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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Apologies for the long post ;)

After trawling through the forums, looking at the problems and issues, the praises that we all bestow, even the forgivness that we allow on our Alfa's...... Just why do we buy yet another?

I have personally owned three 156's now in various engine, fuel type and equipment levels. Inbetween I have owned various other Marques too, from Citroen, to Ford, to BMW.
Yet.... I still comeback for yet another bite of the Alfa apple.

I have joined forums for these other Marques and I have to honestly say that the members are just as enthused about their purchase as we are!

A case in point: FKOC Ford Ka owners club (don't laugh but I did indeed own one):lol:

I did notice one particular difference in these owners forums though.
Many actually started their driving careers in that particular Marque i.e. Ford fiesta then a Ford escort and Ford Ka and so forth. All well and good, however... A little bit "blinkered" and brand loyal for my liking.
I did enquire about this loyalty and was quickly beaten into submission with comment's like "great cars, cheap to buy and run, cheap parts" etc.

Fair enough... If that's all you want from a car I suppose..... Not me!
But maybe that is what Alfa Romeo as a company actually lack over in the UK.... Brand loyalty from the start! Not a bad thing for us but bad for the company.

Now to my mind, nobody that I know of actually buy Alfa Romeo's from just passing their test, mainly due to the actual cost of insurance and price of the cars... They have always "seemed" to be out of reach of the average younger driver (below 25).

So with that in mind I started to think why do we end up here, why an Alfa... Eventually?

Words like "beauty", "desire" and all the relevant and often, over-used superlatives spring to mind but surely there is more to it than that?

We can't all blame "Top Gear" for their comments on being a "true petrolhead" It can't be that easy?

As for myself?
Well I have always loved the look of Alfa's from the 156, 159, GTV, Sprint, Brera, but never enough for me to actually want to go and buy one on looks! It actually took me far more than that.
It took research after hearing the all too common and unjustified "horror stories" that so many non-alfa owners apparantly have... Yet here we are, back round to the same point, why?
I mean, that is something I have never, ever done with any othe make and model of car, research it first!..... Who does?
Then it actually grabbed me the other day. I picked up my wife from work as normal but one of here staff friends needed dropping off along the way back....
As the return journey progressed it was silent for a while and then my wife's friend chirped up, "this is a lovely car, it's an Alfa thingy isn't it"?
She then continued to bestow lots of compliments on how nice and smooth, how well equiped it was and then proceeded to tell me how her husband always wanted one but was too afraid to take the plunge etc.
I think you have maybe heard all this yourselves in one guise or another.
When I dropped her off and started to pull away, I looked in my wing mirror, and saw something that I was all too familiar with.... My wife's friend was staring at my Alfa as we drove off into the distance, something I had often done pre_Alfa and still do!:cheese:

After I mentioned it to my "missus" She had a smile on her face "she is smitten now" was her simple reply... Now this was coming from a woman who said only a few weeks ago "Another Alfa?... It's just a car"..... I couldn't help but stare in belwilderment at her as she continued "Well I hated everything else you have ever bought, but Alfa's are special" Bearing in mind my wife doesn't drive and probably shouldn't anyway (terrible passenger road rage):lol:
It shocked me but made me think!
You don't have to drive one to be caught in it's spell, you simply have to be an innocent by-stander while one burbles by and catches your attention for a moment then it has you!
As for why another? well that's a lot easier to describe .
A dealer friend who I bought my last one off explained it perfectly over a coffee.
"when you have three identical BMW's on the forcourt you can guarantee that they are going to drive exactly the same as each other.... Alfa's on the other hand even though identical in engine size feel different, they feel..... Well, almost as if they were hand built, some have more poke lower down, some are better at overtaking and even some handle a bit better... It's almost as if Alfa did it deliberatly! just look at the difference in how much or how little oil each one can use!"
So.... every one you own is familiar yet has a nice surprise up it's sleeve for you to discover I guess!


Alfa Romeo's are a true mind changing experience for anyone, not just the driver, that's the difference between them and other Marques!
We have no pre-expectation of what we are going to like or dislike so everything is a surprise to us..... Everyone knows what to expect from a Mercedes or an Audi, yet that's exactly where can let an owner down, when they do not meet their expectations!

It's also the motoring world's best kept secret in my humble opinion. Hopefully it will stay like that for a while longer:thumbs:
 

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You buy 99% of cars with your head.
You buy Alfa's with your heart.
 

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Hi

For me, power delivery and how they feel.

But they way they drive and feel is moving further from what I like hence not sure how much longer I will have Alfas.

All the best

Keith
 

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I love Alfa, but if my Gta was written off tomorrow, I wouldn't be buying another Alfa. They haven't made one in 6 years that I desire.

If I had money for a third car, I'd have a sud ti though. Or a 33, that one that was on here a couple of days ago had me sorely tempted.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I think the reality is that no-one makes cars today like they did in the era of the 156 or earlier. They're quieter, safer and softer - they have to be if you want to sell them. Its hard for Alfa to turn out the type of cars they used to and be successful. But let's not forget they are doing the 4C, which has to be truer to the Alfa ethos than anything they have produced in recent years. That's a big turnaround in my book.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

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Now to my mind, nobody that I know of actually buy Alfa Romeo's from just passing their test,
I did :)

Passed the test at the relatively late age of 23 and bought an Alfasud Sprint because for my £1,500 I got a five year old Sprint rather than the ropey seven or eight year old Sciroccos I had been looking at. Maybe had I been able to afford the VW my motoring world would have been different but I fell head over heels in love with that Sprint. Everything about it from the unique rasp of its engine, its electric motor smoothness, the mad instrument arrangement (heater fan on the wiper stalk!), gorgeous steering wheel and speedo/tach arrangement which I've never seen better done in any car, decent boot, smart looks, exotic spec including double twin draught carbs, decent economy and vivacious performance. But what really set it apart was it was alive. Simply starting it was a tactile pleasure: two dabs of the throttle, close the throttle, turn the key, the moment it fires gently repeatedly squeeze the throttle to operate the Webers' accelerator pumps until she shook into life. No car has been as rewarding since.

Over the years I keep dipping my toes back in. I'm Alfa-less at the moment but I know it won't be forever my problem is I don't know which to get next. I look at the current model line up and I'm left cold.
 

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Hi

My first car was also an Alfa Sprint. Learnt to drive at 23, having been riding bikes for a fair few years.

All the best

Keith
 

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I had a Fiat 126 with a turbo on it.. :D When the gearbox expired, I stayed with Fiat.. and I guess it was natural to go up the range over the years until I reached the point where I had to buy a Tipo sedicivalvole (16v, innit).. :thumbs: or a 33 Permental-4.. :)


Ralf S.
 

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excellent post there Grahameo :thumbs:

i am the same as you, not really 100% sure why i keep coming back to AR. one thing i do know is that when i got my first - a GTV - another guy i know had just bought a new audi. guess who got the most admiring glances and swoons..... well, it wasn't the Audi :D

it just sounds awesomoe when you reply to the question "what do you drive"



"an Alfa Romeo of course" :D
 

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My first Alfa was a 156 1.8TS Veloce - bought because it was affordable, much more exciting than anything else at the price, relatively fast, beautiful to look at and a bit more individual and less common on the roads than Focus, BMW, Astras etc. Kept it for 5.5 years. Then I dabbled with a classic Spider then moved onto the GTV - again for the price it was the fastest, best handling and most stylish car in the price bracket - so for me a no brainer! The Italian-ness and associations with racing and Ferrari etc. make the brand very exciting too and Alfas probably suit people who want to be a bit different or challenge/rebel against the commonly held and largely misguided conceptions of their reliability etc.. So, Alfas are a brave move for those who want to stand out IMO :)

:thumbs:
 

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My first alfa was brought through neccesity, found it round the back of a garage as a part ex, needed to buy a car there and then as mine had just blown up!!

it was an alfa 145 1.6 T-Spark in red, i was 19 and had no previous experience of Alfa's, took it for a spin and loved it, knocked the salesman down to £500 and it was mine.

I still own that car have had it for 7 years,and i never had a single problem with it. Its now up for sale as ive brought a 147.

will never buy anything but Alfa and i think i'll probably cry when luigi goes :cry:

as for the 147, i love it!!
 

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i'm kinda newbie to the alfa feelling... but working in a rent-a-car company i have drive a lot of cars from picanto to carrera...
the feelling of driving an alfa romeo is not compared to anything i've ever drive before...
on a second thought my fiat 131( 1.6 '79) was a nice car to drive

then i thing maybe the mini cooper s is also exciting but i also need space...
WELCOME 156!!!
 

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Well I have just returned after a five year break, stress and expense free in a Golf and then Focus, saved a fortune and hardly ever had to put a spanner near them...bit boring though.

The Alfa urge unexpectedly returned recently and I started scouring eBay for GTV's, emboldened by a few ales I ended up with the fairly tidy example I have now about a month ago, I have already spent more than I paid for the car on bringing it up to standard and I haven't even had the belts done yet!

At the moment it is a bit of a balancing act as I am spending a lot more than I thought I would, I've had a couple of wobbles where I wish I'd never won the car and was still in the Focus :eek:

Another month or so and it should be finished though, early days yet but the sheer number of bits I have bought or fixed is a bit of a shock...the previous owners were obviously car enthusiasts, though perhaps not Alfa enthusiasts and it is the little things that are bugging me.
 

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Aye! I think part of the allure is that they are more demanding and it's therefore somehow more satisfying to keep the beast running. If your car never goes wrong and you never have to lift the bonnet, then it becomes an appliance really... but if you have to constantly be fiddling with it.. you kind of feel the emotional (as well as financial) investment.

Ralf S.
 
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