I'm sure that we can all agree that - objectively speaking - whilst two wheels good, four wheels better. Double science! So when I was about 14, I saw the advert for the Alfa 156, having been recently released and also winning European Car of the Year, and I wanted one. At about 17, my parents gave me driving lessons as a birthday present, but since I never had any money, did have a bike and always lived in the city, I never took them up on it. That promise got a bit close to expiry at the ripe old age of 26, so I did learn to drive in July 2010, just for the skillz. Sadly, it turned out to be fun - who knew? That gave me the idea that I could actually do what I'd bked on about for so long, specifically 'not having a car until I have a shiny red Alfa'. I spent three months looking for exactly that - facelift Alfa 156, red, leather, petrol - only to find them being sold before I could get there, time & time again. Finally in September 2010 I went to a dealer, laid down five thousand of my finest coins, got most of that right and bought this: The wheels are made of gently warmed brie. The engine is born of mechanical improbability in a torrid affair of Italian nonchalance and nightmarish experiments in direct injection. The cambelt is a £500 cheestring. The paintwork (blurple) is a daydream of shiny in a world of loose stones and hippy-sharpened hedges. It drinks more oil than a robotic fish and when it comes to its penchant for petrol we find it passed out on a bench in the long-abandoned wagon station. The stereo doesn't work when it's cold and the air conditioning doesn't work when it's hot. One of the speakers doesn't work on Tuesdays. It has a turning circle of 238,857 miles and it cannot ever be parked. The leather nags at you to give up accountancy and go into the mountains with six prostitutes and that's how trips from Southampton to Blackpool find you taking in Aberystwyth. And it's not even fucking red. Take that, planet! Take that, pocket! 81 pence per mile. Screw all that though. I get to sit in it and make rorty vroom noises. Magic!