An exotic car races through Paris at incredible speed on a journey to the top of Montmartre. And it’s all just not to be late for a date. This classic Claude Lelouch film inspired countless generations of car guys. Some were taken by the idea of a real life Need for Speed, avant la lettre. Others fell for the impossibly cool tune of the Ferrari. As for me, it defines just about the perfect way to start your day.
Amidst all the tributes and remakes of this special film, ours will take this experience as its bearing. In our own, London answer to Montmartre, the storied, surreal Hampstead, we found a few roads and corners that more than match their French counterparts. In a world where most of us are under lockdown, we set out to inspire you to start your day in the best possible way.
Our guide is an Alfaholics massaged white Alfa. A pure sugar white impeccable GTV, that sounds and drives like a dream. It’s hard to keep focussed from behind the lens, as the scene is breathtaking. It’s a pristine restomod, that turns heads wherever it goes. This is Hampstead, where the residents are regularly treated to the sight of some of the best cars in the world. Still, unsurprisingly, the Alfa stands out, its cream tones softening the coffee brown shades of the first light.
Feroz has only got the car for little over a year. The past 20 years, his motoring passion gravitated around air cooled Porsches. Then, one day, when on the lookout for a Ferrari, he came across his Alfa. It was love at first sight. The car already had some special bits on, but it was not yet tuned to his tastes. The process took a while and also costed him a fair bit, but now it drives as he wanted it to in the first place.
You may wonder how the Alfa compares to his other passion. We will not discuss performance here, as we found a better metric. Whether in an air cooled Porsche, or an Alfa, the driver smiles, but what makes the Alfa experience different is how the world reacts to it. People come to talk to you. They remember their Alfas. They even pronounce words like quadrifoglio. For a Brit, getting words like that right is next to impossible, yet this one seems to always come out right. The big difference is that, if you park your classic Alfa and you casually roll the window down, you soon turn any square into an Italian village.
It’s that attitude that we, Alfisti carry inside our souls. Once reborn from the bowels of the fearless dragon, we never go back to where we were before. You can take away the meets, you can take away the drive, you can even lockdown our spiritual home, Milan. What’s inside us will forever be the same. We inherit the fire from the Biscione and we will always show our true colours, no matter what life throws at us.
When the sun is truly out and all the current troubles are confined to the history books, the world will not be the same. We would have learned much more about ourselves, many of us would have discovered the true meaning of solidarity, while some of us will have to live with the inner sadness of not having been in a position to make things better when the world need it most. But, even against this backdrop, our faith in humanity will be restored by simply taking an Alfa for a drive.
In our humble tribute to the Claude Lelouch classic, we want to wish a full hearted good morning, from the still privileged (at the time of writing this) streets of London, to all the Alfisti still confined to their homes, both in Italy and in France. We may not be able to shoot original content for a while, as we do our bit and stay at home. We know, however, that there is a rendez-vous waiting for all of us, on the other side. We wish you all to race towards it with the same gusto as in the film.