The Lockdown series continues with me and my 2 driving buddies, Alfred & David, also sharing our experiences, comments and reflections of the different cars we have owned.

David’s 7th car, the Alfa Romeo 147 twin spark was the first car that he bought after seeing it at the Melbourne Motor Show. Most of us would have just drooled over it but he went and ordered it the next day, first off, top of the waiting list, at full list price. Almost sounds like what this generation does buying the latest iphone.

It was also the first car he leased and was introduced to the concept of depreciation and the special relationship that Alfa Romeo had with that word. In time, the pain of departing was far outweighed by the joy of ownership. This was a car left a lasting impression in the way it looked and the driving experience that Alfa could combine so well.
If this reminds you of a special car you have owned please share your experience or just name it or just “like” ours.

#mynextcarbuying #melbourne #automotiveadvocate #lockdown #carsweowned #alfaromeo #alfaromeo147 #alfa147

2001 Alfa Romeo 147 Twin Spark 3 door in red with black leather
110kW 181Nm 5 speed manual
0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds

First and only car I have pre-ordered and bought new at list price. In fact, it was in the first batch to arrive in Australia after ordering it at the Melbourne Motor show months before. It was also my first modern, luxury car with leather seats and all the trimmings. I had discovered the joys of leasing!

The 147 was based on the 156 and these cars were a milestone for Alfa Romeo. Up to the minute modern and completely reliable but still retaining that special Alfa Romeo feel. In 3 years of ownership I was only left stranded once and that was because the battery died suddenly. I remember being very surprised by the 147 when I drove it. It drove like a modern front wheel drive car of today without any of the tendency to oversteer and problems with traction I had expected. Up until then my experience of front wheel drive cars was of having to wrestle them around corners fighting oversteer the whole way.

I vividly remember late one night turning left off the end of the Ring Rd onto the Greensborough Bypass with no traffic and a green light and being surprised and delighted at how well (and fast!) the front end of the 147 pulled me through the corner with its electronic differential trickery. This was an absolute revelation to me at the time. Again, not the fastest car on the road but the steering feel, engine response, slick gearbox, comfortable driving position, ride and handling all gave a great driving experience.

In my opinion, easily the best-looking hatchback ever. The way the classic Alfa grill extends down through the front bumper displacing the number plate to one side is reminiscent of the glamorous 1950s Alfa’s and is absolute genius.

Just don’t ask me about trade in value when the lease was over!

Richard comment:

Another ownership gem ? you have had David. All these desirable exotics don’t tell me you owned an Aston Martin before you hit 35yo. The car nut in me can only take so much.
I used to go to the Melbourne Motor Show as a kid and into my adult years and drool over the cars. I imagined myself behind so many. The idea of being so impressed by a car at the motor show that you would go order it the next day was the ultimate dream. Damn it! You did it!

I can honestly say apart from the modern Giulia I had never driven an older style Alfa. I have been a passenger in a newish GTV 2,0L and an Alfasud. But as we know, the pleasure is in the drive. It sounds like the 147 offered all the joy of steering chassis and feedback. The power was all about extracting the last ounce performance and for its time 9.3secs wasn’t a shabby time.

Maybe the joy of owning something special & unique and being prepared to pay full dollar with the pain of seeing the trade in values on the other side take your breath away, is still alive and well. One dealer recently offered $4000 as a trade-in for an excellent, hot hatch, 2012 Renault Megane RS 250 Cup I was selling for a client. How some things never change!

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