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ARTICLES > AUTOS


MY LIFE IN CARS: MANUEL PORTELLI

Tags:   Cars,   Favourite,   Autos

By The Swag Team   -  January 21, 2015



Along with his son, who we will feature soon, Manuel is a very dedicated Italian car fan, and well known among Malta’s Alfisti in particular. Alfista roughly translates as a lover and owner of Alfa Romeo cars, and as Jeremy Clarkson famously says on Top Gear, you must own an Alfa at least once in your life if you want to call yourself a petrolhead. Here, Manuel tells SWAG about his journey through the Italian motor industry.

 

 

What was your very first car?

 

It was a Fiat 500 bought for Lm60. I remember once carcading with friends during a World Cup waving a flag which was three times the size of the car! 

 

 

What cars have you owned over the years and what do you drive at the moment?

 

Mainly Fiats and Alfa Romeos with the exception of a Citroen 2CV Dolly. I currently drive an Alfa GT 3.2 V6.

 

 

Have there been any car purchases you regretted over the years?

 

I part-exchanged the Fiat 500 for a Fiat 124 thinking it would be a better car but it turned out to be good only on the outside… the engine and other parts were in a bad condition.

 

 

What cars do you plan on owning in the future?

 

I can’t name them all, but one I definitely dream of having is an Alfa Romeo 4C, an Alfa Romeo Spider, a Lancia Delta Integrale and of course, the most common dream, a Ferrari!

 

 

Do you have a favourite TV or film car?

 

Not really, but some Italian films feature some of my favourite cars.

 

 

If you could own a road car currently available for sale, what would it be?

 

By road car I understand a utility car. In that case I would go for a Lancia Ypsilon.

 

 

If you could own any classic car what would it be?

 

An Alfa Romeo Spider or Alfa Romeo GTV Junior.

 

 

What’s the best car you’ve ever driven?

 

I must admit, it was the Porsche GT3 during last year’s Paqpaqli ghal-Istrina.

 

 

What have been your best and worst moments when driving?

 

Driving overland and taking part in race events have been my best moments. The worst moment was when I had a brake failure and had to drive into a wall to stop the car.

 

 

How are you at car maintenance?

 

I only do the basics…

 

 

What is your first memory of watching motor racing?

 

My father used to take me to Ta’ Qali every Sunday to watch car racing with the intention to try to put me off it every time an accident took place… He was always afraid and against the concept of high speed.

 

 

Have you ever raced a car yourself?

 

Yes I have, both locally and abroad.

 

 

Who is your favourite racing driver?

 

Ayrton Senna – I liked his determination and his fantastic driving skills obviously.

 

 

What is your favourite racing circuit?

 

Monza – because it is synonymous with car racing.

 

 

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to buy a car?

 

If I had to give advice it will always be a bit biased towards Italian cars, as you have probably realised by now.

 

 

Do you have any favourite driving music?

 

Vasco Rossi and Pink Floyd.

 

 

Is there a famous road in the world that you dream of driving along one day?

 

The German autobahn as there are no speed restrictions.

 

 

Who would be your dream passengers on a long journey?

 

Enzo Ferrari.

 

 

How would you like to see the motor industry develop – keeping environmental and other world problems in mind?

 

I would like to see further developments in both electric and LPG technology.



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