Which Alfa sparked your love for the brand?
The one that made you an Alfa enthusiast
When I was around 8-9, I was already absorbing anything car-related, using any chance to sit in different models, memorizing the data from the scarce information that was available to me, as this was during the sad wartime. I was surrounded by Zastavas of all sorts, some Soviet stuff, Ladas, Tavrias, Volgas and the whole nation of Sarajevo Golfs Mk2.
Alfa Romeo was a rare, almost exotic sight. But I remember that brand sounding to me like something special, something that Italian mobsters drive in cheesy 90's movies, something rather distinctive. When I was maybe 13-14, a familiar neighbor bought himself a dark green Alfa Romeo 33 the last series, as I recall it was the 90's model. Powered by 1.7 IE boxer, the 8 valve version with 105 PS, it was a masterpiece of design, sound, acceleration and just being cool among all the VW, Opels and Fords that the Western second hand market could throw at us.
Not the actual one, but pretty much the same, except for the wheels
A few times I had a chance to be driven in it, and I was in love. The sound of the boxer, the pull, the handling... That was it, I was hooked. I spent years daydreaming of owning one (and I still do...).
In 2001, I went to the local car show and was stunned by the looks of the 147. I even have a picture somewhere of me standing besides it - and that was my love on the second sight. But years went by and when I was in position to spend my own hard earned cash for the ride, I really left the idea, looking for something more sensible and more practical - I was 25, time to grow up, after all.
But after looking at loads of Lagunas, Focuses, Stilos and Golfs, there she was - one afternoon in a local dealership - a silver Alfa 147 1.6 T. Spark - 105 PS. I had a test drive, smashed the Twin Spark through its gears up to 150 km/h in no time and that was it.
Mine was a 5door
The next three years of happy motoring, being a true petrolhead - the experience everyone should have once at least. Afterwards, my dad got himself a 147 JTD and that was pretty good, as well - though the JTD isn't as sharp as a petrol one.
Today, I drive a company car and I really couldn't justify the money of owning one, even more because it would sit around probably most of the week, collecting dust.
So, what was the Alfa that caught you in the wheel of the madness we all love?