Alfa Romeo has always been a driver’s car. While not everyone would appreciate driving an Alfa Romeo, but those who do, fall in love with one and will always have a wide grin on when driving it. Although we live in a small city, we are fortunate enough to be able to easily drive across the border to enjoy driving and experience the feeling and sounds that are unique to Alfa Romeo.
Since it’s the school holidays, we thought we’d catch up with some of our Alfisti in Singapore on their experiences of driving to the less-travelled family road trip, slightly off the beaten track across the border.
Q: Hi Daries, thank you for taking some time off to share your Alfa Romeo experiences with us. First off, we heard you’ve owned a number of Alfa Romeo cars, what was your first and what are you currently driving?
A: The first Alfa Romeo we owned was a Brand New Alfa Romeo 159 2.2 JTS. Currently we have a much older Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6.
Q: Why this obsession with Alfa Romeo?
A: It’s weird as it sounds, there was a time when I’ve heard stories that a lower powered or older model Alfa Romeo was running circles around much more modern and faster cars. There was also this talk of how much greater road holding it had versus its modern contemporaries.
And most of all, the roar of the engine and exhausts, a good sense of history, and really subtle lines on the designs, played a big part in starting off my interest in Alfa Romeos.
Q: Would you mind sharing with us a place you’ve driven to, with your family, which you’d consider less-travelled by Singapore drivers?
A: We’ve had a few drives to Cameron, Genting, Melaka and many runs to KL for holidays, but one of the more interesting drives was to a friend’s home town, in a lesser known part of Melaka, where we drove just for durians. It’s in these off the beaten paths where we had wild boar curry, lesser known durians such as the Kasap Durian.
Q: What inspired the trip? How was the experience?
A: It was durian season, and instead of paying for overpriced durians in Singapore, we decided to use the same amount of money, have a good experience over the weekend to visit Melaka, and have a better rounded experiences. Some of the children who came along had never been to a kampong before, so it was a good eye opener for them, and for us, a revisit into our youth when Singapore was still developing.
Q: Why the decision to take the route you’ve taken? Were there any issues faced during that trip?
A: It was an easy route, some small B-Roads, which weren’t too difficult for the Alfa Romeo. It was a spirited drive to say the least, but then, driving an Alfa has always been an engaging experience.
Q: For each road trip, what do you look forward to the most? Are there any specific preparations you do for each trip?
A: General maintenance is necessary, a healthy car allows for a safer and better driving experience. Without going into specifics, brakes and tires are most important, followed by engine oil, oil levels, coolant, and watching out for any oil or coolant leaks.
Q: Owning so many Alfa Romeo cars, in your opinion, which is your favourite choice for a long haul road trip?
A: Surprisingly, the GT is extremely comfortable, loads of leg space and high level of comfort for long trips. What surprised me most was a trip to KL and back to Singapore, on 1 full tank of petrol. That’s 700+ km on a 3.2 engine. The gearing of the car makes it easy to cruise and the power sufficient for necessary overtaking safely.
Q: Are road trips for everyone? Perhaps some tips or advice for anyone who might consider driving to the location you’ve shared?
A: The location is the private home town of a friend, it may not be appealing to many as you’d need a local there to share the life and lifestyle of the area.
Road trips are for those who enjoy long drives, especially unplanned ones where you can stop off at any town and have a meal, explore something off the beaten path.
Do keep your GPS handy, as you’d need it to get back to the main road back home.
Q: Thank you, Daries. To end off, in 3 words, how would you describe Alfa Romeo?
A: Engaging, definitely engaging, and possibly addictive. Not always good for you, but you know you want one.
Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing other places which Alfisti in Singapore have driven to. Stay tuned to #AlfaRomeolesstravelledroads and perhaps you’ll discover new places which you’ve never driven to before.