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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How many current Giulia owners are aware of the ancestry of their vehicles? Over the last couple of years I've probably passed/pulled next to a few dozen new Giulias in my '91 164S, and not a single Giulia owner has ever shown the slightest sign of recognition of a fellow Alfa.

I guess it's a totally different demographic. On a related note, how many current Giulia owners can operate a manual transmission?
 

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DSpieg, it's the same with me and my '94 164. I get more looks and thumbs up from non-alfa owners than I have from Giulia and Stelvio owners. But I try to waive at them just in case they see me.
 

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Agree, I was blocking the street as I was backing my Spider in and a neighbor with a Stelvio had to wait for me. No recognition from them even though I waved.
 

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Back when Alfa was considering a reentry into the US market, I was asked to participate in a telephone interview with some nice young people over in Italy. Alfa had engaged a university to do market research, the better to position themselves to suit the US.

The FIRST question they asked was "what can Alfa do to take advantage of their extensive and successful racing history?"

I replied that no one in the US was aware or gave a darn about their racing history. The few that knew about it would have been racing SCCA back in the 70s, and most of them were now either dead or demented.

Long pause.....

There were more questions, but about every third query referred back to Alfa's long and grand racing legacy. It was clear that Alfa, at least at that point, was quite certain the key to their marketing was based upon the Italian world-view.

The Alfa tradition has long been severed over here, and what is remembered is one they probably shouldn't dig up.
 

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Agree, I was blocking the street as I was backing my Spider in and a neighbor with a Stelvio had to wait for me. No recognition from them even though I waved.
Scientific proof that driving a vehicles with automatic transmissions dulls the mind.
 

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Very few do.
How many current Giulia owners are aware of the ancestry of their vehicles? Over the last couple of years I've probably passed/pulled next to a few dozen new Giulias in my '91 164S, and not a single Giulia owner has ever shown the slightest sign of recognition of a fellow Alfa.

I guess it's a totally different demographic. On a related note, how many current Giulia owners can operate a manual transmission?
Very few. Different breed with all new cars let alone alfa. But for the most part I have had many wave and take pics of my car. This also happened like mad in my 164. A lot of my old customers own these now. As far as the dull minded auto driver, yes. For sure. But for those who have owned many Alfa's in the past we get a pass for owning one. ;)
 

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Yes - very few.

Current Giulia / Stelvio / 4C owners know very little or almost nothing of the history or past cars of Alfa Romeo.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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I have noticed that cars behind me tend to get up close and then back off. I'd like to think they are trying to figure out what it is. Seems it happens in my Giulia more so than the GTV or Berlina but I get way more conversations and waves in the older ones.
 

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The red 164S used to get chased down the highway with folks trying to take pictures. It was a bit un-nerving. The GTV6 always attracts comments and interest. I don't see many of the new Guilia or Stelvio, so can't determine their interest in the older vehicles.
 

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Well as was mentioned and in defense of some of the new Giulia/Stelvio/4C owners, Alfa was missing from the US for a while. And they are not like Jeeps where the YJ, TJ, JK, etc all share a somewhat similar look making it easier for newcomers to recognize the older models.

For the record I have a manual 69 Giulia Super as well as a 17 Giulia and I wish to God I had the opportunity to buy a manual version of the newer one. Unfortunately we are in the ever shrinking minority.
 

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I get about the same amount of attention from people in general whether I drive my 69 Spider, 85 GTV6 or 17 Giulia. That said, most of the time Stelvio owners don't even recognize me in my Giulia, much less in an older Alfa. I think that is OK. The new Giulia (and Stelvio for that matter) is an impressive driver's car. If they mint a whole new crowd impressed by the performance of modern Alfas, that is still a good thing. Those of us who have the pleasure of enjoying the older Alfas just know the marque that much better.
 

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FIAT's big mistake was to allow that discontinuity to persist in the US market. Add to that the decision to make only rwd cars which further broke any connection with the pre-90's cars. The new Giulia is the new face of Alfa Romeo, somewhat ironically harkening back to pre War Alfas which sold only to wealthy buyers....
 

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I get about the same amount of attention from people in general whether I drive my 69 Spider, 85 GTV6 or 17 Giulia.
Sure. No one is saying that your '17 Giulia isn't a sharp-looking car or that no one pays any attention to. The point is that the general public doesn't recognize it as an Alfa Romeo, a 100+ year old marque with a rich racing heritage. It might as well be the latest Kia for all they know.

If they mint a whole new crowd impressed by the performance of modern Alfas, that is still a good thing.
True. And that will take another 25 years and who knows how many billions of dollars. Would have been more efficient to remain in the US market and continue promoting the brand.

Michael Smith said:
FIAT's big mistake was to allow that discontinuity to persist in the US market. Add to that the decision to make only rwd cars ...
I think you meant "fwd cars". And I'd add "with automatic transmissions". But yes, their approximately twenty year absence from the US market was their biggest mistake.
 

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The general public doesn’t recognize my old Alfas or know what they are either. No real difference compared to the Giulia in that regard. And having driven Alfas since 1985, I would say that trend has remained pretty consistent. Few have ever recognized my Alfas here in the US. And even fewer have any notion of the racing heritage.

But to the original point, having driven a Giulia for almost 3 years now and talked to the occasional Giulia or Stelio owner as a result, most (all actually that I can recall) have had no previous connection to Alfa.
 

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Back when Alfa was considering a reentry into the US market, I was asked to participate in a telephone interview with some nice young people over in Italy. Alfa had engaged a university to do market research, the better to position themselves to suit the US.

The FIRST question they asked was "what can Alfa do to take advantage of their extensive and successful racing history?"

I replied that no one in the US was aware or gave a darn about their racing history. The few that knew about it would have been racing SCCA back in the 70s, and most of them were now either dead or demented.

Long pause.....

There were more questions, but about every third query referred back to Alfa's long and grand racing legacy. It was clear that Alfa, at least at that point, was quite certain the key to their marketing was based upon the Italian world-view.

The Alfa tradition has long been severed over here, and what is remembered is one they probably shouldn't dig up.
Conversely you are saying Americans don't know about anything unless it happens in America.

American world-view is just as sad as Italian world-view, or New Zealand world-view.

BUT I do agree that the modern Alfa badge just means european snobbery, as sad as a BMW badge.
Pete
 

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The Giulia isn't just a badge. You get a great car. It's just not connected to Alfa heritage. Now in some ways that's good given the reputation Alfa earned latterly. Mainly it is not good but modern cars are so heavily regulated it would be very hard to stay true to the Alfa heritage and no marque is immune to that effect.
 

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It's a really great car. I drove everything in the segment as I wasn't wedded to getting Giulia. But it was distinctly the "drivers" can within that segment by a long margin.

There are actually visual cues on the Giulia that purposely echo design elements of classic Alfas. The bump on the nose (S1 Spider) and the lower dash (Giulia SS and 2600 Sedan) are a couple that come to mind. Minor, but nice every time I look at them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Lots of good commentary! In my mind Alfa's unpardonable miscalculation was their decision not to bring any models to the US with a manual transmission option. Originally they promised they would do so. I might be one of maybe 13 people left who gives a crap about that, but if they'd offered a stick shift in the 4C, I probably would have bought one. Failing that, if they'd then offered a stick in any of the Giulia trim lines, I would have bought one of those. Maybe they'd have even captured some disappointed BMW drivers who can no longer get a stick with their M3 (!).

But no. So I'll keep driving the 164 until I can't fix it or get parts for it anymore. Perhaps by then the world will be all-electric or all-autonomous and it won't matter, or I'll be dead and won't care :)

Speaking of BMWs, the biggest thumbs-up I've gotten while driving the 164S was from a BMW driver (to my surprise).
 

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I picked up some Stelvio paperwork at the Alfa dealer, driving GTV6. Lots of interest from folks walking in who never had seen a GTV6. The Maserati/Alfa dealer has lots of stuff on Maserati, books, accessories and pictures of old race cars. They have almost none on Alfa, which has had a longer and arguably more successful racing history.

As far as the new Alfa's being a vehicle for wealthy folks, in the US it always has bee a premium priced vehicle. With the average price of a car over $30k and mass market SUVs and pickup trucks routinely eclipsing $50K, the price of Alfa's 2.0 Guilia and Stelvio offering is reasonable.

A Guilietta kind of car would be good for younger buyers. Audi was almost dead and the A4 base model was super successful: cloth interior, five speed, FWD, 1.8L turbo. Alfa needs to stick with the market, build good cars, provide better dealer experiences and over a decent period of time re-establish the brand.
 
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