Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1.8
Year: 1973 | Motorization: 1779 cc | Color: Azzurro Le Mans
It happens that one morning you wake up with that sound of aspiration in your head, you think you have dreamed of your father, who is gone, his dark blue Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1.8 four headlights, flared trousers, tight shirts and long sideburns, when you were a child and remained dazed to stare at those four aggressive eyes that framed a wide shield that looked like a mouth ready to eat you.
You quickly understand that the emotionality of sentimentality is a screen too thin to stem the fire of acheter du cialis en ligne a passion you have since you were a child; your father cannot forget it and even if it is no longer there it is as if you always had it by your side; the Alfetta is a memory that you don’t forget, but you are dying to relive. I already have an Alfa with a very respectable pedigree undergoing restoration … but I’ll talk about that another time.
I find the car that interests me in Rome, the sole owner, 1.8 first series, the narrow shield for instance, light gray; it seems to me very beautiful, I don’t go crazy for the color, which I find a little banal on that type of car, but there is also the price and so it is therefore, after talking with the owner, a nice romanaccio by Centocelle and having exchanged a bit of information, I find myself with a one-way Freccia Rossa ticket in my pocket … I immediately focused my research on a model of the first series, namely an Alfetta; and yes, because the Alfetta, born from the Alfa Romeo Style Center, debuted in the spring of ’72 in a single version with 1.8 engines and so it will be until the spring of ’75. My father had a 1.8 scudetto wide of ’77, it was the evolution of the first series with a slight aesthetic restyling and a revisiting of the delivery that was going to pay more attention to consumption through a slight reduction in power, down from 122 to 118 CV. The gearbox, then, had the longest ratios to favor a smoother ride even if to the detriment of the sportiness of the propulsion carried to excess which represented the Alfa characteristic most appreciated by the purists; I note that sentimentality has already capitulated to a certain experience and collecting expertise; the first series is the rarest, the most accurate, the fastest: the First.
I arrive in the capital and see it in a different light. I have been to Rome a hundred times, for work, pleasure and so on, but in this circumstance I see it yellowed, scratched by the still clear memory that like a woodworm pierces my mind bringing it to the summer of ’78, when I spent a few days with my family in Rome; the car that accompanied us was just the blue Alfetta that my dad parked in Via Cavour in front of the hotel that hosted us; I walk past it with a taxi and see it there, still, my father coming down and crossing the street coming towards me … still suggestions, emotions.
Finally I come to the appointment; the Alfetta known immediately parked in a fishbone in a street of the Roman township; I recognize the seller, a young boy who bought her a month earlier from the first owner; he describes it to me with great enthusiasm, I remain silent, I talk about it, I understand that he is not a fan of the car but a dealer who has found it in his hands and who likes to bite it at the best price; however, when I ask him a couple of technical questions he has the intelligence to understand that he is dealing with a lover of the brand and a lover and expert in the car and he listens to me while he is watching the sounder of the vehicle, with its abundance and meticulousness of a surgeon. The car is very beautiful, well kept, cared for, original in all its parts except in the color; looking at her well, I discover with happy amazement, slyly well concealed, that the original color is the blue 06Le Mans, code 348, for me the most beautiful, even the rarest, with which the Alfetta was presented to the public the year of debut and that depicts it in brochures and brochures of the time; the seller explains to me that the car was registered in December 1973 by the first owner who died in the 1990s and then passed in succession to his brother who, I think, will have had it repainted, perhaps for sentimental reasons or taste . It doesn’t matter, it’s not the first vintage car that I’m about to buy and I know that a car with more than forty years may have changed color over time; thus, turning into a reason for bargaining what for me represented a real treat, I conduct an exhausting negotiation trying to wrest the best price for me; evidently my greatest age and experience play in my favor, in fact I already know that I will take it away from me, after all I have come to Rome equipped with everything needed to turn, test plate, money, even some stick fuse … In short, in the jargon of the guards and thieves, who in this context does not feel bad, it is a premeditated coup and when I discover, by opening the registration document, those still in pages, that the registration day is 6 December, I succumb and I pay: it’s the date of birth of my daughter …
As happy and excited as a child I put myself at the helm of my ‘new’ Alfetta and rediscover noises, smells that have a familiar flavor; oh yes, the Alfetta has its own unmistakable scent, pleasant to me, a mixture of wood, plastics and metal that have endured the time very well, demonstrating that the Alfa Romeos of those years were built with high quality standards. br /> The driver’s seat is also welcoming for a watusso like me; the seats in original fabric are enveloping and comfortable, with adjustable headrests; the steering wheel with the wooden crown holds well and is adjustable in height; the driving position is appropriate to the style of the car, legs and arms extended; the instrumentation is very complete as befits a family car but with a strong sporting connotation; the double shaft turns like a clock, with its four Golden Lodges and Dell’Orto carburetors; it is not so exciting the change, I understand that I have to take the hand, but I also know that the mechanical arrangement of the gearbox at the rear with brakes “on board” like Formula 1, is very rewarding in terms of road holding at the expense of a non optimal maneuverability of the gearbox.
I move in the Roman traffic with great agility trying to gain access to the Grande Raccordo Anulare which will take me to the motorway, heading north; I certainly do not go unnoticed, many look at me curiously, many testify to their approval with a raised thumb. The Alfetta is a car, also thanks to its constructive longevity, which has remained in the collective imagination of many. The police and Carabinieri car but also of the underworld. It was immortalized in the black and white shots of the tragedy of via Fani in which the then secretary of the Christian Democrats Aldo Moro was kidnapped, is an icon of the Seventies for better or for worse, it is the car that witnessed the well-being of a middle class with the head on the neck but the heavy foot on the accelerator …
On the Alfetta I immediately felt at ease, I feel it is mine, surely if I had at the time my father’s age I would have done the impossible to buy it.
Finally arriving on the highway, the engine starts to rev up, I put in the third, fourth, moment and I’m already beyond the speed limits allowed, I support the fifth gear, which is not rest, rather, and the car continues to eat the road with an exciting voracity. Despite its 100,000 kilometers on wheels this engine still has a lot to give. The mechanics of the Alfetta is super-tested, it derives from that of the Giulia and in particular of the Alfa 1750 which it replaced; the engine has qualities of sturdiness and durability even if stressed and abused. The displacement of 1.779cc is an evolution, as just said, of the Alfa 1750 which in 1972 came, in conjunction with the output of the Alfetta, replaced by the older sister Alfa 2000. It is one of the engines most appreciated by purists because endowed with a look, at low and medium engine speeds, that the larger displacement, the 2000, does not know, even if the latter extends the initial gap to a large extent. The Alfetta first series also has a gear ratio that exalts the rage that in subsequent developments will be mortified by longer relationships to satisfy the reduction of consumption, thanks to the oil crises of those years.
I am traveling, at dusk I am about halfway and after Florence I decide to stop; after having fed my hearing with the typical sound of the Alfa, I appreciate the presence of the car radio, a Voxson, coeval with the car, multi-frequency and with cassette tapes; I keep the volume low because the background of the double shaft is priceless.
At the Autogrill I cross a Stradale patrol, even for them a brief stop; the time of a good coffee, a cigarette and I get back in the car; they are already in the car, a BMW 3 Series Touring, they see me, the looks meet; in fact I’m wearing a turtleneck sweater, blue flared jeans, long hair with sideburns and Ray Bans covering the eyes … I certainly don’t go unnoticed, but when I get on the Alfetta it looks like there’s a behind me camera ready to shoot a scene of Romanzo Criminale or a detective story with Thomas Milian; the Agents of the Road observe me, they comment, I very naturally leave the parking lot, I greet them with a nod that is reciprocated with amazement and courtesy, and I am slowly gaining the exit almost to instigate a pursuit … which is not in reality but only in the imagination.
The Alfetta is an excellent traveling car, I have been on it for more than three hours and I do not accuse tiredness; I’m just a little fed up with these long straights, I’d like to deviate on the highway but Turin is still far away and the next day, due to the flight to Rome, I have to be in the office soon. Fortunately, I reach the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and the highway becomes more tortuous; long bends with counter-bends engage me and I decide to increase the speed in the hope that the patrol just before crossed has lost my tracks. I submit the car to a real leak test. The very calm traffic allows me to set the trajectories well and to see how the Alfetta has a road holding up to the fame and legends that have sprung up around her. Despite the undersized tires, my 165/70 mounts as original equipment, the car always offers the feeling of being glued to the asphalt; the steering is very precise, and even when, by straining it, you have to correct it, it is always very ready; the feeling is that of driving a modern car even if it’s over 40 years ago, and I think it was really at the forefront at the time! I cannot fail to mention the brakes, safe, adjustable, disc-shaped on the four wheels, the rear ones attached to the differential to optimize weight distribution and reduce the impact of the suspended masses … technical jargon to say that the Alfetta had technical solutions close relatives of those that were used in motor racing and in Formula 1 prototypes: mica pizza and figs …
At the height of Alexandria the night has already taken over the day abundantly, a thick fog envelops me that the headlights to the iodine manage to cleave allowing me to not lose sight of the road and that thread of Arianna that is the middle line. The mind is pampered by this blanket of dense air that seems to have fallen into a tub of whipped cream, I drive the car with a naturalness and ease that almost leads me to think of living a dream … that ends in Turin when I arrive in the garage ; then I wake up, get off my Alfetta and I understand that the dream, if you know how to daydream, you can never stop it.
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