I've always liked Italian cars, way back when in my 20's I was driving an MGB, I pulled into a garage near Guildford and got all passionate over a Lancia Fulvia 1300, I wanted it. The salesman put me off, trying to sell me a Ford Escort
instead. So I never got my Italian car at that point (I never had an Escort ether!). In the late 70's I was pulling spanners for a living and did some work for a car dealer who sold Italian cars. I remember the Fiat Miafiori's best, I wanted one of those, but the rust! Then there came the Alfa Romeos, services and clutches on a variety of models including the Alfetta GTV, those cars were (are) wicked to drive, but a female dog to change a clutch on. Anyhow, I still did not get to own one.
My next touch with Alfa Romeo was in the 90's, I had a Snap-On Tools franchise and my favorite call of the week was Tates in Portslade, the Alfa Romeo dealer, I would drool over the 156, but still no Alfa Romeo for me.
In 2001, I was in a position to buy a new car!! It was down to a Saab 93 2.2 Tid or a 156 2.4 Lusso. When I look back, at this point I was overcome by incurable madness! I bought the Saab!! I did this as I allowed myself to be advised by bar stool experts who had never owned an Alfa Romeo, but 'knew someone who had loads of trouble with one'. Mmmm, what a sucker I was! Anyway, the Saab turned out to be the worst car I had EVER owned with so many faults, that Saab paid for the extended warranty! You will be surprised to read that after this my next car was a Saab, the 159 had just come out and I did not want to buy a 156 as it was the 'old' model, I was very happy with the way Saab had looked after me, and the new car a 93 1.9 Tid was a good car (Fiat engine you see!)
Anyway, time is running out now, and if I dont get a move on I'd be in the market for a Honda Jazz or something (not really, never!), so in early 2009 the search started for my Alfa Romeo, it had to be a diesel, I could not afford the petrol versions with my milage, it had to be red (arnt all Italian cars red?) and it had to have natural or beige leather, and Lusso spec and no more than a year old. But to be honest, I would have been flexible on the colour if the right car showed up.
Anyhow, my first (at last) Alfa Romeo is an Alfa red 159 SW Lusso with beige leather. It will not be my last.