Monday, October 20, 2008

A day with the Alfa Romeo GTV

YAY!!!! I've always wanted to own one of these mean little coupes, finally got a chance to drive one! Uncle Kim Kooi borrowed my Xantia for an outstation trip, so I get to drive his GTV while at it! I could just drive the 116 (despite my constant dissing of all cars Mercedes-Benz, I'm actually quite fond of it) instead, but Uncle Kim Kooi offered to lend me his car, so I couldn't resist :D :D

My ride for the day, sitting there, looking every bit as awesome as it is, and more!! This is the Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce, a later incarnation of the mean and punchy Giulia Sprint GTVs, 2-door sibling to the oh-so-sexy Giulia berlina sedans!! Roughly 1038kg of Italian sculpture powered by 1779cc of DOHC L4 fury!! To me, it is "very t3h awe5ome!!!" to say the least! The excitement I get from getting to drive this car or the Alpine A110 outrivals any of my fantasies of driving Citroen XMs and GSs, I daresay, although a Citroen SM or Datsun S30Z would be pretty close to instant orgasm, Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale or Group 5 Lancia Stratos Rally Turbo, and you can have my soul :p

Well, anyway, despite the 1750 in the name, the engine's actually a 1779cc unit, maybe 1750 runs off the mouth smoother :D

Erm, what can I say about this car? It's very cramped with it's low roof and all so it was pointless I gelled my hair up nicely today; my hair was all flattened after the drive, and I couldn't even straighten my neck throughout the drive! I also had to push the front seat all the way to the back, where it touches the rear seats, before I could fit in properly. The brakes are all spongy because the brake cylinder seals aren't good anymore, normal braking in this car can get pretty exciting. Clutch is heavy, stepping on it was like trying to flatten a radial tyre with your foot. The window seals are all about dead so it's noisy in there, and it leaks when it rains. No radio, no music. The seatbelts have no pretensioners and keep falling off my shoulder. No power steering means every other small corner or parking is like a bout of wrestling with the bulls. I don't think there's enough insulation, so engine heat gets into the cabin, fast, especially when the car is stationary, even with the aircon turned on!

But guess what? I enjoyed the drive a lot!!!! The car is cramped because it's body is small and low, so it's pretty light and stable, and goes off pretty fast too, what with the grunty and powerful engine under the hood! No sound insulation and radio? Who cares? The sound of the engine is sweet, it could be smoother still, but the grunts and growl of it are music to my ears, I find myself revving the engine a bit more than necessary many times, just to hear those notes!! The brakes really suck but I compensated with my driving patterns. Heavy clutch, hell I love it. I've always loved heavy clutches and wouldn't have em any other way, as long as I don't get caught in traffic with them. I was "fortunate" enough to get caught in traffic thrice with the car today, my left foot kinda survived :D By the way, I really like floor-hinged pedals; Dad's 116 280S has one, the GTV have all 3 on the floor, they're great! The seatbelts, well, they're kinda novel to me, reminds me of bumper cars, or the good old days in Dad's rally AE86 Levin! The aircon is pretty cool when the car is running, really, as long as it isn't stationary, but I get a huge sweat everytime I drive the car, wrestling with the steering, wheeee!! Keep the revs too low from a standing start turn and the car will choke a bit, put in a bit more pressure to the pedal and it will come of the turn with the engine roaring and rear wheels skiing on the floor, wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Fun fun fun!!!!

At the end of the day, the radiator fans stopped working so I had to cruise back home "slowly" at a lowly 2500rpm against 5000-7000rpm all day, thankfully it was drizzling, gotta fix it up before returning the car :p Oh, and I think the GTV might have nearly drunk up all RM50 of petrol in it's tank too; I saw the fuel light blinking on my way home ;) Dad told me it was just an erratic fuel indicator though, pretty common for Alfa Romeos of old. He should know, he's owned and fixed quite a few himself as a youth, Uncle Kim Kooi has literally been in love with Alfa Romeos all his life. Ah, the joys of driving old cars, such a joy, yet such a pain, but I ain't complaining :D Now that I've actually driven one, I'm officially hooked, and my desire to get one for myself is getting stronger, I'd look for a GTA though!!!

One of these days, one of these days, just wait :)

Pizza, lasagna, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Piaggio, Aprillia, Panerai, Monica Belucci, damn it, those Italians, they have it soooo good!! Well at least we have char koay teow, wan tan mee, and kari kambing, hah!


Touge King said...

Very nice indeed :)

I think we actually asked your uncle if he wanted to sell :P

We need more pics :)!

leong soon said...

Hehe really? My uncle does live quite near to you, even nearer to where Touge Motorsports is, so it's highly probably you've met him :)

I've got lotsa pics of nicer examples on my computer, show em to you later :D