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November 2008: Red-letter day for Alfa fans

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THE presence of a rare new supercar brought a buzz of excitement and the thunderous bark of a race-bred V8 engine to a Dorset village on Saturday.

Businessman Brett Edbrook had brought his spanking new Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione along to be admired and worshipped at Italian car specialists Red Motori, run by his long-time friends Dave Summers and Andy Bowley at Spetisbury, near Blandford.

A couple of weeks earlier, the three of them travelled to Italy where they personally collected the 190mph 8C from the Maserati factory in Modena.

Brett returned the favour by taking his gleaming new red chariot to Spetisbury, where a posse of members of the Wessex section of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club had gathered for the occasion.

The 8C is Alfa’s first venture into authentic supercar territory for many years. Production has been limited to just 500, all of which were snapped up in double-quick time, and the car has been widely acclaimed as sensational.

It has a classic sports car shape, with a long bonnet and short tail, a super-light carbon fibre body, is powered by the same 450bhp 4.7-litre engine being used by the new Maserati Coupé, and rockets from standstill to 60mph in 4.5 seconds.

Brett, who lives in Bournemouth and runs his own office interiors business, has had many Alfas over the years and when he learnt two years ago that the company had decided to put their spectacular sports concept vehicle into production, he made up his mind to try and get one.

Only 40 of the 500 produced were being made available to UK buyers and it was nine months later – in March of last year – that he was informed that he was going to be allowed to buy one.

When he finally collected it, the euro-fixed price tag had floated up by over £17,000 as the value of sterling had dipped, so Brett eventually had to fork out a cool £137,500 for his dream machine.

He chose twisty alpine routes along which to bring the Alfa home to England. “It was even better than I had hoped it would be,” he said. “It is very quick, incredibly responsive and wonderful to drive. Just the sound of it is amazing.”

Brett, who is married with two young children, does not plan to drive the 8C every day – he has a more workaday Alfa for routine work – but intends to use it for special occasions or overseas trips.

The journey back to these shores was less straightforward for Dave and Andy, however. Dave’s Maserati suffered alternator failure in Switzerland so they had to abandon it at a local garage, drive to England in a hired Golf, and return to Switzerland a week later to collect the repaired car.

The Wessex section of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, incidentally, meet at St Leonards Hotel on the A31 near Ferndown on the first Wednesday of each month. For more info contact secretary Nigel Varney at alfa@njvarney.plus.com

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