify the Alfas – the new Brera is my 25th Alfa.
VW Golf is for my son, after passing his driving test, and needing insurance that was the right side of £1000
Are you a real passionate for Alfa Romeo? Errrrrr…….YES! The only non-Alfa I’ve had, since my first one, was a Reliant Scimitar GTE (which lasted less than 12 months, until the front N/S suspension pulled out from the chassis, and I refused to drive it again)
What or how started your passion for Alfa Romeo and…
….do you think it’s fundamental to own one to have the passion? The Dinky Toys 158 Alfetta racing car. Then the few Bertones I was lucky enough to see around Birmingham in my teens. Then the film ‘Bobby Deerfield’ (Al Pacino), after which I bought my first Alfa, an Alfetta GTV (in the awful Piper yellow)
I’m sure it’s possible to like Alfas without owning one, but love and passion can only be experienced with commitment and possession. Like lots of things throughout life……….. One can be attracted to different people, but (generally) only marry one (at a time) – I’ve only been married once, yet been attracted to more than one woman. I’ve actually had many Alfas, so…..
……………I think I’ll shuttup on this one, now.
Would you ever consider joining an Alfa Club or are you already a member of one? I’m a long-time member of The AROC (UK) and now a member here. Unlike most one-make car clubs, the Alfa clubs are different and far more personal. There is definitely an ambience between Alfa owners, and this is obvious to all in AlfaOwner.com
I think the contacts I have made through such clubs and specialists has been fundamental to my continuing ownership – It’s pretty obvious reading the forum posts that the officially franchised Alfa outlets generally have a poor reputation for both knowledge and service………..But they have improved a lot over those of 25 years ago.
Can I digress for a moment please?
Mario Deliotti was the only Alfa sales and service outlet in Birmingham 30 years ago. He personally ran the whole show and was a TRUE enthusiast.
I spend ages talking to him about the first Alfas I owned, and he treated me as a friend, and my cars as though they were his own. When I wanted to start racing them, I took a newly-bought GTV6 racer to him, to check over before I raced it, he was horrified! Basically saying I couldn’t go racing in it.
Two weeks later, he’d stripped it, straightened it, replaced everything that needed replacing, and finally re-bodied it. When I asked him how much it had cost, he reluctantly said if I let him put some ‘Deliotti’ company logos on it, that would cover the cost! (He’d personally worked on my car during lulls in workshop time, and during the evenings)
After a swingeing Alfa dealership re-organisation (early 1980s?) he lost the franchise. He continued as an independent for a while after that, but suffered from increasingly ill-health, and sadly died a few years later.
He was a great man, a great friend, and lived Alfa Romeo.
What do you like most about Alfas? Their sex appeal! Good looks and performance. You can’t marry an Alfa – they’re not the marrying kind -but you can have amazing illicit whirlwind affairs with them.
What do you like least about Alfas? Unreasonably high insurance costs.
What would be your dream cars? Ferrari 275GTB4, or 365GTB4 (Daytona)
What car would you least like to drive? Smart car, Reliant Scimitar, any ‘Barry Boy’ street racer.
For you, what’s the most popular thread on AO? So many.
The technical threads on the models I have.
The racing ones, especially F1
The weird ones, which are often highly amusing (like…’Ignore this please’)
What would be your ideal drive in an Alfa (destination, passenger, driving music, etc)? 1970s; Driving through the Alps from Grenoble to the Italian lakes with Catherine Deneuve in the passenger seat of my GTV6.
Wouldn’t need any music with the exhaust and her voice (but any of Springsteen’s rockers, if you insist)
Any humorous Alfa or car-related stories you wish to share with us? I’ve sold a few Alfas in my time, but with the advent of the internet, two of mine attracted a lot of interest. (an L-reg 33, and a P-reg 155V6) they were ONLY advertised in the AROC magazine and on their website. I received over 150 emails from ‘buyers’ wishing to have each one immediately. Every one offering me varying amounts way above the asking price – The extra amount to be given to the ‘courier’ who would come and collect the car and ship them to wherever – New Zealand, Australia, USA, Bahamas, etc. This was my first experience of (what I later discovered to be) the ‘East African’ money-laundering scam.
I kept the emails, as they are really funny, and obvious.
What interests do you have outside of Alfas? I love music, playing the guitar badly (I don’t chose to play it badly), traveling (especially wilderness areas – Alaska, Chile recently), photography. I have a waning interest in West Bromwich Albion FC. I’m researching the history of Briggs Cunningham and his motor cars (I’ve been invited to the private Collier Collection in Florida, November 2007, which houses all of the Cunninghams still in existence)
Tell us something nobody knows about you. (E.g. special skill, ever been on TV, etc)
Do you have a party trick? If so what is it? I performed this trick only once, at a youth club camping trip to the forest of Dean. I attempted to balance a cricket bat on the end of a particular appendage of my body (which in my teenage years was quite capable of the considerable load involved) whilst walking around the night-time camp fire. Alcohol was a contributory factor to my stumble into the camp fire, amid much mirth from the onlookers, until they extricated me, but not the cricket bat, from the flames. I suffered minor, but important superficial burns to my appendage. This rather spoilt the two week holiday, as we couldn’t play cricket, and I couldn’t enjoy the main purpose of the holiday.
What do you like most about the Alfaowner forum? Any favourite threads, episodes or people? I think almost everyone I read about, or talk to, or deal with, are jolly nice people. Especially the moderators.
If you had £50,000 you had to spend in 72 hours, how would you choose to spend it? I’d pop down to Maranello Concessionaires in Surrey and hand it to them as a deposit for my Ferrari.
"The best way to make a small fortune out of motor racing............is to spend a large fortune" Briggs Cunningham.
Last edited by Drivers71; 03-08-07 at 15:09.