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Alfa Romeo 33. Shimmer on a key ring

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Recently I spoke to someone you know. In her late forties. The conversation was good for a deja vu. I had already fed it once before. That was about five years ago. Once, years ago, he drove an Alfa Romeo 33 1.7. A Quadrifoglio Verde. He still has the key ring.

He often raved about his car. Said how he enjoyed when the boxer cuts entered the interior. To be interior. He praised the handling. The fiery one point seven, a phenomenal block indeed. A bike that I always thought would run with you. Instead of the other way around. No, it wasn't. To deny is to confirm. The conversation continued. He talked about character. Unforeseen expenses lost to youthful vice. Which we used to pledge ourselves would never go away. So that conversation. Five years ago. It was back.


The conversation continued, but in a different way than at the time. We discussed the emergence of SUVs and crossovers, yet increasingly the norm today. And about quality. My conversation partner replied: Cars are only getting better. Isn't that how a car should be made? The equipment counts, the safety, the usability. And if the car has many options inside and out, then you are there. A car doesn't have to be less. ” Au.

The best man, crook of yesteryear. He is now well into his forties and will soon condemn himself to the next land of fables. I know a lot what he means. Many manufacturers have lost quality, some have recovered, but across the board it is less. I know that. But he is satisfied. Because he can order his new car with a bumper package, multimedia and convenient seats. And AWD with rims. He wants that too. I still tried: just grab a Civic man, previous generation, top technology, quality, nice car, dynamic and also handy. Ten grand and you drive for ten years without any problems. With a grin on the face. The recommendation was hopeless. Because sir had nothing to do with Honda. When I asked if he had ever driven it, a resolute response came No. Just sayin.

Practical and tough looks have become commonplace in the automotive world, and shapes are already on the decline. The MPV, for example, makes a retreating movement. And in certain cases (so not the Zafira and the Touran) I always found that a pleasant exception to the great common denominator of modern (er) body styles. Then you don't follow a trend, but your own way. Nice MPVs have been built. And the best driving one, I drove recently. That was a Ford Galaxy 2.3 Automatic. I picked up an Audi 200 Turbo from Klazienaveen with comrade Christiaan. The Audi was an icon of its youth. I drove back from Drenthe with his Ford. Extremely fine, well equipped, a top automatic, a wonderfully meaty steering and a sublime chassis. Put it down. I enjoy myself very much. Good God, what a nice car. An MPV can also be very attractive, especially if it bears the Ford logo.

I told the man the story about the big Ford. That the Galaxy still lingered for a while. Reminisce. A light was on with the acquaintance. Hope sparkled. A twinkle in the eye. "Like with the Alfa, which I used to have, man I can still evoke that feeling." Followed again by the statement that he is no longer twenty. "Times change, preferences too." I forgave him that statement five years ago. Then a nod to his Alfa Romeo key ring was enough to evoke childhood memories. And to exchange genuine car stories. "Because I was a fan after all."

Used to be. Fortunately, he kept the key ring, a silent witness to his historic life as a petrolhead. Today without fuel but with a vapor lock in the veins. One look, one nod. However, to the relic is enough. Enough to return to the era of pure car happiness. An era that is long gone for him. Because he finds following cold marketing trends more important than following his car heart.

12 Comments

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  1. What a nice piece again. Thanks! In my youth I could buy a “33”, I thought the first type with the big rear lights, butrrr it had engine damage. I then abandoned that purchase.
    I am still happy with my current Abarth Grande Punto. Not equipped with the latest in “luxuries”, but with BT, air conditioning and a car that I am driving. Okay on the highway my previous T-Jet is more comfortable and I am almost 56 years old, for now this is the car of my life, directly followed by the E21 323i that I have had the pleasure of owning for years.

  2. I have seen many counts of it. That's how I got my job.
    That's how I rolled into it. after 100000km, the engine certainly broke down in the speedometer.

  3. I drive a 9 year 'old' Civic, my second in almost 30 years. Second-hand, Indestructible and hassle-free. My first lasted 24 years. Mr. Van Putten knows his stuff!
    That Alfa 33 is a dream car. It's just a dream, because I couldn't afford it before.

  4. The Alfa 33. I've had 5 of them. 3 super little ones and 2 times a 1.7 8 clapper. In that time I drove about 50.000 km per year. So a gas tank in it. That went fine with those fine boxer engines, The 33's really involved you in driving and you also drove something special without it costing the main prize. Also 2 x 156 driven. The nicest car I've had; a good design by an artist.

    I also recognize that of the MPV: I drove an S-Max for 4 years. Nowadays I have a Fiesta st-line for fun and it is a bit like the 33. It lacks the subjective charisma of an Alfa, but it drives fine.

  5. Once I was able to drive my cousin's Quadrifoglio Verde on the way back from the RAI auto show. Somewhere in '85 or something.
    Deliciously guiding. Crisp engine with a heavenly sound when you 'kicked him in the buttocks'. But first drive very neatly on temperature (!!) Short transmission but certainly not economical. Because my cousin bought another car every two to three years, the 33er quickly disappeared from view. A case of eternal sin. The shifting went after a year and a half already pretty bad unless you knew where to lubricate the shift mechanism between gear lever and gearbox. Fifteen minutes of work and we were both completely in heaven with that car. Wonderful memories !! That sound ... ... :-)

  6. I have a 33 of the last generation, with a modest 1.4 in the front, but due to the low weight of the car (come to that nowadays) it is a smooth car.
    Whether it is due to the brand or the characteristic roll of the boxer, I don't know, but the engine challenges you to be driven in the revs. Of course after warming up ...
    What you can sometimes chase drivers of a Suf (pardon: SUV) is the combination of the low (er) weight in combination with the road holding.
    Partly due to the low center of gravity, the car is just like a kart and can be guided through bends at higher speeds and they have a look.
    Despite that, Alfa has dropped some stitches in the details, such as the quality of the materials used and the interpretation of the technology.
    For example, I once had to call in the roadside assistance because I could no longer choose a gear.
    The cause of this turned out to be a rather clumsy connection between the lever and the linkage to the gearbox ...
    Where someone would get rid of a “normal” car, I remain faithful to this future classic, because Alfas do not get cheaper with age.
    Getting rid or selling is irrevocable regret.

  7. People complain about "expensive petrol". People drive a high car, because, "it gets in so well". In the meantime you drive an average of 1; 8. According to the board computer 1; 12. Oops. Again dd marketers / manufacturers fooled.
    The terribly fast, (because we were certainly faster than the then, 4x as expensive! Vw corrado g60), and economical 1.7 QV that we bought to make many miles for work in Germany, never got us in more than 100dkm . abandoned in snow or whatever! (we actually wanted an economical wave d, but the poles bought away all the nice colors and designs, after the fall of the wall; why poor communists ???). Oh yes, and the Hondas were always good too, and the Aerodeck timeless for few 100dkm.! (some copied design;)).
    The Fords are super drivers, chassis, weight, maintenance, and unfortunately the newer Galaxy's have often also gone abroad. And that audi 200 t., You better set it apart. Because you can't find an underblanket and your wallet is empty on it…

  8. Status isn't everything. I drive from À to B, enjoy the landscape and can drive into the yard of the drills, where our food grows.
    If your car is worth more to you than your fellow man, then you have a problem.
    Oldtimer friends unite you! Old cars are fun. New too

  9. Well, one of the nicest cars I have driven was the Honda Accord Aerodeck 2.0i automatic.
    Wonderful cart, but have no room for it, and my old Audi 50 was also a nice cart and how much fun did I have with my '79 Austin Mini?
    The Nissan Maxima 3.0 automatic was also a fantastic sloop, driven for 10 years ...
    If I had saved everything I had driven, I would have had too little of a medium-sized showroom.

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