My Alfa was easy to fix. Little of the wiring loom was tidied away properly, so when anything electrical went wrong it was a doddle to pick the right wire and connectors out! Anything mechanical was more tricky, I would have to reach in between the panel gaps to get to it…
And I’m not sure there were bolts of any kind holding it together.
At one point I had one of the newly introduced 16 valve versions of the 1.7 litre boxer-engined Alfa 33. This fouled it’s plugs terribly and the dealer found that changing the spark plugs really needed the engine to be detached from the mounts and jacked up a bit. They had to do it several times after it periodically proved impossible to start. So after three months I traded it in for an Alfa 75 demonstrator.
Anyway it turned out some time later that the fouling had been due to the fact that the ignition coil was connected wrongly, consequent on the wiring loom for a right hand drive car presenting the connectors to the coil incorrectly. Once the dealer and the Alfa UK technical Dept had worked that out and swapped them round, it was all systems go!
My 164 was looked after by a chap called Piero at M P Racing in Chessington. Very knowledgable about all things Alfa and between us it was run for years as a decent car for the most part. After several valiant goes however, even he admitted defeat at trying to get the Aircon working. That couldn’t be fixed with a hammer.
I drove a 75 for several years, great fun car and the last of the rwd transaxles sadly, had a 33 QFV 1.7 8V before that which, once serviced correctly, was totally reliable over 10 years, prior to that a Sud ti which again was very reliable and not too rusty. I just have my 77 Spider now but thats rarely used. Alfas do get a lot of unwarranted bad press imo.
They are nice cars to drive, but I gave up on them when one day in my 156 I found the clutch pedal wouldn’t come up without being pulled up by hooking your foot under it. The car was only four years old. The dealer said that it was probably a hydraulic problem. The master cylinder was easy to change so they suggested they changed that first. I agreed. It wasn’t that. That was £120 and it was nine the better. So that meant it had to be the slave cylinder which, typically Alfa, was inside the bell housing.
So it was an engine out job to change the slave cylinder and “While we have the transmission and engine split Mr Hendon, it would be sensible to put a new clutch plate and cover assembly in it.” So my duff slave cylinder which probably cost about £20 ended up with me having a bill of over £1000. And this would have been over 20 years ago. I sold the car a month later and moved to BMW via an unhappy 2 years with a Golf.
I had a new Alfa 155 2.5 V6 at one point. Nice car, but it spent a week or two in their workshop when at one month old, the cam belt tensioner went wrong and some valves started tapping the top of the cylinders.
And on another new Alfa (I forget which one) the burglar alarm didn’t work. It took the dealer, again with help from UK Alfa technical support, a long time (days) to discover that the special alarm system switch that could be operated by the ignition key was mislabelled and Off was actually On, while On was actually Off.
I never had that problem fortunately. Though I did have to drive around a lot with the sunroof open whenever the aircon/heating system decided it was appropriate to recreate the temperature on the surface of Venus.
I did drive my friend’s sud Sprint frequently though, usually when he was off somewhere boring with the navy. That certainly didn’t need any more holes and he would reflect how it would likely sink quicker than his submarine.
Update on this, bolt wouldn’t budge, bought a bolt extractor which moved it a quarter turn and then it snapped! Had to resort to drilling it out and re tapped afterwards. All ready to go now with fresh M10 bolts with an Allen head and lots of copper grease!