Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Miami Beach, Florida, USA
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Re: Toyota kills the Scion brand
I don't want to hijack the thread talking about non-Scions... but...
Triumph and Fiat built some high maintenance (but fun) cars. I have all sorts of stories about my Fiats breaking down, but I won't go into that here. At the end of their run in the US, I understand that Fiats that were shipped here sat at the port of entry docks for weeks and probably longer before going to dealers due to them selling so slowly. The steel back then wasn't very good to begin with, the rustproofing was a joke, and there are stories of them rusting before being delivered to customers.
As for Alfa Romeo (yes- Alfa- not Alpha!) I have over 300k miles between my two Spiders (first one died when a girl in a Toyota decided that fixing her makeup in the rain was more important than not slamming into the backside of my Alfa). These cars have been ultra reliable- in 28 years I have only been towed twice. Maintenance is on par with other cars of the era, and they burn some oil, but for its' day, they were very modern. When introduced in the mid 1960s, Alfa Spiders had all-aluminum twin-overhead-cam engines with hemispherical combustion chambers (yes- they're hemis!), 5 speed trans, limited slip diffs, and 4 wheel disk brakes. Very few cars of the day could say that!
As far as smog and safety, well... yes and no... Alfa was one of the first mass produced cars available in the US with fuel injection. This was done to give the US cars the same power (while meeting US emission standards) as the carburated European versions. Most European car companies put the US smog equipment on their cars and accepted the loss of power, but Alfa made sure that their cars were on a par with the rest of their production. Ugly bumpers sprouted like most imports, but in the end, the products that Alfa was building weren't suited to the US market, and they didn't have the desire to build a car tailored to typical US tastes. I think they also realized that right or wrong, the perception of inferior quality was tough to shake.
Of course, times have changed and the cars coming from Torino and Milano today are a far cry from their cars in the 1980s and 1990s.
Now... if you are looking for a 2nd car- something fun, relatively inexpensive, that gets 20mpg of regular gas around town but looks like a little Ferrari (because it was designed by Pininfarina- the same as many of the best looking classic Ferraris), you should check out an Alfa Spider! BTW- I can put the top down while sitting in the car in less than 2 seconds- putting it up might take me 10 seconds!
As for me- I think I have the best of both worlds. two fun to drive, affordable, and unique sets of wheels. BTW- my friends with Alfas think I'm crazy for buying my xB, and I'll bet most of you xBers out there think I'm crazy for owning my sexy, 2 seat, red Italian sports car!. Yeah- you're all right... crazy like a fox!
In interesting stat- my 2 seat 1987 Alfa Spider Veloce weighs more than my 2006 xB!
Anyway... Viva Italia! Viva Japan!
Now officially off the soapbox!
If you want more info about Alfa Romeos- particularly Spiders, and especially 1987 Spider Veloces- let me know! But let's move it to another forum! Have fun!