146 – If local government was a car, what sort of car would it be? Part 4 – the Alfa Romeo 1750 GT.

Posted by Whistler                                                                                          600 words

alfa romeo

This is the fourth post in a series of five. The first review was for the Hyundai Excel Sprint council, the second was the Leyland P76, the third was the Volvo 240 series.

The fourth possibility is the Alfa Romeo 1750 GT. Stylish and fancy (and often seen with the bonnet up).   Plenty of glamour here for the ‘Alfisti’. The choice of Romeos worldwide, it was a real eye catcher that brought lots of attention. They came in bright and classical Italian automotive colours and have a great exhaust note. You wouldn’t own one to cart around your family or as your main transport to work (you needed a Hyundai or Volvo for that) but there were many weekend warriors with a 1750 in the garage.

“When cars cost 12,250 they have to be something special, for such a sum would pay half-way towards a fairly decently sized house outside the Home Counties. The new 1750 GTV introduced last April is special, but we might not have found this so, had we not taken the car over an exhaustive test of over 1,000 miles. For undoubtedly the car’s best point is its ability to cruise well over the senile seventy for hour upon hour with a maximum amount of comfort and a minimum of noise and bother. But the 1750 had quite a few faults which we would not expect to find in a car of this calibre.

As honest Alfa Romeo only claim the car to be a 2+2, there were some misgivings about this, but any doubts were soon dispelled, for three people of average height can travel in perfect comfort as long as the front passenger has the seat well forward. A fourth person would be an embarrassment unless the driver is the kind of person who hugs the three-spoke wooden steering wheel close to his chest.

Once seated and strapped in, the steering wheel comes easily to hand, although the horn, which pokes up as three metal ribs between slots in the spokes, is so effectively disguised that it took some considerable time to discover. The noise was a little weak.

… the key does not isolate everything it really should, for one can leave the car, key in pocket, with the windscreen wipers going, the heater booster fan boosting, and the radio blaring. Forgetful drivers will be well advised to carry a spare battery with such a set-up.” www.motorsportmagazine.com, October 1968 review.

Review: The Alfa Romeo Council.

The Alfa Romeo council is quite stylish. The civic centre (no town halls here) is an iconic building; every project is architect designed and award winning. The community is as pleased as punch about spending their rates on these value adding activities so that they can feel proud to be an Alfisti.

Mind you, services are not used often. The town hall has limited capacity (you lose a lot of useable space with all those curves and glass) and the cost of maintaining such expensive infrastructure knocks a hole in the repair and maintenance budget. You can expect the doors to be regularly closed for repair or upgrade works. The staff have very stylish uniforms and are totally focused on helping you understand how nice everything is before rushing off for a latte.

Verdict – This is the council for those seeking spontaneity and drama in the daily life. A demanding phone call to escalate your missed bin to the CEO will work here. If you are a risk taker, this is the model for you.

Competitors – Lancia Fulvia, Fiat 124 Sport (anything Italian)

Value proposition – Stylish with inspirational design and potential for high performance but be prepared to accept something less.