Over the coming weeks, we will be celebrating some members of our global family of Alfisti; finding out how they came love Alfa, and hearing about some of their favourite memories. Our very first interview is with Virgiliu Andone, a London based car photographer, designer and builder, and UK Editor of Alfattitude: an independent fan platform, dedicated to curating and energising the Alfisti. 'I keep a keen eye on the whole spectrum of car culture', Andone tells us, 'but my heart beats maybe just a touch faster when it comes to Alfa Romeo.'
What was your first encounter with Alfa Romeo?
The first Alfa in my life was my grandfather's Giulia. I didn't get to drive it and I don't think I will ever find it again to achieve that.
Why is Alfa special to you?
Because it makes everything seem simple. I guess this is the mark of real talent. Photographing an Alfa is like cheating, because you have to struggle a lot not to get a great shot. Driving pleasure also comes incredibly easy. And they're not the most expensive of cars, so they are shockingly affordable for what they are. But, if I'm honest, this is all post-rationalisation. You always have a relationship with Alfa through your soul, your emotions, no rational explanation would ever do it justice.
What is your favourite Alfa?
From all the Alfas ever produced, if I had to choose just one, it would be the BAT9. The BAT cars are definitely my favourite trio of Alfas. The BAT9 wins, as you can see a few generations of Alfas emerging from those lines.
Special Alfa memory?
Driving the Giulia QV last year up the Bernina Pass, in race mode. We were on a closed road, as the pass was cordoned off for the epic Bernina Gran Turismo and, as part of the Alfattitude team, I was covering the event. I shot and watched in awe as the classic Alfas went up the mountain. It was amazing to connect to the place and the history and to really feel the charm of modern engineering still behaving like a true Alfa.