Poking around BaseFook the other day, one of the ads from which they thought I would derive tremendous value from was a t-shirt for The Manual Gearbox Preservation Society. “Pfft!” I thought, hating the fact that technology thinks it knows me better than I know myself. Then I started thinking that maybe the Interwebs were onto something. We’ve talked before about the gradual disappearance of the stick shift, and there’s no denying its days are numbered. So I took it upon myself to poke around looking at assorted manual cars that 1) I’d be stupid enough to buy, and 2) wouldn’t break the bank. Enter the Alfa 164, and this solid example located in Tulsa, OK for a paltry $2,500.
There’s change afoot here at TTS. No, neither of us has gone transgender, and yes, it will include some more frequent posting. This once-a-quarter pattern isn’t really working for us, although traffic has remained remarkably substantial. The internet is a fascinating place. First off, if you’re not following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, please do! You’ll find more frequent tidbits through those outlets than on the official blog, although this remains our home of homes. But all that’s not what I’m really here to talk about, either. This is first and foremost a car blog, and as such the interesting content is about cars. So brace yourselves, folks, as there are changes coming to the TTS fleet!
We have covered the Alfa Romeo 164 before here on Totally That Stupid. That doesn’t mean we’ll shy away from a nice example, especially after a nationwide search, and especially while still in the middle of winter when the pickings are slim at best. No, we’ll continue to cover our favorite early-1990s front-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo sedan as long as clean, well-sorted examples appear on our monitors. Continue reading
As a car guy, one of my favorite things on social media is when a friend announces that they are looking for a particular car. I take those posts as a personal challenge. Earlier today a friend posted that he was finally ready to add an Alfa Duetto to his collection of very nice but driveable Alfa Romeos, and it got me thinking. I don’t have any space either in the garage or the fleet for another car right now, but if I did I would seriously consider a well-sorted Duetto. I’ve written here before about how my first car was an S2 Alfa Spider that was remarkably well-sorted but rusty as all get out, and about three decades later I bought that car’s twin, but with a perfect body but mechanically, well, challenged. I loved my first Alfa both as a first car but also as a dirver’s car, and I was so sorely disappointed when the second one was so unhappy. As my TTS partner always says, nostalgia is a funny thing and I was clearly wearing blinders when I bought that car a few years back, but I haven’t lost my appetite for a nice Alfa and now I’m thinking that there is most definitely an early round-tail Spider in my future – ideally before they go the way of the Mercedes Pagoda, which is to say expensive beyond reason. Perhaps one like this beauty for sale here on Mobile.de in Monza, Italy for about $34,000 would fit the bill.
Parts. Bin. Engineering.
Manufacturers use parts from other brands all the times. It can be significantly cheaper to source parts-counter bits than creating your own. Sometimes those brands are in the same family, though sometimes they’re not. Ferrari used Alfa Romeo Spider exterior door handles on several models throughout the years. Aston Martin used Volkswagen Audi Group head- and taillights on their 1989 Virage; later DB7 models used Mazda Miata interior door handles. Heck, the Jaguar X-Type is more notable for the parts that aren’t sourced from the Ford Mondeo. Continue reading
So I figure that our recollection of our first cars falls into one of two categories: either it was a complete and utter embarrassment to be seen in and you hated everything about it (as was my wife’s experience with a 1974 Dodge Monaco Coupe in metallic diarrhea) or you remember it as the Best Thing Ever. I fall into the latter category, despite the fact that my own first car – a 1977 Alfa Spider – had terminal rot and Spica fuel injection. In my mind it is one of the best cars ever, and was also, not surprisingly (because Nostalgia is a Funny Thing as my TTS cohort Jonathan would say) a far better car than the 1978 Spider I bought a few years ago to try and recapture the joy. This 1982 Spider however, available on FerrariChat out of Reno, NV for $11,500 is a whole different story..