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If you are interested and looking at this message, I'd just like to relay my recent experiences with Veloces of London. I'll try to keep it brief and factual.
To start, if you are reading this you are probably seriously considering an Alfa Romeo as your next car, likely with some degree of uncertainty if you've never owned one before, like myself. Coming as a long time entrenched Audi owner, I certainly had a perception, somewhat mis-informed and actually ignorant, that Alfa Romeo's, although one of the most beautiful and desirable of any car makes in history were a "bit unreliable" for everyday road use or commuter use. As a consequence, over the years whenever it was time to go into the market for a new car, out of blind ignorance I would always discount or overlook the Alfa Romeo as not being suitable for an everyday type of workhorse car. This caused a degree of anxiety because they are just so damned beautiful, almost romantic to look at, with of course, all that heritage of Italian performance car that Alfa Romeo is best known and loved for by real petrol heads.
This time it was different for me, I thought "no more boring bland generic German performance car if I can help it." So, I embarked on a quest and trawled the internet reading every Alfa Romeo review I could find and internet forum devoted to Alfa Romeo, getting all opinions, "warts an' all". To my happy surprise, what I found was little "real" substance in the whispers of unreliability, that was a thing of the past, but through ignorant here say, still persists, very unfairly. In general they are as reliable as any current German brand or otherwise family car.
Now my mind was made up"¦I was finally going to go Alfa Romeo, and I had been drawn towards the Giulietta, if I'm honest based mostly on looks! Then the happy task began of trawling all the internet for sale sites and visiting local dealers who might have had the odd one in stock. After more time than I care to remember, my head was simply spinning and I had a complete headache. One of the most important things I learned on my trawling was that fact that even the everyday family car Giulietta, while looking simply stunning, could also provide quite a bit of Italian performance car poke when needed if the right model was selected! So many to choose from! The minefield was worse now, but I was determined, armed with new found knowledge"¦knowledge is, after all POWER! I quickly realised that ALL local dealers who had one or two in stock knew absolutely nothing in particular about the Alfa, I knew more after a few days of research. They just wanted to sell you any brand of car as quickly as possible. Read on, as this car deserves more than that!
Then after trawling the autotrader's, pistonheads etc...I came across an Alfa Romeo Giulietta for sale that took my eye...it had all the specs I was looking for. Unfortunately it was down in London, and I'm in the North West. I was drawn because this dealer was an Alfa Romeo specialist"¦"Veloces of London". Their advertisement suggested immediately they certainly knew what they were doing and although the price was slightly higher than similar specs of Alfa Romeo sold elsewhere on the internet that was FAR, FAR from the whole story. I visited their website and immediately knew I was going to chase this one. I text the number and enquired about the car. Within a few minutes I was called back on the phone talking to one of the most knowledgeable genuine guy's on Alfa Romeo's and performance cars. This was Andy from Veloces of London. He also relayed info to me in a very none condescending way, Andy was completely down to Earth. I also spoke to Paul at Veloces too, who was the same kind of lovely, genuine guy as Andy. The guy's at Veloces probably know more about Alfa's than the main UK Alfa dealers themselves.
Here is where things got really interesting"¦"¦
Andy basically said anyone "can have their cake and eat it too" with the Alfa Romeo, in particular the Giulietta. That means"¦.the reliability, the amazing fuel economy, the Italian sublime beautiful styling and"¦..completely unexpected levels of performance!
Andy chatted about the hidden untapped monstrous performance that lies under the bonnet of a typical 2L turbo diesel Giulietta. This is released in the form a remap customised to the car itself, the ASCARI 200 tuning they have perfected at Veloces after many, many years of tuning Alfa Romeo's.
As I said earlier at first glance prices are just a tad higher with Veloces of London than a.n. other dealer, but reading past the first description reveals something far more important. These guys know the Alfa's inside out and from A to Z. They will change cambelt, water pumps, tensioners etc"¦before putting a car on the market along with replacing any parts that they expertly deem need changing or might need changing soon. A full inspection, tune up and full prep is performed. It does not take a high degree of brain power to realise this in fact makes Veloces of London's Alfa's brilliant value compared to any other dealers. And then you have the peace of mind that all under the bonnet is tip top too.
But it certainly doesn't end there, I was intrigued by the ASCARI tuning service"¦200 BHP and shed loads of Torque on tap"¦.all in a £30 per year road tax car with fuel economy of 50+ mpg. Andy gave me vivid explanations of what to expect following a Veloces tuning.
Too good to be true?.........
Well I took the plunge an ordered a car from Andy and Paul at Veloces sight unseen to be delivered to me in the North West following Veloces preparation and Ascari tuning. The day came and the stock 2L 140 BHP Giulietta was delivered to my door. During preparation, Andy and Paul kept my updated with progress and photos etc"¦
Wow! Although it was a used Alfa, the car looked like it had just rolled off a production line in Milan, inside and out.
Once I got used to the dashboard functions etc"¦I took it out for a spin. It purred like a kitten. I felt so unique on the road, real Italian designer class, simply stunning to look at for a family 4 door car. Every other car looked rather bland and uninspiring. Performance in normal (N) mode was very strong, the economy figures were showing over 50 mpg just driving casually around town. This car wouldn't look a hair out of place cruising around the Italian Dolomites, French Riviera, or a trip to the theatre in Milano, Turin or Rome! Simply stunning & bellissimo!
Then I reached for the DNA lever and put it into D mode"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦.
Unbelievable!.........I was speechless. I laughed out loud while accelerating away from everyone else.
The thing went like what I can only describe like a rocketship! The amount of torque on tap seemed literally endless, wheel spins in 3rd. The pull was incredible, I think my nerve would give out before this baby ever would. The pull in your seat from the torque was incredible"¦"¦"¦.The first thing that came to my mind was I recall being on the infamous "Rita, Queen of Speed" ride in Alton Towers, that's what this Alfa reminded me of"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦..and in a family economy car! The pull or g-Force in your seat is far more intense that taking off in Boeing 747 or Airbus A380. The Ascari tuning in combo with the Alfa settings get the steering feel just right too for this kind of driving (if you want it!).
Andy tells me it is running at over 200 bhp with +400 Nm of torque on tap in Dynamic mode. Fuel economy was still in the high 40's/50's!
So to summarise"¦"¦..Yes, Andy was 100% right. You can have your cake and eat it! A small family 4 door car that is reliable, has amazing economy, the famous Alfa Romeo super car looks and Kudos"¦.and topped off with truly blistering performance all for very little money. All things considered, forgetting every other aspect, to get significantly better performance that what Veloces have achieved with the Alfa Giulietta would take a LOT more money, and even then you would loose most of the other benefits mentioned above, like low road tax and insurance, maintenance costs etc...And the Alfa Romeo kudos.
My advice - if you are in the market for an Alfa Romeo, do not make any purchase decision until you have at least spoken to Veloces of London. Ask to speak to Andy or Paul.
I am 100% happy and when the time is right for my next car, I will be giving them a call first.
If anyone wants to speak to me, I'll be happy to oblige.