Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

picture courtesy of: Royal Perak Motor Club

Do you remember the year these Alfa Romeo cars came to Malaysia? Perhaps the car-lovers might be able to tell us more. Maybe someone out there was standing in the crowd watching this promotion.

And…if you were one of these pretty girls in the photograph, we’d love to hear from you too 😉
  1. sk says:

    Could be in the late 6os. City Motors was the link to Alfa Romeo during those days. Were the girls sitting on moving cars as there were so many spectators under the tress or was there a race going on.

  2. Yang Razlan says:

    I was a proud owner of the Alpha Romeo Veloce 1.5 sold by City Motors. Having an office on top of their building and showroom one cannot avoid but to buy the sporty car from them. It was one good car. But due to being an imported car then, the major problem was overheating in our hot and humid climatic

  3. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia

    Do you remember the year these Alfa Romeo cars came to Malaysia?

    The car in front is an Alfasud Sprint from the late 1970s. (I’d guess 1978 but others may know better.)

  4. Mano says:

    As Ipoh Remembered pointed out, the car in front is the Alfasud Sprint, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the greatest car designer of this century. The car behind it, also by Mr Giugiaro, is the Alfetta 2.0. As for the car behind the Alfetta, it’s odd but my money is on the Mistubishi Lancer which appeared in 1979 or perhaps in 1980.

    Hi, Yang Razlan, welcome to the blog. It is interesting to hear of the overheating problems you had experienced with your Alfasud Sprint. I have owned three different Alfas in the past and never encountered any overheating problems. Once, the electric cooling fan in my Alfetta 1.8 ‘carked’ it but, even to my surprise, so long as I was not stationary, the temperature stayed normal! Oh, the aircond had to be switched off, of course.

    May I give mention here to the master mechanic at City Motors at that time, the legendary, Ah Peng. A soft spoken, affable six footer who, in his own words, nary a nook or cranny in an Alfa that he had not put his finger in!

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear Mano

      With the information you added, I’m guessing the photograph was taken in 1978, or possibly in 1979.

      I agree that the third car could be a Mitsubishi (or Colt) Lancer. These were available as early as 1973, but I suppose the one in the photograph was from later.

  5. S.Y. says:

    My first Alfa was a second hand Alfa GTV. It was only 5 months old and has 3,000 miles on the clock and has never left Penang Island. It cost me RM20,000.00, considering a new Mercedes 200 then cost only about RM23,000. It was all right until after using it for two years. That was when the brakes failed. I sent it back to the dealers and they said it was the the master pump. About a month later it failed again. All in all I sent it to them about 10 times until they said it was all right. Can you imagine the car going at over 100 mph and the brakes failing? However, before the brakes failed, I got advance warning. I can hear the interference in the radio when I step on the brakes. The foreman could never understand why this was so as he said the brakes had nothing to do with the electrical system. A friend of mine who owned an Alfa GT 1600 had the same problem. I was tempted with the Alfetta 1800 when it came out. The problem I had was due to the air-cond installation by an outside air cond shop. The bonnet area had no space for the battery and the battery had to be installed at the boot. The wire connected was too close to the exhaust and one night, while driving it, it short circuited and the car stalled. I was lucky the car did not catch fire. After that, due to the poor installation, a trip to Taiping would leave me with a pool of water about 1 inch high in the front left seat. I again sold it and vowed never to buy another Alfa. I was again tempted when the Alfetta 2000 came out. This time it was the hand brakes which kept on failing and had to be constantly changed. Finally, I sold it off. I believe that the road holding of the Alfa was better than the BMW, especially the Alfa GTV. One thing about the Alfa is that if it does not rust, it is not an Alfa.

  6. Mano says:

    ‘You are not a car enthusiast or a petrol head until you’ve driven an Alfa’. That saying applies to even motoring journalists. Many of whom have put in writing the reason for the love affair with this marque. Ask Jeremy Clarkson!
    These cars were very advanced for it’s time. All alloy, twin cam, twin carburetor with sodium cooled valve engines. With double wishbone, De Dion axle and Watts link arm suspension, the Alfetta 1.8 for instance, was the world’s first production saloon car with it’s clutch and gears placed at the rear giving it a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Yet, Alfa Romeo chose to remain understated. The Japs (and PROTON) decades later would display in big bold letters DOHC whenever their cars came with a twin or dual cam engine!
    In my case, I guess a bit of technical aptitude and the Haynes maintenance manual had much to do with my Alfa going very well. Frequent washing, checking the drain holes and a spray of anti-rust kept the tin worm away as well. A point of interest here, I used Fluid Film not WD40. Alfas are like racehorses. They require constant and close attention. More often than not the problems were due to shoddy workmanship, thanks to unions, and poor quality sheet metal supplied by the Ruskies. My love affair ended when Alfa went front wheel drive.
    Now, how’s this for reliability issues – I went on to buy a Mercedes E240 in 1999. Within 6 months, both rear window winder cables snapped crashing the windscreens down. I had the rear differential replaced. Fortunately, I could tell that something was wrong when decelerating between 180-190kph. I used to push 220 kph on my trips between Ipoh and KL.
    Anyway, I had so much changed on warranty with this car that Cycle & Carriage Bintang changed the German technical advisor to Beijing!

  7. Mano says:

    Dear S.Y., if I may make a few guesses as to what caused the problems with your Alfas.
    1. Brake failure – could be due to many reasons. I had similar issues with my Alfetta 1.8. but I had parts replaced with those from a Mercedes 250D. Being from the same manufacturer, Bendix, these parts were identical but of better quality. I even changed the Alfa’s booster pump from 14″ to that of the Merc’s 15″ without any modifications.
    As for the interference on your radio when you step on the brakes. My only guess is that in the electrical circuit of the brake lights there could have been dry joints. Arcing within these joints when you actuate the brakes could have been near the radio antenna lead.
    2. Aircond – Well, you can’t really blame it on the car, can you:)
    That pool of water is the condensation not being channeled out of the car. Where the aircond is fitted, under the dashboard close to the firewall, there would be an outlet where the plastic or rubber tube that runs beneath the carpet and insulation material and out of the car had come off.
    3. Alfetta 2.0 handbrake – Unlike the Giulia, where there was a drum set up solely for the handbrake together with the discs in the rear hubs, the Alfetta 2.0 had the cables acting on discs only. Somehow, when the discs were positioned inboard as with the Alfetta 1.8, it was not a problem.
    This problem was also inherent with other makes like the Volvo 122 and 144.
    Totally agree with you on the superiority of the Alfa over the likes of BMW or Mercedes. If only they had given more attention to their build quality….sigh!

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