Is Alfa Romeo the right choice?
It's been 2 weeks since I added an Alfa Romeo Spider to my collection. These are my thoughts.
Is this famous stament true? Is it still relevant in the modern world?
For those who are in a rush, the simple anwser is: YES! Absolutely. Doesn't matter how many supercars you've driven, you just have to drive a classic Alfa. It's the law. And there is a very good reason for that.
Even though before the new Giulia QV we hadn't had a proper Alfa since the 75, you must not mistake them for being too lazy. As a start, Alfa gave us the magnificent 8C competizione, and more recently the stunning 4C.
So we are not lacking with modern stuff. What about heritage? Well, let me put it to you this way, the first apperance of the famous Prancing Horse was on an Alfa Romeo. Enzo Ferrari himself has been, in order, a driver, a salesman and a manager for Alfa Romeo Corse.
And then there are the results. First two F1 championships, first world champion in 1925 (what today is F1) and countless other victories in various championships, including the Mille Miglia.
So we are not let down with motor racing. Good. Anything else? Well, yes. Alfa also gave us some of the most beautiful cars to ever grace our roads. Think about the jaw-dropping 8C 2900, or the GT Junior and the Giulia GTA.
8C 2900 Touring
Right, this is all very well and good, but aren't they unreliable? Yes, they tend to be rather fragile, but with good care (trust me on this one, I've had the chance to see it with my own eyes), they can be as reliable as a new car.
So, what is my Duetto like to drive?
It is actually quite complicated to explain. There are a lot of things happening all at once. Let's start with the steering. The front end is quite simply superb. When you consider that my Duetto was not designed to be the ultime Nurburgring lap destroyer, it turns in with an ease you wouldn't necessary expect. And this precise input traslates into a perfectly stable rear end. This is not a drift car, the back has to be in shape all of the time. And it is. Unless you want to be really foolish, it is like giving a rifle to a surgeon, amazingly precise. Becase there is no power steering, you cannot only tell how deep that pothole was, but also what caused it in the first place. It talks to you, and gives you the chance to really get to know the road.
Next up, brakes. Well, lets just say that I wouldn't want to find myself in a situation where I need to do a fully emergency stop. Good, brakes covered.
Suspension. This part should have been with steering one, but let me just add one thing. Yes its though. But its not "Oh no, I'm going to have a terrible backpain after 5 minutes" tough. So, points earned for this one.
Engine. Shall I just put the emoji with hearty eyes? Or do I really need to add something? It is the famous Bialbero with twin Weber carburettors. Possibly the best engine from the '50s, with the magnificent Colombo V12, obviously. Super linear power delivery, incredibly smooth even at high rpms, starts to pull from nothing and has one of the most orchestral symphony that you could wish to listen to. Only downside, it is not particulary powerful (in certain moments I wished I had 50 more hp, but that's life) and it tends to overheat quite quickly.
The gearbox is not brilliant, and probably the most difficult part of the car to work with, but gives a more masculine feel to every gear change. Throttle response becomes quite sharp after 30% depression, and the clutch pedal is not too hard to use.
Overall, I'm super happy with my decision. Yes, it's not the best car in the world. Yes, it has its own weirdness, but when you find an open, sweeping road, trust me, you can't find a better car, especially when you start to consider its price point.
Alfa Romeo 158
There are many other machines that you could buy with that sum. But they are not Alfa Romeos. One of the most important name in history. Second to one, and in the same list as Bugatti, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche and Mercedes.
So, if someone were to come and ask to me: should I buy an Alfa Romeo? The anwser would be: Yes! But make sure it's a good Alfa, and please, drive them. They are meant to be the ultime driving machines, don't let them rust away in a garage.