The 1981 Editorial Alfa Romeo Alfa-6 continues to run satisfactorily, the mileage since I reported unit at length on the March issue having increased to over 23,000, from 6,270. Two of the Michelin XVS tyres were replaced at 17,000 miles and two more will shortly be needed. The spare is unused. While the Ford Sierra XR4I was on test the Alfa was laid up for some time but started promptly thereafter and ran as well as before, the taut power steering and accurate road-holding again a source of enjoyment. It is ironical, however, that in this record hot summer the air conditioning, with it the ventilation fan and the feed to the central fresh-air vents on the fascia, was never really adequate. The central door locking has never given any trouble and fuel consumption, normally around 19½ mpg to 20 mpg, improved to almost 21 mpg on long runs in the warm weather. The V6 engine remains apt to stall after hot starts, unless given plenty of throttle, however. Rust is not evident and the red paintwork remains in good order. No engine oil has ever been required between servicing and although I understand the automatic gearbox has its own dip-stick, I have never had cause to consult it.
Then, one morning, the engine refused to start, before an urgent journey, and I was obliged to undertake a long haul by Reliant Kitten (God bless it!) train and taxi. The trouble was quickly cured, being in the fuel cut-off safety switch, but the failure of the electrically-operated driver’s window, stuck in the halfway position, on a pouring wet day naturally, and a horrid noise from the camshaft drive belt, needed more professional attention. Since when, with lust over 23,000 miles on the odometer, the car is running as near to a dream as an Italian executive Alfa user might dare to indulge in. W B.