I am very interested in the present correspondence in your excellent journal regarding Alfa Romeo experiences, as I own two Alfas of 1963 vintage.
1. Giulia Spyder (owned from new). Mileage: 25,000. Total replacements: plugs, points, rear brake linings and Cinturatos (17,500 miles). No complaints apart from the chrome, which was abominable, but was replated, without question, under guarantee. It will cruise at 5-5 1/2 thousand r.p.m., apparently indefinitely, on the Motorway. Otherwise, I hold 3 1/2-4 thousand, wherever possible. It has been up Prescott, in absolutely standard trim, in the course of which, owing to unsuitable gearing; it exceeded 7,500 r.p.m. on several occasions. Treated reasonably, it gives a good 30 m.p.g.
2. Giulietta TI (owned nine months), which I swapped for a Cortina GT. (The most uncomfortable and one of the most potentially dangerous cars I have ever had!) Mileage: 28,000+. It had not been particularly well looked after in its early days and I ran a big-end at 24,000 miles. After about £50-worth of overhaul it is now well-nigh perfect and, in my opinion, preferable to the Giulia T1 in every respect, apart from maximum performance. It gives 35+ m.p.g. My wife loves driving it.
The local Citroen distributors (Procters of Longton) give me meticulous service (as they have done for over eight years, on Citroen, Panhard, Cortina and, now, Alfas). They say it is very easy, as the instruction manual is excellent. Incidentally, my annual mileage is 25,000+, on runs which include motorways, main roads, city back streets and farm tracks. The local Alfa distributors (Bouts of Wolverhampton) have been helpful when called upon for spares, etc., but not as eager to give technical information as to sell me a new car! But, they did arrange for Signor Francioni, from the Milan factory, to “go over” the Giulia, when it had done about 19,000 miles. This was f.o.c. He spent well over an hour on it and could virtually find no fault.
One of my best investments was the few dollars to join the Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club of America (P.O. Box 331, Northbrook, Illinois). They send, every month, a very useful bulletin, full of sound advice based on owners’ practical experiences . . . It seems a pity one has had to go to the States for useful information, in English. I have driven r.h.d. Alfas, including Giulia TI, Sprint, Spyder, and the 2.6 Sprint—some with disc brakes—and, in my opinion, the classic Alfa is l.h.d. and drum-braked. It is the only one that “feels right.” Also, it must be run strictly “according to the book.” (Did not Ettore Bugatti say the same of his classics?)
Viva Alfa Romeo and MOTOR SPORT!
Ralph Canter M.B. CH.B.
[This correspondence, which seems to clear my reputation, is now closed—unless Alfa Romeo (G.B.) Ltd. or Alfa Romeo of Milan wish to re-open it. [ED.]