Alfa Romeo: Always With Passion, by David Owen

If you love rust, this book could be for you
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The Independent Culture

Alfa Romeos -- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. And they don't age well either, not the sort that pre-date Duran Duran. Still, even if you never get to own a late-Sixties Bertone Giulia 1750 GTV -- most of them are now available only as a pile of red dust -- at least you can comfort yourself with Alfa Romeo: Always With Passion, a superior variation on the standard Alfa picture history, republished by Haynes.

Alfa Romeos -- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. And they don't age well either, not the sort that pre-date Duran Duran. Still, even if you never get to own a late-Sixties Bertone Giulia 1750 GTV -- most of them are now available only as a pile of red dust -- at least you can comfort yourself with Alfa Romeo: Always With Passion, a superior variation on the standard Alfa picture history, republished by Haynes.

Haynes Publishing, £9.99 The Giulia 1750 GTV you get in the book comes with sunset fitted as standard, a sensational shoulder-three-quarter angle of address, with russet light flowing like silk across its hips.

Its headlamps are fully dilated. And on the page opposite you get a full set of Buying Hints, which will be useful when you find the dust pile that sings your name. "Check the front chassis legs where they join the bulkhead," it says. I can feel you shuddering from here.

Books like this are not meant for the general reader or any normal person -- analysis is perfunctory and of the most jovial sort; history likewise. They are written (and more importantly illustrated) for those who need a taxonomy of quirks, variations, imperfections and irrational joys as compensation for the fact that you can't have them for real.

If one ever were fortunate enough to touch, let alone drive, a Giulia 1750 GTV, the chances are its front chassis legs would let you down. And just imagine how painful that would be.

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