Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 Twin Spark Selespeed

Year:     2000    
Acquired:     February 2017
Mileage:     65,000    
Dream car:    Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
Dream road trip:    Going to Milan this Autumn in my Alfa Romeo S4 Spider. Stelvio Pass on the way into Italy, cruising around Lake Como, then visiting the Alfa Romeo and Pininfarina Museums

Dominic McMullan - 'I love the engine sound and throttle blips' 


Why this model?
It was used, unwanted and a bargain. I'd heard bad things about Selespeed gearboxes, but it turned out to be a gem. After some body sorting (no rust) and a full service with a new cambelt, the 156 turned out to be great. Plus i'ts much more lively than the heavier 159 that replaced it.
What’s the best bit?
The sound of the engine and the addictive throttle blips from the Selespeed gearbox on downchanges.
What’s the worst bit?
The heater doesn't always blow hot despite various diagnostics and a new thermostat.
Any modifications?
No: it's all factory spec. All work is done by the specialists at the Alfa Workshop in Royston.
What’s it like to run?
It's an event every time you drive it, just as all Alfa Romeo cars are, I've got three at the moment so I can speak with authority on that. I've driven it all over the country, to and from Scotland in a day, and
I can't fault it. It has power when you need it and the look on drivers' faces as you speed past them in an 18-year-old Alfa Romeo is brilliant.
Any advice for potential owners?
Get an inspection by an Alfa Romeo specialist.  Take it for a test if you can, offering to pay for it if necessary. If they don't want to, negotiate harder or walk away.
Any funny mishaps?
I bought the car in Telford and drove it back to Peterborough.  The car hadn't had a service or a cambelt change in five years. The cambelt especially concerned me, so I drove it back like Miss Daisy so as not to cause any damage to the engine. Apologies to anyone who got stuck behind me on the way back from Telford in February last year!

Sign up to our newsletter to receive exclusive Modern Classics magazine content every fortnight!