Curbivores like Alfas, especially older Alfas. That is a fact. You will probably have opinions about aspects of more recent examples; you will certainly have opinions about the engines of older cars, of the priortisation of driving pleasure, of sharing a great heritage and of the actual (often perfectly competitive) comfort and practicality of the cars of the last sixty or more years. But to many of us, the most desirable Alfas on the Curbivore Scale are the rear drive cars. And the last one, with a great engine and classically awful ergonomics, was the Alfa Romeo 75 3.0 V6, sold in North America as the Alfa Romeo Milano.
The 75 range was built from 1985 to 1992; there are just 28 of the V6 version left on the roads of the UK, but it comes with a much longer back story, back to 1972 and to the 1950s in parts. Let’s take a journey through it, with a couple of diversions, and some contempraneous impressions. After all, it’s an Alfa and we’re here to enjoy the journey.
(Many of the photos, including this one, are from that great source of Curbivore goodness, the Curbside Cohort; contributors are named at the end)
The 75 story starts in 1972, with a car named after a winner of over 50 Grand Prix and equivalent races from 1938 to 1953, and which had pioneered the use of the rear transaxle, with the gearbox and clutch combined with the differential, linked with a de Dion rear suspension. Enzo Ferrari featured in its gestation, too. The 1972 car was the Alfa Romeo Alfetta, or Tipo 116 in Alfa code, the successor to the 1750 Berlina, a Giulia derivative with a longer tail, smoothed sides and cleaner front end. Perfectly pleasant visually, if a little characterless after the Giulia.
The Alfetta signalled something different, in retrospect. Alfa were looking to create something closer to an Italian BMW 1800 or 2000, Audi 100, Lancia 2000 or Rover 2000TC – a car that was credible in the sports executive class, with strong driving dynamics, practical in terms of space and comfort, but with no explanation needed for its selection – indeed, perhaps a recognition that to be able to make that selection was an aspiration. Arguably, the closest rival to the first Alfetta 1750 was the BMW 520. Both cars came in 1972, and the choice now does not look easy.
Or perhaps it does if you “get” Alfas more than you do the more strongly rational, almost clinical, German car. In place of the accomplished and smooth BMW six cylinder, there was the Alfa twin cam four cylinder, probably one of the greatest and most charismatic four cylinder engines ever to grace a regular automobile. Paul covered it here in some detail, but in summary it was a four cylinder, twin overhead camshaft 8 valve engine.
It dated from, originally, 1954, and was designed by Giuseppe Busso. Make a note of that name – he will crop up again in this tale.
In 1954, practically all European four cylinder engines were overhead valve, or even still side valve, designs. To have an overhead camshaft, never mind two of them, was something out of the ordinary; for a British motorist the preserve of of the six cylinder Jaguar XK engine. Add to that the racing and sport heritage of Alfa Romeo – think of the success of the cars run by the Scuderia Ferrari from 1929 to 1939, for example, or of the image of 1930s 6C and 8C cars for example – and the unmatchable position of Alfa Romeo starts to form.
For the first Alfetta, the engine was 1779cc (or 1750, an important and storied number to Alfa and still used today in model designations) with 119 bhp at 5500rpm and 123 lbft at 4400rpm. This was good for 112mph and 9.7sec to 60 mph, figures that outpaced the BMW 520, never mind the 518.
The Alfetta added these to another novelty – a five speed gearbox. Such a transmission in 1972 was still the preserve of an overtly sports car; to a British understanding, a Continental sports car or sports saloon. And, that gearbox and the clutch were combined with the differential to create the rear transaxle, giving near perfect 50/50 weight distribution and great traction. The rear suspension, partly to reduce the unsprung weight at the back, was by de Dion tube.
Whilst this is not an independent suspension, it does eliminate any camber changes and thereby helps maintain traction but it is not a cheap solution. Universal joints (two on each side) are required between the transaxle and the wheels and also a lateral link, such as a Watts linkage, to help keep things in line. Coil springs and an anti roll completed a relatively complex and overall bulky arrangement.
At the front, there was a classic double wishbone arrangement suspended by longitudinal torsion bars and an anti-roll bar. All round disc brakes, inboard at the rear adding another twist of novelty, complexity or thoroughness depending on your persuasion, and rack and pinion steering completed the mix.
And there was the Busso engine. In fact, all the mechanical design had been led by Giuseppe Busso, and whilst some might think parts of it awkward and overly complex, to some it was innovative but thorough. That probably measured if you “got” the Alfetta or not.
Rumour has it Busso was asked to devise three suspension options – a cheap option, a good quality-cost compromise and a cost-no-object solution. Alfa, presumably under the leadership of Alfa enthusiasts rather than business minded people, chose the third option. Obviously.
Size wise, the car was compact compared with the competition. The wheelbase was 98.8 inches – an important number to remember as we go through this tale – compared with 104 inches for the BMW 520 and 103 inches for the Rover 2000, perhaps Britain’s closest competitor in the semi-premium market.
The Triumph Dolomite Sprint, although slightly smaller, was also a competitor with its innovative 16 valve engine; the larger Triumph 2000 was closer to the Ford Granada and Opel Rekord in reality. Elsewhere, the Lancia Beta, SAAB 99, Peugeot 504 and Volvo 244 offered competition, each with a different emphasis.
Reviews were good. Most reviewers seemed to “get” the Alfetta, and Motor Sport summed it up as “beating most competitors into a cocked hat” and being “an Alfa Romeo into the bargain”, even if the unconventional layout didn’t seem to deliver all it might have done. Still, that’d have done it for me. CAR was short, sharp and to the point, summing up the Alfetta as an “All time great.”
The car came to market in 1972; it was supposed to be 1971 but delays caused by vibration issues with the prop shaft, solved by adding in another joint, delayed the launch.
The range was expanded in 1975 to include the 1.6 litre version of the Busso engine, creating the Alfetta 1.6. The original car became the Alfetta 1.8, as the Giulia was finally prepared for retirement, with full honours.
By 1981, the car had been gently evolved. There was a longer front end, gaining a more contemporary set of big rectangular lights and a bit of anonymity in place of the four round lights and more prominent scudetto. Trim changes were inevitably also made, with considerable changes to the interior, mostly around adding a contemporary luxury feel.
And adding a truly Alfa touch of a speedometer that read clockwise from 10 o’clock alongside a rev counter that read from 5 o’clock. Every great human being has at least one odd, but endearing, characteristic, and so do all classic Alfas.
The Alfetta, for all its quirks and complicated engineering, successfully replaced the larger, Giulia derived 1750 and 2000 saloons, which were withdrawn by 1977. But the smaller Giulia was also in need of replacement, and the chosen method of doing so may surprise. Or maybe not – remember, we’re talking about Alfa here, not VW.
Sharing the floorpan or drivetrain of one car to build another, either newer, or larger or smaller, or differently configured, is not a new or unique practice, of course. Think about the Ford Falcon for perhaps the most varied case, but every maker will have something in the archives of this nature, varying perhaps the wheelbase, engines fitted and styling. And Alfa Romeo is no exception.
The 1977 Giulietta was a more compact derivative of the Alfetta, but remember that 98.8 inches I mentioned earlier? It may have looked smaller, but the Giulietta was directly based on the Alfetta floorpan, suspension and drivetrain. Like, it had a wheelbase of 98.8 inches.
This was a shorter Alfetta – shorter by 3 inches (based on the 1972 car), mostly at the rear. The consequent reduction in boot volume was alleviated by having a taller tail in the openly contemporary wedge shape styling.
The Giulietta replaced the Giulia, using a name that has more history at Alfa than almost any other. The original Giulietta of 1954 was the first compact saloon that the company had produced and thereby the first Alfa anywhere near affordable for many Italians, and the first saloon car use of the Busso engine. To re-use the name was significant, as significant as Mercedes-Benz re-using the 190 moniker a few years later.
The first cars came with smaller versions of the Busso engine, of 1357cc and 1570cc, from the Alfetta 1.6, reflecting their place in the Alfa Romeo hierarchy as the infill between the Alfetta and the Alfasud. Even so, the Giulietta 1.3 has 95bhp and would get to over 100mph. the 108 bhp 1.6 brought a significant performance boost, and the later 1.8 and 2.0 versions were faster still, reaching 115 mph. These were strong figures for the late 1970s.
Visually, there were strong differences to the Alfetta, with no shared visible components except the windscreen – the door skins, roof and C pillars were all different as was the waistline of the very wedge shape, but with the same wheelbase and door apertures there is a limit to the variety you can conjure in the passenger experience.
The Giulietta’s interior style was very much of its time too (that is not a criticism, at least in my book), with a distinctly different vibe to the more staid Alfetta. The instruments showed a compact car feel, even if the contra-rotating dials were not everyone’s ideal. Alfa have a consistent history of showing that evocative and emotionally appealing cars do not need to be retro-styled, a practice many other manufacturers either missed or messed up. But it was fairly polarising with it, much more so than the Alfetta.
This car was also gently evolved over the next few years, with additional plastic cladding being a regular way of updating (or maybe trying to tone down) the distinctive style. But the biggest event in the car’s evolution centred on the engine. In 1982, Alfa gave us the Giulietta Turbodelta, a 2 litre version with a KKK turbocharger and twin Weber carburettors and a quite striking 170bhp, developed by the company’s racing arm Autodelta, largely as a homologation exercise. In the event, just 361 cars were built, all black with red interiors, and this was the last car badged as Autodelta. With a name and history like Alfa Romeo, the need for anything else as a suffix is relatively small, I suggest.
Alfa also fitted a VM diesel engine in 1983, primarily for home market consumption. This was the era of diesel for economy, with no performance pretensions. With 81bhp, they were precious few of those.
Perhaps surprisingly, press reviews of the Giulietta were mixed. Yes, it was an Alfa, with a wonderful engine, and a technically complex and well balanced layout, but against were the polarising styling, an awkward baulky gearchange, especially when cold and during the long warming period and, even, disappointing handing usually reported as surprisingly dominant understeer. Likewise, for later Alfettas, where there was a slightly softer nature than you might have expected. There were also apparent variations between cars, often centring on damper settings which seemed variable on cars of any age, from brand new on. CAR magazine summarised it as “You’ll love a good one, if you get one”. Doing so was not always predictable.
The Giulietta’s key competitors were arguably the BMW 3 series, Lancia Beta, Triumph Dolomite and Audi 80 range, all cars offering something distinctive and a step up the premium ladder from many others. All had their issues – the BMW had only two doors at this time, the Lancia was about to be engulfed in the rust saga, the Triumph was almost as old as the popular image of its owners and Audi was still building its premium reputation. Other discerning petrolheads might have opted for a Citroen CX or a SAAB if funds permitted, and it is to Alfa’s credit that they sold almost 400,000 Giuliettas, alongside nearly 450,000 Alfettas by 1985.
And there is one Alfetta version we must consider. Just to look at the Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT is, arguably, to want one.
The 75 over here was the Milano, and the 3.0 was the Verde (due to the green cloverleaf badge on the back) which was the cream of the crop and becoming a modern classic. As you rightly observe, it was an impressive machine with one of the all-time great engines. The lesser Milanos all still had the 2.5 V6 and were available in Silver, Gold, and Platinum named trims if memory serves. No four cylinders for us, gas was too cheap.
I looked at Milanos several times in my car-buying “career” and still regret not pulling the trigger at least once. I found the styling to be interesting and appealing, the different-ness inside and out itself being much of the appeal but also of course the low nose, high tail wedge stance.
Roger, this was a fantastic journey through this part of the Alfa range, and I’ve learned much I didn’t know about many of the cars that were never available here. The 90 looks a LOT like the E28 BMW from the low curbside angle shot of the brown car but much less so from a higher perspective. Some of the wacky interiors are absolutely charming and interesting and amazing that they made it to production in an ever increasingly homogenized world. While Alfas to this day remain exquisitely sporting machinery, but also as always are available in more pedestrian formats elsewhere, they definitely still retain character, sometimes frustrating, sometimes wild, but always marching to the beat of their own drum.
Thankfully it’s a holiday weekend here, and I plan to use part of it to re-read and enjoy many of the magazine reviews you included here.
Wow.The British “BMW” .the Truimph was dearer than the real one!. Audi was crazy ,crazy money.
We complain about new car prices today but just 3 years before this road test £5000 would have brought you the top of the range English Ford , the Granada 3.0 Ghia Auto not a mid range Cortina . The 1977 Cortina was just £2100!.
Quite the epic Alfa saga! Like Jim, there were details that had become lost in my memory banks, or were new to me.
I have decidedly mixed feelings about this generation of Alfa sedans. The original Alfetta is very appealing, but seeing those same out of date doors and certain other aspects of that rather crude boxy greenhouse all the way well into the 90s was disappointing. The Tipo 6 goes well beyond that word. Embarrassing.
But there’s a lot to like too, and a 75 with the 3.0 V6 undoubtedly would be a blast.
Thank you, Roger, for a brilliant read on an enchanting range of cars. The Alfetta range is indeed fascinating – fascinating and frustrating at the same time. They are Alfas through and through.
There are so many facets of these cars that leave me bewildered. They are brimming with unconventional solutions, that in most other companies, would never see the light of day.
Take for instance, the DeDion & rear transaxle setup. While undoubtedly brilliant in terms of weight distribution and minimizing the effects of unsprung mass, why this was deemed a prudent solution in a mass market sedan where space is at a premium, defies explanation. Perhaps standards were different once, but these cars were not exactly roomy for their size. Other saloons that employed a DeDion rear – most notably the Rover P6, suffered from similar packaging deficiencies. It’s hard not to question the functional benefits here, especially when considering that the live axles cars that the Alfetta effectively replaced were not lacking in handling prowess.
Another missed opportunity appears to be lack of a hatchback in the Giuletta variant. Though the styling motifs help to distinguish between the Alfetta and Giuletta, Alfa failed to fully exploit the abridged Kammback tail of the latter, which is perfectly shaped to accommodate a fifth door. Having a hatchback in the range would have gone quite aways in justifying two distinct variants of essentially the same car. It appears Alfa recognized as such, and fixed this with the 75 & 90.
One last thought. Whenever the Alfetta is brought up, I can’t help but think of the one used as a prop in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. For those who have forgotten, the Alfetta makes a brief cameo appearance as Cameron’s ride, his character brilliantly played by Alan Ruck. The movie never mentions the Alfa by name – the only reference made is when Ferris brands it ‘a shitbox’. But as a prop, it’s inclusion is nothing short of brilliant. It’s the exact type of car a wealthy, car-crazed father would buy for a neglected teenage son.
Completely agree with your comments, Eric. I think the Giulietta with a fifth door would have previewed the early Saab 9000. Their dimensions and styling were quite similar.
Any mention of the Alfetta also brings me back to that early scene in Ferris Beueler’s Day Off with Cameron sitting in his example urging himself to leave the house. I’d be stoked if my daughter’s first car would be an Alfa but that’s unlikely in this day and age.
Thanks so much, Roger, for the extensive survey of Alfa Romeo saloon cars during the 1970s and 1980s! It was murky to me why would Alfa Romeo have three or four different models based on same chassis and how different they were from each other. This article really clears up a lot for me.
I was very familiar with Alfa Romeo due to my family owning the 1971 1750A Berlina for a number of years. My parents almost considered replacing our 1750A Berlina with either Alfetta or VW Jetta in the late 1970s. They decided against it due to my brother needing a car for driving to the high school and after school job. When it was my turn at 16, my parents gave me the 1750A with a stipulation that I was to maintain the car at my own expense.
Road & Track did a road test of Alfetta with automatic gearbox in the 1979 or 1980. The magazine complained about Alfetta’s baulky automatic gearbox. My experience with 1750A was that adding one more gear would be a strong improvement.
What an enjoyable read. Great post Roger, thanks!
What a great piece. I wrote up a CC on it some years ago but it was nowhere near as thorough as this one. The 75 is one of my favorite cars. I had a 2.0 TS and it was utterly glorious, but…
My conclusion was then as now that they should just not be your primary car. Mine was and it was frustrating.
I dream daily of a 75 3.0 as a second car.
The car out in the garage is my fifth Alfa and second Milano. I’ve seldom had any complaints about the ergonomics, finding the car easy to drive for hours at a time, in common with most of my Alfas. At the moment it’s on a long sabbatical because it needs a whole lot of refurbishing, and it’s been on a non-op status for almost a year now. Great timing, since my favorite shop is under new ownership and – surprise! – doubled hourly rates, but it’s also a much cleaner and better organized one. The former shop boss is however the current one, and he’s the guy who knows how to get better emissions numbers out of that V6 than the best I’ve gotten for my 18-year younger Subaru Forester!
I see other cars I’d love to have on this and other car-centric news and auction sites, and if I found a good older Alfa sedan I could afford I might go for it. As for the current ones, my wife has a ’17 Giulia she loves, and when we get back into long trips I’ll be driving it and enjoying the experience … except in urban traffic. That’s the car with ergonomic problems, starting with not being able to see the car’s boundaries.
It was back in 1986. My car then (Renault 18i) was getting long in the tooth. The wife had gone to bed and I was reading a news magazine. I turned the page and there it was, a two page spread advertising the new ALFA Milano sedan. Once I saw the price (reasonable) I took the ad, and presented it to the wife saying here’s my next car. She liked it too. After a bit of a wait we were driving the first one delivered in PDX. Of course it was red.
Polarizing looks? Sure, but I loved it. Ergonomics? The window switches on the ceiling reminded me of an old Avanti. And just to prove she was an ALFA the oil pressure sender was defective, showing 0 psi.
The perennial question from others was Who makes that? Just part of the fun. The handling was best described in two words “Yes Boss”. The engine was a work of art. Never mind the leaky cam belt tensioner, water pump, and short lived belt. I was driving an ALFA, my dream car, and all was good.
Until one day I was out on a country road when around the corner came some kid in a Datsun. He fishtailed out one way, corrected, then fishtailed the other way, caught some air (so I’m told) and hit me in an offset front end collision.
You know, time really does seem to slow down. The car was a mess, the front collapsed and the cabin had good for the time integrity. I ended up loosing my spleen, breaking five ribs (probably from being restrained by the seat belt – still better than going through the windshield). Ten days in the hospital, but I had a full recovery.
My lawyer had gone to school with the local ALFA dealer, and I had a good relationship with the shop, so they just took another one and parked it aside for when I was ready. I think it was the salesman easiest sale ever. He took us out to lunch!
That began my relationship with ALFAs. I totaled another when I T-boned a stop sign runner. Got rear ended twice sitting stopped at red lights. Picked up a lightly used 164, and drove ’em until they had left the US market and parts became a problem.
The wife and I now drive electric, but will always smile and remember when we were driving real sports sedans.
Alfas…. I’be owned five myself, although all Spiders. My current is a lovely 1971 Spider.
This is just something hard to explain about why they’re such a pleasure. Certainly they are not perfect, but perhaps that’s part of the allure…. They’re just so damn nice, except for… (X)
And so you get sucked in Always Looking For Another
You know the next one will be perfect; you get it and it almost is, expect for (X) but you love it anyhow….
There´s so much to say about these cars. What isn´t often mentioned is the incredible seating. I´ve sat in the Alfa 75, the Alfetta and also the Giulia and Giulietta. Another time I got to try a 2000 Berline. All of them have the most cossetting and supportive seats which make the most of the small size of the cars. No, they aren´t roomy but you feel so comfortable and well-positioned in these cars. They really knew what the were doing with the upholstery, the geometry and the foam fillers. Plus the seats looked great. The meaning of this that you feel well-situated in relation to the car which feels like an extension of you rather than a shell and perch inside it. It´s quite a remarkable achievement.
Small note: An Alfa 6 did make it passed the docks. I saw one near an Alfa dealer in 87 or 88 just south of Phil’s. Airport.
Typical excellence, Mr Carr, both in relaying not just the wherefore but also the why.
Do you notice that every single road test of this chassis from ’72 to the last 3 litre 75 says the same things? The gearchange is less than ideal: the steering seems a bit slow: it understeers a bit much: the driving position is a bit off: it’s not too roomy. I do like the collective interestingness of all these cars, but I’ll be cold – the faults should really not have been these from the beginning if the engineering was said to be so good, and without question, all should have been fixed as time went on. In this country, these were always expensive cars, and again, I’ll be mean: the visual (and plastic-related) build quality of the ’80’s and ’90’s Alfetta versions could not be taken seriously. Anecdotally, the actual build quality (short-life timing belts, leaks, electrical fritzes, etc) was not about to worry Stuttgart either.
That V6, though! It meets every single over-cooked claim of the most rabid Alfisiti. It’s quite possible one could endure the rest of Alfetta-dom just to use it in a RWD chassis, so good does it sound. And it has a delicious name for being one of those engines where you can loaf using 2,000rpm, speed using 4,000 and get arrested at 6,000, your choice, all of them good. Even today, an engine that’s a delight to use at any speed is rare, and I can’t think of one that sounds as good. Pavorotti? The Six Tenors, more like.
One last comment about the possibilities of the Alfetta set-up. In Oz, at Mt Panorama, Bathurst, the World F1 Champion Alan jones raced 2.5 V6 GTV’s against the local 5 and 5.8 litre cars, and highly-turboed Nissans. Incredibly, the little car was frequently close not to class victories but to outright wins. Sure, a great driver,but despite the roadtester’s lamentations, there’s no doubt that that basic chassis could be set up to do very good things.
Anyway, the sound, as it did so, ah, that was from the gods.
The Alfa also won the BTCC in the hands of the legendary Andy Rouse. But only after Rover were kicked out.
On BL could win a title, only to have it fall off.
Interesting to contrast that with Gavin Green´s breathless praise of the 75 in Car Magazine in 1986. On the plus side, it´s a finely written article with geat photography. On the downside, the report is a stack of misrepresentations if the car was merely a sloppy gearchange, slow steering, understeer and iffy build.
I could never get past the odd upward kink at the tail. I wish that I had, in my youth, a less practical approach to new cars, at least in my single years. But that German vibe appealed to me because I was going to keep my first car forever. Alas, that lasted about 2 years. The 85 GTI was fun, but there was some really sensuous stuff out at the time that I passed over.
A wonderful romp through Alfaland, sir.
Thank you, Roger! In 1986 I decided it was time for my first new car, after a used Fiat 124 sedan, and an 1975 Opel Sportwagon. The Milano had just arrived in California, so I took one for a test drive. Remember being surprised that the salesman did not come along, one reason it was a memorable drive. I was very tempted, but noted the small trunk and lack of folding rear seats, plus concerns about reliability, parts/service. Those practical considerations led me to a VW GTI. But just 3 years later I did acquire a 1979 Alfa Spider for a fun car, which I enjoyed for about 5 years, until moving to Canada curtailed its useful driving season.
When the Milano came out, it looked to me like an alternate-universe Mk2 Jetta.
Late to the comments here, Roger, but thanks for an incredibly deep dive into these cars. As the (brief) owner of a 1975 Alfetta Berlina, in a dark blue that I don’t think was commonly pictured, I’d say it was a flawed car with some very good points. On the other hand, despite obviously being a four door sedan, it was pretty much as sporting as my 1974 Spider, and far more practical. As one who came of age in the 105/115 Guilia and GTV era, the increasing use of plastic trim and cladding in the later Alfa’s unfortunately turned me off the newer cars, and in hindsight they don’t look any better than Pontiac’s Aztek or Chevy’s Avalanche. Sad. I recently saw my first 4C Spider and it was quite nice.
I had a chance to sit in an Alfetta Berlina. AR really had a hard time getting injection moulding to work for them. The dashboard is not remotely as well done as something from … well, most other manufacturers Opel and Ford were able to do it, it wasn´t just a special thing at Mercedes. That said, I didn´t mind the Alfetta´s rather Soviet IP. Sitting inside it felt like being in a really neatly sized car. It was like having a well-cut suit on, or my favourite sports jacket which is (by chance) so well suited to my size that I don´t feel like I even have a jacket on. It moves with me and I expect the Alfetta is a really agile, light-feeling car.
Beautiful cars when new. Fast and luxurious, really something special.
Unfortunately, they didn’t last much longer than about 5 years in our climate.
The parents of a friend of mine owned a scrapyard and in the early-mid 80’s you would generally find a row of completely rusted out 3-6 year old Alfas there (the Alfasud was the most notorious ruster). Those cars usually had large rust holes everywhere, even in the strangest places (middle of roofs, hoods and doors). Very bad quality steel and virtually no rust proofing. If you see an original unrestored Alfa from this era today, 90% chance it’s a French or Italian import.
As the comments attest, Alfas get inti you. I hope that came through in the post.
Thanks for all the feedback and memories.
Late to this party, but I do have to thank you for this superb post, Roger.
The early cars (Alfettas) looked gorgeous, but didn’t age too well… And I’m not sure why they nearly always looked as if they were sitting too high on their tyres, especially on the back end, kind of like a Citroen 2CV. The design adds to the overall impression.
But those interior shots, oh my! Even the Giulietta has me all flustered.