Self doubt and insecurity - plain and simple.
Jealousy in some cases but not all.
People find cars a 'club' to join and be part of - they need reason to re-enforce their decision, seeing others go down in flames further re-enforces they made the right choice, and the competiton continues.
Its the same since the beginning of time.. Whos the best fighter, who can run the fastest, whos got the best horse, whos got the fastest cart, whos got the fastest car, motorbike, PC, mobile, tablet.... its all compare compare compare.
You break down in an alfa, you enforce the argument that Alfas are unreliable and your 'dare to be different' has paid off in pain. "You should know better" yada yada yada
The amount of times i hear "should have bought german" gets my back up - i DONT WANT a german car, if i did I would get one. Besides, Id probably go back to a jap than german any day. These people then leave a back comment of "..but they are really nice cars to look at.." And that says it all ,thats why they self doubt, secretly the want one.
I think thats why Clarkson descibes alfa owners as 'nice people' not alfa males. "Alfa males drive BMWs" Alfa owners have to put up with a lot, and we 99% of the time bend over and take it.
Despite its faults, and there are 100's, compred to my 156 Fords have let me down a LOT more in my lifetime. The reward for repairing them isnt exactly worth it either (yay, my a-to-b generic piece of tin is working again... sigh I dont care), they all got scrapped int he end.
04 156 1.9 JTD 16v 140 Dark blue Veloce 110k
54 147 1.9 JTD 16v 140 Silver Lusso 115k - WRITTEN OFF
Some swear by their Alfa, I swear at mine!