Yes, beautiful, that’s what I mean. Not aggressive, not expensive looking, not powerful. We have all that. We have performance. We have a lot of cars with more tech than we ever imagined. We have aero, fifty levels of traction control and tuned exhaust sound. But all it takes is a day in a Spider to realise what we are missing.
Granted, the Cotswolds paradise really brings out the best in our little gem. Not far from where we were there used to be a Roman villa. Maybe, over time, some of the Latin DNA slipped into the ground and dissolved into the landscape. A lasting gentle legacy of the wine sipping legion commanders.
This Earthly paradise somehow becomes one with the car, you sometimes wonder where one stops and the other begins. The red Spider looks like one more sweet fruit of the land, another delight brought to our tables by the warm spoken, hard working people of these hills.
Spiders become one with their owners too. Yiannis has an unbound love for his Alfa. You sense it in the way he speaks about it, as his eyes light up. He drives it every day to work, in Oxford. Rain or shine. And when the sun is out, the top goes down.
Yes, he drives it. The elements attack the car. He fights back, polishing it, tightening a loose screw, replacing that fuse, watching the temperature gauge. It’s a relationship, it takes some work over time.
Of course he drives it. How could you not drive it? This is a real sports car, with a raspy engine, agile suspension and plenty of steering feel. Useful, this last one, as you try to navigate around the unexpected pheasants who dart out of the undergrowth with complete disregard for their own lives.
Which brings me to my point. This is the real sports car. This is the car that proves that power and beauty can go together. No, actually, it proves they should go together. There is no excuse for ugliness. Beauty brings out the best in people, if maybe just for a split second. It makes us wonder, it opens our eyes. It ignites our feelings. And power keeps the fire going.
We came to take the Spider for granted. It’s available. Not the most powerful Alfa out there. It never shouts for attention. But on a day like this you realize this is our iconic car, this is our 911. And we should cherish it way more than we do, because of those impossibly cool proportions, that delicate presence and the svelte driving experience.
A Spider will generously transfer its attitude upon you. Open your eyes to more beauty. Bring smiles in the people who see it. And grace the roads with the drive they were created for.
Once our senses were truly open by the Spider therapy, we pulled in for the grand finale of the day. Behind the unsuspecting gates that once guarded the Bibury airfield lies one the most treasured classic car shops in Britain. The Classic Motor Hub guards some of the most exclusive cars ever made. We’ll tease you with an 8C. And a sticker on a multi million pound car. Italian. Unlike that mint green one. This latter car belongs to Mark Newson, one of my heroes. But that Greek flag on the back must have been there just for Yiannis. Yes Yiannis, I really think it’s for you.