It all started eight years ago....sold my Lotus Elan S3 race car, had a bundle of dollars itching to be spent, thought 'gee, maybe an Alfa would be a nice idea' and after much searching, found the right one. Rebuilt, restored, improved, and winner of four Alfa or Italian car shows.
And this is what I got: absolutely rust free body and chassis/floors (no patching or repairs), show quality deep red paint, new black leather with red stitching, wood steering wheel and dash kit, rebuilt engine (zero smoke cold or hot, 60-80 psi oil pressure when hot, last owner told me he added $12,000 in extras not including the engine rebuild, paint or anything basic to the car: New ANSA exhaust, new Bilstein shocks, new front adjustable control arms, new Serpent Autosport 16' wheels with Pirelli P Zero super high speed 205/50 Z rated radials, new JVC stereo/CD with iPod connection, new cloth top, boot cover, chassis stiffener (basically a square tube rectangular secondary chassis), oil pan guard, slotted cross drilled disc rotors on all four corners.
Needless to say, THIS was the best Alfa I had ever seen or driven. And after an exchange of a lot of cash, it became mine.
(and if you are unfamiliar with this model, it is the 4th, and last, generation of the original boat tailed Alfa of 1966-7. Had one, a few years ago, and tho' absolutely beautiful, was rather pokey in performance and dreadfully undergeared, very buzzy at even 60 or 70 mph. But this last of the line has very attractive lines and its all aluminum twin cam engine has higher lift camshafts, around 140+hp, efficient reliable fuel injection, five speed transmission, sophisticated suspension, four wheel power disc brakes, power windows, power steering, and even power mirrors....and amazingly, for someone who generally owns older British cars, EVERYTHING works)
Alas, have driven it just about 8,000 miles during my eight years of happy ownership. Has always started instantly (thanks to the Bosch fuel injection and electronic ignition), the a/c and heater have always been effective in all seasons, has power windows (work), power steering and brakes, quiet, smooth, and one of the best handling cars I have ever driven (which includes owning, driving, and even racing sundry Lotus models). Or, as I often refer to it as 'my four cylinder Ferrari')
Now, I concede the oddity of having a Union Jack (magnetic and easily removed) on the side. And having the fun answering the typical 'why' question with "because I ONLY drive British sports cars!"
NEVER out in snow, ALMOST NEVER out in rain, over eight years, have changed the oil twice, top goes up and down almost instantly, solid feel, easy cruising (turns only 3,000 rpm at 80 mph), never runs hot, and never misses a beat. And on a long run at 70-80 mph, have seen near 30 mpg economy.
(and am selling it to make room for a newly acquired Morgan Plus 8. A proper car to 'wear' a Union Jack)Click for legal info