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What could provide a better break-in period for a new Giulia than a 1,200 mile trip to the (Inter)national Alfa Romeo Owners of America annual conference? The automotive gods smiled on me and I got my wish! My special order Giulia Ti Q4 wasn’t expected until August, but it arrived at my dealer a couple of days before my wife and I were leaving for Montreal to Alfa Expo 17 on July 10th. My original plan was to drive the ‘73 Giulia GTV2000 which is setup for track days but still streetable. But when the new Giulia arrived after a 3 month wait the decision was easy. We literally picked up the car from the dealer, drove home to pack it for the trip, and departed the same day!
Driving through the White Mountains of New Hampshire was a blast (even though I was keeping revs below 3k for the first 500 miles) and we drove the famous Kankamaugus Highway (2,000 feet up and back down in a 20 mile stretch of sweepers and switchbacks)- after dark and with no traffic ahead. It was here that I found THE BEST feature of this car: the optional 35W Bi-Xenon headlights. Oh sure, it has phenomenal steering response, amazing torque and power, superb brakes, and the active suspension has the best ride/handling compromise I’ve yet experienced; but those headlights! My wife thought I had lost it as we carved up the side of the mountain at twice the speed limit, me laughing like an idiot, as the beam of the headlight turned around the corner and showed me exactly where to go. I thought this feature sounded like a gimmick but it is for real and a much better safety feature than lane departure or variable cruise control (I didn’t order those).
When we arrived in Montreal we were very pleased to see 9 other Giulias among the 100 or so Alfas in attendance. Note: Montecarlo Blue seems to be the color of choice among Alfisti as 7 or the 10 Giulias were Blue! The others were Vesuvio Gray, Alfa White and Alfa Rosso. There were two track events at Sanair Raceway and a gimmick rally, and I was signed up for the rally and the autocross event (thinking I would have my GTV) but decided to go for it anyway even with all-season run flat tires on my Ti. I’ll post a detailed report on another thread, but I wound up posting the fastest time for a Giulia and came away with a Second Place trophy in class. The FTD was a 70’s Spider race prepped with Hoosier slicks just edging out a 4C with DOT race tires. But I had a blast learning the new car and really getting a feel for how it turns, brakes, and accelerates, even though we only got 6 runs of about 1 minute each. Now my wife caught the bug and wants to autocross! The rally was also fun taking us through Old Montreal and onto the F1 track for a couple of laps (speed limit 30 clicks – ugh).
The four day event closed with a Concours along the streets of Little Italy in Montreal. Co-sponsored by Club FIAT Montreal, the police closed down the streets and opened the show to the public. What a blast! There were lots of antique and unusual FIATs and Alfas on display including a brace of Alfa Montreals celebrating the 50th anniversary of its introduction in 1967 at the World’s Fair in Montreal. Our Giulia got to meet many of her relatives on the streets of Montreal and wife and I got to eat some amazing authentic Italian pastries and espresso in the quaint Montreal neighborhood.
The ride home was equally enjoyable with a nice mix of highway and byway. The Giulia is a fabulous comfy highway cruiser that can completely change her demeanor when the manattino is switched to Dynamic mode. I look forward to many more exciting journeys with my new favorite car! I give Alfa great credit for capturing the essence of the Alfa driving experience in a completely modern package.
 

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I officially nominated this post as my favorite one on this entire forum.

I absolutely agree on the headlights. While I've had my car for almost two months, I've only driven at night once (stays light til 10 pm in the summer). I didn't even know my car did that around turns! What a fantastic surprise! My friend and I were cracking up, then once we reached her house, while parked, I'd turn the steering wheel to see how far the wheel needs to go before those awesome lights kick on... we had a great time discovering that special feature.
 
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Thanks for the sharing. Sounds like a ton of fun was had.

Let's hope one of the AROC chapters (preferably East Coast ;)) takes up the challenge in the upcoming years.
 
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