Bodmin is a long way from the Great Escape HQ in Worcestershire. So when the Historic and Classic-car Hirers Guild (HCHG) decided to hold its AGM in Cornwall's former judicial centre our first thought at Great Escape was - which car shall we take?
The obvious choice for the wet weather, 225 mile mainly motorway jaunt was either the Porsche 928 or the Jaguar XJR saloon. These mile munchers are perfect for long distance travel being extremely comfortable, very fast and very relaxed at motorway speeds. Except by the time the AGM came around both of these cars were out on hire with customers.
So we took the Alfasud. Our 1984 Alfa Romeo Alfasud Green Cloverleaf is new to our fleet. Like all of our new cars it has to have a minimum 500 mile 'shakedown' before it goes on hire to iron out any problems. So what better way to do it than a trip down to Bodmin?
The Alfasud performed faultlessly, holding a steady - if a little noisy - 70 all the way from Worcestershire to Bodmin via a short stop in Paignton. For 6 hours it battled torrential rain, wind and bad motorway drivers to reach Cornwall. And the next day it did it went all the way back again.
Over 450 miles the plucky little Alfasud used just 70 litres of fuel and held a steady engine temperature and oil pressure. So who says Alfas are unreliable?
We bought the Alfasud at the end of 2009 and have spent the last few months steadily fettling it to a hire standard. The car was already in excellent condition - it was used as a dealer showroom exhibit for many years - but needed detailing to bring it up to the standard we expect. After 18 months off the road it sailed through its MOT.