Letters from readers
I am delighted to see Alfa Romeo affairs again being discussed in your, always interesting, columns.
Some six years ago you very kindly published a letter I wrote in the first flush of Alfa-enthusiasm. Since the 1962 Giuliettas, I have driven all the models (except the TZ and SS), and owned quite a few. Of the latter, the only new cars were a 1600 Spider, a Super and my present 1750 Spider Veloce. I must have been very lucky with the second-hand ones, for I had little trouble and certainly no major disasters.
Incidentally, when I was not happy about a noise in the back-axle, on taking delivery of the 1750 SV, the local agents—Archway Garage, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent—fitted a complete, new unit the same week —f.o.c. ... I call that good service; after all, it was only a noise. The car was off the road that day„ but never since—except for servicing— in nearly 20,000 miles, on all sorts of roads, from Caithness to Corsica.
Where possible (on the Continent) I cruise at a very comfortable 4,500 to 5,000 r.p.m. I have seen 6,600 r.p.m. I think it must be higher geared than your Berlina, for 70 m.p.h. shows well under 3,500 r.p.m. I propose fitting Dellorto carbs., to eliminate those irritating flat-spots, which seem to develop on—even constantly tuned—Webers. It is still on the original Kleber-Colombes radials, which I prefer to either Cints. or XASs, but cannot get in this country.
My wife and I think that a Spider is the only Alfa, of course, but I must say we were rather tempted by the Berlina; it is so spacious. We are not tempted by the GT; it has no head-room, very little more luggage space, is not as handleable and it is a 2-seater—I don't care what anyone says. The Super was far too noisy, but I believe they have eliminated a lot of that now. True enough, we prefer the looks of the "old" Spider, but the current one is much more comfortable and has more passenger and luggage space. In fact, it has nearly three times as much luggage space as an E-Type Jaguar roadster (for instance).
The hood is marvellous. One could, if necessary, raise or lower it, single-handed, on the move; and, so far, it is absolutely water and draught-proof. Heating and ventilation are very adequate. Despite considerable wind-roar with the hood up, we find the Alfa less tiring after 450 miles, say, than a Citroen DS (at least as comfortable as your Rover, or a V-8 ?!). With the hood down, of course, it's sheer exhilaration. I wonder if Carole Landon can be persuaded to contact the Alfa-Romeo Owners' Club (GB), where she would hear lots to her advantage! By the way, I always "flash" another Spider, a Sprint or Giulietta TI, of whatever vintage—and don't always elicit even a raised finger(s) in reply ... is there, also, some inverse snobbery around ?
R. H. CANTER – Crewe