A site full of Alfa Romeos...especially tipo 116 'Alfettas' in Australia
Hi, I'm Rob, and this is a wandering diatribe of sorts, focused on the human and environmental tragedy that is motoring with an Alfa Romeo. I was sucked into the vortex
with my first ride in a 105 series Bertone coupe, and blundered from a superb 1.8 Giulietta into an amazing, if flawed, 33ti; only to finally achieve Nirvana with what
I wanted all along - a Tipo 116 GTV 2.0. (I should mention the Golfs, the Swift GTis, the Ford Escorts and the Turbo 4WD Laser TX3 as well, but I won't). But this blog could just as well be about bicycles, music, mythology, philosophy, photography or art.
Pretty sure this was the roof-top car park of the Bankstown Square shopping centre - if I'm wrong then it's Roselands!
Point is, if I must make this point, I can't imagine a shopping centre in Sydney opening up its car park to the start of a car rally these days... first, the traffic issue. Second, the inconvenience to shoppers. Third, where would the rally cars go next? Onto a neutral, untimed stage until they leave the Sydney basin?
Would you believe this was originallly a privately-funded amusement park with an ornamental (and actual bathing) lake? Later to include a Catalina flying boat (in the centre of the lake, hence the name) that was presumably trucked in?
Later still (around 1950) a motor racing circuit was built around the edge of what was known as "the Gully", north and west of this shot, to the dismay of residents, many indigenous. Thousands of years of aboriginal Australian culture was disturbed or destroyed in the process of creating a track for car racing.
A shale and coal railway line also passed on the western edge of the park, providing a link from the main railway down to the mines in the valley..
My 2nd-most popular image on Flickr. Probably because it's a car on a race track, and a race track that has been closed for redevelopment as housing. It's also an Alfa Romeo, an iconic car brand if ever there was one. And a Giulietta, possibly the nicest of the Alfetta line, outside of the GTV.
FWIW it's me in my Giulietta at Oran Park, NSW, Australia in 1982. Nice understeer... It's an Alfa Romeo Owners' Club event, probably a lap dash. If you don't know BP corner then you haven't lived. Basically you come hurtling out of some fast bends, go down into a ditch, come up and go hard left into a long straight. So you've picked up some speed, bottomed and released the suspension and then chucked it left into understeer territory. You can see how the rear wheels remain planted square to the road by the deDion tube and the fronts are trying v. hard to get the car around the bend... and not into the wall.
Not an Alfa, but a VW Golf. I like the Series 1, I had 2 of 'em myself, but this one is not one of those. It's seen here somewhere outside of Lithgow, NSW, Australia. Without a windscreen - it wasn't as laminated as we thought. The moral of this story is 'be careful what you wish for'... we (my then girlfriend and I back in 1980 - she owned and was driving the car) were behind a truck on a good road. I said to her something along the lines of 'maybe we shouldn't be so close, it could kick up a stone' just moments before exactly that happened. Ooops. And yes, Golf windscreens were quite difficult to find in 1980, especially in country NSW, but we found one after a bit of a search.
As a postscript, a few months later the Golf broke a throttle cable (it was simply a wire to the carby that passed through a rubber grommet in the firewall and eventually wore down to the metal). Not dramatic, the car just failed to accelerate as desired. (OTOH there's also a throttle return spring that broke on a separate occasion, resulting in the sudden application of full throttle.) Anyway, as the car sat in a driveway I wondered aloud how long clutch cables lasted, given that throttle cables break after a couple of years. Sure enough, the clutch cable broke the next time it was used. So be careful what you say aloud, it may actually happen...
My Energy Mustknows... collected from all over, these energy facts are as correct as I can make them and are as objective as we can be in comparing different energy sources. Attributed where I can, please let me know if you see better figures. The conclusions you draw are of course your own... http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pJDQWs1Qj-GraqesgS5tfTQ
Yes, yes, utter waste of resources, time and money. Does nothing to help global warming. Still, kooky fun to watch. It's certainly not new or innovative in concept, either, although the engineer explaining how journalists rather than customers or simple logic could help it into production is a trifle revealing...
Can't resist... a bit of style, some history... sure, it's an advert (and I'm not even in the market!) and it's a global resource-hogger, but it's also art on wheels. I'm torn between supporting classic design and a strong feeling of environmental doom. Not good.
OK, I think when a car mag says "organic" anything they mean "we really don't know what the heck it is but we believe it's different somehow". So despite the fact that tyres sit squarely (or not) upon the road purely by mechanical means, and derive grip by mechanical action between rubber and road, they mean to say that somehow something else is going on that they can't figure out. That somehow the tyres are better than the car's suspension and are providing extra grip that the suspension alone couldn't provide. Of course a suspension in isolation produces no grip at all, as it only does so through the tyres... yet somehow they need to say that some of this grip is being delivered generously by the tyres alone, despite the car's best intentions. So they call this magical mystical extra quality "organic". The car's crap, but the tyres are great. Why don't they say that instead?
And now evo has evolved "organic mechanical weighting". Hmmm. So what, I ask, could "in-organic" mechanical weighting be?? Why not just "weighting" or steering feel?
Some pics and words on the top-of-the-range-and-then-some Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione from evo mag. OK, it's fast, it's beautiful and it will do the job of luring eyes to the marque. Will it lead you to buy a 159? I guess it won't hurt, but it's a long way from an Alfasud. Personally I'd be more excited - and happier to own - a nuovo Alfa 1.5 Sprint. Pleeeeease!
It's silly, but here it is: Ward's Top 10 engines of 2007. Of course they mean power, smoothness, technical prowess, advancement of the art... but they do seem stuck on petrol as a fuel source. Electric motors produce more torque, instantly, but they don't look as fancy or sound so nice, do they? Or is that something we've only learned to like in the last 100 years or so? Anyway the "rules" preclude anything not installed in a US-spec car, blah blah blah.
For you US citizens with an unreliable car that is driving you nuts.. but you aren't sure where you stand legally - well the Lemon Justice lemon meter is a for-profit site that offers a free "not yet" or "yes" action appraisal under each state's lemon law. I can't - and won't - vouch for its accuracy but I have tried it and it seems to be offering a useful inital service. Check it out yourself. Interesting idea, anyway!
Right Brain (40%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain. Left Brain (70%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
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