Having been a motorbike enthusiast since my youngest years, I always considered cars as being a bike substitute for cold winter days. The only thing I knew about Alfa Romeo was rust and unreliability. My father always drove European cars but never Italians. So there was no Alfa virus inside me to fight against.
My first contact with an Alfa was in 1989 at the age of 22. It was a beautiful Alfasud Sprint 1.5 from the late 70's, well maintained by a fanatic Alfista. I drove the car for five years, mainly through winter times and without major problems. The rust finally made me sell it, but I always kept in mind the fabulous road handling (always managed to keep VW Golf Gti drivers well behind on scenic roads!) and the special boxer engine.
After a short break due to other personal projects, I purchased a 1986 GTV 2.0 in 1996. Friends of mine started to buy GTV6's and Bertone's and so we became a group of Alfisti and started to work on the cars by ourselves. In 1998 I bought a 1972 Bertone 2.0 which I had seen during a holiday in the south of France. I could not resist bringing it to Luxembourg. With the assistance of the above mentioned friends, I rebuilt the Bertone's engine myself. All this finally became a hobby. At that time I did two or three major journeys a year with the Bertone and never had a problem with reliability. So I decided that this may just be "bad reputation".
It was the technical side that increased my interest in the Montreal. The reputation of this car was the worst I ever read or heard about and this was reason enough for me to be interested in it. I finally purchased my Montreal (a 1975 model) in 2002, just before the birth of my son. (So I won't forget the date!) The car was bought in Germany and problems already began on my journey back - no brakes!!! After many technical interventions the Monti (whose bodywork was OK) started to run better and better and with the help of the Montreal Website and Forum I began to become very knowledgeable about the car. My first long trip was for participation in the Montreal Meeting in Wales in 2004. A fabulous experience, as it was also the first time that I stayed in Great Britain.
During the last two years interest in the car here in Luxembourg has been growing and that's a great thing. We are all looking forward to the 2008 Meeting in order to exchange some more personal stories.
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