Is any car worth getting up at 5am for, on a Saturday? YES, when it's a free exotic car from that Italia!
Mrs Pirate had reluctantly agreed to give me lift to Southampton airport. Annoyance level was around 10% come 5am. I then whined until she stopped at McDonalds drive-through, annoyance level now 25%. At the airport I misdirect her and we almost end up in the long stay car park, I get out and walk shortly before annoyance level hits meltdown.
Little plane reaches Manchester an hour later, but the last 20 miles to Bolton takes another 90 mins 'cos trains. I text Jamie with my ETA, but it seems the Alfa is already misbehaving so his wife picks me up from the station. I'm unable to gauge her annoyance level accurately, but she had just been asked to collect a strange man so I would say 20%. Yes I'm strange, of course I am, and if you're reading this you know damn well that you are too. Don't be kidding yourself that you're the "normal one from Autoshite".
"Hello, I'm your new car, but you can PISS RIGHT OFF if you think you're going anywhere in me today". It seems the battery won't hold a charge and it won't even respond to the charger Jamie has bought, so it was a quick trip to ECP for a replacement. Even the location of the battery is bloody awkward, on a sort of shelf above the rear wheels - like many things on this car, it seems like an afterthought. Anyway, it then fired up immediately with the new battery and I set off for home, after a brief interlude of demolishing wheelie bins which almost snapped off the passenger mirror. The road next to Jamie's house is very narrow and you have to reverse up it, OK? My inevitable decline into parking-bump giffership hasnt started quite yet, I hope.
Out on the road, the car drives very well. The clutch (replaced a couple of years ago) is very smooth, which is good as I can't risk stalling it due to the hotstart issue. Steering is lovely and it handles nicely. It feels quite large - like a full size saloon that's been truncated. Seating position is quite odd, wheel is a long stretch away and it almost seems like you're sitting in the back of it. It's certainly not slow despite being the little-engined version, I like it.
240 miles later and I'm home with no issues. I stall it getting it onto the drive... but it starts right up again! Wife is reasonably impressed by it, annoyance level now 10% again (about average).
As you'd expect, there are jobs to do and this isn't the ideal time of year for it. Today's tasks are the exhaust leak and to give it a check-over for the MOT next month, but there doesn't appear to be any obvious problems. I'm really pleased with it so thanks to Jamie and Mrs, and Snagglepuss for buying me the roffle ticket