11 Jun 2013

Those we have loved (I want another Alfa)

Just the other day I had an epiphany. A strange feeling came over me and I felt slightly weird and distinctly at odds with conventional wisdom. Don’t worry, I’m not mad (my Mother had me tested) and I’m not ill. I realised what it was. I badly want - I need - another Alfa Romeo. 

Avid readers will know something of my misfortunes with this brand as they have been recently regaled to you right here on Speedmonkey. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that two Alfa Romeo’s in one’s life - like two doses of the clap - would probably be enough, yet it is not so.

Let me explain. Consider if you will many of the cars that people can actually afford to own and run that are available to buy today. Euro-boxes the lot of them. Safe, conventional, won’t frighten the horses, compliant to the rules of EU dullards whose only motives are those of politically expedience, silver grey, gadget encrusted nonentities. Even those at the classier end of the market are the same - just posher and more expensive.

Where are the cars with soul and flair? Where are the cars we once loved to love? It’s rarely the case these days that a car owner will say ‘I love my car’. If he or she does, it is likely that it is an older model that goes wrong on occasion but has become part of the family. It might be a cheap car or a slow car but it has in its metal DNA qualities that we would more normally ascribe to humans.

This is thing with Alfa's. Whatever happens and how ever much you want rid of the wretched thing, as soon as it has gone the regrets flood in. I had a Cayman a while back. It was great but I don’t miss it nearly as much as the gorgeous black Alfa Romeo 159 saloon that followed it.

I blame for my plight an adequate television detective drama called Case Histories where the hero drives a pristine 2002 Alfa 156. I have a sneaking feeling that the older 156 is even more of a good-looking motor than the 159 although it was prone to all sorts of built-in Italian automotive defects. The problem with cars made in Italy is that the workers are all too busy thinking about sex and that new Moncler hooded parka to worry about things like panel gaps and loose screws.

So that’s it. I am going to have to find a good used Alfa as soon as possible. It is like having an itch you can’t scratch. It won’t be a Mito or a Giulietta but it could be a 159 or a 156, a Brera or a GT. Obviously I’ll keep my Citroen because it has become part of the family but it needs the company of a bigger badder brother. I know I’m going to regret this but I need it. End of. I wonder how many people there are out in the world who have owned three Alfa Romeo’s and remained sane. Like me.

Article by Geoff Maxted. Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer whose works have been published in various print and online sources