Friday – Red Alfa v Orange Nissan

alfa2It was the start of a lifelong love of sports cars – and it started with Alfa Romeo. While Jessica was riding horses around the family estate, I was getting into serious trouble with my father, selling a ‘safe’ Datsun 120Y in sunburst orange (eek!) for a rust bucket Italian car.

Not just any Italian car but an Alfa Romeo GT Junior. It was red, with optional holes in the floor that probably weren’t there when it originally left the factory in Milan. I can’t tell you how much that car cost me but it eventually rusted to the driveway. I can tell you it was a lot of fun.

Alfa Romeo is no longer laden with a rusty reputation. And in the UK right now, the Giulietta and Mito supermini are their two rather sporty models.

Slipping behind the wheel of our Giulietta still gives me the same buzz as when I was an 18-year-old. Just like the GT Junior. I can spot the flaws too! The steering column that doesn’t adjust low enough, a slightly cramped rear space and a rather uncomfortable driving position.

But it doesn’t matter a jot. I know the next seven days are going to be fun and I can’t wait. A 300-mile round trip to Suffolk seems a good way to start…


Sunday – Coffee For One


Jeremy There were three, perfectly placed ashtrays in my 1972 Alfa Romeo GT Junior – two in the back and one in the rear. The most memorable, fold-out cupholder of all time was in the Saab 9-3, it just glided out and open with a brush of the index finger.

There are two cupholders in the Vauxhall Cascada. I’m not a a big fan of Starbucks or Costa but they are probably the biggest suppliers of take-away coffee in Britain. If I was designing a centre console for a new car, I would probably take two coffee cups from Starbucks/Costa/both and make sure they fitted.

They don’t in the Cascada. You can squeeze one in but add another cup and there is an unfortunate clash of lids. Frustrating isn’t the word. Don’t try holding one between your legs, just open the cubbyhole box and it should slot in nicely.

This isn’t what the cubby box was designed for I think. Next time, Jessica and I will just have to share a latte.