My late father was an Alfista since he was a child. Inspired by the legendary tales of Alfa in the early days of the famous Mille Miglia, he could only fantasise about owning one back then. He always thought the most beautiful car ever made was an early 60’s Giulietta and the only machine that could approach the beauty of Sofia Loren.
He couldn’t afford an Alfa then, but Australia gave him opportunities he could only dream about back in Italy. After going through a 1967 Fiat 1500 and then the obligatory 1975 Valiant Ranger, he finally bought his first Alfa (1981 Alfetta) when I was about 16. I’ve never seen an everyday family car look like it just came off the showroom floor, day after day and year after year.
Sadly, although the car looked and drove beautifully, it was beset with a litany of minor problems. Being an Alfista meant being very forgiving, having a reasonable understanding of how a car works and access to a good mechanic with a shared passion for the car. When the later became harder and harder to find, he turned to the dark side and drove Japanese until his final days.
The feeling is that Alfa Romeo compromised its soul for about 40 years, putting out cars that were trying to compete with brands that would’ve killed for a tiny fraction of its heritage, credibility, quality and that an undefinable X factor. It was a dark period for Alfisti like my father.I’ve definitely inherited some of my father’s passion for the brand and took the plunge a few years and got myself a MiTo as my everyday car to scoot about the burbs and city when required. Now I’ve got next to no idea on mechanics and have only ever considered cars as a means of transport rather than a means to create a smile. However, something just sung to me when I test drove my Alfa for the first time. Memories of driving my father’s Alfetta 30 years ago came flooding back and the rest is suburban motoring history.
It is without a shadow of doubt the best car I have ever owned. It is far from perfect, has some truly silly idiosyncrasies (some call faults I call unique features) but it never fails to put a smile on my face when driving it. It handles like it’s on tracks, still looks a treat and has that undefinable magic that makes you want to drive it on winding roads instead of a freeway.
In a world of global warming, national security scares and frightening growth in radical conservatism, Alfa is providing a form of panacea. Their more recent releases look like a marketing exercise in forging a new image, and in my opinion has gone a long way to reestablishing Alfa Romeo at the pinnacle of imaginative and inspiring motoring for people who would like to smile a bit more in life.
As the son of an Alfista, there is no doubt that I have always admired the brand. However, even casual car enthusiasts can’t help but admire the audacity, chutzpah and yes even coglioni that Alfa Romeo has displayed. This 2017 Giulia Quadrifoglio is on another level… indeed another planet, and I can only imagine how proud my father would have been to see Alfa Romeo finally release a car worthy of ‘sitting’ with the best that have adorned the famous name, badge and heritage. Thank you Alfa Romeo for a wonderful dose of nostalgia and in bringing the brand Back to the Future.
If you enjoy the more technical stuff from people that actually know what they’re talking about, watch the following video review of the world beating 2017 GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO: https://youtu.be/WGAU7aFMFwQ