Where do alfa romeos come on the scale of luxury?

Alfa Romeo is an Italian car manufacturer, known for their distinct and bold design as well as their policy of affordable luxury. They’re eccentric, sporty and oh so fashionable, which makes it easy to see why so many people love them. But, in the past there has been some disappointment regarding what these cars promised and what they managed to deliver.

For some time, Alfa Romeo has been known as a brand that wants to share luxury with as many people as possible. Alfas have all of the style, and grace of a real Italian sports car. But, when it comes to reliability and performance, there have been some models that were somewhat less than luxurious. They all had their strengths and weaknesses that left some people a little undecided about the brand. They had the look but lacked the ‘umph’ necessary to match up to the considerably more than cheap prices. But, that doesn’t mean that all Alfa Romeos have shared the same fate.

While some Alfa Romeos have been hit and miss in the past – good quality, but sadly trumped by their less expensive competitors – one of the latest models is the best there’s ever been. The Alfa Romeo Giulia completely raised the bar for the brand and conquered the road. While most other Alfa Romeo models promised luxury through and through, the Giulia managed to deliver and has outdone its hatchback brothers in terms of both form and function. This impressive executive saloon should be cause enough to have your faith restored in Alfa Romeo.

Unlike some other Alfas that can’t quite decide whether they’re a sports car or an everyday car, the Giulia knows exactly where it stands. It’s a confident everyday car that gives you something more. It gives you the comfortable and smooth handling you need to make driving easy, but it has the power and speed to make driving fun, too. It handles like a dream thanks to the innovative ‘Alfalink’ suspension and semi-virtual steering axis developed by Alfa Romeo. Nothing feels more luxurious than being completely in control of this stallion of a car.

When you sit behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Giulia, you’re the one holding the reigns. The interior is all designed around the driver with the main controls all in easy reach and the push to start button to top it off gives you the feeling of sitting behind the wheel of a real Formula 1. Driving is a pleasure when everything you need is right there in your lap. The central infotainment system is also a real beauty and you can clearly see that Alfa Romeo have come a long way since their first design.

Overall, the Giulia is a car that gives you everything you could want – the best of both words. It’s practical and stylish; spacious and neat; powerful and svelte; comfortable and cool. When you’re looking for Alfa Romeo cars for sale , this should be the one to look out for. Whether you’re rushing to work or cruising down the Amalfi coast, this is a perfect, luxurious car to suit your needs.

Book Review: Making Cars at Longbridge

Making Cars at Longbridge

by Gillian Bards and Colin Corke

This book charts over 100 years of car making at Longbridge, near Birmingham. The Austin Motor Co. was founded here by Herbert Austin in 1906, opening its doors in early 1906, and it has been home to the British Motor Corp, British Leyland, Rover Group, and MG Rover. Its products include some of the most famous British models ever produced: the pioneering Austin Seven of the 1920s, the classic Mini, the Austin Metro, and in later years the MG TF and Rover 75. The factory was a major employer and integral part of the community since its foundation and its demise saddened many, but the areas will never forget its long and proud tradition of manufacturing.

 For 99 years, cars were made at Longbridge. Less than a year off its century, the factory closed and 6,000 people lost their jobs. The first cars to roll off the production plant were Austins, and the site has been a center of car manufacturing ever since. From the original Austin 7 of the 1920s to Rovers and MGs, there is a rich history of Longbridge that has been offset by the recent misfortune.

Gillian Bardsley is a social historian with a special interest in the rise and fall of the motor industry in Britain. She has been Archivist for the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust since 1990 and has contributed to many TV, radio, and magazine features. Colin Corke is the vicar of Longbridge.

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher:

The History Press (February 1, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0750965290

30th Annual 2016 Chicagoland British Car Festival

The 30th annual Chicagoland British Car Festival was held on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois just outside of Chicago.

The show is organized by a consortium of British Car Clubs in the Chicago area. It has become the premier event for those interested in British cars.

Each year the show features hundreds of automobiles ranging from those in concours condition to just normal everyday drivers. This year was no exception as approximately 600 cars were gathered on the field representing virtually every marque produced in England. Door prizes and popular vote awards were presented to the lucky winners.

The weather was perfect – sunny and mild which obviously helped boost attendance. In addition to the vast array of stunning vehicles there was also a display of British motorcycles for those who “like their fun on two wheels”. A bag piper and traditional Irish dancers helped to put the crowd in a festive mood. Numerous vendors were also in attendance offering everything for the British car fan.

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was on the field welcoming old members and signing up several new participants.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend this popular event be sure to mark your calendar for the 30th annual to be held on September 10, 2017 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. For further information go to www.britishcarunion.com or www.mgclub.org.

   
’74 B of Jeremy Kinsey from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin ’79 B of Carol and Rick Lehman from Lake Zurich
   

 

’73 B-GT V8 of Joel Weinberger from Hinsdale, Illinois ’95 R V-8 of Dino and Lisa Perez from Lake in the Hills, Illinois
 ’74 1/2 B of Peter Neil from Plainfield, Illinois  ’68 B V-8 of Helen Kohn from Chicago, Illinois
   
’72 Midget of Pat Killean from Park Ridge, Illinois ’76-’79 B Limo of Dino and Lisa Perez from Lake in the Hills, Illinois

 

’72 B of Allison Pettis from Medina, Minnesota

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’72 B of Allison Pettis from Medina, Minnesota. Here is the story:

Happy 16th birthday to my daughter Allie! Sweetie, I’m so proud of you and the person you’ve become. You’re confident, funny, strong, beautiful, and you have a soul for Jesus that shines outwardly! You have such a passion for life and love, it’s a beautiful thing. I love that you have a love and appreciation for old cars, and that you want to be a part of that with me. Enjoy your LBC (Little British Car), and enjoy the experience of being the caretaker of something that’s almost three times your age! Happy birthday sweetie! I love you, and I love being your dad!
Guy & Jenny Pettis to Allison Pettis

72allisonpettismedinamn-1 72allisonpettismedinamn-2 72allisonpettismedinamn-3 72allisonpettismedinamn-4 72allisonpettismedinamn-5 72allisonpettismedinamn-6

In The News! – Skinner’s Union: The Story Behind the S.U. Carburetter by Mike Harvey

Review by Malcolm Jeal

skinnersunionbook Members of the SAHB will already have had a foretaste of this book as a result of the impressive article on the early part of the company’s history that appeared in Aspects of Motoring History No 10. That outlined the origins of the invention of the SU carburetter in 1904 and those that brought this about, and traced developments through the next 25 or so years. In addition there were some fine full-page freehand technical drawings that showed the construction and workings of the different carburetters that were designed and made.

Now this book has been published we not only get the full story that sustains the tenor of the Aspects article, but we also have a publication that is of inestimable quality both in terms of presentation and content. Printed on high quality art paper and profusely illustrated in black & white and colour where appropriate to a high standard, it is an attractive book to handle and a pleasure initially to just turn the pages and savour what is to come. Once actual reading commences, it is difficult to stop so doing.

Inevitably there is technical information that some might consider to be rather daunting, but this is expressed in accessible language so that with a degree of mental application plus reference to the accompanying illustrations it is understandable. Along with this there are the biographical stories of members of the Skinner family and associates, whilst a chapter is devoted to the various sporting cars that family members competed with in the 1930s – and the subsequent histories and restorations of these vehicles.

Most of us will think of SU carburetters in connection with motorcars and so the section on the various aero engines that also made use of them, notably the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Napier Sabre power units during World War Two, add an interesting additional dimension to the story. And there is of course more – William Morris’ acquisition of the business in 1927 and subsequent developments being but one example – but this is a review, not a summary.

Visit www.sucarb.co.uk to purchase a copy – it does have a ‘Part Number’: ALT 9527.

AMGBA Meet 2016 and Shenandoah Valley British Car Festival

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) held its 39th annual meet in Waynesboro, Virginia this year from September 30 thru October 1, 2016. The event was held in conjunction with “The Shenandoah Valley British Car Festival” which has been going for the past 35 years.

The 2 day event began with a Friday night reception that had videos in the background and was an opportunity to get together with old friends or meet new ones. The Car Show on Saturday offered music, door prizes, and food. Waynesboro is the home of Fishburne Military Academy and is only minutes from the famous and scenic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. These are a joy to drive, and offered a beautiful view of the fall foliage. Thanks to Mike FitzGeorge and Mark Brown for their cooperation in organizing this event.

The AMGBA officers were kept busy throughout the car show with member inquires as well as signing up new members for the association.

Next year’s meet is still in the planning stage. Keep an eye on our web site (www.mgclub.org) or in future issues of the Octagon for details. This year’s MGB, MGB-GT and Midget winners are as follows:
CLASS K – MG Midgets/Austin-Healey Sprites

  1. Bill Krzastek, ’59 Austin- Healey Sprite, Waynesboro, VA
  2. Jorge Antezana, ’74 MG Midget, Corapeake, NC

 

CLASS N – MGB-GT/MGC-GT

  1. Craig Cummings, ’69 MGC-GT, Williamsburg, VA
  2. Gary Edwards, ’71 MGB-GT, Kernersville, VA

 

CLASS W – BEST IN SHOW

  1. Jimmy Harris, AC Greyhound, Middleburg, VA

 

CLASS P – MGB-CHROME BUMPER ROADSTER

  1. John & Cindy Hull,’66 MGB, Palmyra, VA
  2. Jim & Ellen Conley, ’69 MGB, Troy, VA
  3. Greg Hastings, ’71 MGB, Roanoke, VA

 

CLASS R – MGB-RUBBER BUMPER ROADSTER

  1. Greg & Donna Jones, ’80 MGB LE, Eagle Rock, VA
  2. Peter Kareski, ’77 MGB, Front Royal, VA
  3. Kenny Grandle, ’80 MGB, Unionville, VA
 1stbchrome66bjohn-candyhullpalmyrava-1  2ndbchrome69bjim-ellenconleytroyva-1
1st place Chrome Bumper MGB – the ’66 B of John & Candy Hull from Palmyra, Virginia 2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB – the ’69 B of Jim & Ellen Conley from Troy, Virginia
 2ndmidget-sprite74midgetjorgeantezanacorapeakenc  2ndrubber77bpeterkareskifrontroyalvamember-1
2nd place Midget – the ’74 Midget of
Jorge Antezana from Corapeake, North Carolina
2nd place Rubber Bumper MGB – the ’77 B of
Peter Kareski from Front Royal, Virginia
 2ndbgt71bgtgaryedwardskernersvillenc  3rdrubber80bkennygrandleorangeva-1
2nd place B-GT – the ’71 B-GT of
Gary Edwards from Kernersville, North Carolina
3rd place Rubber Bumper MGB – the ’80 MGB of
Kenny Grandle from Orange, Virginia
 1strubber80blegreg-donnajoneseaglerockva-1  3rdbchrome71bgreg-maryhastingsroanokevamember-4
1st place Rubber Bumper MGB – the ’80 MGB LE of
Greg & Donna Jones from Eagle Rock, Virginia
3rd place Chrome Bumper MGB – ’71 B of
Greg & Mary Hastings from Roanoke, Virginia

In the News! – British Leyland Motor Corporation 1968 – 2005

BrLeylandBook This book tells the story of the constituent parts of British Leyland, later Rover Group, from the merger in 1968 to the end of production of the last MG Rover in 2005. The story has been told before, but this account is different. It is told by three people who were part of it, in senior roles, with the opportunity to observe and understand what happened and why. It is not another neat analysis by journalists or academics, using facts in the public domain and fitting them to a theory. The story is a complex one and the authors’ views are not necessarily those held by academics and previous commentators. There is still much that is relevant in a re-telling of the path leading up to this, for economy and society today.

Mike Carver, the author became Group Executive Director in charge of strategic planning. He was responsible for setting up the relationship with Honda and was awarded the OBE for services to the motor industry in 1986. Nick Seale joined Ford as an engineer, moving into finance. Later he returned to engineering, heading up the Rover Power Train under BMW. At Land Rover he ran concept engineering of future products. Anne Youngson started in sales and marketing at Longbridge, moving to Pirelli Tyres, but returned to work on Honda. She moved to project management for Land Rover and Rover and was the only woman at this level. Her final position was head of Land Rover Special Vehicles Operation.

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: The History Press (June 1, 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0750961449

ISBN-13: 978-0750961448

’69 B-GT of John Briggs from Fayetteville, North Carolina

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’69 B-GT of John Briggs from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Here is his story:

When I graduated from medical school in 1969, I wanted a sports car. My first choice was an XKE, but alas I could not afford it so I bought an MGB instead. I picked the GT because I needed the cargo space. The car was black with wire wheels. I drove that car as a daily driver for next five years until it was damaged beyond repair in a wreck. After losing the MG, I had a series of Z cars, vintage Mustangs and Corvettes over the years. In February 2014 while looking at classic cars online, I found a MGB-GT exactly like the one I bought in 1969 with only 34,500 miles on the odometer. The photos of the car were fantastic.

The car was located only 150 miles away so I hopped in my Corvette for a trip. When I first saw the car, I thought it looked as if it had just rolled off the assembly line in Abingdon. I had not driven an MGB since I lost my first one but it did not take me long to get back in the groove. A few hours later, I had my new old MGB.

In addition to the excellent condition of the car, one of the things that attracted me to the car was the extensive historical record that came with it. The car was manufactured in Abingdon between April 17th and April 22nd in 1969 and exported to San Francisco, California on May 7, 1969. The first owner bought the car on June11, 1969 in San Francisco for $3731.00. He kept the car for the next 36 years, He kept all sales documents, titles, registrations for 36 years. He even kept the business card of the salesman. The second owner acquired the car in 2006 in California. The third owner bought the car in 2011 and transported it to Virginia where I purchased it in March of 2015.

The car is in amazing condition. Every owner has taken extraordinary good care of it. It has been protected from both rain and sun its entire life. Over its life span of 47 years, the past three owners have put only on an average of 750 miles per year on the car. The car numbers and equipment all match the BMIHT factory records. I am exceedingly happy to have an MG back in the garage. It is great fun to cruise around town in my new old MGB-GT. I plan to attend many MG events. My first was be the American MGB Association Meet 2015 in Myrtle Beach which is 90 miles from home, but I was unable to make it.

69GTJohnBriggs 69GTJohnBriggs2 69GTJohnBriggs3 69GTJohnBriggs4

for MGB, MGB-GT and MG Midget owners