Alfa GTV – the finale?!

Ok, well perhaps it’s not quite that dramatic, but at the end of my week with the startlingly fun little Italian pocket rocket, it’s film time.

Classics DrivenI’ve tried to do what I’ve done with my other films and offer a fresh angle on the GTV, taking into account some of the discussion that’s been going on through Twitter this week on the back of my daily driver blog series.

I produce these films from start to finish using an iPhone, and an iPad, and accompanying kit which totals the grand sum of £12. In fact, on my personal blog, I’ve given you a bit of a behind-the-scenes tour of one of my ‘film shoots’.

These are non-commercial, I make them so you can enjoy them. And at the same time, I might just have a little bit of fun along the way, too.

Don’t forget to join in on Twitter!

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (part 5)

Part of the fun of driving round in a (modern!) classic car, is the reaction you get from people in the petrol station, and the supermarket carpark.

Classics DrivenHaving said that, the reaction I got today when someone came to talk to me about the GTV wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

As well as that, part 5 of my daily driver ‘vlog’ comes to you from the back seat; seemingly the most interesting part of the car. Well, that and the boot.

We’ve established so far that it’s fast, it sounds nice, and it’s got an auxiliary boot release in the glove box.

So, what is life like in the back of the Alfa Romeo GTV? Find out in part 5…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (Part 4)

The Alfa GTV is an interesting car, and for part 4 of my daily driver blog, I thought I’d open up the floor to your curiosity, answering Tweets about the car.

imageFrom where to store your toothbrush on a weekend away, to how to open the boot, you asked the questions and I answered them…I’m just not sure how useful the answers will be to you, frankly.

Even though the GTV is still recent enough to see the odd example floating round, let’s be honest when was the last time you saw a car older than six years old on the road?

For that reason alone, driving this car on a daily basis is a fun experience. And that’s before we get to the sound that 3 litre V6 makes. Have I mentioned that yet?

The film is almost ready to go live, so I’ll share that with you soon. In the meantime, here’s part 4 of the ‘vlog’…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (part 3)

This weekend saw my final shoot of 2015 with the Alfa GTV, and I certainly wasn’t short of things to say about it.

Classics DrivenThe 916 (the GTV’s platform) has a really intriguing story, it’s actually an ’80s design, despite the fact it was launched in the ’90s and spanned three decades.

There’s more information on that story in my film, which I’ll release in the next week or so. But also, today was all about my favourite part of the Alfa, the engine.

It’s not perhaps what you think either. Sure it’s fast, and sounds incredible when you pump it full of throttle. But there’s something else; here’s part 3 of my vlog…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (Part 2)

Part of the fun of driving a classic (even a modern classic!) car on the road, is noticing the little quirks that either go unnoticed, or get forgotten about completely when you only get the car out on those rare sunny days.

Classics DrivenIn today’s daily driver ‘vlog’ installment, I’ve enjoyed feeling like David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider thanks to Alfa Romeo’s decision not to put frames round the door windows.

It does take me longer to get out of the car when I pull up, as a result (see the video!), but I’m sure that’ll wear off and I’ll find something else to get excited about tomorrow.

Mind you, the grin on my face every time I bury the throttle and hear the snatchy growl of that V6 hasn’t worn off yet. Will it ever?

Don’t forget – this car is part of the fleet of classic car road trip machines run by Great Escape Cars; such a great idea, and the perfect way to get behind the wheel of some of your dream cars without the hassle that ‘can’ come with owning a classic.

See you on Twitter. Here’s part two…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (Part 1)

I’ve always been a fan of the Alfa Romeo GTV, and who isn’t a fan of a thumping, Italian-built V6? Exactly. 

Classics DrivenSo you can imagine how long it took me to respond when the opportunity to do a daily driver blog on this car came up with Great Escape Cars.

Although the GTV is a fairly modern car when it comes to comfort, spec and equipment, it is still a 15 year old car, and is a world away from the diesel Alfa Romeo road car I use on a daily basis on a normal day.

I’ll share my experience with you in a series of blogs, social media content and video blogs (I think the cool kids call them ‘vlogs’), so that hopefully you feel inspired to go out to the garage, take the winter cover off that classic you’re mothballing, and go drive.

Here’s part 1, and although I do plan to bring you one of my films featuring this car, I make no apologies for the mundane goings on in this vlog series. After all, most of us don’t have a particularly daily drive, do we.

Though, a post office run with a stack of boxes in a coupe with a boot smaller than the average inside coat pocket was today’s high point…

Stay up to date on Twitter – thanks for following the ‘vlog’!


Ferrari 308: The Brand Builder – film trailer

This year we’ve brought you a wide variety of classic car films, from the venerable Mini to the brutal Corvette Stingray, and just about every type of classic in between. 

As the nights get darker, and the roads get salty classic cars are beginning to hibernate for the winter, but there are a few remaining.

In fact, we managed to find a classic Ferrari to entertain you with our next film, and it’s a pristine example of the car that a lot of people associate with a busy moustache and tennis shorts – the Ferrari 308.

We’re going to launch this film with a competition to win classic motoring goodies, thanks to Swarfega, so look out for that.

But in the meantime, here’s a tease of that V8 Ferrari soundtrack to get you in the mood to go out for one last drive before winter sets in…

Classic compromise

Life is all about compromise

Someone, somewhere in a (probably) very brown boardroom in the 1970s said to the Rolls Royce design team:

“Yes, of course you can keep the flying lady. But we need her to retract if you hit something.”

That was fair enough, right? (We’re just not sure it would have made that much difference?)

The classic motoring investment bubble

In recent years, classic car values have exploded. Like quite literally, exploded. Whether it’s a rusty but rare Ferrari 250 found in a French barn, or a workhorse Ford Sierra Estate, the market has been going only one way for as long as I can remember.

Classics DrivenOnly two years ago, you could find bargain classics in the classifieds or auction sites, and a lot of them. £2000 in your back pocket would have bought you quite a tidy classic, and as it turns out the potential for quite a tidy profit, too.

With classic supercars going for more and more absurd sums of money at auction, it makes complete sense that the whole classic car scene would follow suit and offer real rewards to those with the space for an extra set of wheels.

But increasingly, I am seeing noise and reading content on social media that claims the bubble has burst, and we’ve reached the top of the mountain as far as classic car values go. more worringly, perhaps is that these articles also claim that we’re on our way back down the other side now. ‘We’ being classic motorists, of course.

Classics DrivenWith even the most modest of classic Ford Escorts making well over £10,000 in the right condition, and Mk1 RS models regularly changing hands for Ferrari money, there’s no getting away from the fact that values have gone crazy, and it’s hard to see how they can continue that trend.

But there’s a reason for the hikes in prices; the generation who grew up with such cars has suddenly got to the age where people have the money to plough into an appreciating classic investment.

I have seen nothing to suggest those prices are on the way down, and while on first reading such claims I was ready to argue that it was the billion pound classic market that would get hit first, that side of things looks as strong as ever, too.

Classics drivenA quick glance at the number of cars smashing their reserves at recent high profile motoring auctions shows a Ferrari 365 Daytona to be ever more out of my reach as things stand.

Perhaps more alarmingly, though is that a 1200cc Vauxhall Viva sold the other day for a slither under £10,000. I thought I’d be in for a sniff with my maximum bid of £1500.

To add some rationale to my finger in the air, I would say that classic motoring is as high profile, accessible, and desirable as it has ever been. And given the escalation of technology in new cars that is putting us further and further from the driving experience, it’s not hard to see why.

Classics DrivenIf you’ve just managed to persuade the other half that it would be a good idea to buy a classic car, because “they’re never coming down in value”, I’d stick to your claim, and push ahead with your plans. Because while “never” might seem bold, it feels very real, somehow.

For the latest classic motoring discussion and content, follow Paul Woodford on Twitter @PaulWoodford84 as well as @ClassicsDriven. 

Back to the ’80s

The 1980s was an enigmatic decade. Austerity and difficult social politics shared the building with excess and a desire – outwardly at least – to leave nothing on the table. Cars, then have never quite reflected the era they hail from, like the ones that hail from the ’80s.

Classics DrivenRed seat belts were a mark of sporting prowess, an extra square edge of bodywork became known as a spoiler, and when someone told you they had just taken delivery of a fleet of new turbos, that someone could just as likely have been a hairdresser, as a car dealer.

The 1980s was – and continues to be – a decade of many things to many people. But until recently, it wasn’t a credible argument for classic motoring if you were a “traditional” classic car club member. You’d park your plastic fantastic XR2 Fiesta next to a chrome bumpered Mk2 Jag, fully prepared for some toy throwing from the rough direction of the picnic box next door.

Thankfully, we’re recounting history here, not trying to shape it; those days of ‘is it classic or isn’t it’ were tough days if you were the keeper of a car built after 1979 (…and even then!).

Now, even a base model Ford Sierra is considered by most to be a classic, even if it is with a slight upturn of moustache by a member of the blue smoke brigade (Though quite why the Triumph Acclaim achieved ‘classic’ status before the Ford Capri did, we’ll never know!).

So on this reckoning, our series of ’80s motoring films should be at the very least vaguely acceptable to you.

But for the most part, we hope you’ll be jumping up and down excitedly, just like we were when we got behind the wheel of every one of these wonderful classic cars. Enjoy!


Classics Driven